Island Hopping

Sappho lived here. 
And Moana, for a turn, too. 
Sappho would incise songs 
on the backs of fish, 
and Moana would swing 
like a pendulum 
against the rocks 
loosening the chitons. 
They stayed up all night 
and drew maps 
of the hemispheres 
in the sand 
until their nailbeds got sore. 
They tossed grass seeds 
at the banks and 
rock-salts into the pools. 
If they stopped still, 
they were mournful 
neither honey or bee for me/ 
rimu-rimu, tere tee 
So they leapt off cliffs 
their hair for parachutes, 
dug deep for Toheroa 
and Turkish Delight. 
Once in a while, 
they received guests. 
Like Corona Borealis, 
back from Princess Bay. 
She’d unpin her crown 
and go to bed with Orion 
in completely 
the wrong place. 


Vana Manasiadis was a member of the 2005 MA class at the IIML. She spent the winter island-hopping.