We are Made from Earth and Rain

Moai on the island of Rapa Nui
We are Made from Earth and Rain

Stumble upon our timeless gaze, 
so long as there’s eyes to see 
and minds to conjure. 

Stoic are we in history’s haze 
with obsidian-cut ashen shoulders 
faced away from the sea. 

A watchful eye cast to our kin, 
unflinching, unmoving, 
as the wind howled through grit. 

The diligence of many hands walked on 
through the hills and through the slopes, 
down the tuff quarry to the coast. 

“We walked.” They would not believe, 
as they had not seen with 
their modern minds. 

“We watched.” Inward, 
unknowing the dangers on the shore 
concealed by a pride that blinds. 

Then they came, like greedy crows 
in their murder for our kin 
while our world rolled on by. 

Our faith was lost 
to the clambering of foreign hands, 
our stony gaze a mocking memorial. 

One by one by one we fell, 
faced down in anguish and blind misery, 
our stone hearts cried out to the knolls. 

The banging and clanging 
from the crater had stopped, 
while our once-fair features withered. 

No more songs were sung, 
no more prayers were said, 
left rotted and forgotten in our failure. 

The ones who came before as if 
in their shame or final triumph, 
laid upon our ruined vigil.

They brought with them 
their own songs that would 
drown out the voice of our people. 

Toward a new dawn we regained place, 
but no longer by the hands 
of our crestfallen kin. 

Now we perched upon lost grace, 
a silent remorseful stare 
for those who would, 

Stumble upon our timeless gaze, 
so long as there’s eyes to see 
and minds to conjure. 

...and linger no longer, lest stone tears start to wander.

Giuseppe Gillespie – February 2022

*Some thoughts on watching a documentary on the island of Rapa Nui, the title comes form an excerpt of writing by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

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