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Showing posts from October, 2009

Plumbing the Shadows

The unnatural world lurks
beneath the plumb
of sensitivity
waiting
for us
to take notice.
It is an eerie place
of ghosts
trapped
between then and now.
In this alternate world
lie the answers
to life and death.
At times the door opens
to invite
us in, but we are wary
of the consequences
that lead us into
the other realm,
calling up things better left alone.
The undead are restless
for fresh hope,
wandering
in their sleep
with
no end.
Caught up in a web
of lies and misdeeds,
tortured by the uncertainty of right now.
Their womb offers
little comfort
and no nourishment.
It is filled with the suffering
and screams of millions,
lost
in the shadows.

Pulling Weeds

Dormant daylilies flaunt dead brown stalks.
Assorted wild plants compete for attention
baking in the noon day sun.
A super highway
of vines tunnel
beneath bromeliads
skirting salmon bougainvillea
teasing papyrus with probing tongues.
In the adjacent plot, lavender, white and yellow dendrobium
mildewed from excess moisture,
exhibit bottle green weeds
in various stages of growth.
Sheltered under the Norfolk pine
white peace lilies choke
beneath hills of pine needles
while two cherry tomato plants
thrive, their seeds planted by the Apapane.
Stooped behind the stone wall, I observe a young
couple drive up in a red camaro
to steal some dragon fruit from the neighbor’s yard.
Meanwhile a flock of doves eat
the remnants of leftover dog chow
out back, their feathers fluttering in rapid time,
perched on the rim of fortune.

Father Damien

I once rode a mule
down a path carved into steep cliffs
sliding through mud soaked ruts
thick with slime and loose stones
on top of an ornery mule,
named Hoku.
Hugging sharp ledges using my
leg as his ruler, parallel to
the treacherous ledge and rocks below.
Stopping at the beginning of every switchback
to snatch a mouthful of
grass, constantly chewing, his head
steadily pulling at the reins.
Early morning the air was heavy with mist, sheltered
by the dense foliage, not a drop of wind to cool and
fend off the stench of droppings stepped through by this caravan.
Below lay Kalaupapa, the leper colony
where endangered monk seals give birth
on the isolated northern peninsula
of Molokai. A place where the diseased
cast off’s were thrown off passing ships,
left to swim to shore or die
in the crushing surf.
A place of pristine beauty, where nature fiercely reigned.
On a pilgrimage of sorts,
I ventured into a place that only some decades
ago had been a death sentence, a prison without the possibility of parole.