Pololū

Author: 
J. R. Kaha‘i Topolinski

 

 

 

Photos: Kīhei de Silva

Pololū Valley, Kohala, Hawai‘i, as seen from the end-of-the-road lookout and the black sand beach below. The place name appears repeatedly in the poetry of Kaha‘i Topolonski and can be interpreted as both anchor and spear-point of his Kohala origins and his unu pa‘a identity.

E aha ‘ia ana ‘o Pololū
Ke kuahiwi ‘alo pū me ka wai lā‘au
A lawa iho ‘oe iā Mauna‘ihi
Kohu manu ua ‘ula i ka mālie
Mahu‘i a‘e au a‘e ‘ike lihi
Ka uahi noe a i Po‘o‘ula
Ke hea mai nei ‘o Waipi‘o uka
‘Ena‘ena i ke ahi wela a ka lehua poepoe
He ololani kui pua milo ‘ula ‘ihi‘ihi lau ākea 
Ua like me ka niu moe o Kalapana
Ka niu kaulana i ka maka o nā mākua
Mai nā kūpuna loa mai nō
Aloha Kohala i ka hone o ka pua hīnano
Kau ke keha i ka uluna
Ke ‘ala o ka hīnalo ka‘u wehewehe
'O Pulu‘elo i ka wai a ka nāulu.

What is going on with Pololū
Mountain ever moist with dew
Take a glance at Mauna‘ihi
It is like a misty red bird standing in the calm
I have a wish to catch a glimpse
Of the grey misty smoke of Po‘o‘ula
The uplands of Waipi‘o are calling
Full blown is the Lehua
Ololani who strings the red milo blossoms of the ‘ihi‘ihilauākea 
Like the bending, reclining coconut trees of Kalapana
The famous trees cherished by the ancestors
From the days of the remotest ancestors
Beloved is Kohala, land sweet with hīnano
Reposing above on a soft pillow
And the fragrance of the hīnano is revealed
Then the water evaporates in the clouds.

 

© J.R. Kaha‘i Topolinski, 2003