A Floating Niu

Janet Christopher Ikimotu wrote this poem spontaneously during a writer’s presentation in "The Barn" in Suva during the VIIIth Pacific Science Association Inter–Congress in Suva, Fiji, on 16 July 1997. Janet was in Suva for the Teaching The Pacific Forum (TTPF) workshop as the delegate from the Department of Education of Niue.

I’m a floating niu

Still looking for my roots

Mama and papa gave me away

To a childless kin who came to bubuti*

I’m a floating niu

Still looking for my roots

My new Mama and Papa sent me away

To an all girls boarding school

I’m a floating niu

Still looking for my roots

I gave myself away

To a man of an island called NiuE

Is this my roots at last?

A Banaban I–Kiribati

Fiji Born and bred

Still holding on to my Fiji passport

And a Niuean Resident

Floating to and fro

Please help me find my roots

Janet Christopher Ikimotu

 

"Written at the BARN during the USP Writers Poem Reading night.

Inspired by the night’s theme FREE Floating Coconut.

I remove the Free because…"

* bubuti (I kiribati) meaning to get, to ask for an adoption

  • The author was born of Banaba parents on Rabi Island in Fiji, is married to a Niue man and lives on that island, which is one of the world’s smallest countries (see Table 2 below).

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