Friday, February 22, 2013

day 22: Pae ka leo o ke kai (a revision from yesterday poem)

During my quest for the kāne
i send songs into the ʻāīna before me
scripture composed to the rhythm of your pahu
i imagine the hua spurting roots and rising as kumu lehua

the men and women hear me coming 
prepare puaʻa, kalo, luʻau  
all for for me to feast
i eat the tender leaves and continue
like the ocean tide
to return to your shore

the moʻo 
insist on making an impression
fling their tongues in my directions
flail their bodies as to hint at my destruction
but i have proven
that all those who test will fall defeated

I have finally arrived to find the kapu man dead
i send my voice first 
it lands on the ears of friendly hosts
they claim i am the diety of their dance
the akua they marvel to for this movement 
and yet, 
they are ignorant to the source of this mele
they forget you
do not see the shadows your palms left 
pressed against my hips
don't  feel the cool brush of wind to the sweat collected between our skin
they know nothing of the way you fed me your body
how i drank of you until every step 
every twist was an instinct to praise you 
every kāhea
a song strung from the shift your kino pressed into papa
how you became a kumu only by allowing your body to be laʻau lehua planted in earth
so that you may dance every time the nānāhuki wind blows

they are stranger to you
and our song
and i wonder 
how they might call themselves dancers
and not know your name
not have felt the pressure of your poho to their hips
the wisher of your voice saying, "pēlā" again their chests
the sting left behind by your kiss
they know not how all of this became the dance i would compose to the rhythm of your breath
only that i have been singing the same song ever since

they call me their akua
their kumu
and all i can do is wonder 
as a haumana of your haʻa
as a student of this bend at the knees praise 
if i have spent enough time in your arms 
in the center of your swaying scripture
if i have made a home permanent enough in your body
to bring justice to this ʻami
of this bend and hinge of the hips
i do not know

so I send my voice to you over the ocean
praying for reply
Pae ka leo o ke kai
the voice of the sea sings
Ha‘a ka wahine
the female bends
‘Ami i kai o Nānāhuki
she turns the sea of nānāhuki

reminding me
i have much still to learn of your body

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