Trouble in Paradise

Meet the author: Kupihea Wilson

Editorʻs note: The format of this poem was inspired by the first song of resistance, called Ka Pule a Ka Lāhui (A Prayer for the Nation)  written just 3 days following the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in January 1893.  The first letter of each line makes a sentence that is the very last line of the poem.

Everyone is born into a time,

overturning in the womb,

lifeless as you grow.

As you open your eyes,

everything starts to twirl.

“Kanaka” is the first word,

and then your vision is blurred,

killing your senses,

overturning your thoughts,

undermining every sense of self-determination.

Entering into this new world,

kicked out from your own place,

underneath the heavens above,

everyone fights for what they call their own.

In these times,

killing is not the call to heed –

everyone together is what we need.

Incorporated into foreign laws.

Auwē is the cry from all those gone,

mourning together for all those to come.

Auwē is the song that will be sung.

Now is the time,

all together as one,

watch us now as

all will be won.

As our kupuna will see.

It is rare that we get to share

our thoughts with one another in times of despair. O,

let your light shine and overcome this test,

everyone together can end this pest,

enjoy the current peace and,

Let your light glow!

Inviting all to come enjoy the show of

loving embrace between one another.

Open your eyes,

make it clear to see,

all that oppression that has blurred you and me!

Uniting as one to support a Nation,

let us replace the pieces that were lost.

Overhead are the beams that shine down upon us,

and we shall restore our Nation,

all together as one,

nudging one another,

at last freedom is ours!

Overcoming all obstacles as one,

E Ola E Kakou, E Ku’e I keia manawa a i ‘ole, E lilo mau loa ‘ana ‘oe!

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