Cleaning Up At a Samoa Beach
Date: 3rd June 2005
Subject: Cleaning Up at The Beach
Place: The Beach, Upolu, Independent Samoa
Cleaning Up At The Beach
Grasping the broom
“Grasping the broom with expert hands
he drags each twig
across the sand, catching coral
shell, stone, leaf,
underneath the pure white grain.
of tide and rain,
scrubbed and cleaned
with light caress.
Nature now a postcard scene,
no dying branch, decaying fruit,
And with each stroke
through tourist luxury.
He passes time, a constant pace;
the public face
of an industry,
cleaning up at the beach.
Carving up the sand
Carving up the sand with foreign cash;
faster than the monsoon rain. A hotel chain,
a swinging bridge,
hand built falé
to line a ridge of virgin land.
Why so much sand? Decking;
more pleasing to the visitor’s taste.
back out to sea,
under the spa, the rooftop bar;
sunset views, digital TV.
A seafood buffet
will die for,
diverting all eyes
from the construction eyesore
of cleaning up at the beach.
Taking care of locals
Taking care of locals with rights of way,
for those who’ll sell; cash in hand,
slipping through fingers like grains of sand.
Nothing for those no longer required,
laid off, retired.
The regular man
who sweeps the leaves,
with outdated brush;
“He looks untidy
out of date,
and there isn’t a place
in a tourist boom,
for someone to groom redundant sand.
The traditional way?
lets be very clear- it doesn’t pay.
The days of sentiment are gone,
of unskilled workers, hangers on.
Anyhow, there’s no need for him now.
our beloved investors the Japanese
with wads of cash and expertise
will be cleaning up at the beach.”