The old ways disintegrate like waves in a lost break.
When sand is shipped in
and the coral is swept away.
The floral air
once fragrant and clear
now hangs like a vog in the atmosphere.
Acid rains from dark clouds
sewerage stains in Ala Wai ripples
luminescent abstracts from street lamps
replaces the moon whose stamps
once brilliantly rested on an ink-black surface.
Now in the rush of heavy traffic
that moves without purpose
always crowding its way into the picture
castaway in a film-clipped motion
to the currents of a discarded pool.
Father time is a deaf mute
and silence settles no score.
Voices were drowned out
and struggle settled like silt on the ocean floor.
You can hear them at times in the blowhole moaning
as if mourning their passing.
Their muffled cries still trapped in the land,
in the gasp of wind
through shattered palace windows
or on the tide-battered rock wall,
who takes down their cryptic scrawl?
Where the waves crawl
and antiquity collapses into the sea,
note with grave irony,
that which was once so powerful,
still disperses easily.
A pre-statehood Hawaii,
soon to disintegrate into waves of outsiders,
strangling what was once pristine,
replacing with industry and enterprise
with highways and highrise
greed in its civilized disguise,
native land in a tourniquet tied
in high wires and eyesore telephone towers
that stand out like tumors on the sacred peaks.
There’s plenty of reception
to pose the question,
Does progress hear through the static and speak
of all that cannot be replaced?