Thursday, January 13, 2005

KOOLAU CALDERA, South of Kaneohe (poem). The vertical, emerald-green mountain side is, in reality, the edge of a caldera, and if you look closely, you realize that you're in the middle of a dormant volcano as you drive down Kamehameha Highway, or the newer H-3, from Honolulu to Kaneohe Bay. It is absolutely spectacular. One has to write a poem, so I did.

Play the podcast.


Thousands of years, or mere moments?

The fire is now emerald, hard, and as elusive

as roads winding through Colombian yungas --

but this is Hawaii, and the fire is internal;

smiles, elaborate signing, a stylized movement of hips and feet;

the drama is in the despair

the rainbow's end I saw terminating

in the Honolulu airport rental car lot --

treasure is something you take out and drive?

I don't think so ...

this is the season of rains and forbidden dreams

the images brush my consciousness

awakened by small, shy sharks

just learning to react to blood in water;

I really shouldn't wade in the shallows like this,

bleeding from so many emotional wounds --

the shield volcano erected walls;

glassy, shocking the eyes with lush, exotic heartache

and a moral compass spinning insane 360s,

trying to tell us not to worry too much

watch the waters cascading down the dark basalt

then let the cares sink into the same, quiet cave

where all our childhood friends slipped --

disappeared to heaven, or to the Eden we call "ring of fire"

because we are the eternal strangers here;

we, the migratory birds too exhausted by the beating of wings

to even think of singing, with feathers like

flat leaves dripping rain but no more tears:

you're here with me now

coconut fiber mats, fishbone and shell curtains,

platters of papaya, mango, and pineapple

a tropical cliche, except for the fire just beneath the surface:

this is life in a caldera --

dreaming, with drama, a hand outstretched, a bird singing

never lonely.

November 29, 2004

Kaneohe, Hawaii