Tuesday, November 3, 2009

DAy 106: Kumulipo (expanded)

My father is a 5’10” brown skinned prophet

He speaks history bedtime stories

Recites distant time lines like family birthdays

Genealogies of ancient Hawaiian kings like they were his kin

he is cultural knowledge in collegiate skins

a phd in yesterdays but too many tomorrows have passed

and we live in a world where we only think about today and not past

Jonathan kay kamakawiwoole osorio is too much Hawaiian to count quantum

Too much love to hold

he is my father and my hero

but my father has forgotten his own grandparents middle names

Forgotten what color thread god used to sew him together with

And I am beginning to wonder how my whitewashed fingertips will pick up the pieces if my fathers own palms have named them forgotten

And when those palms are buried

Lifeline facing god

Tangled in tattered roots

Will mine remember how to fold into prayers and

will his voice still answer through soil

Will my father still be a teacher when he is truly speechless?

And how much will die with him

Will he leave only regret for me to remember questions too tongued tied to speak

And tears I cant seem to turn into anything resembling remembrance

Will my own fathers death be in vain

At my hand, The flame broken and no torch left to light

At whose fault will the torch be lost

its been only 230 years since contact

230 years since the last time our 2000 lined creation chant was sung in full

our kumulipo the genealogy of our existence

but we've already lost connection with our own grandparents

what happened to the ones forgotten before them

the ones who shaped my heart from their rib cages

i want to taste the tears in their names

want to trace their souls into my vocal chords so that i can feel related again

Because My history is breaking

Held together only marginally by cultural sovereignty

Only the few who care that

Our roots cannot remember themselves

Cannot remember how to dance if we don’t chant for them

And will not sing unless we are listening

And we, only speak hawaiian in empty classroom. from textbooks

and we fear our American accents

soo much that our tongues feel too foreign in our own mouths we dont dare speak out loud

so we can’t even remember our own parents names

and who will care to remember mine if I don’t teach them?

i want to teach my future children

how to spell family with my middle name- Heolimeleikalnai

how to hold love with Kamakawiwo'ole

how to taste culture in the Kumulipo


do not forget me

my mana

do not forget my soul

my father


who could not forget his own


we have failed you and forgotten the ones before

so do not forget whats left

cuz this is all we have

you wont find our roots online

we have no dances or chants if we have no history

just rants

no roots

just tears

this is all i have of our family history

and now its yours

O Elroy Thomas Leialoha Osorio he kane

o Clara Ku’ulei Kay he wahine

Noho pu laua a hanau ia o Jonathan Kamakawiwoole Kay Osorio he kane

O Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwoole Osorio he kane

o mary carol dun he wahine

Noho pu laua a hanau ia o Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio he wahine

do not forget us

mai poina

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