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.