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Engelbert Danis

Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia

Engelbert Danis

Ranannim pwan tirou and Aloha to all. Deep in the heart of the Pacific near Guam, Saipan, the Marshall Islands, and Palau lies a group of Islands. Under one flag and a common goal, they come together in unity to form the Federated States of Micronesia. These Islands are: Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, and Kosrae. I am a native of Chuuk and was raised in Pohnpei, the capital. At the age of 21, I graduated from the College of Micronesia with a 2-year degree in Computer Information Systems. I am very fortunate to further my studies here at UH Hilo, where I am majoring in Communications. My goal is to further assist the development of my country.

In my poems, I hope to share a little of what I know of my culture and my personal experiences. I am not a writer, but I find writing to be a powerful tool for achieving further endeavors. I would like to start my quest by writing poems for I find it to be very appealing. I would like to dedicate these poems to all Pacific Islanders. A special mahalo goes to my teachers and fellow classmates for the words of wisdom and encouragement which rekindle the fire in me to pursue and never give up. Kinisou chapur, Engko.

Excerpt from Making Waves

Love Stick

A very fine piece of tangantangan
Carved with tender care
Way better then Cupid's arrow
Or the Roman spear.

Precious in a way
It stands as a symbol
Like a birth name
For a certain individual.

It defines love, to those who know its mark.
It denies love, to those who don't own it.
Yes, it is a tool for amorous communication
And no, it is not a weapon of mass destruction.

Lucky for those who can feel its unique arts,
For they will invite their lovers.
Tangantangan is not just a stick
It's a fine piece of Chuukese carving for girls to pick
And take delight in.

An assortment of Chuukese love sticks
Chuukese love sticks courtesy of Craig Severance;
photo by S. Luangphinith