Nephew of Tangaloa

Island Curse
Last words of my father,
“We are worms squirming
on stones broken
by Tangaloa, people of the sand
and water, hearts like fish
gliding. You are cast from this.
Be hollow
until the light of angānga sings
a voice from the ghosts
in your blood.”
I said, bullshit. I was nineteen
and didn’t care.
The shell of a mussel, the beach midden,
yam, winnowing a muggy joy.
I dream them
Coal charred banana leaf
cloudy water, the medicine
of my land.
I dream them
Here the cars run tunnels
through my thoughts, I wait, I hold a wife
who will never see my mother,
and rule children who carry
dull whispers of my blood.
A creature sits; a colour
darker than my blood. A paring
knife in his talons, shivering
cut nails across the floor,
each razor moon
a curse. He clips again
and begins to sing.

rico.craigRico Craig is a writer and creative writing teacher, currently sharing his time between poetry, prose and working on pantomime scripts with school students. New poetry is forthcoming in Meanjin and Cordite. For links to publications please visit: 






Rico Craig