TuvaluTuvalu, where will your fishermen
anchor their boats
when the sea rises? where will their hand-tied drift nets
dry in the sun? Only the waves know.
Tuvalu, your banana farmers, where will they harvest
the ripe fruit? where will the gold-orange yams warm
and sweeten? Only the waves, only the waves know.
Tuvalu, where is the fresh water your 10,000 mouths
thirst for? where will the future spill its coronal
of conch shells and kiwi feathers? Only the waves
Tuvalu, your 9 pearl-white islandswhere will we
find them? on the map of nations, where will they glow?
Only the waves, only the waves know.
If we are offered even 1000 acres
it won't be the same.
¾ Bikenibeu Paeniu,
Prime Minister of Tuvalu,
Rio de Janeiro, June 4, 1992
- Tuvalu, where are your beaches? the coconut
- palms that clatter in early morning rainshine?
- Only the waves, only the waves know.
-- Charles Fishman 1992
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