Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Emerald Forest

Over millennia or least centuries
Some say less than 200 years but that seems so short a time
The emerald forest happened
It began with magma spewed from the earth
Trees and ferns grew out of desolate lava beds
Dropped leaves that became soil
Fell over sometime and rotted
Each year ferns and trees add scant inches of stature
Now the untoppled ferns form a high canopy
Fairy tale green amidst the twisted trunks of ohia
You may slip orchids in where the branches once were
Purple, gold, white, colors of wine and birthdays
Flowers open down leafy stems
Blooms open upon hand-like sprays
When the furious rains come
The orchid petals cling like sturdy fools
Take their lengthy pelting
Without a tear and answer with perfume smiles
Beneath the robin’s egg blue sky
Below epiphytic aerial root structures
Amongst the twig and golden furred homes of apapane
Stands this human shelter
Platform without walls beneath peaked roof
Garlanded with crystals of light
Floor polished brown and smooth underfoot
Come share in the elixir of the misty woods
We will open vintage wine and drink from favored goblets
Glass blown from molten globs
Feel your blood spirit replenish your heart beat deepen
Here, there is poetry of place
Yes, here there is volcanic magic

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pink Morning with Slight Chance of Hurricane

Mistral Pampero Sirocco
These are names of the winds
Chinook Diablo Westerly
Don Juan de Marco keeps these names in his pocket
Kolo-āpu‘upu‘u blows mist down the mountain
Constellations brilliant overhead
Still you feel it on your skin
Kalāhuipa‘a awakened us this morning
Boulders skidding in the breeze
Trees dueling their branches whipping like swords
Don Diego among the palms
How do those pink clouds survive this force?
As I watch their lipstick colors even and still
Oblivious lizards slap at flies with their tongues
Orchids push out another spike of flowers
The world will not blow away after all
The dogs are quiet
Here the air does not howl, here peace will find us

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day of the Barking Dog

Out in the jungle he speaks to me
Voice for a deaf person to hear
We’ve walked together five years now
He knows we understand each other’s language
So I must go now
He speaks of the importance of the moment
He knows better than I
Nuances of the day
Now he has shared with me his
Soft blanket of thick moss
I with him some bread and cheese
Here there is contentment

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April First at Kilauea

In the night rain the volcano’s mouth yawns wide

Water plummets inexorably down that throat

Making a steaming cauldron of liquid rock soup
Lei of vapors swirl about the cauldera
Deep gorges fluff with heady steam
Dark forest breath redolent of wet orchids
Underfoot browned fern fronds feel to be sponge
Dogs sleep peacefully in the corners of the house

This is the rainforest

Wetter than the ocean 

Where if fish could fly they would be in their element
We are water

Dry is a phantom

Here, you know the truth of us

Sunday, April 28, 2013

back when laughter was cheap and easy


It came as a great discovery
Jeffrey Kingery brought his dog to school
It was for show and tell
His dog had a black spot over one eye
I sat in my straight back chair
uncertain why this dog mattered so much
why he deserved to be at the front of the class
Secretly it shocked me that Mrs Hoeness
put up with the dog at all
seeing as how she threw fits if someone threw away half an apple
Jeffrey introduced the dog as if it was a person
“This is Fitzmasterson” he said
Fitzmasterson? Someone laughed
Then another kid laughed
Mrs Hoeness told the class to stop laughing
Laughter is something you cannot shove down
Soon laughter had erupted over the room
Like shaving cream coming out of a broken can
Jeffrey stood at the front of the class with his dog
mouth agape as if in surprise
he felt the front of his pants
I knew he thought he was unzipped
Mrs Kingery scowled at the class
She came up and took the dog away
“Good Fitzmasterson good dog good boy”
she kept saying as her gait made that swish sound
where her nylon stockings rubbed between her thighs
Jeffrey Kingery went back to his seat
The laughter burst out a couple more times
Mrs Hoeness told the class we were forbidden to say
the word Fitzmasterson in the room
There were popping and sputtering sounds
Lisa Kelsey’s face turned red then her laughter exploded
it was like rainbow confetti you put on white frosting
Altogether this is my favorite memory from first grade
I went home and said “Fitzmasterson” to my little sisters
they were too young for school
They laughed until they peed their panties
What I would have given for a dog
whose name could be as explosive as a soda bottle too

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Over top of The City


The first time I walked amidst sky scrapers
I noticed these things
Wind that had gotten lost from itself
swirling about trying to reconnect to its tail
My feet told me of the chill of pavement where sun can’t get in
Come up with me my friend said
Let’s see the City from the top
The ride clunked and thumped made sudden jerks
At the top the box seemed to pass its station then bounce down
It felt already as if I might not like it but I did
The carpet had the patina of thousands of feet
still a resilience of color and loft that said someone
thought it mattered this was to be walked upon
The host invited us to a window table even though we said
We were there to drink some sparkling water and entertain our eyes
Beneath us spread the old City like a tapestry in three dimensions
I began picking out garden spots with satisfying borders
Took note of a plethora of luxurious rooftops
My heart melted that certain streets lay like serpents
That stairs climbed hilly paths shining in mosaic jewel lights
Although we left straightaway for eucalyptus lined paths
And lunch at the lake with swans and reflections
I knew I would go back again to that lofty sky room
As if I had wings
Next time I would have a City drink like a Manhattan
Or perhaps I would ask for a San Francisco and see what came to me

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

what sounds may look like


It sounds like a zoo in my yard
Not that I mind as you could mistake it
for the quiet of the jungle
It began with the plants
And the water
Before, the ground was all red dirt and rocks
Once the trees were kiawe
harsh thorns that pierce your shoes and feet
twisted limbs and bent stick branches
Down they came replaced by something more civil
thornless and with flowers
insects came followed by the birds
ferns went in trees with fruit
flowering plumeria pikake and crown flower
Palms sprang up  water gushed
Entire species of feathered things moved in
some down the block
others took up residence in the monkeypods
Next came fountains and feeding stations
pools on pedestals and experiments with grains
Oh they came all right wearing fluffy collars as if it was the opera
There is a vine with pendulous aqua blue flowers
they hang in tapering clusters six and seven feet long
while above the trees glow brilliant red
It is there they bring their twigs and hairs
build small palaces in the dense tangle of vine
their clamor hidden from view
If I could see the sounds they would be colored ribbons
mesmerized by tropical breezes ka makani they are called
twirling like Salome a thousand slender veils in the sunlight