Food & Water featured

Kaiao, Elua

May 19, 2023

Author’s note: Makahiki a seasonal festival of about four months, beginning roughly middle of October-depends on the positon of the Pleiades star cluster. Much playing of sports and games, and a taboo on war.

Pua the word for flower, and often a metaphor for children.

It is makahiki,  the beginning of the rains

and through this falling fertility

the garden crying out

with a deeper, a darker gingery voice

to these young gardeners, listening to the soil

is a new language, and they snag only

a word here and there, now and then

maybe like the spiders in the orange tree,

waiting at the center of intricate webs

food is at the heart of all things, but

relearning a slow process of trial and error

they are slowly blanketing the soil

with organic decaying matter, and now

spraying a solution of indigenous

micro organisms, from ulu, bamboo

what have you, mixed with fermenting

juices of local fruits and brown sugar

replenishing and comforting  the soil

resurrecting  older ways, pua blossom

and learning is the thread of the web

mahalo e ke ‘akua

mahalo e ka mala ‘o Kaiao.

Terry McNeely

i began writing, mostly poetry, shortly after my wife, Mickel, died in ʻ95. Death figured prominently in my thoughts, my own loss, my own alcohol abuse, the manʻs ecological destruction of a planet, the impoverishment of billions. Through these parallel dyings, i learned everything changes, there is nothing to hang onto and i came to find compassion, for myself and the larger world, and through compassion, i believe, we... Read more.

Tags: Building resilient food and farming policy, indigenous knowledges, poetry