For Jeffrey, for getting himself arrested while fighting for the right of our people in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2010
It will go a long way, this.
It is part of a legend now
Going round and round
The circles of our words
The pinnacle of our stories
As they become old histories
Wrought in cold stone tablets
And these blue, peaceful waters
Making our life liquid and eternal.
You could have shown your pulse
And how it beats about the hard labor
In there, beating past the train
Of rage going fast and faster
As this gets into the blood of our fathers
Mothers, sisters, children, brothers,
All of them who have remained quiet
In fear as in trembling before the peace
That is yet to be theirs. Did you have
The police people staring at you with the looks
Of kindness, saying without the syllable,
That to get arrested is to go through
The way of the Diamond Head breeze,
Free and forever
In the margins of the Pali mountain fastnesses
In the fringes of sugarcane fields
We no longer dare touch
Because there, to say what needs to be said,
Is to sin again and again
Is to fall from grace one more time?
Ah, give that body to the warden.
Ah, gift our people with the spirit
Of your desire, this freedom we are about
To lose if we did not know where the entrances
Of prisons are.