"..I fell asleep
my words
were a current
to greet you"

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What I will tell my daughter (to Matt and Tony)

Minister Mattlan Zackhras

Climate Ambassador Tony DeBrum


We just lost two climate champions for the Marshall Islands within days of each other – former Minister Mattlan Zackhras and former Climate Ambassador Tony DeBrum. Both were major players on the international scene, in raising awareness on climate change and also on nuclear testing. But they were also just good, humble men who were grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, sons. They were more than their accomplishments. It’s been a huge blow to lose both of them  one after another. As we prepared to lay one to rest, the other passed this morning. I’ve been thinking about the enormous loss their families must be feeling. As usual I turned to writing to process. Rest in peace Matt and Tony. They both gave me so much direction and faith. I wish I gave them more.


What I will tell my daughter

They say there are no mountains

in the Marshalls – our island

that is so close

to an expiration date


But I will tell you there were mountains

who were men

giants who walked across the sea

sounding the call for the world

to hear our story.



To learn more about Mattlan: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/336798/tributes-for-marshall-islands-leader-who-got-things-done

To learn more about Tony: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/world/tony-de-brum-dead-climate-change-advocate.html?mcubz=0