Thursday, November 22, 2012
The lines below appear in a sacred Hawaiian text I came across oon Seeley St recently, a product of the weeding the shelves and thousands of years of indigenous Hawaiian mythopoetics. Of the books I pick up from the library of the streets I read few and keep less. This one, Lelaini Melville's Children of the Rainbow, contains the Tumuripo, sacred verse that was until recently forbidden to Westerners. Everytime I read it, I feel so much better. Here's a selection of lines from the Tumuripo, the Hawaiian creation story. I find it in the same spirit as Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, and dedicate the poetry of these tropes to all of Brooklyn's leaves of grass and winged Nikes.
A Goddess ascended to Heaven, soared right up to Heaven
And mounted the luxuriant woodlands of the Celestial World
From where this trembling earth fled rumbling into the wind
She sprouted from, flew forth from, the King of Heaven
The "Cause" of Life that radiated yellowish-white light.
A chosen, esteemed spirit clothed in a raiment of flame.
The strange body of the Goddess was veiled in unfathomable mystery.
Calm and Peaceful it was when the soul of Man was developed in multitudes.
When the first 40,000 were breathed into being with a shout of joy.
Who caused this earth to roar through space.
Born in the breath of the Protector of Po was woman,
born with her eyes closed, from Infinite Ra, Infinite Ra.
With the rising of the sun came Ra'i Ra'i who alighted at dawn and produced her children who were born bisexual and dualistic in nature.
Po: the unknowable realm of spirit
Ra: Sun God
Ra'i Ra'i: The Sun God's daughter