ars pasifika

when the tide

of silence


say “ocean”

then with the paddle

of your tongue


the letters to form



Copyright © 2020 by Craig Santos Perez. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 22, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem emerged from the recognition that the words ‘ocean’ and ‘canoe’ are composed of the same letters. As a Pacific Islander poet, this resonated as a lesson in poetics, or an ‘ars pasifika.’”
Craig Santos Perez