Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Five ways to offer ea on the mauna


Every morning I run a mile in either direction from my pu’uhonua 

What starts as a familiar exercise in physical discipline 

Quickly becomes an experiment in my own mental fortitude 

How far can I stay from this piko of mine 

Before I am forced to turn around to catch my breath 

And whatever else I have inadvertently left behind


My skin hasn’t been kissed by the sea in nearly three weeks 

Where there were once gills 

All I have are scabs 

Now I catch as much pa’akai on my tongue as I can 

Because I know 

This may not be what I was once accustomed 

By it is more my home 

Than any other I have ever known 


Wahine standing, 


and sleeping by my side

Three distinct rhythms of breath

Three perfectly original laughs  

Three examples of what it means to root yourself deep in this struggle 

To be prepared for the years ahead 

Three kūkulu showing me how to stand 


Times I’ve had to divert my eyes from hers

Just this morning 

To try to keep myself contained 


Tonight I will look up to ho’ohōkūkalani 

And realize that there is nothing caught within my site that wasn’t shared by my kūpuna 

Tonight I will find myself caught in the ‘upena of the Milky Way

I will give her my breath 

And in exchange 

She will give me back thousands of years worth of questions 

Tonight I will write poems in the language of my kūpuna 

In the language of this mauna 

In the language I should have spoken to her all along 

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