He hali’a aloha keia:
The weathered charter school van
Interrupts the smooth and polished diamond morning of
Upscale Aliamanu neighborhood with
Quite a lot of noise and rambunctious energy.
Lesson plan in his head, small pile of fishing gear next to his driver’s seat,
Kapule is ready to teach this holoholo day.
His loud assistant’s sassy diva attitude keeps the raucous volume high as the
Small ragtag group embarks on an overgrown trail almost hidden between
Exclusive and heavily secured beach front homes.
Says the mahū assistant: “public access trails like this are tolerated by the wealthy.
The public has every right to access the ocean, it is a natural resource for all to enjoy.
In odda words, they no can block us from the ocean in front of their homes so no forget about this trail…use em! And continue to use em!”
At the foot of the trail, they step out of their worn slippers and
Sink their toes into the cool, moist morning sand…turn their faces into the breeze offshore.
Tumbling, glassy waves drown out the noisy chatter, and the
Glistening shoreline beckons us nearer.
We almost bump into a large monk seal sleeping close by.
She lazily opens one eye to look at us,
We are instantly quiet and still.
The eldest in the group begins to chant from a respectful distance.
The students prepare their own chants in their heads and wait for the nod to
begin the chant to ask permission to enter the living classroom of the day…
They quietly notice her belly moving within…
a baby stirs in there, and mama warily opens her one eye once more.
At that moment, far off on the morning horizon,
A humpback whale breaches just beyond the mound of her stomach.
The synchronicity of the day begins to unfold in magic timing…and
Kapule smiles quietly to himself…today is going to be a good day.
Throw net neatly wrapped around his torso,
Tabis, worn and faded on his feet, sunglasses framing an
Incredibly handsome face roughly chiseled by
Suffrage, temperance and a long search for peace…
his large, exhausted eyes are the color of the ocean today.
He walks along the shoreline dotted with black rocks tumbled
smooth by many a storm.
He stops at a large round rock covered in coveted limu kohu…
he gently plucks a small ball while teaching how to
preserve the roots so more can grow for next time.
He scans the outer reef; sees the silver flash of fish just
under the surface of the shallow water out there.
The small group mimics his crouched approach to the school of fish and
I wonder how many of them arrived to school hungry today.
He casts the net wide and captures a large school of fat nenue.
He gathers up the full net and walks back to the shoreline while the children
Bounce behind him in excited victory!
Tossing the net on the sand, he opens it up;
Carefully picks out the flopping fish, drops them into the mesh net bag.
The fish all have a very distinct flower pattern flashing on their skin…
a dotted series of sakura intensely black against silver scales.
Then fading as their open mouths gasp for oceanic air.
Walking back, the mesh bag sags heavy with the promise of
a fresh meal for empty bellies.
The van pulls into the school garden and
Kapule goes straight to the chili pepper bush,
plucks a couple and walks to the greenhouse.
He cuts stalks of green onion on the way.
Pulling out the limu kohu from his pocket, he places it in a bowl of water.
He teaches how to clean the Nenue and make ready for poke style cuts.
I see the hunger in the students’ eyes, they are patient, though.
he salts the chunks of fresh meat,
chops up the limu, pepper and onion,
mixes it in.
We sit at the table and fill our bellies with the fresh life of a simple fisherman’s meal.
We talk about the seal, the whale, the limu, and the flower pattern of the Nenue
and wonder as it all sinks deep into our bones.
Blue Hua moonrise over Kalalea Uka unfolded gently on
The eastern Anahola ocean.
It peeked through kukui leaves as it rose while
Conversations wove laughter and learning between us.
Ascended perfectly overhead and the
Supplication manifest on the lips…
‘A‘ahu mai lā me he kīhei lā.
You are adorned with a kīhei
He ‘a‘ahu nou e ha‘aheo ai
An adornment to wear with pride
I kupuohi…kupu ka mana‘o
Mature your thoughts
I kupukupu ‘onipa‘a
Surge (onward) resolutely
A laila holo pono ‘oe me nā ho‘omaika‘i ho‘i e!
Go forth righteously with goodness!
Soft warmth from the fire warmed us as
We wrapped up thoughts before
Sending it upward with all those souls moving through that
perfect ring of light encircling our beautiful moon.
~ KA 5/23/17