by Jonpaul “Sione” Monty Cohen
The sand is cold, and unwelcoming
Nothing like where I came from
A sea missing the warmth of home
I want to jump in and swim away
But this sea is not my own
It’s waves lap a different tongue
If home is where the heart is
then when did I become so heartless
When there’s no place like home by this sea
Can lo‘u fanua tina forgive me
for leaving her to California?
into the cold unwelcome of another sand.
Jonpaul “Sione” Monty Cohen is a Jewish Sāmoan from New Zealand who moved to Irvine, CA, to study Cognitive Science in 2019. He hopes to help other members of his community who struggle with mental health, and strive to become a positive role model for Polynesian youths to use their voices. For Sione, his island culture and home is a source of inspiration and strength, and with the ongoing climate crisis he has made efforts, including lobbying before the New Zealand Parliament, to speak up for the islands that gave him life.
One response to “‘O Lo’u Fanua”
Sione has such a great way with words and creating a mental picture. Loved the poem! Thank you for publishing it.