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The following poem was written by Charles Fishman after the Rio Conference on the environment in 1992.

Charles Fishman is a poet and teacher who lives on Long Island. He has not yet been to Tuvalu or Australia, but he would welcome the opportunity to visit them both.
 

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Tuvalu

If we are offered even 1000 acres in Australia,
it won't be the same.
 
Bikenibeu Paeniu,
Prime Minister of Tuvalu,
Rio de Janeiro, June 4, 1992

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Tuvalu, where are your beaches? the coconut
palms that clatter in early morning rainshine?
Only the waves, only the waves know.
 
Tuvalu, 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 know.
 
Tuvalu, your 9 pearl-white islands—where will we
find them? on the map of nations, where will they glow?
Only the waves, only the waves know.

-- Charles Fishman 1992           

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Soak in the enchanting sounds of the sun-drenched Oceania/Pacific Islands coming to you in 64kbps FM Stereo!
 

 

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