A Pacific Islander Reflects in Cuba Street
The face of Che Guevara lives on the torso
of Mike Tyson as a rippling flag of black ink.
Havana is a cigar end glowing red at night.
Cuba has become the taste of rum mixed
with sour sweat, where America pokes
its fat pistol against the skull of Fidel
and spins the barrel – click, click, boom.
Rust defines the tinpot grog-dens of kava,
and those casbahs of Noumean Napoleons.
Papuans bare hearts to flames of loggers;
rare turtle shells stacked like trash vanish;
the sea pours from a beggar's upthrust hand.
Suva's a flaking ceiling of candlenut soot;
dawn's mouth is burnt peanut ash spat out.
Honululu is a cemetery of suncream-white sand;
plantations grow totem poles for genetic labs.
Each aid apologist turns tourist anthropologist
making televised sagas of gold medal arts.
Skin divers seek rapture from deep-blue skies;
a necklace of hot pennies brands you half-caste.
Cashed up, paid-off, we flew the clouds like gods,
leaving rap sheets stiff with dishonoured cheques
beneath a dunny can rainbow of shimmering flies.