20180707

Joe Balaz


Three Hawaiian Islands Pidgin Poems


LISTENING TO DA SEALS AT KANA KALUKA



Listening to da seals
at Kana Kaluka

is like experiencing wun foreign language.


I stay heah on da wharf
looking down at dem

while adah people around me
got dere fishing poles

and dey stay trying dere luck
foa go catch someting.


I stay fishing too
dough only in my mind.


While da seals bark into da air
communicating wit each adah

I stay tinking about da Pidgin
dat I going be reading

foa da symposium tomorrow
at da college.


Maybe foa some ears
I going sound like wun seal too

but I going chance ‘um
wit da vernacular

cause I know I can.


Get plenty guys like me

swimming in da watah
like seals

way out west in da Hawaiian Islands

and dey all stay quite comfortable
voicing dere opinions

in wun interesting kalakoa language.


Now I stay ovah heah
representing da island lingo

as I expand da radius

while casting exploratory lines
into wun big ocean

foa catch all different kine fish.




SURFAH OF DA LOLO KAI



He wuz da kine of guy
who wuz wide open and passionate

so generous and big hearted
in da mutual wordplay.


He wen take his friend to his secret place
to share his mana’o

and stories unfolded like perfect waves
dat he wen invite him foa go ride.


“Dere you go, brah!
Dis is wun unreal spot!

Check out da break
and go foa it!”



Da surfing of da mind wuz righteous
just like he said

and da friend dat he wen talk to

wuz so appreciative
dat he wen share dat wit him.


But den anadah acquaintance
wen say latah,

“You know
braddah wen show you dat place

so now you owe him
foa every wave you catch.”



Strange kine tinking
wit negative tendencies

wuz rewriting da original
and well-meaning intention.


It looks like in dis case

somebody like put
wun new price tag on aloha

attached to wun unnecessary IOU.




LI’ILI’I KINE DISTANCE



Mawaena o ka mana’o
is wheah da shadow fishes swim.

Look at all da fins
like knives through da watah

cutting through da unseen currents.


Dere’s wun narrow way
through da cerebral depths

as pure as reason
dat going make wun decision.


Kekahi mau i’a turn to da right
kekahi mau i’a turn to da left.

Kekahi mau i’a rise to da light
kekahi mau i’a dive to da dark.


Broke da eyes
broke da mouth

broke da unexpected
swimming all about.


Go foa broke, brah,

eidah way
everybody and everyting

going win or lose.


Maloko o ka moana nui

from da calm surface
to da stormy waves

li’ili’i kine distance
between na’aupo and na’auao.




Glossary


aloha
chance ‘um
kai
kalakoa
Kana Kaluka
kekahi mau i’a
li’ili’i
lolo
maloko o ka moana nui
mana’o
mawaena o ka mana’o
na’auao
na’aupo
Pidgin
surfah


Kindness; good will.
Take a chance on.
Sea.
Multicolored.
Hawaiian name for Santa Cruz.
Some fish.
Small.
Brain.
Inside the big ocean.
Thought, idea, meaning; mind.
In the middle of the mind.
Wisdom.
Ignorance.
Hawaii Creole English.
Surfer.




 
 
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