Pacific labour mobility: staggering upward
Solomons: a better understanding is needed

A narrative poem: Man suddenly lost at sea



Chapter I

Out in the sea with his canoe
Wind and darkness came with no cue
And took him away suddenly
Away from land and family
Into the dusk his strength waned
Paddle and sail lost in the wind

His markers now disappeared 
The frothy head of each swell reared
Man and canoe now swallowed
Into the dusk and sea below
Into darkness and the unknown
Man, canoe and sea all alone

He called upon his ancestors
He thought of his beloved wife
He fretted for his dear children
All these as darkness swallowed him
The wind threw salt water on him
And slurping break pushed him away 

Chapter II 

The wind and swell have colluded 
His fate uncertain and blinded 
Darkness has settled all around 
His limbs and strength suddenly drowned 
Into this malevolent tide
Bailing his canoe from each side

"O' Big Man you are everywhere!"
"O' I do not want to die here!"
"You've protected my ancestors!"
"You've planted us on the seashores!"
"You live in the mountains and sea!"
"You've provided for me, save me!"

And he drifted in the darkness 
With loneliness and emptiness 
Afraid, he closed his eyes and wept
His wail ripped through the bulging swept
Then the blackness around cleared
The quiet stars darted and mirrored 

Chapter III 

A still calm settled all around 
He could hear the calm water sound 
As the swell lapped against his craft 
He looked up to locate his route
The crescent moon gazed overhead 
And distinct stars dispelled all dread

"O' Big Man! You are everywhere!"
"O' I do not want to die here!"
“I am alone. I am tired.” 
He closed his eyes to calm his head
“I cannot do anything now.”
And man and canoe drifted slow

“Who is man to my ocean’s might?”
“From dawn of day to dusk of night!”
“Who are you, mere man, to my depths?” 
“Or know the secrets that are kept?”
“I have memories of all that are!” 
“Even you, mere man, drifting here!” 

The sea released from her bowel
And over the calm rolling swells 
Sea creatures emerged from the deep
Diving with dolphins out to keep 
A wearied man and his canoe 
A good man from going below


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