This new year and decade brings about ideas for featuring various works of art that I’m working on in this blog on a monthly basis that capture some of the designs that I am incorporating into my doctoral creative works that are currently in development.

This particular month I’m featuring the ‘Navigating Journeys’ art piece to tie in with last year’s works (acrylics on canvas) that I’ve used for the front cover page of our latest community anthology with the same title. 

It incorporates designs from the malu (Samoan traditional female tattoo) with new renderings of the colour palette as I explore various treatments of designs for a contemporary feel.

I’ll be continuing to study the malu and pe’a/malofie (Samoan male traditional tattoo) patterns, designs and meanings for reinterpretation within a contemporary context as a diaspora Samoan women living in Auckland.

I’ll also be sharing some poetry and short stories that I’ve written or ideas that I am currently working on within my thesis which happens to be much overdue with so many spaces that I work at that I’m having to prioritize what I can and cannot do within my limited time frame.

Today, I’m going to share a short story that is featured in my ‘Frangipani whispers’ (2018) poetry and prose collection. It was actually about an incident that my little brother and I experienced in the 1990s when he had long hair and he was getting teased by another student.

Long Hair

The sun shines blindly today as I sit quietly with my little brother waiting for the bag bell to ring.

A figure looms overhead casting its shadow upon us. He is an older boy. He jumps onto the bench where we are seated. He throws up and catches a ball with a menacing smile.

– He’s a girl! He’s got long hair!

A finger points accusingly at my little brother. I look up into the shadow.

– He’s a boy! ’cause I’ve got short hair and you’ve got short hair, so we’re girls!

He jumps off the bench with a startled look of puzzlement then runs away.

I turn to my little brother and see the twinkling in his eyes as the sun smiles brightly.

I’d be interested in your comments if you or someone close to you has experienced this type of teasing or bullying. This just happened to be my response to the situation. I know that others have responded differently. How would you have responded to this situation?…