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“Aloha Poem” by Char Kia‘i Mansfield

“Aloha Poem” by Char Kia‘i Mansfield
December 1, 2017 Nā Leo Literary Review

Aloha Poem

By Char Kia‘i Mansfield


Aloha used to be one Hawaiian word

but it wen bankrupt.

It’s a na‘au kine ting.

It is about our connection to our bruddah, ka ‘āina.

It feels warm and squishy in lo‘i kalo between da toes.

It’s for kūpuna in ways unknowable to

Those who choose not to understand.


Aloha is too deep and quiet for words.

He mea na‘au—It’s a—no English for that either!

Like the deep forest, it’s too powerful and quiet for words.


I used to think I could understand it, but

now I know I never will stop discovering new depths of the kaona of


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