Friday, April 30, 2010

for my girls

you know who you are
riding laughter like waves
pruning away fears like withered leaves

did I dream you up
girlfriends & daughters
streaming feminine bliss

dancing the wild ruckus
singing aloud the chaos
satin ribbons wrapped into our hair

the philosophers were on a different track
trying to make sense of it all
we knew it was all a maze

fortunes tucked into niches
happiness tied to the tail of a kite
full moon shining back any truth we told

let’s share some tangerines
see our reflections in the lagoon
enjoy our deep aloha breakfast

love streaming love to you

for when we get together

Come sweet child
Let’s go visit tomorrow
We’ll put on yellow dresses
so we blend with the sun

We’ll bring along the dog that laughs
a loaf of bread and a jar of jelly
made with berries that grow in the lake
that is why they are blue

I see you have made me a necklace
so cleverly you tied together the grass leaves
it is like iridescent green pearls
with cat eyes so we can see in the dark

You can sing me your favorite song
we will hum along on the chorus
tie fairy wings over our jackets
glow like purple dragon flies

as we soar over rooftops
white horsey fences and red doored barns
until we tumble down the haystacks
and melt smooth flat chocolate tiles

between crisp crackers and gooey marshmallows
we will tell stories by firelight
until the grownups send us to bed
where we will whisper until sleep runs away with us

Saturday, April 24, 2010

At the end of the day

When the sky lights up in crimson streaks
Before all is given up to pin points lights of night
Let’s dance into all the shadows
Let’s whisper the love across that bridge of mystery
Let it not be a barefoot trudge on broken glass
Let it be love’s own tango lit by your beauty
your eyes saying hallelujah

Friday, April 23, 2010

April can be a cruel month it has been said the cruelest

It was too gaping a hole
made in that life
all those changes at once
left a vacuum void sucking space

the world being what it is
detritus from falling spirits
swarmed in on wings of paper wasps
citified noise like engines of flight

there is no return to normal here
but a tear in the personal universe
long hard winds
finally there is only the space within




waiting for the triumph of vulnerability

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What it is about you

Once you were young and I did not know you
Prowling the canals of Amsterdam in short pants
you had no dog to chase sticks and unbury treasure
the sun was waiting for you on the other side of the world

once you held in your arms a guitar
somewhat orange in color it had strings you attached
it answered your hands with rhythms from the heart
dancers emerged from lonely wilderness onto your stage

once you had fast cars that smelled like new leather
laughter climbed the rose arbor of your thighs
red wine stained your saffron scented lips
I knew you then we climbed forested rock faces

once your eyes glinted gold and solar flares
flames from your heart colored the nasturtium sky
your arms enveloped the world of us
from then we have run together with the uncertain wolves
howl and feast under any phase of the moon

once it was our footfalls fast past forest fronds
hidden in the dark before morning dreamtime
eyes pushed open with sudden conscious yearning
after bright sun on blue water
in the palms of our hands

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Twists of the Yarns of Fate

Beneath the surface of the day
where we cannot see or hear
there is where the mechanism of happenstance grinds

the boy on the bicycle
wants his father’s hands to let go
so he can ride free and fast

the father does not want to let go
he sees his son lying on the ground bleeding at the head
too fast and swerving and going over

the son reflects the father’s fears
it is twelve years down the road
the old man’s reaction times too slow for his Ferrari

knitting the scenes below the surface
elderly hands of Fates bring the tale to conclusion
the mountain road the overturned car the son’s head crushed

Over there the greedy woman
sees her neighbor’s house and wants it for herself
envy attaches to her hair roots and fingernail beds

She cannot put away her longing to be near
her neighbor’s husband but he is not a part of her life
still she puts herself in his path but bitterly

Ill will informs her life
Spite eats up what love there had been
All she wants is another’s ruin

Cooperative Fates construct the mosaic of intentions
it comes back in the patterns of night and day
then it is her life that lies shattered

kidneys used up hair taken by radiological treatments
cancer of the soul consumes her
her ashes taken out to sea on her sinking vessel

If you can rest yourself upon the surface
hear the heartbeat of the earth
perhaps ancient arms of Fate will embrace and hold you dear
Love will flow as life blood of the soul
Your spirit tucked into a small place at the oceanside
Generosity and peace the music and the dance

Your thoughts are of the growing things
Laughter like a child’s bubbles out of you
you give away your bounty like ripe tomatoes

Under the surface there is a placid lake of peace
Goodwill for everyone especially those not at peace
Peace and love knit the blanket we all rest beneath
Think it and live it and it will become

Sleepover Camp, circa 1957

Sleepover camp when you are six
Comes along like a Christmas bicycle
Suddenly there meant to be a total surprise

Maybe you never even heard of a sleeping bag
This idea is so new and
No one had talked about it

It is almost said in a foreign language
And you have images of tall trees and pine needles
lying all over the ground in soft humps

Imagine lying down under a blanket of starshine
Zipped in like a sofa pillow
And then it turns out there is a big indoor room

Where all the girls sleep with
one big bathroom and stalls with no doors
you will adjust because it is so special

There are glass lights with fire wicks
they call them hurricane lamps and you shiver because
maybe they are expecting a great storm

you wonder if your parents knew the whole story when
they sent you along in Mrs Drake’s station wagon
to have hot dogs with mustard for dinner and no vegetables

then night is fully there the fire lights are out
a girl you never met before is sobbing across there somewhere
you find the grownup girl sleeping by the door

and ask her what is the matter she says the other girl is
homesick and you wonder what is that? you ask
and shiver again because what if it is like polio?

and you are sure there is no iron lung
anywhere close in case that sickness should get worse
don’t worry it is not catching so you remember

what your dog would do pulling your zipup bag
across the room you lie against the girl you do not know
you imagine fields of buttercups and her daddy

holding the flower beneath her chin just to see
if she likes butter just at that moment she sighs
no more sobbing that is your first night at sleepover camp

Sunday, April 18, 2010

story of the dance, mele from Pele, song for Hi'iaka

Oh Hi’iaka-i-ka-poli-o-pele O
we two sisters have wandered far
unfriended and pursued by Na-maka-o-kaha’i
From your journey to Loihi’au
mortal man from across the islands
From your secrets shared with Laka

Come sister dance down to the shores of Puna
Bring down the mele and the hula
Show the story of the consuming lava
Sing the songs of apapane
Trill the tales of i’iwi
Tell the seduction of Loihi’au
I will protect you always
Just as when you were an egg
entrusted to my warmth

. . .  Ha'ina 'ia mai ka puana  -  tell the refrain

Come sister dance down to the shores of Puna
Dance the mele dance the story
Be the hula and the life


Thursday, April 15, 2010

song of the transplant growing roots

They are not so unfathomable
days like this one
when I float on its surface

daylight hours laid out before me
I know already the dance
sunlight on fern fronds & ohia sway
a day like this slips on like a soft sweater

my gratitude hums along with the mele
once I know the words
my voice will join in too
blend with the apapane song

my song like the plant from Kahiki
now in the hapu’u of Kilauea

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

favorite places ~ song one

a stream runs through Castro Canyon
wet runoff through the forest tumbling rivulet
water whisperer beds of ferns
soaring fat redwoods burned through in places
tacked up wooden signs bearing fairy names
along a dewy path laced with wood sorrel

there where the road passes through, seven cabins sit
hand hewn woods a low ceilinged restaurant plays Pachelbel
there is breakfast by candlelight

in the white room green vines embrace the walls
embers glow in the fireplace
much handled book on the nightstand
tells the tale by Lars
the night the mattress worked its way onto the floor
the walls opened and the carpet sailed out over the sea
Lars and lover clinging to its fringe
warm as if still next to the fire
songbirds flitted through the room at dawn
before the walls resealed themselves

Canon in D the rains of March
soft fall of redwood leaves beneath my feet
this was my melody this was my secret spot
white plate of small toasts an array of cheeses
slices of pear apple stem of grapes
cut crystal glass of red porto
this the place of embryonic futures
fully fertile
destined for forest
there are those entities born of the embrace of solitude
formerly known as dreams

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

She's leaving for the Keys

Intentions piled up like unopened mail
days bulging with tasks not done
her life had taken a turn for the worse

OK she’d been sleeping until ten or later
had taken too many sick days
sallow skin had forgotten the sun

little negligences made dustballs in corners
she had forgotten what to do about it all
and knew if she just piled the kids in the car

just left with her cigaret leg jeans and halter tops
no note on the counter top
no hints no explanations no car in the garage

she knew he would not come after her
it could be a real disappearing act
no more contempt from anyone – it was tempting

but first there were all those dishes piled in the sink
one by one she smashed each blue edged plate and bowl
shoved spoons and forks down the disposal and ran it

carton of milk poured right over his shorts
kitty litter into his shoes
oh she was hostile all right

her anger was more overdue than those Blockbuster DVDs
she had a right to it you know
he hadn’t said her name in three years

but climbed onto her so much
she had flattened into a part of the mattress
he would have to admit she was not his furniture

she would be more gone than the money for last week
nope she wouldn’t be his anything any more
the remote control was in her bag now

Monday, April 12, 2010

asphalt hours I do not lament

This morning I saw a photo
a snapshot through the windshield
everything was gray
you could smell that road breath
diesel exhaust and asphalt effluvia

red tail lights ahead the only color
the days the world was so framed
stopped suddenly as freeway traffic for me
not so long ago

I am grateful to have a snapshot
to tell me again why I left
windshield time
that life of road sitting
on the way to
somewhere else you'd rather not be

Sunday, April 11, 2010

all change is harder than glass

you would not figure him
to be one to wear smooth a section of the sofa
too much chest and shoulder for staying put
all that fire behind the eyeballs
needs stoking hard breathing for oxygen

had you known him as businessman
GQ’d daily into his glossy persona
would you wonder at the change

he said
he was going bamboo
read Mosquito Coast
pictured the green life in the forest
much the same as you might imagine how
a cake would look
one you made from scratch
then covered with sugar flowers

you would not expect
without the silvery sports car
the garage would remain fascinating
require that special floor
an immaculate appearance – recalling the one
he once achieved every morning
in front of the bathroom mirror

forest forger now
master of alchemy
most all that better living
changed over to a thousand mossy trees
punctuated with intentional spaces
carved polished played into their shape
by his once keyboard hands

see him over there with the musician hair
guitar hands steel toe boots
he still has it in him
vestiges of measuring days by dollars
finding his reflection in stuff of steel
that’s a thought that rides with him
as once did flashing blondes
there for the afternoon into night

back in days of Maui reservations
briefcase cures for cancer
hundreds of thousands of air miles ago

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Nearly Dire Straits

Seventeen years into their marriage
she wanted to feel her heart thump wildly
swollen nearly bruised lips
irresistible urges and bad timing

she remembered her very skin being aroused
but somewhat vaguely
once she thought his warm breath
might be sighed inhaled in some other bedroom

oh she dismissed those thoughts
as she would visions of brake failure on mountain roads
prepared his favorite summer berry pie
practiced Pachelbel on a silver flute

Who had it been overfilling the cup
who had taken someone for granted
which of them had sat too long at some screen
could that clock be reset pushed back an hour

over in the backyard she constructed a tunnel of love
wrote out some words in see through silver in the courtyard
picked him up on the backroad with his thumb out
straddled his blue jean lap on the front seat of the convertible

It was the way he used to look
It was the way he grabbed her at the waist
purple pen now on the ground
so now dropped down to her knees

not so far away from him
the ride to make her a part of him
that’s the way it used to be
in synch like it could never end

Friday, April 9, 2010

chu weet chu weet

If I go into the forest and call out ah roo ba roo oo
several times in high pitch
will the ‘elepaio answer?

Tiny hopping friend
curious as I work in his forest home

omao calls and the dogs listen
dogs speaking with their breathing
watch my movements and so seem to hear my thinking

“where are my puppies?”
no need to vocalize the question
they see me straighten and turn my head
bolt toward me on a collision course of fur and saliva

swarm of apapane flitter

in a wake before the onslaught of dog below
fanning wings brilliant crimson rising

ground marching pheasants that click and shriek
know to stay away
fuzzy chicks in a clutch in someone’s ginger who is never around

We are home in the forest
symphony of song hapu’u unfurling announcing spring
dark shape in the canopy I’o watches all
while i’iwi’s whistle calls out in piccolo perfection

Thursday, April 8, 2010

you can always get what you want

you think you know what you want
house at the white sand
two palm trees and a hammock
warm spring bubbling into your own pond
neighbors far enough away you don’t hear or see them
but friendly enough to join you for umbrella drinks
maybe scrabble and funny stories or a night in town

the car may matter
a sports car convertible and a jeep
and your wardrobe
something for any occasion and flipflops in several colors

make sure there’s enough money to go other places
as if there could ever be too much white sand
but still
you might want to go holiday shopping
or ice skating under a full moon

does it make it any easier to go home to a third floor walkup
to know this
the ocean rolls up over and past the beach in the stormy times
beer drinkers come onto the sand
their good times bleed into your nights
the bills still come
big fat bills for calling those two palm trees yours

OK so instead you will choose another spot
pay up front for the palm trees
buy a generator and put up a wind turbine
escape is more real offgrid
the cell phone bill will show up in the post office

there is more to reinventing life as we know it
than choosing the right spot
somewhere there is a predator
maybe it will not find you
but it will choose victims at will
maybe you maybe an entire country
maybe your country with its bad debt
get used to vulnerability
know that the palm trees are only good
for a few minutes of respite
no matter what or where they are

It is more gratifying to love here
and love now
polish the rails up to your abode
plant something in a redwood box
find your hammock and take it to the park
there are trees everywhere
and the white sand is always at the end of the road

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

E Ala is the path

The path is the way
It is called E Ala in Hawaiian language
Path is the way from where you are to where you go
It is the going

In the warm dry days a million hair like roots
bind the soil the path is firm
You walk easily

rains slicken the top of the path
make liquid the gritty dirt
fiber roots loosen slip apart like fresh washed hair

feet penetrate the ground now muck
liquidy soupy soil your feet sink down
mud wanders into your shoes
you can just take them off and feel the squish underfoot
you will become wet & cold from the ground up

There is a way to make the path solid
no matter what
It is not easy
you dig out the dirt all the way to the lava beneath

this is the hard lava rock
not that magma you might be thinking of
this is ground after all
holding trees and buildings
countless footsteps yours and the ancestors

Dirt now mounded up you fill the trench with rocks
only rocks
dirt goes somewhere else

Rain falls far into the rocks
no muck or mud
you walk on hard pebbles
leaves fall and break down
even with time over time
E Ala the path will be hard and firm
the path you walk in all seasons
made as it is by hard work
path that makes you strong

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mulholland Drive

Girl with face fresher than Ivory Soap
Carhop hair & Pepsodent smile

On Mulholland Drive you forget everything even your name
cross the barrier of possibility & probability
step Behind the green door

It was not a Mercedes limo
just standard issue company car
visit to a mob owned store to check out their dumpster
It was a short little man who grabbed her arm and she broke away

A twisting runaway Mulholland Drive chase
Using his car to shove her off the road
It is a long tumble down but in daylight you don’t see
all those city lights a living electric blanket
You could see the dust hear the thumping of heavy metal

As in a dream she pulled her mind away from the scene
short little man drove on and left her there
dusty blue Chevy Nova a name tag that said Bette
Gentlemen preferred her bought her martinis and handled
Legs that could have been in a Hanes photo shoot

It was always the chase that pulled her back
It was her Hollywood movie
Bad guys you could find in a seedy tuxedo shop
when they weren’t holding drinks with thinnest of ice floats
olives on sticks and kills you could count on your fingers
littering their formica countertops back home at 7200 W Franklin
pinpoints in the sea of lights below Mulholland Drive

She did go on to make movies
after the soap advertisement
she changed her name from Bette to Marilyn
after her favorite blonde bombshell that’s what they said
but Marilyn had been the name of her aunt
Both left their bodies behind at 1612 Hayvenhurst
Apartment building of dreamed up lives

Monday, April 5, 2010

How many times has she fled

indeed she left home
it was not yet daylight in her life even

Outside the borders of her native land
first thing that went was the family name

you would remember it from Nuremberg
you will know it regardless if you were not yet born
... (Mengele, Goebbels, Goring, Borman) ...
family Mossad tracked and traced

get togethers in the spring with the uncles and aunts
revisionist histories told by candlelight
cousin Rolf dangling the gold chain
revised jewelry from extracted fillings

She took nothing when she left
new life in a new world
she would shed them all
believing in redemption

Began then handling money
paper touched by many hands
like herself moving and exchanging for more and better
almost erotic

When the bank told her to leave
they said they would not prosecute
There was no proof of course

Almost heroic
she crossed the ocean with nothing
nothing except that which she did not take
revised and converted

Unsullied once more
made over like a new virgin, revised
in the family tradition

Much fondled money
did stay with her
...(this could not be helped)...
money crawled into her bed
money tucked into her folds
belonged not to her yet
converted to her hidden troves
it loved her more

she explained it all
every time
she knew everything
... (expert revisionist) ...
especially about her enemies
each and every one
less significant than any moth at a flame

If not
there was all that family history
she did know how to go after someone
it was in her blood
She could turn every Paradise
Camp Hell

Sunday, April 4, 2010

forest music ode to the vanishing wolf, from afar

moon hiding rains riding winds
rushing rains brushing roof
water brooms sweeping sweeping
this the night song of the rainforest

rushing brushing waves of wind
crackle of twig fall
voice of faint thunder meeting of tree limbs

as if they wanted somewhere to go
ohias tumble together
exchange ha, breathy kisses of wet bark

with daylight the clouds crack open
sunlight bright and warm as a fresh pancake
chorus of birdsong and the clouds slam shut
over here

across there, blue shows in the quilted sky
no water drops cling in optical orbs to the tall hapu’u
all pushed off by impatient wind

ah Prokofiev, the wolf is aprowl
you can hear him now
ancestor to all the forest
ghost howl lest his tribe be lost to time

ha is the sacred breath in Hawaiian

Saturday, April 3, 2010

See her through wavy glass

All she wants
Is her own gallery
Colored lights to shine
Air vibrating and pulsing

Music of enchantment or
That would make you submit
Forehead to the ground
wine glass overturned

All she is
stands to be a poem
written on the walls of days

She will cause you to admit
silence when your voice would betray
She will force you to permit
rule breaking and unsteady alliances

She wears on her sleeve
sanskrit prose the graffiti of some boy’s passion
while folded under her cloak
wings spell compassion

somewhere Demeter will meet up with her and renew the world

Hula Feet

Ohia tree tops swing wild
Frenzied hula
Feet jammed into the forest floor

Winds are on the move
Lono passing through the forest
Trees follow and whisper out loud

Sounds mimic ocean waves falling
Rushing in and in
Air’s hands pushing hard

Trees bend and sway
Hear their hula feet
Stamped into the ground

Lono lingers in the forest
This god is not from far ancient times
Still alive he prowls the forest moves with him

Particle Board Love

Impostors of love
counterfeit poseurs
they do not know themselves not to be
the Real

Over time as edges wear away
they delaminate like the pretenders they are
they must be replaced
like any broken down thing that was never
Right to begin with

We moan and suffer then
though no longer beset by the charlatan
we mourn as though we had lost something
something Real, something Important

Maybe you can see what I say
It will not work out to go back
Again try with the cheap replacement
The quick wit with no heart
Beautiful facade all polish but underneath is
Particle board love

How much longer must I wait?
the lament leaves so many lips
But finding love has nothing to do with waiting
True Love reveals itself
It is a matter of recognition
It is involved with Belief

You are allowed to hesitate
You are encouraged to ask questions
You must know this
You can sit in the lap of True Love
You can stretch in all directions
You can be A Little Bit Dead and come back
True Love is life itself

But the love that is not real
Will make you all the way dead
is worse than paper for brakes
and grows like mold on the soul

Toxic thief of smiles
Let it be done with you