…o ke kai

Beach With Lisa3

…O Ke Kai…

O ke kai

We are, You and I

the very all of us

always in a chosen fuss over nothing

Even as…

As we dance in the essence

Without pretense

or expectation of the thing that we

see within

that we do not realize that we

are creating without

When the soul is ready the

teacher will just be there

And the water will tell us where

And the sky help to realize

And maybe we will realize that we are just a bunch of

souls beneath the sun

And the light of day that chases us

doesn’t let up to show us

when we have to learn from

the pain and the glum

But we can’t

because we think

and perhaps believe

that in order to be

We must have and hold

and then be told

Who we are for the

Very life of us

…that ain’t how it works

We must hurt

We must cry

and then we must ask


Sometimes we must cry?

We must dance in the trance

before we have the chance to dance for


Because we must feel

because when we feel

it makes it all


This is the basis of Creation

That thing we do

As me

As You

And the blessing that Is

Is not hers or his

But just is

Because we called upon it

And acted on it

And waited for it

For however long

It takes

These things we take for

granted that

we think that

are just ours

because we merely breathe

so entitled are we

for the fact that we can see

and hear

and touch

and feel


most do not know what it means to be real

in the sense that we can deal with

what we feel

not know that the thing that we

came to be

is not everyone else that we see

and not everyone else

who we know

will grow

and do the things that we

believe they ought to

And why do we believe they ought to

Because that is what we have been taught to?


Blessed Be for you and for me

The Goddess Smiles Times Three

When She sees

that We

have gone to that place where forever


and the thing that we


is much smaller by far

than the outlandish nature of the hope and the

dream that sometimes makes us


because we want it so bad but we don’t understand

that in order to have we have to

let go because

when we let go the Goddess will know

that within and without

we haven’t a doubt

that what we are here for

is not only for us

but for the rest of us

who breathe

and talk

and love

and wish

and want

and eventually have

the thing that is to be

Blessed Be

Three Times Three

You and Me

Down by the Sea

The Witch who is the She

Who is the very Equal to the Shaman Who Is


And who is the Sea within and

The Sky Without

And the Winds that Blow

And the Birds that Fly and

Cry with Glee

Lealea Kui Merry Meet

With Glee

You and Me

In Gratitude, We

Cast the Worries to the Sea

Lealea Kui Merry Meet

Down by the Ocean

Down by the Sea

Three times Three

Merry Meet! Merry Meet!

Blessed be

Blessed You

Blessed Me

Three Times Three

Down by The Sea

Lealea kui

Merry Meet

Blessed Be

You and Me

And the Ocean that is


Down by The Sea

Lealea kui

Merry Meet







Let the Fire Within Be

that which saves us from the din of the sin

of the things that we are not and the things that

we will never be

burn that shit in


and offer it up to the Goddess of things that never were

Honor Her

Love Her

Let Her Dance around the Fire

Be the Diva called Desire

Let her Be the Fire

Let Her Burn

Let Her Turn

Let Her Soul be the Urn

for the ashes brought by the past

burned the mask to ash

Smudge it in

Show the Sin

of the Skin you’re in

because no one wears it better

than you

Burn, Baby, Burn

It’s Your Turn

Burn like the Fire You Are

Rise high! Rise High!

Turn this shit up


‘Ahi ‘Ahi

Light so bright

‘Ahi ‘Ahi

Hot and White

glowing in the thickness of the Night



Earth! Earth!

Haumea’s worth

and sometimes I

look up into the night time sky

and see what I

am in terms of the Moon

And the tune of the swoon

of the chattering Raccoon

and the chirping of birds in the middle of the night

giving reason for it to seem

as though it is the moon

in full on croon as we

dance to the flawless effervescent

nature of the singular and every-night

departure of the earth as she

goes to sleep

or at least this is what we think she does and yet

by the light of the Moon

in Full-On Swoon

Christened in the light of the Nature Of

The Ever-lasting Goddess of

The Endlessness that is the night

And the foreverness that is the tangible proof that

is life

in the day

as it glows in the day

hidden away in the light that is the Sun



What is it that makes us want to dare to

share the Air with the others who

we know we want to care


but know nothing about without

thinking that maybe we are not

what we want to think we are

as we wish upon the star that is beyond


like the stars

between which we dance

in a trance

as if nothing more needs to advance

in this dance of the

stars and above

and the earth below and the air

that flows

in between

’tis the thought of what we are not

that makes us insane when for real

we are inane in the idea that

no one loves us as we are so we might as well

remain scarred instead of seeing them

as the mark

not of the beast

but likeliest because you are

I am

She is

We all Are

Somehow from this

element that is the thought

of things we forgot by

right of the things

in our lives

that makes us think like

people are used

and things are loved

where the hell did we get that

stupid thought from and

when were we going to

think to Be,

in Love…???

Indeed to simply

Be…in Love



Water! Water!


Water here and Water there

and water doesn’t really

care about much more than

that their people are safe

and loved

and good

and by the very right of being this sign

the one that seems a little left behind but

the truth is that we are far ahead

already know what

is gonna be said

and no matter what you want to believe

even though it flows right through

a sieve

it does not mean

that we are who

you get to do whatever it is

that you think we like

when in reality

we simply want you to see

who we are in relation

not to you

and yours

but you and yours and

everyone else’s too

Elements! Elements!

Calling all my elements

The ones from the North

with magick frigid and cold

And the ones from the South

with the lightning hot

And the ones from the East

who is the Windy Beast

and the ones from the West

Whose circles nest the tide and the

ongoing circle

of the elemental

and the Universal

truth that is

the All That Is

Blessed Be

Blessed Be

Lealea ku i

Merry Meet

Merry Meet

Indeed Blessed Be and Merry Meet

Blessed is the Element that Is Me

and the rest who go by the label


Blessed Be


Three to the very Power of Three

Lealea ku i 

Merry Meet


Lealea Hui…


Lealea Hui

(Merry Meet)

The proper term to

the Sisterhood, or



filled with good

intentions of the soul,

Merry Meet! Merry Meet!

Indeed, on the Astral

Goddess Speed.

Merry Meet

LeaLea Hui

Merry Meet

Move Your Feet


A Count of Eight

Don’t Not Wait

Lealea Hui

Merry Meet

Celebrate the Icy Dawn

And how quickly does

the evening come

and as We Celebrate with Feast

Lest We Forget

Lealea Hui

Merry Meet! Merry Meet!

Lealea Hui

Merry Meet!

May the Sisters Who Dance in The West

Find that their feet can never rest

and the Sisters Who Dance in the East

Who are Dancing in the Streets and

Some to The North Who Dance with the Sun

and those to the South Who Dance Beneath the Moon

and the Ones in between who have not yet seen

what I mean by calling to the Ones who

Dance beneath the stars

between the freeways and the cars

and all the twinkling lights

of every city night

to The Sisterhood I call

to One and to All

Lealea Hui

Merry Meet!

Merry Meet!

To all of the Sisterhood of the Soul, the World Over, Dance

Put Your World in the Trance and

Stand Back in Awe

We Made it this Far…

indeed…Lealea Hui… Merry Meet….

Mele Kalikimaka


The Universal Sisterhood of The Soul…

…see Y’all girls on the Astral!

Aloha Mai E …



NATIVE (That’s why) #NoDAPL


…I am Native, that’s why…


You ask me why I care about strangers

then ask me why I don’t call you more

or see you more

seeing how we used to live a few doors

from each other

at one time in life

And at one time in life I

made it no


that one day I’d think it

That never will you get it

when my only answer is that

I’m Native, that’s why.

I’m Native, that’s why

It is why it is that I cry

When I hear the lies

about these people who I

relate with

In such a way that


I know why they cry

I’m Native, that’s why.


It’s because the way that I

as a ‘people’ have cried

when others ask why I

would bother with strangers who

some folks call “danger”

when it comes to these people

who just want what’s rightfully theirs

but no one cares

because no one dares to

bother with the idea that this is

some kid’s home

and this is some

Grandmother’s Legacy

and this is the land of a thousand and one

voices of

a thousand and one tears

and a thousand one

generations that people just decided that the thing that

so many people whose

only answer was also and will always only be

“I’m Native, that’s why.”

was not good enough

So they took it upon themselves

to create this hell

that the truth would tell

of the sin committed

by people who omitted the

idea that children need a home

and water

and ways to put out the fires

of others’ desires

to run through their yard

once again leave them scarred

their little brains marred

with the sin of omission

of their little souls’ mission

to teach you each that

Not everything is for sale

And not everything if you pale

in the veil of what it is that you

simply don’t get

and won’t no matter what

Namely when my

only answer is

“…because I’m Native, that’s why…”



That’s why.








It was told, the heartbeat, of a million and one

tears that have fallen all in the name of


For the things that they have endured

The dance of the elders

the Grandmothers

the ‘Aumakua..they call

They send their voices across the cosmos

Reminding us all

great and small

That we are all part of this floating


in the middle of the great big vastness of


The powers that seem to be and who cannot see

the very gigantic nature of once again

this travesty

that they cannot see as being

the thing that is bringing back to life

the strife

caused by the rifles unneeded

and the pleadings unheeded

and the leanings that are from nothing more than hubris and greed

from anything but need

and now is replanted the seed

of a trail not walked

any longer

of tears which are bitter

which linger

which sting

which break apart the thing

that they had fought hard for

and all it takes is one quick swipe of ink

to make a bunch of assholes think

that maybe it is in what we drink

where the power supply is

“…cry for the land…cry for the people…”

or try for the hand that feeds the machine

“..cry for the land that was taken away…”

or put your head in the sand and call it a day

“…how would they feel about the modern city life…”

And would they see it as part of the strife

felt by everyone man and his wife

And every single part of life

that is not lived anywhere but


Here where we are

Where the foreign interests are far

but not far enough

for us to call their bluff

for them to treat us rough

as if none of us

or these who we call “them”

Who bear the painting of war

upon the shores where there was more

than enough to stop them

stop them

stop them

because we


have had enough

First our mountain

and now their water

as if it is not enough to spoil that which

feeds and makes thrive their sons, their daughters

inters these things like

a casket in the ground

where the only fucking sound

is the laughter of men who would never again

be able to stop and see

what it is that they

have brought to us all

great and small

on this floating ball where we all


They see only the dollar signs

hear only the laughter of the arrogance lived as though

no native child needs to grow or


who they are by right of the

land upon which they



We thrive until we are told

that once we are old

they will dig again for the gold

that does not belong to them

these women and men

of a different cloth

of a different hue

than me

than you

Time and again

We take to the sunset

awaiting the moon

underneath which we will swoon

and croon to the great motherly orb

to give us back

that which was under attack and waited til this slow ugly burn

was akin to the massive urn

in which these souls would burn

the heartache of the past, calling it “the last time

we won”

How easy it is to win

when you are committing a sin

against both man and your

ever arrogant god

who told you to maim and to kill

just because you can

every woman and man

every child who was

just indigenous enough

for you to quietly feel

inferior to and that the militarily issued boots

was so that you could avoid and not shoot

so you would not have to look into the eyes

as their families cried

while you guys lied and acted like they

were strangers in your land

land which you stole

and then called them thieves

and heathens

and savages

just like a mahulani on a boat

in the middle of the vast pacific

wearing his knickers

and his makeup

and his high heels

with his hurbis

and his muskets

and his late 1700s pride

and about a hundred years later

was when the nature of Aloha died

just like these same people tried

upon the trail where they all cried

and died

because of the lies that were told

and the lands that were sold

to the highest bidder

the highest sinner

the one whose voice rang louder than

the deafening fire-shot

which released the red goodness

of a million and one people

traveling on a trail called tears

Grandmother Moon

Hear my cry

Hear the beating of the drum that I

Play for those whose feet now travel

in the same manner as did their


Dance beneath the Moon

Let the rain fall on the earth

and let the gnashing of teeth

be that which can be called relief from those who

worship a big scary god

who wants only the profits taken from these people

who have already been here

done this









PO : The Seed Germinating…


All of Life Springs from Po.

If I had to think about things in the manner that I used to, I would not be sitting here writing this.

Write this, I must – if I do not write this, I cannot see with my own eyes the thing in the darkness that was spawned from the pain…the thing in the Po of my life.

I know…there is punctuation missing, and I fully expect that other Kanaka Maoli are going to have things to say about it not being there. They can. I don’t care. It is not my thought, my thing, my way to tell people who they are, what they will do, how they will continue to create what it is that they want to call their lives.

That is not me.

The me who I was forced to become, by mechanism of Spirit and through the pain that is loss is this me who is currently writing this, and this me who is not ill prepared for the pain. It is merely time that has to pass, and merely the thought in my head, in Po that makes me know that no matter what my physical self wants to believe, I am who is the one who is meant to create, for me, through this darkness, this Po, all that I am meant for, and all that is mine and in manifest.

What is not mine and neither in manifest is anyone else’s pain, is anyone else’s heartache, is anyone else’s Karma.

I have no say so in terms of how other people do what they will in order to fix their pain.

I only have my way for me, and my way for me has always been to recall what was the fondness, deal with what is not the truth of me as told by others to me, and move, no matter how slowly or swiftly, as I am prompted.

I am not prompted by me.

I am prompted by the ‘Aumakua, prompted by the thought in my head that no matter what is still wrong with me knee, with my physical self, there still is the soul within, and the soul within who wants to dance, no matter who is or who is not, no matter who will, or who will not, no matter who can, or who cannot, see me do this…see me do what is my practice as a Medicine Woman, as Kahuna Wahine, as this me.

The Po that is, I suppose, was meant, was created by that which was Love and Love not only for another, but, Love that is for my very self.

It is my Very Self who is writing this, and not that forlorn, not that angry, not that human with a motive for making it clear to anyone at all that I have been wounded, and no better a time than now, when there is significant Chiron energy surrounding me, surrounding this..event…that is something that was significant for my learning, if for nothing else. 

I am sad, make no mistake, but, at the same time, I am contemplative…yet I am not wondering a thing more than the answer to the question – Where do I, specifically, go from here, and what is it that I, specifically, should learn from this…from this Po which resides in the heart, as well as the mind, and in the soul? 

I don’t know where to go with this Po

Perhaps to the wood beneath my feet, the loveliness of slack key guitars in my ears, and this Medicine Dance in my Heart, healing my Spirit with the cathartic nature of the darkness, of the Po energy, which is in the birthing of the light of creation




Naked Feet



Naked feet.

All dancers have feet, but not all dancers have naked feet.

When my feet are on a wooden floor, they are naked.

They feel the earth, and the vibration of the drums. They sense the heartbeat of the Mother, and the lifeblood called “music.”

They draw in the goodness of the Mother, and allow us to walk away from that which is not Sacred, not Holy.

They recall the sharpness of broken shells beneath them, and the Portuguese Man-o-war sting from a long time ago, when the only other thing that they recall is that there are none of those vile little blue bubbles seen here in Southern California very often.

They recall running around outside, at the ho’ike, and then, years later, sneaking down the street to get into a friend’s car and whisked off to Sunset Boulevard to see the bands that my own grown kids call “Classic Rock” -bare, silent, quick.

They recall a nail through them, and then more than one time, 3 inch wooden golf tees…


They recall the moistness of the valleys, and they recall the wetness of the Pacific Ocean. They know the warmth in the dead of a cold, high desert winter, and the feel of a ballroom floor beneath them…also wooden.

They recall how many times they have been in a pair of really great sandals, likely many thousands of pairs of slippah over the course of 46 years, and when they were in the very most uncomfortable pair of dress shoes they’d ever donned….and the very ones which were uncomfortable,only because of the memory of the aisle and the vows that meant nothing but were required that I live by them…then the ugliness…then surviving…and they recall the spring in themselves as I watched those very shoes sink into the abyss called the Pacific Ocean….right here…Huntington Beach, CA.

They recall, though, that throughout the time that they have been naked and at the end of my legs, they have danced. They have moved me from one end of a stage, from one end of the party, from one end to the other, and sometimes into the audience. They recall the joy, and they recall the importance of stories told by hands while the body moves in unison…they remember…

Naked feet.

My friends used to call them Luau Feet…and on many levels, they were right.

My Maestro calls them cute….I’ll take it

I used to call them ugly…

..even as though I know how much they are needed, not only to walk, but so that my hands can tell the story as my feet move…

Naked Feet….

Naked Feet that have danced many miles, over many years, through many heartaches and many joys.

Naked Feet that have been instrumental in the teaching of the Sacred Dance to those who had no idea that what they were learning was not only the dance, but, a manner by which a certain set of people live, everyday…

Naked Feet…

…the very ones who, even as I protest, the Maestro sometimes will play with them, tell me that they are beautiful, because he says that I am beautiful…

They say it is the hands which tell the story

What about the Naked Feet?

What about the Naked Feet that have danced in the sand, on the dirt, in the grass, at the park, on the beach…?

What about the Naked Feet, the ones ruled by Pisces and the ones which proverbially trek over the hot coals of life, without any shoes on…the naked feet that sometimes are the instrument by which many people have told many stories about?

And what about the Naked Feet that were joined by a whole lot of other Naked Feet, out there in the middle of nowhere, where the wildlife is actually wild, and the moon is the thing that the humans chant to, howl at, worship?

We can’t forget the Naked Feet in ritual

Dance is Ritual

I sometimes dance under the Wide and Bright Full Moon…depending on the sign, and the phase.

My Naked Feet have been all over the place, have danced on a lot of surfaces.

Naked Feet at Church

Naked Feet at the grocery store

Naked Feet all the time….

…naked feet, at the end of my legs, and naked feet that know what it means to Kaholo, and my naked feet that have joined the drumming circle, and my naked feet dancing ecstatically, and my naked feet going everywhere I do, as the silent witness to the giggles that no one hears, but can see….






Sacred Dance


The body is the Sacred Temple of Light. With it, we are able to tell stories of mountains, oceans, the sky, the earth, able to give voice to the gods and homage to the ‘Aumakua.

Dance is joy. Joy is Life. Life is Sacred.

Dance is religion. There are rituals one must adhere to.

There is class, and then rehearsal, and sometimes, the show, almost every night.

There is music and lights and effervescent action that tells stories.

The stories are the thing.

The stories are the thing, specifically, about Hula.

Your Hula.

My Hula.

Our Hula.


Dancing, period.

Regardless of what kind, or the music, or whatever…just get up and do it…Dance.

Dance because it is the way that the mind wants the body to think, and dance because the soul needs us all, from time to time, to dance…joyfully, ecstatically, without a care in the world.

Just dance.

Dance is Sacred, because “the meaning and the power of dance lie in what is being expressed by the entire body of the dancer, for in dance the body is the agent of expression. In a sense, dance is so attuned with ritual because both transcend the limitations of verbal communication.” (G. Kanahele, 1992)

As those who dance, we are the voice of the past, bringing to life the visions of the Kahuna, the dreaming of the Tribal Elders, and the count of 8 danced by every person whose feet love the feel of wood floors and whose ears do not hear a catchy tune but truly and rather whose heart and soul hear only the count of 8 within the music.

Dance because you are the voice no longer held silent for the pause between the notes, and dance because your heart would rather have you dance your heartache away, and dance, just dance…

Dance because it is beautiful, and dance because it is the way that you have expressed everything that you could not put words to, all of your life, to this point, and dance just because you can.

Dance beneath the wide and impossibly blue sky. Dance next to the ocean, to the song that is made by the crashing waves and the living sea. Dance underneath the subdued light of the wide and glowing, iridescent full moon, high in the night time sky, Mama Hina looking at us all as we dance the Sacred Dance.

Dance in the wind, and dance absolutely in the rain. Dance and give homage to the things that no longer live anywhere else but within your Soul.

Dance like your Ancestors did, with the drum and the circle and the heartbeat of many nations, and dance like your Tutu Auntie taught you, so many years ago.

Dance…just dance.

Dancing is Sacred.

We all can do it.

It is like breathing, or perhaps it is simply walking, with style.

Just dance.

Dance the way you want to , and dance the way that your mind sees you doing it, even if the way that it turns out doesn’t quite match…it won’t, because it is dance. Dance is old like time, but new, like more time. Dance is ancient and dance is like a brand new baby – it is the passing down of everything that we know to be the truth of the myths that we have given to ourselves as gifts from the ‘Aumakua, from the Grandmothers…

Dance around the fire, inside the circle, around the circle, as part of the circle. Dance like there is no one who sees you doing it, and dance so that the child inside can be alive, one more time, again and again.


Pretend that you are the music, and one day realize that you are the music come to life, the embodiment of the notes and the chords and the harmony and, yes, of course, the lyrics. We are the lyrics come to life, the life within the music that can only be thought of as many several counts of 8, contained within this piece of art that obviously was created by The Goddess with only the Sacred Dance in mind.

In your mind is where you see you dance the most, and in your soul is where it is that is contained the Love within you for this thing that is ancient, this thing that is Sacred, this thing that is the one thing that human beings have done from the unrecorded beginning of time. It is the thing that we do to become one with the Cosmos, and the thing that we do to bring the world to life within the time frame constructed by an artist whose demons are set free with stringed wings, whose savage leanings can be heard with every beat of the drum.


Sacred Dance.

Sacred Dancer…just dance.

Because it is the heartbeat of the many whose lives became what they are now, whose lives collectively are lived by the count of 8.

Because you are a being of Light, because you are Holy even as you are imperfect, because you breathe and live and cry and laugh and jump and run and everything else in between.

Because it is the thing that you do, is the thing that your ‘Aumakua did, that they still do when it is you who is performing the Sacred Dance.

Because sometimes, it is the Dance that saves our lives, just like it saved mine, again and again, until no longer did I wish to die, no longer wanted to not be part of the drumming circle, no longer wanted to not be here to do the Sacred Dance, one more time…

…one more time, over and over again.

Within and without, body and soul working together to birth into life the Sacred Dance.

Dance like you saw your Mama do it when she was dusting the rattan furniture, when you were 3 years old, and it was the first time that you had ever seen something so beautiful, so impossibly curious, so new and thrilling, as well as things as old as time, and as old as the song being sung by a man named Kawai Cockett, and songs that your Auntie Charlotte sang so much better than he did.

Dance, because you want to, and dance, like the black ladies at the Baptist church do, every Sunday morning, praising their unseen God, clapping to the sounds of the choir, dancing in the aisles, singing praises in their dancers’and ecstatic voices, not caring one bit that they are doing what their own ‘Aumakua did, many, many moons ago, out in the unkindness of the wild, beneath the darkness of night, with only the fire in the middle of the circle…then sadly…as they traveled a railroad that remained underground.

Dance with your castanedas, and dance with your ‘uli’uli, and dance with bells around your ankles.

Dance with your whole self…eyes included, and dance like the peacock, the swan, and dance like it is the last time that you ever will…even though you will again, dance.

Dance in the streets. Dance in the fields. Dance on the shore. Dance high above the world at the top of the mountain where already there are one too any telescopes..but still…dance there, even if only in your mind, and dance right here, no matter where “here” is for you.

Dance for the gods and the people, and dance for the people who came before we did, and indeed, like Bruddah Iz crooned…for the land that is truly and only ours.

Dance for the stars, and Dance for the Moon, and of course Dance for the rising Sun…

Hey, man…just dance.

Be Sacred.



“No na kuli…” (Of The Knees)

I am my language meme randy jay

Nanakuli is a town on the island of O’ahu.

It is known for being a town with a reputation, but, the truth is that all towns have a reputation. Whether it lives up to that reputation I will never know, because I have yet to meet anyone from that town who also does not remind me of people here in this town, which is Pomona, CA, which, for years, has gone by the monicker “P-Town.”

Cute. Lovely. Sounds way too much like “Oak-Town” to me (Oakland, CA, in case you were wondering), but Oak-Town has its own guy there, another hula guy…Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu, and even further north is another…mentor…of mine….Patrick Makuakane in San Francisco.

But…I am not writing about localities, and not writing about other Kumu Hula, because I have not, apparently, thought of myself as that- Kumu Hula –  for quite some time now, and it was not that I could not anymore, but that I have another title to wear and to bear, and really, I am much better suited as Kahuna. (I am a bit on the eccentric side, and well, it isn’t a secret that I know how dearly powerful words really are….and that is what being Kahu is all about -knowing exactly how powerful words are.)

Yet, since it is that I have a great majority of my time alive and inhaling and exhaling all these years and all these experiences, and in those years and through all of those experiences, I spent a whole lot of time with a wood floor beneath my feet.

While I might not be able to dance like I once did, I WILL BE dancing for a completely new reason….but again, that is NOT the reason that this is being written today.

Being Written Today…

After plenty of videos in my Dance History class (Hey Professor…how are you? I hope you are doing well today…), and after not understanding some of them until the message was clear to us all and until it was that I chose, rather than with my dancer’s eyes, with my Hula Kahu’s heart and soul, and then, with my Los Angeles Born and Raised self (I gotta be me)…well, let’s just say that, I told only two people what my plans with my dance are, and both of them loved the idea.

I loved sharing it with them, and I loved thinking about it, and I loved everything about everything that I have been able to think of about this one thing….

When I thought about it, I did not know what to call it. Instead my mind went to things that have everything and nothing to do with Hula. The town of Nanakuli…meaning something about pretending to be deaf is one translation, but, when I asked a few people who study Hawai’ian language as part of their degree program at UH, I was told something else that, even though it did not make any sense in terms of anything that I was asking, what totally made sense was the inspiration for this writing…

“No na kuli…”

I have danced this dance my entire life. While it was that I spent a lot of time dancing and teaching this dance, what I did not take the time to do all those years, that I am way more prepared in the educator’s sense, is to learn, as well as teach, hula from another place – the place that is someone who explains what the meaning of  kaona,  or, the metaphoric language being used in the lyrics of Hawaiian music, is. I write, meaning that I understand what it is that the artist singing is trying to tell their audience. And the one thing that I have always told people is that our audiences are not aware of one true thing…Hula is not an Island Girl’s (or for real…an island boy’s…not all of them are LGBT…but, either way straight or gay…I Love You All !! #NoH8Straight) flirtatious way of snaring a mate.

The reason why anyone would believe this astounds me, really, because the only thing that a lot of people think is that when we are dancing Hula, we are shakin’ our butts…and that THAT is what we are trying to do…that whole…snaring a mate thing…


Remember – hula is poetry in motion, is the ocean, is the gods and the goddesses, is our kingdom which still is alive and well within each of us who call ourselves MAOLI. It is about the stars in the night sky,  is sung by guys like a bruddah named Iz retelling a story of what lies just over the rainbow

And to think that the only thing that we are doing is perverting something as gorgeous as this dance is …very, very….ugh, I don’t know how to say it without it seeming as though I am somehow the expert of all experts in terms of things Hula and words and kaona and telling stories with our hands and hearts and souls.

Hula is not about shakin’ your ass…that would be Tahitian dance, and yes, I know how to do that, too, but, I would rather dance Hula, for the simple fact that I have danced MY people’s dance for as long as I can recall, and what I cannot recall was my really being any good at Tahitian dance, at least enough for me to be confident in front of a crowd, and confident that my costume, with all of that…butt shakin’…goin’ on (but…again…it is NOT the okole doing all the work…please keep reading…) would not fall apart with the beads and the adornments on my belt flying in every direction…no thank you.

Hula and kaona go together, because Kaona is our poetry, is our love song come to life and danced by dancers whose ‘Aumakua dance in unison with us, never leaving us by ourselves to tell the stories of long ago, of love between the deities, between a man and a woman, between members of families not born into but being hanai and part of…hula and kaona go together like things that match…things like a crab and a fish and how they just go together….because they are not of the same family, but of the same hanai ohana

The things that we learn about the parts of our bodies and being ashamed of those parts and what they are meant to do when we are too young to know better, makes me think about all those times in school when I defended what it was that I was doing on that stage, in front of my peers, in front of my friends, and again, in front of strangers who were not as …kind…as my pals were, all that time ago. My friends, many with whom I still have a close bond, when they got past all of the Gilligan’s Island Hollywood bullshit…they could “see” me, and they could see how much I love this dance and how important that it lives on through those of us who know it as well as we do, who were born into it, who were born to do it…I would be one such person, much as anyone who has loved it and danced it would be….

It is our ballet…can be thought to be akin to something called The Ballet Russes…it is ours, came from us, is handed down to our kids just like it was handed down to us. It is a family thing, and then it is a Hanai Ohana thing, which makes it a thing for each and every one of us to give to the rest of the world. It is a gift, one created of music and words that metaphorically tell a story of wars and deities and stealing kisses away in the night…It is many, many things, to many, many people, all over this planet.

It is danced from the knees and the ankles….no na kuli , as far as I have been told and as far as I understand it, translates to “of the knees.”

Please think about how much your knees do, all day long, and think about how much we use them. Think about what it might be like to have a knee that used to do so much for you and then one day, somehow the Spirits felt that it was the right time to tell the stories, using the hands and all those words of kaona and your heart and soul… from the point of view that is the person whose life has been lived with bare feet standing and dancing and jumping and howling on a wood floor…howling out the kahea, then one day calling the halau out and expecting that they answer ” ‘ae..” …not bad for a bunch of kids who lived life as a freckly-faced bunch of people who, without sunscreen, turned a very…dear…shade of human being red.

Think about the idea that the knees, they bear the weight, even though the feet bear it all..it is the knees that cause the shifting of the movement, just as much as it is the feet that makes a person mobile in their movements, mobile in the telling a story that has been told, again and again, for possibly generations, and it was all, as much as it is now, no na kuli…of the knees. It might be the feet that move us, but, it is the knees which get us there…without them, we have no actual direction.

Think about being a little kid and running down the street, running from your cousins Keoni and Kalani and falling onto your knees and wondering when the pain would stop and when it was that there would be the scab which would scar and become the reminder of lovely days as a child, running across the street to a place called Booth Park, at your Nana’s house on Namilimili Street, and all the Myna birds in the trees calling back to one another “Waltah! Waltah!…Kat-tran! Kat-tran!…” and knowing that those birds are mimicking the names that your Tutu man and your Tutu Lady…Walter and Katherine…used to call one another, all those years they’d lived there, on that street.

Now think about being a kid who became an adult who eventually took your own kids to this house that you, yourself, spent a lot of time at, with your own kolohe cousins, throughout your small keed time…and there are the birds, still calling each other Walter and Katherine, because that is what has been passed down through the generations, just like I did with my kids and the Silver Shaved Ice truck.

Sort of like teaching children that this is our dance, and these are our songs, and we sing in vibrant, pitchy and sometimes even purposely off-key styles, because that is our own. Sort of like teaching children the correct pronunciation of certain words in the Hawaiian language, and teaching them that Hula is all about telling a story with your hands, like sign language come to life, done en masse in dresses called Holoku or holomu’u or simply at your auntie’s house, dancing impromptu like all us guys did, all of our lives, on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

Think about how much praying you have done, and that some of us did so on our knees, and some of us did so with our knees in Lotus position, and all of us know that in order to perform Hula Noho, it is our knees which we sit between, so as to use the torso as the part which does so much of the telling of the story, the delivery of kaona set to music.

The westernized world made it a wrong thing to be on one’s knees, making it seem as though we were begging for our lives or begging for mercy or begging an unkind, malevolent and misogynistic monotheist that someone called “God” and put in control of what we think of ourselves, thought of ourselves, made us ashamed of ourselves for being Native, for being Kanaka Maoli

…’ auwe….

We were told who we were, that it was time that we get on our knees and pray to someone else’s false god. We were manipulated to believe that it would be through that false god and the one who we were bullied into believing would destroy us, that would turn us into what the foreigners turned us into – which were strangers in a land that these same foreigners took from our ancestors, our ‘Aumakua, and claimed it as their own.

They took the only thing that a bunch of naked people in the middle of the Pacific Ocean had and could truly call ours, and turned it in to the thing that they used to make us their slaves, and make us worship their god and follow their rules and pretty much tell us that we were no good and that we would end up in this fiery pit called hell…sent to Satan on a hollowed out tree, and then made us ashamed of who we are.

They took away our sense of cultural identity, and they took away who we were, and all these decades …these centuries later…we are still here, not on our knees and worshiping a god that we did not create, but, paying homage to the things that we know are the truth of us. We are not on our knees, we are dancing our dance and not giving even three or four large and ugly shits about what anyone who does not know better says. We dance from the place within that stands tall, that honors the life without by honoring the life within, that makes it so that we stand firm in our conviction, not down on our knees, but using them to look at ourselves, kahea to one another, and know that who we are and what we are is not subject to what history and a bunch of greedy foreigners mind-fucked us and bullied us with their violence and their gunpowder made us believe.

We are singing our songs and dancing our pieces, telling the stories of the things that have happened, things that happen now, in the lives of human beings. We are passing the stories of the past to our children, and with that story they are creating their own art, their own music, their own hula, their very own kaona.

We are reminding the world, specifically the one which we share with other Hawaiians, with other people of indigenous origins, that we have never been on our knees, but, our dance is of the knees.

I have learned a whole lot from my own injured knee…

I have learned to appreciate what it is that I can do, and more, what I am reinventing, all over again, as shared with my close friend and of course my other half….and I am not afraid.

Nervous is different than afraid.

Nervous means we are going to try and that we are going to make it through…afraid means that we are afraid…nervousness brings fear, and bravery requires fear

Don’t be afraid…be brave…tell your stories…tell our stories…

It’s hula.

…not praying when you don’t believe in someone’s big, scary, abusive god…

One cannot shake one’s okole when dancing hula noho…

…but one can pray to Laka by paying homage through the dance…

Be brave.

Be You.

Be Maoli….it is sort of your Kuleana, as much as it is anyone who is Hawaiian

Be the one who teaches.

Be the one who honors the past by teaching now so that the future is set..






Far More Than Just Movement…

Hula Is In My Blood

We are Beings of Light. We are the Living Symphony of Movement and a Cacophony of Electricity, the Light Energy of the Universe Come Alive and to Life. We Are Dancers.

In all of my years as a dancer, this past year has been the toughest. I was always able to dance, always able to move about freely, almost effortlessly.

Then I injured my knee.

I thought my life was over, that I would never dance again, that everything that I have experienced to this point as that particular dancer was going to be the very end of me, but, because of a class that I chose to take at school, and because I have, at this point, been given another way of looking at this thing that I love so very much…this thing, this movement, this energy called Hula, I know that my life as a dancer, but maybe not the same dancer I have always been, is anything but over. 

I see things very symbolically, and naturally, because of my position in life – Kahuna Wahine …Hawai’ian Medicine Woman – I see now, through this class that I am so…grateful, even fortunate…to be part of, I now know that it is my turn to start simply creating, again, these dances that I love to teach others. And this time, I am not meant to just teach it to those who are in search of healing their ailing, battered, formerly-abused souls. I am meant, I believe, to tell the stories of how the Kingdom of Hawai’i became the 50th state.

I am meant, through this dance, and perhaps with the help of other dancers, other Kumu, others who love their dance as much as I love mine, not just to tell the truth of how it is that Hawai’i became the last state to gain statehood, but, the truth in terms of how it has affected many millions of Kanaka Maoli, for many generations, and how it is that we have, through that shared energy of heartache, come together for the common cause. If we do not have a manner by which to tell our story, in a manner that is very understandable, in a language that is universal, then how will the world know, from the perspective of someone like me, like you, like anyone at all, the truth of things as they have affected an entire population of people, for a very long time? .

The truth is that just like the rest of this country, like the rest of the wars that may or may not have been a needed thing, it was left up to a bunch of old men in suits sitting around a table, someplace where the people who their choices will affect the very most will not be there to state their protest, state their heartache, state that we would rather not have to die for what is already ours, even as many of us would be willing to do just that.

The truth is that, after having watched a performance of Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table: A Dance of Death in Eight Scenes (Mahalo, Kumu Nakamura..Thank You, Professor – you cannot begin to know what this particular piece told me…..), I now know, for real, the answer that this Kahuna Wahine was searching for.

It was never the answer to the question of “To Dance, or not to dance?” but really and only “So, my knee is jacked up, and while I would love to teach, I know I cannot right now. Yet…I can still dance, and I can do as I have watched these other dancers do, and grow into my choreographer’s skin, all over again….so, Rox, what the hell are you scared of? Failure? It’s dance – there is no failure…only a new pattern of movement…what is it, Kahuna, that you are afraid of?”

That is the question that makes me balk at my own fear, makes me think that I am meant to do the things that I do from an entirely other place within me, and in another way, with dancers who do not need to be taught, not only Hula, but, other forms of movement that, over the years, I have incorporated into my pieces.

I have a voice, and I have hands that tell stories, and I have these words that have always matched the movement….why am I afraid?

Is it because a lot of other people have already done their own works regarding the actual history of how Hawai’i became the 50th state? Is it because they over there, for some weird, odd reason that seems to make no sense to at least this dancer, some of them believe that we Kanaka Maoli here on the mainland somehow are not real Hawai’ians, are not really feeling the same pain that they do, everyday, are somehow not as much the Children of our Sacred Lands as anyone with a crazy sounding name would be expected to be…crazy sounding names like my own, which is 26 letters long, and that is just my middle name…???

But, it is a name that I wear and live by very proudly, and is a name that I have handed down to my only daughter, the one to whom the rest of the Maoli we call our blood relations refers to as “Maile,” (pronounced like one would Mylee Cyrus’ name, but, is not “eee” but “ayyyy” like the Fonz lol…haha…keep reading…) and the only one on this planet with the very Spiritual upbringing provided by me and Auntie Kalei and Mama No and the Gator and April and Amber….it is like living the line in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet… “…what’s in a name…that which we call a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” To hear one’s own name is like music to one’s ears, but, to be called by one’s Maoli name is the most lovely song sometimes.

Indeed, a rose…

…perhaps a plumeria…


As ridiculous as it sounds…all of this…stuff…about the truth of how Hawai’i became the 50th state, as much as it sounds like it is a boring thing to show, if you knew me, if you knew the things that I have and remain to research, even now, about what my people – the Kanaka Maoli – have been through, still go through in terms of this collective sense of indigenous inferiority, you might shake your head side to side thinking that I am crazy, and that I am just going to be repeating and reproducing what it is that a whole lot of other Kumu Hula have done.

And there is the difference – I am a dancer, and even as I have taught this dance to others for the majority time of my life, I find that my title as far as things “Kanaka Maoli” goes is as important, as recognizable to the people I share much with, even though that “much” is a shared heartache, a shared and common bond of pain, brought by a cellular memory of things not seen, not known, but felt and learned and captured in the heartache of the collective of the global indigenous tribe, the global populace of indigenous peoples, and the global heartbeat that calls us “One Soul” that is begging to make it known by the very soulless powers that be that the thing they are haggling over is not land rights, at least not to the majority of us tribal folks.

It is our collective of native peoples, and a collective of a Native drum beat, a heartbeat on this planet of all of the nations of indigenous peoples. Our hearts are broken, but we are not willing, neither ready to stop letting the world know that we are tired of hurting, but that we are not done being very dearly, deeply in the very bones of our tired indigenous souls, angry on a collective level. It is an anger that has been passed down, from generation to generation, by that of the ‘Aumakua – the Ancestors – reminding us to stand firm in who we are, to not let anyone take and continue to take what is so rightfully our own.

What is so rightfully our own is not just the land, but more, our cultural identity. When a nation is told that they are heathens, that who they are is unacceptable, this is when it is that another group has harmed the entirety of that tribe, not just once, but again and again.

It takes someone, a few someones, to decide to tell the world the true story.

So many of us have told our peoples’ story. So many of us have written what are our own thoughts about these things, and so many of us have painted and drawn and given the world these things that we have at our disposal and that others have done, again and again, for no other reason than that they are able to, by right of the artist who lives within them.

I want to show the world the artist, the person who creates for others these stories, both with words but also with movement. I am Kahuna. I am a different kind of Kumu, but I will always be a Dancer. No matter who thinks or says otherwise.

I want to show the world what happened to my people and our Homeland, according to my own understanding of it…

…and I want to be able to give that rendition of this collective heartbeat, this Drum Beat that all Maolis have withing us each, to the world…

…and I want to do this…creation of this …dancing… on my feet,  with other dancers, of all genres of dance, want to do it because truly, the way that I see everything happening around me, it appears that it would be my time, because it was always my turn to make things apparent to others, no matter what it is that I am making apparent.

I have taught others to tell stories with their hands. I have taught them to realize the beauty within them that they did not know was there or perhaps did not believe was there, and I have performed with other halau, other dance companies…I have danced and loved this dance called Hula for all of my life. In all of  my life, the only thing I ever wanted to do with this dance is to do what I do with my words – educated, inform, clarify….tell the truth.

I want it clearly understood by the world that the thing that they will see would also be the thing that Kurt Jooss wanted to show the world -his thoughts about wartime in the 30’s, and his thoughts about the truth of what it was that was being forced on them, and his thoughts and his rendition of what it is that war is really all about.

I, too, want to show this to the world…I want to show the world the things that happened, through my dancer’s interpretation of it.





I want to show the truth about a lot of things, and I want to clarify the meaning of Aloha, and show those who would need to see it, from a mainland point of view, the things that we are taught, who we are taught by, why we are taught…it all spells Aloha, Lokahi (Unity), and tells us to Onipa’a. …to remain steadfast…

The truth is NOT that I am NOT going to dance again, or that I will not remain to teach this dance as Medicine to those who most need it….

…the truth is also that there is a reason why I am taking this class that I am taking, and the truth is that no matter how much I cannot connect with certain eras of Ballet (1700s until about 1900), there are things that, because of the dedication to their art form and the thing that they were passionate about, and the things that a whole lot of those people gave to the all of us as these people, these artists who call ourselves Dancers…we have this rich history of those who came before us, just not in the manner that is the bloodline or similarity in culture.

Rather, it is that we have a lot to look back at and see there, in those creations, in those dances, what was going on at that time in history, or really, any time in history.

We can look back, see in those people called Graham and Denis, Jooss and Shawn, a place called Denishawn and a man named Alvin Ailey, and everyone else in between, that we have here in this country the freedom to be who we are, to tell our stories in the manner by which is most fitting to our Selves. It is our Higher Selves who are in full reign when we dance, because the dance comes from a place within where we each and all live, a place which honors Being, honors Loving, honors these things that make a person feel like they can fly with wings that only they know exist.

Where it is that musicians create the songs, we live and breathe the beats, the highs and lows, the very ailing souls of the person creating the music….we are the song in flux, the story teller who the Cosmos imparted the gift of joyfully laughing without making a sound.

We are those whose lives are lived in the manner that is orderly, even while it is chaotic, because it is a beautiful chaos, is a gorgeousness that comes only from the middle of the Soul, where Being and Loving and Doing all collide in a madness of Light and Energy and Colors indescribably vibrant, real, alive.

We are dancers. We sing songs with lyrics which can only be seen, in all of the colors that the mind can think of, and all of the voices that are past, present, future…

We live our lives by a Count of Eight…