(creative writing in memory of Grace Mera Molisa – by briar wood)

In this season of vegetables, the year you left us behind

The Second Melanesian Festival swells Vila

from vanuatu back to mama afrika

Black Brothers sing to wantok women

in the solid dark at Independence Park

a fourteen-man string band and one green guitar

rocking everybody at the gallery opening.


Between broken English and beginner’s Bislama

I explain to people of the ples I am studying your poetry –

but some hear pottery and give me directions

to the Kaljoral Senta where I admire

red mats of Ambae, dyed, matanaho,

precise, incised fragments of Lapita

black stone publishing

and join the large group gathering to watch

women  from  Wusi, Espiritu Santo

who have been working in secret all week

shaping layers from volcanic black sand,

applying designs – waves, fishbones,

pikinini fingers gripping the carefully shaped lips

putting on a red slip, sprinkling with seawater

the firmed earthenware exterior turned upside down

as the bundles of fronds and branches

piled high on a platform of hot river rocks

burns, flaring up with a flourish

in a process usually performed at dawn.

So your poetry has come through

that blaze of themes, critiques and dreams,

tempered words, fused to a brilliant black

and packed with your country’s colours –

graceful containers, holding the future’s truth.

Your poetry inspires,the pots are firing.

[excerpts from one of her poems – Co-operation]

We need each other
You need me. I need you.
Impossible to love so easy to hate!
It does matter that at least we try.
We play our role. We do our share.
Co-operation. On every level. Any level.