Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Second Nature"

This poem from today's fishbowl has been inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] mdlbear.

"Second Nature"

A volcano rises above the waters,
making a new island of smoking stone.

Coming from the crowded sea,
seaweed and coconuts,
fish and shellfish, crabs and birds,
bird-hunting fishermen all arrive.

Uh-oh! The volcano erupts again!

After the smoke clears,
life rebuilds its second nature:

hana aloha.

* * *


Volcanic island formation is a violent process.  Examples of new islands and massive eruptions on older islands helps scientists to understand how species colonize them.  The process of colonization and speciation means that many species in Hawai'i live nowhere else on Earth.

This poem is written in the style of Hawai'ian poetry.  A hallmark of Hawai'ian poetry is repetition, which takes its particular form from the constraints of a language with relatively few phonemes. Partial echoes such as sea/seaweed, fish/shellfish, and birds/bird-hunting are typical of this pattern. Litanies of plants, animals, places, names, etc. also appear in many poems and chants. Nature in general plays a primary role in most traditional Hawai'ian poems.  Check out this Hawai'i Poetry Guide.

Among the letters of the native Hawai'ian language is the 'okina, or glottal stop. It does not appear in the English alphabet, and appears very rarely in English at all -- it is usually left out even with borrowed words. "Uh-oh" is one of the few native English words to incorporate a glottal stop, which helps give this poem Hawai'ian flavor.

Hana  means work, and aloha  means love. Thus, hana aloha  means love work. Originally it referred to a love spell. More recently I have seen it used in a more romantic context, for couples events intended to build a healthy relationship or couples therapy intended to repair a damaged one.  Hana aloha  is the craft of making connections.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, environment, fishbowl, nature, poem, poetry, reading, romance, spirituality, weblit, wildlife, writing

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