Through the Screen Wired Door

Her father was a stranded moon

a faint and far off hue

in the corner of the eye

at a low table and blue stool

set against the sky

beyond the screen wired door

that divides the world from this room.

Solitude sets the angles,

rooftops and distant birds

that primary layer of painted clouds

gracefully waving

as hands clutch the blade

of morning light descending

on the ridge of Le’ahi

as it rises in a diamond above the sea.

He was up early,

walking the rails again,

visible yet pale

as the slightest pain in the legs,

abandoned in outtakes,

in the hint of rain and asphalt,

somewhere a scent,

a self medication

lingers over the absence.

In Banjemin tiger balm eucalyptis,

I’m reminded of your presence.

With oranges and altar incense,

you’ll drift through the corridor.

In sizzling wok and summer evenings,

the past bubbles to the surface.

Brackish thoughts in the kitchen pots

bring invocations of steam

and in the waters the lucid dream

of seeing you sprinkling spices, the final touches.

There’s an ever present wind

that passes through everything.

The chaotic tail whip of the phoenix of myth

or the gentle plumeria scented breeze

that softens the city dissonance,

you knew these contrasts well.

At the base of the valley,

channeled through the gates of Moiliili,

an epicenter of energy and volatility.

Peeling back years of revolution,

like dust from the ceiling fans.

The nights offer no resolution

only the mere suggestion

of shadows in motion.

Silhouettes in jealousy, voices,

rivulets of smoke from an ashtray

drifting in eternity

through the screen wired door

and back again

to animate what remains of you,

merely dormant

dismantling time

until I no longer differentiate

between memory

and the passing of the wind.

In this physical space so long occupied,

l’lI find a continuity

in all the shades you left behind.

This Moon Was a Mirror


I was seeing it through

an enlarged image of my eye.


in an optometrist’s portal,


in the night sky

like a red lantern,

a flowering blood moon

beginning to eclipse.

This thread of lava

upon the edges of sleep,

reveals a mirror,

a thin measure of light

as from a dying star

would accentuate the spheres

on 3AM screens to be

drawn out of cloud cover,

culled from the crude understanding

of dreams, the coincidence

of two orbs,

differing only in scale,

delicately passing

in the dark that reveals

both to each other in time.


Truth was a moon

that waxes and wanes,

receding like the light of certain

smoke obscured beacons,


at times skewed like headlights

beaming into forests.

A blinding or illuminating


at times hardened, until rigid

as a charred landscape

where words offer no traction

in the forgotten fields of history.

Where bonfires

burn all evidence,

blackening the edges

of the past

and what is known.

Nothing is left visible,

no bridge over the swollen flow,

only rock fall and spinning narratives,

headline fear ad infinitum.

Everything appears in transition,

reason is the first to be cast

into volcanic shafts,

covered over by distress

beneath simmering pools

and with each layer

is pushed further under.


Moons above

the dark inlets of sleep,

where beaks seize the dreams

beneath surfaces.

The sunken pebbles,

the unseen watercolors

of an embedded mystery.

Shades in the crane’s river,

given by the baby’s mother,

will float alone

in bathwater.

Serenely seeking the unknown

in a sea with no compass.

Buoyant, weightless,

void of machinery.

Words offer only gravity,

limbs, humanity

as poems branch out in the distance

like a rain tree of bird choruses.

The refrain was just another name for change,

sound passing invisible borders

like footprints on empty beaches.

Estranged swallows

will breach the deep

where the moon disappears

like a blinking eye

on the edge of the horizon

and the watchful sky.

In Dreams of Trains

In dreams of trains

our faces are pressed up against the glass.

Images strung together

through a film reel

of inseparable memory.

In the intervals of freights

passing strings of suppertime light,

we’ll meet by the makeshift fires

like hobos in eternity

on abandoned beaches and under bridges,

amplified by the boxcar musicality

of the past brushing against the present.

Wheels fill the gaps,

the click clack continuity of dreams

becoming the vessels through which trains

connect myriad lives on parallel tracks.

Restless spirits, wayward rambling

to an alarum of shrill yells

that usher in a collision

of chance meetings.

The seared impressions,

through metal and iron,

are the first sparks of insight,

that oncoming light that floods

the narrow rooms of domestication,

a midnight special that breaks the isolation.

We’ll measure the width of impact and expanse

by rails that clear fields and walls,

all the demarcations of a hemmed in life.

The far off grain towers

were the outer reaches

of the imagination

that motion pierces

to separate lives from careful decisions.

Left in the wake of smoke and vagrant coil,

the scent of diesel that evokes travel,

trains were the sudden revision

before all would unravel,

before blackbirds would pick through and scatter

like storm clouds to the periphery,

harbingers of the necessary renewal

that disperses to the four directions

all the stagnant energy.

We’ll gather once again on a tiny sliver of land,

at the end of our youth,

in the mystic continuity of

long shadows and laughter,

in the beach fire’s theater

we become the protagonists

no longer constrained by time.

The ocean waves through the fog,

motioning to the rites of passage

going thousands of miles

if only in consciousness,

towards the far reaches of a folded map

stuffed in the pockets of a weather beaten pack

these disparate lives will always overlap

at the charred edges they’re seared together

in faded photographs

film reels and



In this time of rebirth,

each moment holds

the unbroken cord of illumination.

The simultaneous urge

to fasten words to transformation,

appreciating the night blooming

supple shape of each stream

destined to wander

through a thread of moonlight

that dreams commit

silken to waters

rippling beneath the sylvan leaves

and the animated wind

that heaves through the elders.

It brings the scent of passing showers

tucked into recesses of stone,

this vague and sudden flowering alone

is a dappled light

arrested suddenly,

yet in essence, is forgotten immediately

in the mind that would tarnish perfection

with the rust of future burden,

revealing nothing of the unseen

and subtly binding connection

that comes before a moment’s dissipation.

The Sea Receives


The sea receives

the masquerade of the leaves

the changing glow

of poems in embryo

born on the wind

at season’s end,

the trees are in flames.

Memories remain

the fallen effigies,

reflected on surfaces


writes the verses downstream,

where veins and waterways

relieve their light,

filling cracks in the horizon,

like dreams guiding creativity.


At a break in the coral reef

the sea of sound is a symphony,

a chorus of tiny pebbles

being ground into sand.

Calligraphy to the deepest sensitivity

of knowing nothing can withstand


The passing of time follows the sun.

Various grades of light and expanse,

you cast a line and offer no resistance

to the wind breathing life into the waves

breaking chandeliers,

those crystalized fears

amplified in the solitude

of the beach and the shoreline.


Where the sea meets the sky

there is light and shadow.

A fixed gaze

mixed with sun and spray

plays tricks with the mind,

while the tide calls Aphrodite inside.

Out beyond the break,

my love is buoyant in her own stride,

those moments I agonized

over dreams lost at sea,

of last words and no goodbye.

What has yet to return,

eventually drips back to me.

Weeping behind shades,

tongue tied to eternity,

the waves will answer

in essence what the mind creates

out of turbulence,

how all that has been given

in a moment

can be taken away.

Such is life, love, loss,

scattered between the darkness of thoughts

and the light of letting them go.

The sea receives us

like leaves and tiny pebbles,

the secret source of infinite peaks

as it courses through valleys

in a suspension of belief

that becomes a point of departure.

From the cliff soars an Iwa,

that thief of time,

spreading black wings

it’s shadow and the sea in rhyme

opens a portal.

More spirit than mortal,

we journey to the western shore to find

a leaping stone

where hand in hand over the dark water,

we’ll guide each other into the unknown.

Simultaneous Interaction

To hurry or to hesitate would blemish

the simultaneous interaction of the lines.

The strokes of a steadier hand that paired

the smoother translation of words already written,

soon is burdened with rhyme and corrupted by revision.

Left in an unfinished state, one poised for visitation,

is waiting on a train in a rural place,

where the air is heavy with anticipation.

The scent of burning brush,

the sound of the cicadas before dusk

fades seamlessly into the call of nocturnal tree frogs.

The depot is a clearing amidst the confusion,

in the thickest of swamps, somewhere south

submerged like cypress in black pools of thought.

You’ll fill them with headlights, beaming into the abandon

like a thrust of insight and silence in tandem.

The indecipherable attempts to apprehend

what in essence retreats or withstands being hemmed in.

Peeling back layers of reclamation,

a transformation of what lies within, as opposed to the surroundings,

unraveling congruent lines, convoluted and captive,

from the kudzu vines.

In the places ideas get lost, those intervals between words

that murmur like the cover, where sentences run on tracks

just to end abruptly in nowhere.

You get a perfect picture of that border and wonder

Is this where creativity resides?

Being? Non-being?

Careening through this landscape of collision,

and the shape shifting textures

superimposed on the vision.

Somewhere there’s a clearer picture than mine,

an expression that yields to

the simultaneous interaction of the lines

running unimpeded through the forest

until they’re found in far away outposts of the mind

and in the glimmer of distant tracks.

Blurring Ancient Lines


The nature of these ancient lines

is akin to convergence,

those brackish coastal transitions at the source of the stream.

I see them go down the way the unconscious empties into sleep,

revealing through the overlapping currents of dreams

reflections in a dark pool

a spool for the moon in the muliwai,

like a glimmering fish on the end of a line,

a texture in the undulating sky.

It is sustained through dawn

and her capricious rays

of insight in this variable space

absorbing the heaviest of thoughts

like the shore and the assault of the waves.


Descending grooves at twilight,

the edges of streams yield to the unseen.

Blurring the line between the material and the spirit,

a surfacing replicated on the known,

releasing faces trapped in stone.

On the inverse of trees

the ripples of rain are received

like information from an alternate place.

The energy of a chant transforms water

and through alchemy

gives breath to long dormant entities.

Pulled through the roots to re-emerge

somewhere in the back of the valley,

a fissure in time, the essence of nature.


Ancestral voices speak without water

in the quiet places, the dark haired recesses

accessed by stream beds

like ancient thruways

for the imagination to invent

“What’s back there?”

Pondering from the periphery,

so black there in the distance,

like a portal, an instance of mist

is a meandering medicine on the tips of the ridge.

Pulled by the wind through the fan palms

imprinted in clouds

bloodied by sunsets and tossed

to the landslides of green moss

over primordial rock.

From a certain perspective,

you see that the light writes its history

in petroglyphs and myths on the surfaces.

It reveals the bird man to the blind,

the dog guardian in grail,

the snake that swallows its own tail.

There is the realization that in modern times

the ancient can still prevail,

can still lie here in parallel

in a world disguised by a thin veil

with symbols to decipher the enigma of their presence.

In the Aftermath of Storms

In the aftermath of storms

there is the longing to unravel illusions,

to decipher the necessity of distance,

that invisible enemy between us.

Freed from the confinement of ceilings,

where the heaving chest of the night

was a heavy wind bearing down on the windows

and rooftops like a red phoenix unfurled

in the imagination.

Highlighted by lightning, it undergoes a rebirth.

The needle point of the Hongwanji Temple

was plugged directly into the sky,

harnessing the weather, grounding the energy,

scattering leaves to run marathons

all night through the empty streets.

Nothing bends to the will of nature like the trees.

Shaking free of what is unnecessary,

you’re left with the essence and the spirit.

In the aftermath we can verify

that the riots that leave debris

weren’t merely an aspect of sleep.

Through the kaleidoscope of canopies

we see the sky is no longer in tatters.

Limbs stretched and battered,

still stand rooted to resistance.

All through the storm we cling to our positions,

like A’ama crabs to the black rocks of heavy restrictions.

They’ll insist we go nowhere until the next wave passes.

Gripped and transfixed by satellite images,

those slow moving monsters drawing near to tiny islands.

Dwarfed by the unconscious,

we’ll look to the deep to justify the fear.

In the aftermath everything is eerily quiet.

Real or imagined, the scars on the land are evident,

even the incoherent ramblings

of those who sleep in doorways

have taken their grievances elsewhere.

No cars on the road, though the gas stations never closed,

no stoplights to slow the ride straight through to Chinatown.

Looking among the markets and the overturned fruit,

following the scent of jasmine incense in the pursuit

of something material, something alive.

The once bustling city is now like a fish on ice.

The harbor ships, anchored and tied down.

Silent are the masts above gang planks

where no congregation awaits.

It’s a landscape of closed gates,

a vacant wasteland of boarded shopfronts.

In the aftermath there’s a longing

for the lively din of a cafe.

To sit and eavesdrop

on the espresso pounding words into type,

breathing life into the spaces

dominated by the headlines

if only to defy and cut through the lies between us.

They say the storm just missed us,

minimal damage but there will be another,

there’s always another excuse to shelter

and from each other maintain the distance.

Down by the shoreline the ocean offers no resistance.

Passing its amorphous border

to become absorbed in something larger

than discordant thoughts.

A suspension of will

to an entity no longer paternal,

it never insisted it was protecting.

In the aftermath of being besieged,

it is ironically the sea,

once seen as the source of the calamity,

that now brings a sense of serenity.

The sea exists somehow parallel,

and through the embrace of the elemental

it has the power to transform

in the aftermath of any storm.

Aihualama in Darkness and Light

aihualama light shade


During the day, when darkness gathers in the shade

and waits for the sun to wane

between clefted rock and fan palm shadowplay

spilling like an ink over the forest floor,

there is a filling in the cracks

the way the pen interacts

with light and dark to facilitate the change.

The light that is shapeshifting from view,

tempers the fade with a golden hue,

arresting for what seemed an eternity

in the ebb and flow of the afternoon.



In the labyrinth of dim-lit paths and somber corners,

the myth of Kahalaopuna permeates.

From the highest reaches of thought

from ridge lines shaped into a profile,

it spreads over a solemn ramble

between the cathedral rows

of red bark and flickering candle.

The mottled rays

strewn and stained beneath the canopy,

lends an ambient glare

to the incense that hangs in the air

with a hint of Eucalyptus.

The notes of a passing stream

snaking between the variations of quiet.

Light and shadow, sound and echo,

a white-tipped thrush

brushes the dark with sudden communication

fluttering from limb to limb

until the last of its sound

gets lost in the silent film,

muffled in the dense coils of Banyans.



When the forest is an internal state,

every step is a thought

every left lends fabric to the dream

of the self that fills the space

between darkness and the birth of words

between rockfall and the scars of collision

between the origin of mystery and the orator’s revision.

A swarth of light brings a reprieve

from the weight of time and entrenched belief.

With the rain a renewal,

as paths switchback towards a view

of a knife’s edge over the void

on which you ascend, as if on a thread,

returning to that of substance again.



Myth, from a hidden source in the jagged cliff,

would course through grooves of rock and softened earth.

Like a lifeblood for the roots,

nourishing the pursuit of the past

in cool heights and shimmering pools.

The wind scattered patterns of leaves,

plaited wrinkles on the sylvan streams,

whispering from behind the chaos of the falls

a rhythm in ceaseless shhhhhh,

a gaze in vertical awe

where the light retreats , the waters fall

from the mossy contours, from a stoic face

that will not betray the location of burial caves

nor their processions.

By singing shell and sacred moon,

by torch and by trail,

they’ll pass through Aihualama,

through cottages of the plantation era,

even Tudor mansions

offer no obstruction,

as the past and the present is bridged

by a moment’s reconstruction

luminous in the darkness of time

is the light of memory.

Dawn Emerges

dawn untitled

In the serenity of a mountain morning,

dawn emerges from a darkened robe.

Along the Bron- Yr- Aur borders

and ever changing folds

she tempers the coals

with the cool breath of night,

keeping hillsides from burning

and transforming everything to gold.


You are the marriage of opposites,

the light strands sequenced in a braid,

two faces coiling through sleep,

the sun coalesced with the shade.

In the mushroom clouds of this shifting

through the zeitgeist of these times,

you pull a blanket over the fear

that hangs in the air

as sure as the expectancy of a new day.

Your dexterous fingers turn the page,

luminous as a laser

that naturally knows the way

through misshapen clouds.

Through the Tao of sculptural precision,

you reveal the light parts,

the porcelain in night’s revision.

Bear witness to this masterclass in adapting,

the emerging image by degrees.


It is true that you dwell there,

though I cannot know you as my pupil.

For you taught me to listen through the distortion,

to see the crystal coursing

through every passing action.

In the crane’s graceful transitions

on the banks of the estuary,

you’re the wings of white light

ascending from the dark of the periphery.

A neck disappearing

with a feather and a ripple,

slender, underwater,

gathering in the edges

of a timeless brook

invigorating with the medicine

of soft murmurs and whispering,

breaking the noxious transmission of

virus and confusion.


Dawn is the calm amidst danger

that leaves its imprint everywhere.

A balm over the psychic wounds

we perceive clearer

as she pulls from her pouch a sacred mirror

smooth as an undisturbed lake.

Everything under the sky

now unmasked can dab their face.

Reborn daily, healed through creativity.

If only temporarily, this reprieve

penetrates the anticipation

without force or fist but gently disguised

in mist that asks nothing of the ridge,

all along Wa’ahila she dances.

I watch this from a distance

her entrance, these footprints,

the undisturbed parchment

where the spirit finds nourishment.

Simultaneously quick and deliberate,

she remain undefined,

opening her book of changes

with words written brightly,

then fading on subsequent pages,

always scattered by the wind

towards the horizon

as the day begins in the creases

where the night grows dim.