Friday, May 17, 2019



I speed agsianstthe backdrop of the Rocky mountains

My mind racing through the chronology of our pilina 

And her voice cuts through the stereo 

“It’s not simple to say”

And so simply and fully, 

i fall back into your memory 

And now 

I am not so much snow capped Rocky Mountain ridge lines

But New York cities lights and falling skies 

I am the woman weeping in your arms 

As she sings

“I still remember that girl”

I am that girl you called your love 

Over and over until i forgot my own name

And this is how most days go 


With things that will make me feel like home

But everything about me that i love still has your scent, your smile

Your kiss 

And some days i find the balance between lying and living in this new world 

where it seems maybe we never happened 

Maybe my memory 

Is just the story i wrote wishing you into my world 

And then of course, you text me 

As if to check 

If i am still here 

If i am remembering 

And of course, i am 

So i weep

Because even though it is you, reaching towards me

I am here and you are not and will not be

And again 

It’s just me alone with our memory 

And then i get caught 

In that dark spot called here and forgotten 

Called never happened

Called replaced

Called wondering what i was, if i am no longer

And now i am caught in the undertow of questioning every word you ever offered

While i watch you slide your smile across the skin of the sea to someone else 

My own heart breaking in your hands

On repeat 

And i am tempted to call it all a bad dream 

A fantasy 

A diversion in your real story 

And then she sings again

“She is gone but she used to be mine” 

And like that i know there was love 


I can still sense its taste 

On the back of my tongue 

Even if it isn’t here 


I can still see the whole sky 

Light itself on fire 

From the reflection in your eyes

And so these days

I try to carve away all the excess

Everything that isn’t, wasn’t, and wont be love

Sometimes I get a little liberal with my own carving 

I Watch it 



melt away 

But I try not to rewrite the past 

In my insistence on watching it all in reverse 

Try to remember the night i held you

In our hotel room and you said you were ready

How i crumbled in your arms and you just held me

I try to hold the moment 

We woke to the sky falling outside of our window

All of New York City just putting on a show for your smile

Or every time we made love and our Kupuna sent showers to celebrate us

Or the Anuenue that stretched across Mauna lua bay above you

As we chased the sunset across the face of leahi 

I know there was love

Because i remember the salt of your skin on mine

When you asked me to take you home

One last time

So i hold the love

Like i used to hold you

I remember

I remmeber

I remember 

Alone in the dark 

With the stereo on loud

So scared of all this life inside of me

I Write the poem

Listen to the soundtrack of our past 

The Sara, maroon 5, the Jason mraz

Again and again 

Until i can almost hear your voice

Until its you sitting beside me in this car

Until you reach out to pull my hand into yours

Until you tell me again, how i need to believe that you will always come back 

To me

That I am worth remembering 

I break under the weight of those words

And yet, i keep holding 

Keep remembering our little piece of forever

Even if you choose not to

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

E kuʻu mau haumana

I learned at an early age

That the best way to teach

Is simply to tell the truth 

This is what iʻve always tried to do with you

And isnt that the point of moʻolelo 

To share something real

That might resonate 

That might make change

That you might find truth in too

And so My kupuna believe

Truth comes from darkness

From pō

They say 

Comes ʻoiaʻio 

The truth is 

I’ve been struggling 

Knowing this.. I guess I could say that these days

I feel saturdated in truth

Sometimes I wake realizing 

I am not quite ready to imagine legacy

The dance from child to sibling to parent

Of a generation of schoalrs who will supass and outlive me


But this again is a part of the practice of being worthy of teaching

This was always a part of the duty

Recently, A friend reminded me 

That before I was born I agreed to the life laid before me

So here I am 

Weaving baskets of moʻolelo 

Preparing to carry you in 

Like my kupuna and kumu did for me

But whats the truth?

Sometimes kuleana is heavy


Sometimes it marks the body in black ink 

Sometimes it bleeds through the skin 

Sometimes I forget the right way to carry it 

To walk under it

To speak in my own voice 

Sometimes I am ashamed

Of the ways I do not live up yo my own names 

Other times

I feel graditude for all the smalls waYS YOU ALL HAVE FORGIVEN ME



Filling THE spaces I didnt quite know how to dance in

For all the ways you forgive me for all I am lacking 

The truth is I have spent 24 years preparing for these momenets 

To read and write and talk about the truth with you 

The truth is 

I was born to the greatst kumu who ever lived

My father

And his 

And mothers moving on for generataions

And an ʻāina and moana that has loved me beyond my own meaaasure

I have been given more moʻolelo then I could ever deserve

Than I could ever carry

And here I am 

At the precipice of a moment 

Meant to understand my own function 

Standing before you 

With more questions than answers 

In a time where our lack of understanding has the gravest consequesnces 

And most of the time

The truth is 

I fail to do it all justice

So instead 

Here is the lesson I should have led with 

When I was a child

Moʻolelo was the most intimate gift to be offered 

It meant you were worthy 

It meant you were loved 

It meant you were cherished

It meant I want to offer you my eyes

For you to see a bit of this world like I do 

For a moment 

In complicated fashion 

But with aloha for everything around you 

And so the truth?

I wonder most nights

That even if I wasnt the best version of myself this semester

If you still got to hold the magic 

Still got to sit in awe and wonder

For this moʻolelo you are now a part of 

And always have been 

2000 generations in the making 

As old as a sea of islands 

Still growing 

I wonder 

If you were moved

If we were moved

If we can continue to move those around us who fail to see what we do 

So If nothing else I hope you 

Remember these truths 

Remember the gifts of bravery and imagining 

That we stand on the shoulders of giants 

That everything that has ever been done 

Was once impossible 

And the only way we know

All the amazing tranformations that it can be done

Is because someone somewhere carried the moʻolelo 

And loved someone enough to share it 

Like I have hopefully done 

With you