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Adele Ne Jame – IV

Why Fiji, Why Anywhere






Somehow here you are

flying Nandi  to Taviuni—

two hours cinched in a two-seater


bobbing up and down in the air

like a dragonfly over water—

so low it seems you are nearly


skimming the shallows of

a glittering  olivine sea, light fracturing

water and reef wildly in the sun.


Then suddenly the pilot powers up

with a hard left into an inlet

gaining altitude and weaving


between mountain ridges

as if we have left our bodies entirely.

In minutes we are again edging a rugged coastline—


and leveling off. You hear the engines strain on

until we bank into the wind and

land—bouncing roughshod on a dirt strip


in the middle of nowhere—

But with the still loud whirring of the propeller

you instantly know you want to be  back up


there in the boundless sky just as

your father had been –in all the photos—

young man half-draped out of


the cockpit of his biplane

mapping New Guinea from the air—

as far away from Beirut as he could get –


from all the losses of the great war

but then— never far enough,

his family and so many millions gone—


their hearts failing on the road to nowhere.

But in the clouds the weight of loss lifts

like helium and you forget

for a moment how it piles up—

one generation to another

is lodged in blood and bone—


how it hangs  in the air above the Chouf –

heavenly forest in the snow fringing

the red sky there –the argon of


our brief and common lives mingling

in our lungs,  our breathing

beyond time in the shining  light,


in those racing clouds circling the Earth.

Later that night on the Mundaca—

sleek black seventy footer in remote Vianni Bay,


the only other vessel in sight is Wind Pony—

to set sail for Vanuatu at dawn.

You sit under the sagging tarp long hours


with Kate and Joe in the  dark humid air

and with the relief of simply nothing

except their sailing stories and a fine cabernet.


We study the stars, the Southern Cross

overhead – Venus never far in this hemisphere,

they say—such heavenly designs.


All that and the constant sound of waves

slapping broadside, the comfort of the vessel,

even when anchored, still moving.