This is pertaining to my hānai son, Jason Poole. I call him Iakona. He's been with me for quite some time now. I've always admired this young man. I invited him to join me. I took him in as a son.
How did Pittsburgh-born, classically trained singer Jason Poole find himself knee-deep in mud, gutting fish on the remote island of Molokai?
Monday, December 1, 2014
Need some help when it comes to getting motivated? Me, too.
Here is a playlist (courtesy of my computer) to help keep you musically inspired while you work out, make your way around town, commute to work or just surround yourself in mele Aloha.
Nanina – Kuana Torres Kahele
(Notes: The list was chosen by the “Genius” feature in iTunes. I’ve transcribed the song titles/artists as they appear in iTunes so that they are easier to look up and reference when purchasing the tunes on the web. I’ve purposely not used diacritical marks. This is what I’ll be listening to while I’m on the treadmill. Bring it on!)
Happy Aloha Monday.
Right on.2 Comments
Thursday, November 27, 2014
In New York lives the Accidental Hawaiian Crooner
Who travels the world with his ‘ukulele and his tuner
Grateful for hula tunes to sing
And all the smiles that they bring
He is most thankful for all of you-ner
Happy Thanksgiving, gang.
Share the Aloha.
Right on.2 Comments
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I want you to build a goat house.
I look at him, study his face. Is he joking?
I ask him to repeat it, surely I’ve misunderstood.
I want you to build a goat house.
That’s my job for the day.
Not collecting eggs from the wild chickens. Not walking the ʻauwai, clearing rocks and leaves.
A goat house.
But I don’t know how.
Use the materials from the old pig pen and he gestures down the hill
The pen is empty, no more pigs to feed.
I. don’t. know. how.
You’ll figure it out and he turns and walks away, already focused on his own work for the day.
I walk down the hill to study the pen.
I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know any New Yorker that’s ever built a goat house.
I don’t know anyone that’s ever built a goat house.
But there are supplies to be found in the abandoned pig pen
And the goats need a house.
In the shade of the banana trees
I pull at the old fence posts and they refuse to budge. This is not going to be easy.
With a shovel, I dig a pit around them until they come loose, dirt falling off in clumps.
With heavy shears, I cut away the rusty old fence wire, undoing the knots where I can.
Worms crawl everywhere, mosquitoes buzz around my face.
I don’t know how to do this.
It doesn’t matter. He told me to do it. It needs to be done.
The afternoon sun burns my face and sweat runs down the sides of my body
as I carry the lumber, the wire fence pieces
to the flat ground beside the green taro patches.
I can feel him looking at me,
watching but saying nothing.
When I look up, he looks away. Back to work.
How do you build a goat house? What kind of house do goats need?
Nothing fancy. No double-pane windows. No shingled roof. No white picket fences.
Something to keep them from running away.
Something to give them shelter.
I dig new holes for the fence posts and sink the wood deep.
I restring the wire fence walls, tight, no slack.
I cut my hand even though I’m wearing gloves. It bleeds red and strong.
I walk back to the house to wash and bandage
Maybe it’s a sign, maybe I should stop for the day.
But the goats need a house. Back to work.
He is waiting for me at the enclosure. He’s looked at what I’ve created and only says
It needs a roof and points to sheets of corrugated steel
This time we work together, without words
We work as a team
fastening the metal to the structure, weighing it down with heavy rocks.
We bring in a trough for their food and buckets for the water
And lead the goats to their new home
He closes the last piece of fence and ties a wire lock.
We bring a housewarming gift: armfuls of fresh tī leaves for them to munch
and fill their buckets with cool water
And they chomp and splash
He steps back and looks at it.
You did it.
You didn’t know how.
You figured it out
And now you do.
I wonder if anyone will need a goat house
back in New York.
© 2014 Jason Poole, all rights reserved
Friday, October 10, 2014
“We made a deal with the mosquitoes,” Pops will often tell visitors to Hālawa Valley. ”They promised to leave us alone and we promised to bring them new blood.” It usually makes everyone laugh and it makes the mosquitoes in the valley less of a threat, less of an inconvenience. For the moment, anyway. In … Click here to read more…2 Comments
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
May you rise with the roosters and drink in the endless Hawaiian skies and spectacular sunrises. May you open your hearts to the different kumu as they share the gifts of their knowledge and traditions with you. May you love yourself through the frustrating moments while learning. We often stumble and struggle before we soar. … Click here to read more…0 Comments
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Yesterday I had the chance to reconnect with Pops. Man! It felt like a lifetime had passed since we’d spoken to each other on the phone. In reality, it had probably been about two weeks. We’d been playing phone tag, leaving voicemail messages for each other. Sometimes just a few brief words: ”Aloha. Love you. … Click here to read more…2 Comments