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Noe Wale mai ke Aloha

Kīhei de Silva

The Alaka‘i Swamp trail that leads from Waineki to Kilohana passes through a series of mist-draped bogs in which the low-growing lehua makanoe is a primary resident. This mele, composed after a day-long hike to Kilohana, celebrates the metaphorical pathway by which we gain access to "Kaua‘iokalani"—an old, nearly forgotten chant-name for Bernice Pauahi—and honors the humble lehua who guard and adorn that path.

Noe wale mai ke aloha
I ka lehua o ʻAipō

ʻO ka pōʻaiʻai a ka ʻohu
ʻO Kapaeloaihiki

Hiki mai Kūkalaakamanu
Hoʻokohu i Waikōī

ʻO ke koʻi kua nō ia
I ka loa o Alakaʻi

Kaukaʻi ʻo Kahelekua
I ke ala Kīpapaaola

Ua ola ua neʻepapa
Kalehuamakanoe

I lei nou e Pauahi
No Kauaʻiokalani.

Love settles gently
On the lehua of ʻAipō

It is the encircling of the mist
Named Kapaeloaihiki

Kūkalaakamanu arrives
There is presumption at Waikōī

It is an adze that cuts
Into the expanse of Alakaʻi

Kahelekua depends
On the log-paved path of Ola

The stunted, misty faced lehua
Endure and spread

As adornments for you, Pauahi
For Kauaʻiokalani.

  

© Kīhei de Silva, 2002

Ohia in mist - starrs

photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr

Ua ola ua neʻepapa / Kalehuamakanoe – The stunted, misty faced lehua / Endure and spread.




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