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The Ballad of Ohia and Lehua

Updated on October 29, 2014
The beautiful Lehua blossom. This picture was taken by me next to Kilauea's crater, where I heard the legend that inspired this poem.
The beautiful Lehua blossom. This picture was taken by me next to Kilauea's crater, where I heard the legend that inspired this poem.

It all began at a village dance
Their eyes met, and love took its chance
Tall Ohi'a, strong with a handsome face
Sweet Lehua, with her gentle grace
He a trickster, athletic and lithe
She a beauty, so bright and so blithe
Her father protective, and wary of romance

Ohi'a looking over from his conversation
Lehua's cherry blush in fire's illumination
He turned back to her father, stammers and stutters
The old man was quite amused to see the warrior aflutter
So he offered to introduce the pair
And O'hia sprung to his feet, raced to where
Lehua stood, glowing in her anticipation

Soon the two were bound in matrimony
He would make sure she would never be lonely
Blossoming proudly with passion and zeal
They felt so much joy it was almost unreal
Her loving father cried as he gave her away
He'd built the couple a home in which to stay
And for a while they thrived by love's sustenance only

But one day Pele, the lady of fire
Spotted Ohi'a and her heart filled with desire
Ohi'a kept chopping wood and spoke politely
But didn't give in, and Pele burned brightly
She had to have Ohi'a all to herself
But who could be more perfect than herself?
And then walked in the one he truly admired

When Lehua came over, his eyes filled with love
Pele felt like she had been shoved
aside, and she raised her arms and became
a shimmering vengeful column of flame
She twisted and burnt his once golden skin
covered him with ash and buried him deep within
a tree, then alighted to the heights above

Now widowed, Lehua begged and wept
for Pele to return the husband who slept
The gods were angry at Pele, she who torches the earth
So they made her an offer of bittersweet rebirth
She could rest upon its bower
and be his gorgeous crimson flower
With tears in her eyes, she knelt down to accept

Scarlet blossom and scar-cloaked tree
Grow together in the lee
If the flowers stay where they bloom
Sunlight clears away the gloom
But if the blossom is plucked away
heavy rain will fall for days
when torn from her love, she cannot bear to be

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      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      This is a beautiful love story. You write wonderful poems and I enjoy reading them.