From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 29, 1985: Mālama: Hawaiian Land and Water, edited by Dana Naone Hall

“Ruby Shoes on Kuhiō”
by Patricia Boyd-Rivera

You can hear it through your windows, rising from the street below. A murmur, muted by the busy-ness of mechanical things. As the sun sets, it crescendos from a rumble to a roar. Its rhythm drives the night people from their hiding places into the streets.

The streets sing. Rumbling, gravelly, incessant sirens’ songs that lure adventurers and seduce the unwary.

You can dream away a lifetime if you listen and wake older, but no wiser.

“Postcard of Honolulu”
by Mari Kubo

A rabbit chased me
in my dreams last night
until I took a cleaver and cut it
through its skull
It came apart like the soft part
of a frog’s leg;
white cartilage.

Every night something
different chases me through bleached hulls of buildings,
or up and down gantries
that rise above the skyline
like antlers.

And I am always crying
“Salt, salt”
for the salt that bleaches
us all so clean,
or licks like electrodes
our open wounds.

From “Voices of Today Echo Voices of the Past”
by Davianna McGregor
. . .

The proposed changes evoked widespread resistance throughout Hawaiʻi, with the greatest opposition coming from Maui. From April through July 1845 seven petitions were sent to the King and the legislature from the common people. They were signed by a total of 5,790 persons from Lahaina, Wailuku, Lanaʻi, Molokaʻi, Kailua (Kona, Hawaiʻi), and Kona (Kainaliu to Ahuene). This represented eight percent of the total estimated adult population of Hawaiʻi in 1845. For Lahaina and Wailuku the proportional representation was even greater. The 2181 persons who signed from Wailuku represented almost one-half of the population in that district and the 1600 petitioners from Lahaina represented one-third of the adults there.

Each petition raised essentially the same concerns and demands but emphasized a different aspect of the issue and expressed their concern uniquely. The central demands were:
(1) Not to allow foreigners to take the oath of allegiance to
the kingdom and become naturalized subjects of the King.
(2) Not to allow foreigners to hold government offices and to dismiss any foreigners who already held office.
(3) Not to sell lands to foreigners.
In July 1845 the King wrote a reply to the petitioners in which
he justified his policies: . . .

by Nathan Napoka

Aia i Kekaha koʻu manaʻo ē
Kau i ka nalu o ke kai.

Ke kai holu ka papa ē
Pae aku i ka ae one.

Aia i Niʻihau kuʻu ʻikena
Kena aku a lawa ka ʻiʻini.

ʻIniki iho ka makani ahiahi
Hāwana Kōkeʻe i ka uka.

Ua mohala ka pua mokihana
Hana aʻe me ka puʻuwai hāmama.

Eō mai ʻoe e Kekaha ē
ʻĀina luluku i ka ua.

My thoughts are there at Kekaha
Placed on the ocean’s wave.

With the ocean gently folding over the reef
Coming to rest at the sand’s edge.

Niʻihau is in my view
Satisfying all my desires.

Pinching cold the evening breezes
As Kōkeʻe whispers from above.

The mokihana is blooming
Done with a generous heart.

Answer to your name Kekaha
Land of the pelting rains.

Note: Commemorating a trip to Kekaha, Kauaʻi, the chant tells how I was treated there. It rained the whole time, but we had
a good time and the chant was written as a gift to my hosts.


At the time, Patricia Boyd-Rivera worked at the Hawaiʻi Medical Library and was married with two children.

Originally from Hawaiʻi Island, Mari Kubo had just returned there to live, building a small two-story house in Mountain View.

Davianna McGregor is currently (I’m talking 2012 and have worked with her on behalf of my fortunate students a lot) a super professor at UH Mānoa. Every year, in addition to teaching both inspired and inspiring courses, she offers her students the chance to visit Kahoʻolawe. She was born in the Kapālama district.

Nathan Napoka, at the time of publication, worked as an historian with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Born in Honolulu, but with ancestral roots in Kanaio on the southwestern slope of Haleakalā, he was a hula instructor with Hālau Hoakalei Kamauʻu.

Mahalo for reading!

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