Note: This starts a new series of poems, The Tribal College poems, that tell about the tribal college movement in the United States and the formation of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). In many ways these poems have historical importance, describing events from some of the most important higher education movements that happened in the latter part of the 20th century.
The Maori came singing in rows,
Language as musical as colors of Hawaiian flowers,
Swaying rhythms weaving through island heat,
Capturing in movement wave song of ocean.
The tribal college people came, led by a hand drum,
Feet moving to the drum’s rhythm,
Spirit inculcated into the history of this moment
Away from the tribal homeland,
In the islands of Hawaii.
The singing and drumming met
In a swirl of traditional dress
And words from scores of cultures.
The meeting created waves and tides
And a singing beyond the singing of any one people
Or group of people,
And the waves and tides swept outward
From rocky shores of Hilo, past the reef
Into the ocean of the world
As a growing began
That sent echoes rumbling
Into years and decades in the process of borning.
Hi Yah Hi!