Veitongo – Joshua Toumu’a

By August 18, 2022 August 23rd, 2022 2022 award winner

–After Kaveh Akbar

The bakery flows with the scent of rainwater.
A fresh loaf is split in two, it gushes rainwater.
The iron roofing ripples with rainwater.
You cut your leg upon it, it bled rainwater.
Rainwater flows through the air conditioner.
The plastic piping carries rainwater to the concrete tank,
Which is made of rainwater itself.
A louvre slides out of its frame,
Its shards are rainwater.
Rainwater is buried under hot stones and tarpaulin.
Children run across the road to buy rainwater for their family;
They are rainwater themselves.
Rainwater rings through the air on a Sunday morning.
Aunties and uncles laugh loudly, passing around rainwater.
Their laughs are overflowing with rainwater.
Subwoofers in car boots ooze rainwater.
The machete is taken to a coconut,
Rainwater rushes out of it.

I sent you a poem before the waves took out communications.
My words were rainwater.


Joshua Toumu’a
Year 12
Wellington High School

One Comment

  • Malia Alisi Vea says:

    Wow! I was there myself when the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcanic eruption happened. This poem really catched my eyes. My eyes shed tears of happy rainwater ??. My heart is filled with warmth as I could feel that this poem was made with love.

    Well done Joshua Toumu’a. I’m so proud of you!
    Alisi Vea
    A Psychologist in Tonga at the time of the tsumami and volcanic eruption, and now a PhD student at VUW.

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