Ahi Kā — The House of Ngā Puhi
We light the poem and breathe out
growing flames. Ahi kā. This
our home — our fire. Hot tongues out
— pūkana — turn words to steam. This
heart is a great lake on a
Ahi kā! Ahi kā!
Keep the fire. The sun’s rays are ropes
held down by Māui’s brothers.
handed down ray by burning
ray to each other every
day — we keep the home fires burning
day. Mountains of our
house are its pillars — I believe
in the forces that raised them here.
kā burnt onto summits
char in the land, ahi kā dream,
long bright cloud brilliant homeland.
kā our life, ahi kā
carried by the tribe’s forever-story
firing every lullaby.
shrink in our hands’ quiver
as we speak — ahi kā sing fire
scoop embers in the childhood sun
into molten shapes and see
people — building, sailing, farming —
see them in the flames of our land
them in this forever light
no tears only fire for ahi
kā no weeping only hāngi pits
regrets just forgiveness and
a place for the fire — it’s our song
to sing — ahi kā— got to keep
the shadows away — ha!