Monthly Archives: August 2015

Hōkūleʻa by Vernice Weenera

 

Hōkūleʻa

 

We have all watched

with some misgiving

the ocean of possibilities

beyond our doors,

wondering, in our complacency,

whether we had courage enough

to chart a course

to farther islands.

No one of us

can yet walk on water,

and so few ever try,

knowing the fragility

of the sea’s soft skin

and the hook of fear we feel

within our very human lives.

So it is with some rationalisation

that we watched your proud sails

turn toward Tahiti.

We were not with you

for a multitude of reasons,

yet we watched, fascinated,

and something deep within us

stirred with pride

and we put aside

the mundane happenings

of our comfortable lives

to watch the Star of Gladness

tack across the sky.

We watched.

we saw the rain we had not seen

for many balmy weeks

come slanting off the ocean,

its arrival appreciated as always

for the promise of sustenance

it brings to these islands,

and no less of its blessing

on a launching of Hōkūleʻa.

We watched

as an ocean

whipped suddenly to spray that stung

the salt-caked flesh of men

leaning against waves

steep as the Koʻolaus

risen abruptly from deep green valleys

and safe, placid fields,

muscles roped across their backs.

Āe, we watched.

And watching, felt at once

the poignancy of guilt,

the shattering of smugness

in lives that now know triumph

born of pride in Hōkūleʻa.

(1982)

 

Vernice Wineera