Monday, July 22, 2019

Ask me about the Mauna


Ask me about the mauna ⠀⠀⠀
And I will tell you about thirty kānaka huddled shivering in an empty parking lot ⠀⠀⠀ 
Praying ⠀⠀⠀
The lāhui would answer the call ⠀⠀⠀

I will tell you about two nights ⠀⠀⠀
Cot sleeping ⠀⠀⠀
Directly under a sky scattered in stars ⠀⠀⠀
In air so clear ⠀⠀⠀
Every inhale is medicine⠀⠀⠀
How every morning ⠀⠀⠀
I woke to a lāhui growing ⠀⠀⠀
As if we were watching Maui fish us ⠀⠀⠀
One by one ⠀⠀⠀
From the sea ⠀⠀⠀
Ask me about the mauna ⠀⠀⠀
And I will tell you ⠀⠀⠀
How on the third morning I watched ⠀⠀⠀
As 30 became 100⠀⠀⠀
then 100 became 1000 ⠀⠀⠀
then 1000 became us all⠀⠀⠀
Each and every one of our Akua standing beside us ⠀⠀⠀
Ask me about the mauna ⠀⠀⠀
And I will tell you the mo’olelo of eight⠀⠀⠀
Kanaka chained to a cattle grate ⠀⠀⠀
And the kōkua that sat beside us ⠀⠀⠀
How we were never alone in the malu of our mauna ⠀⠀⠀
How no one is every alone in the malu of our mauna ⠀⠀⠀
Ask me ⠀⠀⠀
And I will tell you about the hands I held ⠀⠀⠀
Through blistering cold ⠀⠀⠀
And extreme heat ⠀⠀⠀⠀
How I learned love ⠀⠀⠀
From the subtle tilt of her temple pressed against mine ⠀⠀⠀
Or by the solemn promise of her eyes ⠀⠀⠀
How the evening before i braided prayers into her hair hoping they would hold

Ask me ⠀⠀⠀

And I will recount their names ⠀⠀⠀
All 361 kūpuna⠀⠀⠀
One after the other who showed us mo’opuna how to stand ⠀⠀⠀
How they stunned and activated a lāhui with their sacrifice ⠀⠀⠀
How I wept ⠀⠀⠀
And wept ⠀⠀⠀
And wept ⠀⠀⠀
As I quietly held their names in my chest⠀⠀⠀
Ask me ⠀⠀⠀
And I will sing the song of our mana wahine ⠀⠀⠀
All 100 of us ⠀⠀⠀
Linked arms and unafraid ⠀⠀⠀
Who stood in the face of the promise ⠀⠀⠀
Of sound cannons and mace ⠀⠀⠀
Ask me ⠀⠀⠀
And I will tell you ⠀⠀⠀
How this body has been changed ⠀⠀⠀
How home takes on a new meaning these days ⠀⠀⠀
How family shows up at exactly the right time and place ⠀⠀⠀
And how silence is a clarity that cannot be bought ⠀⠀⠀
⠀ ⠀⠀⠀
And I will say ⠀⠀⠀
I have been transformed here ⠀⠀⠀
But won’t have the words to quite explain ⠀⠀⠀
I will say : ⠀⠀
I am not quite sure who exactly I’ll be when this ends ⠀⠀⠀
But at the very least ⠀⠀⠀
I’ll know⠀⠀⠀
This ‘āina⠀⠀⠀
Did every thing it could to feed me ⠀⠀⠀
And that will be enough to keep me standing⠀⠀
Until the very last aloha ‘Āina

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