Pua Naupaka

Author: 
Kapalai‘ula de Silva

 

Photo: Kipi Brown
There are several varieties of naupaka kuahiwi, mountain naupaka. Some have yellow-flowers, some white. The somewhat rare, purple naupaka pictured above was photographed on a ridge above Ko‘olauloa, O‘ahu, in close proximity to ‘ōhi‘a lehua trees on whose leaves the hinihini tree-snails creep and below which the kupukupu ferns grow. The natural setting of “Pua Naupaka” is thus quite natural: the naupaka kuahiwi, hinihini, and kupukupu are, in fact, native to the Ko‘olau range. Although the mele is layered with carefully constructed metaphors of distance and immediacy, separation and belonging, its basic imagery is admirably uncontrived.

Composed in celebration of a friendship that connects Moanauli to Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa (as well Ka‘ōhao to BYU Lā‘ie), this mele compares Marcia Perrett, the poet’s hoa kapa haka, tita Maori, to the mountain naupaka of O‘ahu’s Ko‘olau Range. Somewhere above, ke ao kea loa rises over Masia’s homeland, and all is well, here, in the gentle touch of the kēhau breeze. 

‘Auhea wale ‘oe e ku‘u pua
Ku‘u pua naupaka o ke kuahiwi

I ko‘olua ‘oe no ke kupukupu
Ke ‘ala anuhea pili i ka poli

Ke ano mai nei ka waonahele
Me ka līanu hu‘i koni i ka ‘ili

Ke kani leo hone o ka hinihini
E hea mai ana e nāue aku

Ke ao kea loa kau mai i luna
I ka ‘āina hānau a‘o nā mākua

He lani mālie, ua la‘i wale
I ka pā kolonahe a ke kēhau

Puana aku au, ō mai ‘oe
E ke hoa makale‘a o ke Ko‘olau.

 

© Kapalai‘ula de Silva, 2005