Prayer for Obama

Prayer for Obama“An there shall be signs in the sun,

and in the moon, and in the stars; and

upon the earth distress of nations,

with perplexity; the sea

and the waves roaring;

Men’s hearts failing them

for fear, and for looking after

those things which are coming on the earth:

for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man

coming in a cloud with power & great glory.”

~ Luke 21: 25-27 Akua, thank you for the sun, moon & stars ~

for birdsong, kokui nut trees, godsongs from afar ~

please bless Barack Obama, who stands alone

like one bass clef in a sea of trebles,

nagivating the trills & turns & staccatos & swings

of politics with his own noble jazz ~ a suited rebel

with Kailua-town class able to hit a true chord,

ring a country into harmony with his grace.

I am no prophet, Akua, just a girlfish suffused

in a waveswell of love for a man who rides

Babylon’s rough currents like a milky~wave,

like he bodysurfed Sandy Beach, weaving,

a copper needle in a sea~dress of green,

white foam like plumeria petals scattering

in his wake, or how he scattered a lei at

Halona Blowhole where his mother’s ashes, too,

flew into the salt-stained wind ~ yes, I believe

in a man who releases blossoms into the air,

a man who trusts in the spiritual, the sacred,

who swims like a sienna-gold seal in a sea of sharks,

who can lead us out of tumbleweed & tombstones

out of the desert, into a New World.


Yesterday, Akua, I was driving past

University Avenue and I saw three of your souls

standing on the sidewalk with signs for Obama

plastered in front of them. One black man,

one older white lady, and a UH Manoa student

all grinning with a sad question mark,

a clouded hope in their eyes, as if

they wanted to but couldn’t trust the light…

a kaleidoscope of cars whizzing past. And I

wanted to stop traffic, jump out my car,

shake them, rattle them, hug them, and

kiss them, an impassioned Corean girl

who reclaimed my pure name ~ issil ~

morning dew ~ after decades of living with an approximation!

a made-up school pronunciation ~ ishle ~ because

of him – because of this Man who has

given us back our pride, with the simple

way he stands head tall & astride

in the Pain & Terror which threaten to engulf

us all ~ Akua, I wanted to clasp them to my

heart & tell them ~ yes, yes, yes ~

look at You. Look at Us, beautifulsouls aligning like new constellations in the darkness –

We have already won. *

as Kumu Ohai says,

Pule for hawaii, america, and the World.

han sarang. Godbless. Amen.

“And it shall come to pass in that day,

that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:

But it shall one day,

which shall be known to the Lord,

not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass

that at evening time it shall be light.”

Zechariah 14: 6-7

~ issil ~