by James Schwartz
Pu’ukoholā Heiau bursts into view majestically
Rising red rocks assembled by Hawaiian hands
Without mortar & before Americans overthrew
The sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii…
Historians speculate the spectacular
Structure’s construction was built by
A human chain stretching 25 miles
Hand by hand passing lava rock…
From Pololu Valley to Kohala coast
Fulfilling Kamehameha’s kahunas prophecy
Dedicating the temple to the war god
To unite the islands in 1810
Which came to pass
As King Kamehameha
The sweetest winds play
On this rugged coastline
Preserved in time today
As I offer my prayers here too…
* Heiau (temple)
PHOTO: Pu’ukoholā Heiau by Bamse (2007). Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site is located on the northwestern coast of the island of Hawaiʻi. The site preserves the National Historic Landmark ruins of the last major Ancient Hawaiian temple and other historic sites. Completed in 1791, the massive temple measures 224 by 100 feet.
PHOTO: Author James Schwartz at Pu’ukoholā Heiau on Hawai’i Island, where he resided from 2017-2020. For more information about the location, visit the official site.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Schwartz s a poet, writer, slam performer, and author of five poetry collections, including The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America. Visit him at his blog literaryparty.blogspot.com and on Twitter @queeraspoetry.