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‘December Oli’

DECEMBER OLI

Driving home from Kaumakani

and the ritual chants of hula

echoes of the drumming pahu

beat their way into this night,

a solstice night of inky kapa

dark as crushed ohelo berries

and bunched with stars —

the “little eyes” of Makalii —

those same star eyes that guided paddlers

from the safe shores of Kahiki

over blue-black folds of ocean

to the new lands of Hawaii.

Now the hills and colors deepen,

towns slip by the tunnel of headlights,

gingers scent the dark with fragrance,

cane leaves rustle, shine moon silver.

Rising now, red star Kaula

while Kane, sun, dies past Lehua.

Your heart thrums with the season’s beat

transcending miles and different peoples,

a hopeful pulse of now and ever

connecting you with those before,

those you love, the earth, each foretold star

and quickening mystery.

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