by tia north
School lessons never say
that the future
is undoing our past,
that the tongue, stubborn and steadfast,
is a barrier
because our hearts have forgotten
how to sing.
We go wandering to remap
our ancestral origins, but the gap,
Fear built the foundation
of our schools;
after years of living under
the missionaries, Protestant power,
we learn to write English
speak with knotted
tongues, voices not
in a cadence
we know. I had a sound
so hea da voice dat neva speek
cuz i tuck itdaway adda stardda da week—it grows weak
tia north is a kānaka maoli poet and educator from Pana`ewa, Hawai`i. A graduate from Kamehameha School, Seattle University, and The University of Oregon, she currently teaches in the English Department at The University of Oregon.
One response to “Hawaiian Legacy with a Quote from Derek Walcott”
So how do we begin giving the aina back?