The Long Canoe


The sacred conch is blown

calling for the children of the long canoe.

Signaling to the ancients to retrace their star charts

back to that first route in quest of a new home.

The Polynesian pioneers survived their long voyage on fermented breadfruit while trolling for fish, conserving precious freshwater. 

Conveying the significance of Hawaii’s first embrace, inviting them to her pristine shore to worship, plant, and multiply. 

Construct their shelters on her virgin beaches, sow their seeds in her volcanic soil,

build tidepools to breed fish. The winter rains germinating their slips, cuttings, and tubers to grow beneath the endless summer sun;

all suggestive of the original garden.

And they flourished, isolated from the outside world.

Unhappily, The Fates had a different plan.

Releasing the harbinger of a terrible god

to infect Hawaiian shores

offering only sickness and death.

Their precious garden under siege. 

Kinsmen of the dead roiled. For

measles, whooping cough, and influenza had taken thousands.

Frantic, shaken and aroused,

Hawaiians chanted, calling upon the ancient gods.

Summoning Namaka and Kanaloa goddess and lord of the oceans. 

But it is too late.

The futures advance undaunted. 

Kanaloa valiant King cannot thwart their Monarch.

Alas, Destiny has mocked them all

as in that other Eden. And as the heavens roll back their shroud, they blink little comfort down upon the descendants, increasing the birth pangs of that novel dawn. 

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