Wednesday, February 5, 2020

When i think of Ea


When I think of ea

I think of music

The breath breaking off the roof of my fathers mouth

How its the softest broken i known 

I think of the makani

The way it must carry its own memory 

I think of the way both 

My father

The wind of his voice

How my first practice in visioning came through singing 

In the malu of my father’s mountain range shoulders

Under the breath of his waiʻōmaʻo winds

How I would do anything to protect him


When I think of sacrifice

I think about led cut against its will 

I think of the bodies, something like a pōhaku

Forced into small shapes to paint death on my ʻāina

On my people

I think of the way Pōhakuloa sings her own song

In the dead of night

Shakes us awake in her trembling 


When I think of ʻeha

I see his face again

In his  dark blues 

I think of the ocena that must still connect us 

But there are too many weapons between us to recognize our pilina

When i think of ʻeha 

I think of  

Clenched jaws and tears streaming like rivers 

Across skin the same tint as my own

I think of my voice 

Reaching out to him

“Brother,  stand with us”

I think, 

In another time

We stood on the same side

I think, 

Mauna a Wākea also casts her malu of protection on him

I think, 

That makes us family 

I believe,  

next time we will be facing the same direction


When I think of trust 

I remember my mothers fingertips

Dancing across my back 

The way the shore break dances upon the sand

I think of all the ways

Love is a verb, a choice, a memory we hold on to 

When I think of trust

I think of my fists

And everything iʻve lost to them

All the sand, salt and promises that crept out from between long fingertips

How I am not so much like my mother

The grace of her open hands

That can hold so much without suffocating 

All the breath around her

How she never fails to make the wind dance


When I think of ea 

I wonder 

What will I offer back to my lāhui

With fists full of rocks

All their breath, all squeezed out

With name im still learning to recall

Sunday, February 2, 2020

For Nā Koʻokoʻo and ʻUlupō

 In an empty church house 

We remembered 


All the abundance that never forgot us 

We sat as the night grew deeper around us

Until we could feel creation again

And when the morning arrived

With her heat

We gathered:  

Our courage 

Our kupuna, 

Our hopes, 

and inspirations

We honored these moments by singing 

Mele into an ʻĀina that never forgot our ea

And with our lima turned down 

And our moʻolelo churning between us 

We grew: 




AND each other 

Until we overflowed 

Mud between our toes and 

Laughter spilling over our lips

And when we were weak, 

unsure of our words and footing

We leaned into the unknown and each other 

Found aloha in the sturdy offering of a hand, a shoulder, 

a quiet, but reassuring sigh 

We brought the ʻulukoa back to the kai at oneawa 

Storming our bodies across kailua beach

Our brown skins simmering in the shore break

The sky opened itself above us 

Nodding in her approval 

Welcoming us back home

So when Malia asked us to 

Share a time we fell deeper in love with our lāhui

Each and everyone of us had too many examples that come to mind 

We scrubbed words on a whiteboard that taunted us in christian scripture 

And so today as we we remove our trace 

from the hale that held us 

We carefully wash every corner clean 

leaving only the verses of our aloha, inscribed

Color expo ink carving our memory into another white background 

Another kailua, waikīkī, University of Hawaiʻi, 

Another place that been transformed to insist we do not belong

That tells us that  we are too brash, 

our ʻike too native, 

our grief to deep,  

our joy too loud…

too strong, too kanaka to be right 

But today we practice the ancient resistance of staying

We leave our Moʻolelo 

A simple and insistent reminder 

that no one can ignore

We are still here