Poetic Justice

by Joe DeMarco

Visualize my children and you shall look
Upon the voyage of Captain James R. Cook;
It was the eighteenth of January in Seventeen Seventy-Eight;
Hardly a Hawaiian can forget the Date;
What befell upon the Islands was a terrible Fate.

During the Makahiki festival, Cook was thought to be Lono;
He would never live to see how he upset the (Balance) Pono;
The false god blew smoke from his mouth and had skin so pale,
Arriving on a floating island with a giant sail,
So Cook told them he was a God, never thinking this deceit might fail.

At first it went good they celebrated together,
But upon leaving the island, Cook hit nasty weather;
One ship had some problems and broke its foremast;
If they didn't turn around, the ship wasn't going to last,
So they headed back to the island faster than fast.

The Hawaiians had been generous and were generous again,
And even as the author holds this pen,
He knows "boys will be boys" and "men will be men,"
And the Hawaiian resentment, was starting to burn
For "this god who ate so much, but gave so little in return.”

When loose tools were stolen, men got even more irate;
Both sides Hawaiian and Haole began to fill with hate;
So Cook’s men stole a canoe and there was a small fight;
Nobody died, but the European sailors remained on shore for the night;
When they awoke, another of their large boats was missing from sight.

Cook was angry now and wanted his large boat back;
He marched on shore with marines, in an attempt to attack;
He grabbed him a hostage Chief Kalani'opu'u;
In the wake, a riot began to ensue;
The Hawaiians got their clubs, while Cook waved in his crew.

Guns were fired, Hawaiians charged, and the Marines ran back to their boat,
And alone stood Captain Cook in his British red coat;
Cook was hit with a club, stabbed numerous times and killed;
Still more than two hundred years later the void can never be filled,
Like a cavity that's so deep it cannot be drilled.

What could the Hawaiians do?
It seemed as if the prophecies were coming true;
Death and demise would come from across the sea,
Though it never said what or who it might be;
Were these white foreigners, devils or the missing key?

One hundred years later, the Native Hawaiian Population was decimated;
Disease and materialism only helped to destroy all the Hawaiians created;
The US took their harbor and went on vacation on their white sands;
Now is time for change, the choice is in your hands;
Discover the truth, help return stolen lands.

At Play in the Killing Fields

Joe DeMarco's picture

Joseph DeMarco was born in New York City; he grew up in Buffalo, NY. He has taught seventh grade on the island of Oahu, Hawaii for the last ten years. He is the author of the novels Plague of the Invigilare, The 4 Hundred and 20 Assassins of Emir Abdullah-Harazins, At Play in the Killing Fields, Blind Savior, False Prophet, and Vegans Are Tastier. He is currently working on several new projects.

Last updated November 14, 2011