Archives for posts with tag: Hawaii

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A Letter from Maui
by Daniel McGinn

I woke up this morning with the birds.
The doves began cooing just before the sun came up over the volcano.
We slept with the sliding glass door open to allow in the tropical breeze.
The beach is right across the street. I warm the teakettle on a tiny stove
and make a cup of coffee, fresh ground dark roast in a drip cone
and listen as one bird after another joins the sunrise chorus.
I wish you could be here to hear it.

I make breakfast while trying not to wake Lori.
Sometimes I slice apple bananas, pineapple and mangos
and eat them from a cereal bowl with banana bread on the side.
Today I cut a papaya in half, scooped out the seeds
and drizzled it with lime juice.

There are papayas growing in arms reach of our front door.
I like it here, on the second floor, with the papayas and the birds.
A rooster just crowed, alerting me that chickens are awake
and pecking seeds in our parking lot.

It’s a quarter mile to my favorite stretch of beach.
I pass fruit stands by the side of the road and the fish taco truck
where we can get shrimp over rice with capers and garlic.
I always double-check the church parking lot
to see if the guy is setting up barbeque pits.
It only happens once or twice a week but when it does
we always buy a rotisserie chicken basted in hula-hula sauce.
Lori and I never finish a whole chicken and our dog isn’t here to help us
so for the first time in my life I started making chicken salad.
I didn’t know I liked chicken salad.

I leave Lori sleeping with the breeze blowing in the studio apartment.
Dressed in shorts, a light shirt and flip-flops, I head for the beach.
I walk in the sand, and then I walk in the water. I do this every day.
I walk until I forget I’m walking. I talk to myself until I stop talking
and I notice things.

The shadow of a crane as it flies overhead, morning clouds,
the breaking waves, broken coral washed ashore with sea glass,
a ghost crab scuttling back to its hole, myna birds and cardinals
landing in the trees, those beautiful trees…

PHOTO: “Morning walk, Maui” (photo by Daniel McGinn, January 2016).

McGinn Bio

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel McGinn‘s poems about his wife, his dog, the ocean and the moon have appeared numerous anthologies and publications. Daniel has an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He and his wife, poet Lori McGinn, are natives of Whittier, California. He is the author of 1000 Black Umbrellas (Write Bloody Publishing, 2011).

Author photo by Lori McGinn.

Lagier-2
Autumn on Kauai
by Jennifer Lagier

Pele’s feisty roosters screech,
challenge the audacity of daybreak,
chase pompous Nene geese and timid doves.
Their crowing grates nerves, transform to dream demons.

Rising sun sizzles against palms, pines, hibiscus.
Blushing rain clouds float above scarlet ti trees,
monster philodendron, banana leaf jungle.
Swollen cumulus billow, suffused with tropical colors.

Blustery blue storms sweep ashore,
dump warm silver payload.
Battered plumeria revert to bare limbs,
autumn reflected in an absence of flowers.

Transported from arid California shores,
even the most austere succumb
to sensual saturation, perfumed head winds.
Brilliant, broken gardens let the soul blossom.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: The photo above was taken in October 2014 from the patio outside our condo. The photo of me below was taken at the same location.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I spend a week each year in Princeville, Kauai. While there, I bask in beauty, scribble poetry like a woman possessed.

Lagier

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published nine books of poetry as well as in a variety of literary magazines. Her latest book, Camille Vérité, was published by FutureCycle Press. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, maintains web sites for Homestead Review, Monterey Poetry Review, Ping Pong Literary Journal and misfitmagazine. She also helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Visit her website at http://jlagier.net.

mike_dawson
My Father Dreams of Ships
by Trish Saunders

My father dreams of ancient banyan trees.
He sees ghosts in the tall temple grass,
smells rain on abandoned sugar cane.
He watches the ocean and waits.
Lately, he sees a tall ship in Honolulu Harbor,
silent and crewless, bobbing with the waves,
and my father thinks it is
there for him.

Listen, I tell him, that ship is all in your mind
,
but he counters, You see it too.
It’s true. I see it, pale and shifting
like Molokai sands.

My father dreams of battleships in flames,
and torpedoes flying over the Ko’olau.
He sees a young girl pin a hibiscus
behind her left ear 
as she descends the stairs.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Sunset Tides” (Hawaii) by Mike Dawson. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

Saunders

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Trish Saunders worked as a journalist, technical writer, and caregiver for her parents before she began writing poems. She has work published or forthcoming in Blast Furnace Press, Off The Coast, Seattle Poetry Bus, Carcinogenic Poetry, and other journals. Formerly from Seattle, she lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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X-RAY
by Lee Ann Roripaugh

My mother carried the chest x-ray
in her lap on the plane, inside
a manila envelope that read
Do Not Bend and, garnished
with leis at the Honolulu Airport,
waited in line—this strange image
of ribcage, chain-link vertebrae,
pearled milk of lung, and the murky
enigmatic chambers of her heart
in hand. Until it was her turn
and the immigration officer held
the black-and-white film up
to sun, light pierced clean through
her, and she was ushered from one
life through the gate of another,
wreathed in the dubious and illusory
perfume of plucked orchids.
***
“X-Ray” is an excerpt from Lee Ann Roripaugh‘s poem “Transplanting.” Read the poem in its entirety at poetryfoundation.org.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Wyoming native and second-generation Japanese American, Lee Ann Roripaugh earned an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University, Bloomington. She is the author of Beyond Heart Mountain (1999), selected by Ishmael Reed for the National Poetry Series; Year of the Snake (2004); and On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year (2009). Roripaugh’s awards include a Bush Artist Foundation Individual Fellowship and the 1995 Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize.

Image: “Orchid X-Ray” by Albert Koestler, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at greatbigcanvas.com.

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JANUARY
by W. S. Merwin

So after weeks of rain
at night the winter stars
that much farther in heaven
without our having seen them
in far light are still forming
the heavy elements
that when the stars are gone
fly up as dust finer
by many times than a hair
and recognize each other
in the dark traveling
at great speed and becoming
our bodies in our time
looking up after rain
in the cold night together

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in 1927, W.S. Merwin served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2010-2011. He is the author of over 50 books of poetry, prose, and translations — and has  earned every major literary prize, including the National Book Award in 2005 for Migration: New and Selected Poems and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in1971 and 2009. He lives in Hawaii where he raises endangered palm trees. Visit his website at merwinconservancy.org.

PHOTO: “January 2014 night sky” by Ruben Kier. According to astronomy.com: “Some of the brightest stars of the winter sky are within the constellation Orion the Hunter, allowing it to be recognized from both rural dark skies and light-polluted suburbs.”

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RAIN AT NIGHT
by W.S. Merwin

This is what I have heard

at last the wind in December
lashing the old trees with rain
unseen rain racing along the tiles
under the moon
wind rising and falling
wind with many clouds
trees in the night wind

after an age of leaves and feathers
someone dead
thought of this mountain as money
and cut the trees
that were here in the wind
in the rain at night
it is hard to say it
but they cut the sacred ‘ohias then
the sacred koas then
the sandalwood and the halas
holding aloft their green fires
and somebody dead turned cattle loose
among the stumps until killing time

but the trees have risen one more time
and the night wind makes them sound
like the sea that is yet unknown
the black clouds race over the moon
the rain is falling on the last place

“Rain at Night” is found in Rain in the Trees, Poems by W.S. Merwin(Knopf, 1988), available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in 1927, W.S. Merwin served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2010-2011. He is the author of over 50 books of poetry, prose, and translations — and has  earned every major literary prize, including the National Book Award in 2005 for Migration: New and Selected Poems and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in1971 and 2009. He lives in Hawaii where he raises endangered palm trees. Visit his website at merwinconservancy.org.

Photo: “Rain Forest, Hawaii,” by Ariel Robbins, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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RAIN AT NIGHT

by W.S. Merwin

This is what I have heard

at last the wind in December
lashing the old trees with rain
unseen rain racing along the tiles
under the moon
wind rising and falling
wind with many clouds
trees in the night wind

after an age of leaves and feathers
someone dead
thought of this mountain as money
and cut the trees
that were here in the wind
in the rain at night
it is hard to say it
but they cut the sacred ‘ohias then
the sacred koas then
the sandalwood and the halas
holding aloft their green fires
and somebody dead turned cattle loose
among the stumps until killing time

but the trees have risen one more time
and the night wind makes them sound
like the sea that is yet unknown
the black clouds race over the moon
the rain is falling on the last place

“Rain at Night” is found in Rain in the Trees, Poems by W.S. Merwin (Knopf, 1988), available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in 1927, W.S. Merwin served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2010-2011. He is the author of over 50 books of poetry, prose, and translations — and has  earned every major literary prize, including the National Book Award in 2005 for Migration: New and Selected Poems and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in1971 and 2009. He lives in Hawaii where he raises endangered palm trees. Visit his website at merwinconservancy.org.

Photo: “Rain Forest, Hawaii,” by Ariel Robbins, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED