(The Essence of Sovereignty)

Today it is very difficult
to be a Hawaiian
in Hawaii.

We must rediscover
Hawaii's cultural roots.
We must preserve and perpetuate
the culture of these Islands.
Many human voices
must tell
many right stories
of the place.

We must re-invent ourselves!
There are serious things in Hawaii.
We must define and enforce authenticity.
We must be who we really are!
Leave it the way it is ...
we are who we are.
We must move from industry to festival.
Let the planes fly over.

A self-sustaining community
rejects control by strangers.
There is community control
when the people have
the decision-making powers.
This is the essence
of sovereignty.

We must extricate the community
from dependency upon
outside resources.
We don't need
the Man on the White Horse.

We must separate ourselves
from the industry of tourism.
We must micro-brew our tourism -
giving it the flavor of the place.
Once we control tourism -
it becomes ours.

Remember that we are all tourists.
We are all here
for a moment in time.
By becoming tourists,
we become aware
that we must tread softly
upon the land
since we are all its stewards.

We have the resources
to move forward.
All we must create
is a common vision.
Listen to the poets -
not the politicians.
Let our dreams
carry us forward.

Island Tom
January 1999


©Alternative-Hawaii 2008