“The Vanuatu people believe that secrecy is what gives power to the illness. When the error is confessed, it no longer has power over the person.” ~ Claire F. Parsons
I use my camera
lens to magnify
the chasms in my relationships,
focus on how his head
tilts toward her shoulder
while this one leans away, forced
smile, dead eyes. I only want
to find stimulating sanctuary
in a carefully constructed coterie,
leaving kin to their hearty
holiday bluster, having said a firm no
to the party propaganda, and refusing
any longer to defend the truth
or facts. Yet this time is most
auspicious to heal rifts,
declare amnesty, forgive debts,
reconcile and make peace
treaties with joy and unbounded love.
I must own
my part of the struggle,
no longer dumping all the blame
— so obviously insupportable,
what a jerk! — instead
to pluck it like a four-leaf clover.
Lucky me, starting anew!
In ancient times, tradition summoned
the shaman at grave illness.
From all corners of the island,
every relative gathered to sit
and confess, exposing
ill thoughts, hostile feelings,
inimical deeds, every adverse
vibration. They knew the power
of truth and reconciliation,
and they stayed until the sickness
rose like smoke, replaced by
dedicated and directed love.