He Mele Mai Nouvelle Caledonie

Author: 
J.R. Kaha‘i Topolinski

 

Photo: Kīhei de Silva

Kaha‘i Topolinski presents a lei hulu to Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu prior to the Hawai‘i delegation performance at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Noumea, New Caledonia. Dame Te Ata is Kuini (Queen) of the Tainui and Ariki Nui (Paramount Chief) of the other Maori tribes. Her presence brought solemnity and honor to the performance and served to bind the two delegations in a lina pāwalu, an eight-ply braid, of respect and affection.

Composed in Poindimie, New Caledonia, on October 22, 2000, this mele describes, in traditional ho‘āeae fashion, the pangs of separation ("ka na‘au ‘eha‘eha me ka ha‘o nui") suffered by the poet during his three-week absence from his wife Anne Kamamoakualii Buffandeau Topolinski.

Ku‘u aloha ē, ku‘u aloha makamae
He mana‘o ko‘u iā ‘oe
E ku‘u pua aloha ma Hawai‘i
Lo‘ohia mai nā hāli‘ali‘a
I ku‘u maka ia‘u e noho ana ma Poindimie
Me ka na‘au ‘eha‘eha me ka ha‘o nui
I ku‘u ipo, ‘o ‘oe e ka huapala
Ke aloha o ku‘u wā ‘ōpio
Ke aloha i hā‘awi hemolele ‘ia
Ke aloha keu a ka nani loa
Auē, ku‘u makemake ē
E ‘ike i kou maka u‘i
Ka honi hou i kou lehelehe palupalu
I puīa me ka ‘i‘ini i pa‘a pono ma ka pu‘uwai aloha
I sila ‘ia me ke aloha hemo ‘ole na‘u
O nā kau a kau e ku‘u aloha
Ka mea nāna i kuilima hele me a‘u
Ma ka pi‘ina, ma ka ihona
Ma ke ala lauā, ke ala olo
Ka hoahele ha‘awipio ‘ole,
Ka hoa nonoke mau,
‘A‘ole e ‘ōlelo ‘ino,
‘A‘ole e hō‘ake‘ake‘a ana ia‘u
Ma ka‘u e kulia nei
Nou ke kalaunu kaimana
Kau ‘ia ma kou po‘o
A ahuwale kou nani i ka ‘ike ‘ia
Ka nani mālamalama o kou na‘au hemolele
‘O ka‘u nō ia e ‘ī aku ai
Aloha au iā ‘oe, Aloha, Aloha au iā ‘oe
Na‘u ‘oe.

My dearest, my darling sweetheart
My thoughts are of you
O beloved blossom at Hawai‘i
Pleasant memories flood
My mind whilst I visit Poindimie
My heart is full of longing
For you my sweetheart
Thou the first love of my youth
The love that was given freely
In all its beauty
Oh how I long
to see your beautiful eyes
And kiss, again, your soft lips
Sweet with the desire held firm in my heart
From season to season
You are the companion who took my hand
On my ascents, descents
On the broad roads, the narrow
My persevering friend
Never saying hurtful words
Never hindering me
In my quest
Yours is the crown of diamonds
Placed on your head
Let all see your beauty for
it comes from the inner recesses of your soul
I don't know what to say but
I love you, I love you, I love you
I am yours.

© J.R. Kaha‘i Topolinski, 2000