Ku Ana 'O Laka I Ka Mauna*

~ Clyde Collins ~

 

     With eyes closed he grew numb under the cold shower in the TAMC barracks, and pretended he was standing under an icy waterfall in the mountains.  The hot water was not working this Saturday morning ~ again.

     With a towel tied around his waist he was stepping across the hallway to his cave-like room when Pvt. 1 Tom Weasel stopped him and said, "Wanna smoke a joint, Duty?"

     "No no no no," replied PFC Donald Duty, invigorated from the cold shower.  "I don't smoke it no mo'."

     "Well, how you gonna be mellow if you don't smoke it no mo'?" said Weasel.

     "I chant," said Duty ~ and he locked himself up in his room.  He put on some clothes, opened the curtain, twirled open the window, sat down in front of a most beautiful sky and let the trade winds kiss his cheek.  Sure enough, he began to chant:

     "Ku ana 'o Laka i ka mauna,

     Noho ana 'o Laka i ke po 'o oka 'ohu.

     'O Laka kumu hula,

     Nana i 'a 'eka waokele..."

     Outside, a misty cloud white and purple upon the hilltop, gently tumbled forward.  The cloud transformed into a pretty face with depthless eyes and a supple body with graceful moves.  It was obvious ~ Laka, the hula goddess, had arrived ~ and was dancing in the sky!

     From the colorful lei hanging from her neck and tossing to and fro, there fell a flower.  It landed on the window pane in front of Duty.  "Mahalo, my beloved," said Duty.

     He reached for the flower.  As soon as he touched it, the flower turned into a diving mask and snorkel.  Duty whispered to the suddenly clear blue sky, "Ah, I know what I'm going to do today!"

     With swimming trunks rolled up in a towel and Laka's gift in his hand, Duty darted out of the barracks.  Sp4 Joe Honor and Sp4 John Country were about to drive away in Country's automobile.  Duty flagged them down.

     "What's up?" said Duty.

     "We're going snorkeling!" replied Honor and Country in baritoned chorus.

     "Oh, can I go?  Oh, please, guys, please!"

     "Hop in," smirked Country.

     In a cove about a half mile on the other side of Waimea Falls, located on the North Shore, the three off-duty TAMC soldiers floated around above another world ~ Fish World ~ and occasionally dove deeply into it ~ all day long.  The surface of the sea was smooth as glass and you could see forever ~ even underwater.  The many colored fishes were sassy as could be.

     Later back at the barracks, played out and cleansed of worry, Duty stepped around two MPs and a drug detection dog ~ German Shepherd type ~ in the hallway.  The dog was howling in front of Weasel's barracks-room door.




*


Behold


Laka


Standing


On


The


 Mountain



 

~~~

 

from the book

Mythology

(1942)

by Edith Hamilton:

 

 Ares (Mars):

The God of War, son of Zeus and Hera, both of whom, Homer says, detested him.

Indeed, he is hateful throughout the Iliad, poem of war though it is.  Occasionally the heroes "rejoice in the delight of Ares' battle," but far oftener in having escaped "the fury of the ruthless god."  Homer calls him murderous, bloodstained, the incarnate curse of mortals; and, strangely, a coward, too, who bellows with pain and runs away when he is wounded.  Yet he has a train of attendants on the battlefield which should inspire anyone with confidence.  His sister is there, Eris, which means Discord, and Strife, her son.  The Goddess of War, Enyo, - in Latin, Bellona, - walks beside him, and with her are Terror and Trembling and Panic.  As they move, the voice of groaning arises behind them and the earth streams with blood.

The Romans liked Mars better than the Greeks liked Ares.  He never was to them the mean whining deity of the Iliad, but magnificent in shining armor, redoubtable, invincible.  The warriors of the great Latin heroic poem, the Aeneid, far from rejoicing to escape from him, rejoice when they see that they are to fall "on Mars' field of renown."  They "rush on glorious death" and find it "sweet to die in battle."

Ares figures little in mythology.  In one story he is the lover of Aphrodite and held up to the contempt of the Olympians by Aphrodite's husband, Hephaestus; but for the most part he is little more than a symbol of war.  He is not a distinct personality, like Hermes or Hera or Apollo.

He had no cities where he was worshiped.  The Greeks said vaguely that he came from Thrace, home of a rude, fierce people in the northeast of Greece.

Appropriately, his bird was the vulture.  The dog was wronged by being chosen as his animal... 

 

 

~~~

 

from the book

Masked Gods

(1950)

by Frank Waters:

 

There are no gods as we childishly know them.  The gods are the invisible cosmic forces of the universe.  And they reside in man who, if he wills, can evoke them for the common good...