Flower on beach
6am by the rooster's crow
Morning that was once a dream, floating away like a blur into the
Deep nothingness
Of the ocean,
Slowly makes its way back, dancing on the shores of Avatiu.
Aroma of
(Island style)
And lemon-soaked pawpaw awaits me in the kitchen
Devoured in seconds,
And out the back to pick guavas
Cool and sweet the juicy flesh
If the birds haven't already had their share.

The annual Peace Council competition for schools produces a unique insight into Island life through the eyes of some of the youngest Cook Islands residents.  I think this example is particularly outstanding. Chelsea Emily Te Vaine Moeroa Numanga reflects on...

First published by Cook Islands News
Dusty floors and hand-woven mats greeet me
And Grandma playing piano
Fingers gliding over the keys gracefully
Singing sweet hymns to the piano,
Piano singing to her,
And all in peace and
The joyous notes and voice raised to the heavens above.
Out the front to the veranda
Tivaevae cloths all along the ground
Down the steps
Into the lawn
Surrounded by trees of frangipani and hibiscus
And the undeniable smell of tiare maori
This truly is my home
And the world will never take that away from me.

No longer I, but an ant, in my backyard,
Gazing up at
The towering trees reaching the skies,
Smothered in pink tipanis all over.
Scramble to the top and smell the frangipanis
Surrounding me,
Perfect pink and yellows and greens
The sure smell of heaven.
Reluctant to go down, I
retreat to the
Sliding and
Sneaking between
Entwined branches
Tough feet hit splinters and
And run inside

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