Thursday, August 8, 2019

Malia :: ka Wahine kia’i ‘āina⠀

Malo says

Land without kanaka is moku 

Solid surface severing the sea

And I didn’t quite understand

How Kānaka can make ‘āina of pōhaku

Until I found all that I needed to feed me

In the sincere stare of your eyes 

Or the soft creases of your palms

As we pulled the dawn out of the freezing night

Nawahi says

Aloha ‘āina

Is a magnetic force drawing kanaka to ‘āina

To self governance

To eachother

And I can’t help but recall

The way we made steel guards out of our bodies for our love

How we made aloha

Out of this commitment

How the mauna became a magnet for us all

And so much more still

in her Majesty

And then there is me

Two centuries past the genius of these

Kanaka intellectuals turned prophets

And I am wondering

What mo’olelo will I write to honor the kia’i in your bones

What collection of metaphors

Will celebrate

Your mo’olelo

The way

You teach us all how to feed and be fed

What mele will I sing to hanohano your grace

Pukui tells me that to honor is to mālama

And I think of all the alters of care I could build at your feet

All the pōhaku I would gather

from the corners of our pae ‘āina

and stack in your name

And there are so many songs I could sing

So many melodies that come to heart

Too many to settle on one

All I know is

‘O oe no ka’u I upu ai ...

Hilo pa’a I ke aloha ...

o kou aloha ka I Hiki mai

The phrases keep falling to the tip of my tongue

And I am struck quiet by our abundance

And then when I least expect it 

you come into perfect focus

 and Every mele I’ve spent my life etching into the somber chambers of my voice

Now has a new purpose

And for the first time in months 

I take a full breath

And in my exhale I realize

The only thing I need to say

Is your name

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