Truth, From out of Darkness

ULUPO4 night

Truth, an abandoned office

whose walls peel away the layers of the last occupant,

as if everything was left in haste,

cabinets were flung open

in searching the darkness

spreading between files

that should have remained closed.

Be careful what you search for.

A forbidden glance lays the groundwork,

accomplished beyond human labor,

chains that hold the vision together,

so Mana could gather on platforms

illuminated by lightning storms

reflected in the mirror of marshland underneath.

Truth, we receive brief flashes.

From out of the darkness, Ulupo stands

monument to the mystery,

paths lead through the enigma

of how it was built in one evening.

Stone by stone, this ancient lineage

fills in the blanks

as fleeting shadows break

from torch-lit Lauhala.

The Ko’olaus are infused along the rim

by the light of the moon

so you can drink it in

from the Punchbowl to the palace ground

there was no sound, no words could do it justice.

Truth, like a liquid,

slips from out of the cracks

you cover with silence.

On the far side of the Pali

the white seminary would glow outerworldly

from the base of the mountain

where you take that bend sharply,

all the way to the old drive-in theater

to where they found her car,

abandoned on the far end of Kapaa.

Answers were elusive, like hitchhikers,

pick them up at your own risk,

lighting cigarettes with only their fingertips.

a glance in the rear view mirror and they’re gone,

the last thing you’ll see

before the trunk of a tree meets your windshield.

Truth, like a false grill light,

is a masquerade of questions,

What happened that night on the way back from town?

Would a moderate light guide through the fog that surrounds us?

The search for order

along the yellowing border of stories with no closure,

it gives a sense of place to the present void.

Taking pictures in the dark,

spiderwebs positioned for our breath,

the wet forest glistened

in the breadth of our flash.

Finding the path,

muddy steps murdered our pant legs

while cat eyes acclimate

to the darkened shapes

dangling in a tattered landscape,

the sky behind clouds,

suspended there like truth,

dependent on what can be seen, felt or heard,

or so they say.

The scraping branches on Moiliili rooftops break the reverie.

You had fallen asleep in the empty lot

behind the now derelict office

of the late Dr. Grant.

His name still visible in a dangling placard

that hangs and sways over the doors

that led you to all these dark corners.

Truth is never condemned

but rather transformed

for each subsequent generation,

it depends on the receptivity.

Distracted by carefully constructed facades,

know that some places remain,

through the tunneled mountain

at the very heart

of what cannot be divulged so plain,

the day will be drained of light

and night in its scented bloom

will resume at Ulupo

where it always has been

for those who seek it out.


The Old Pali Road Part 3

old pali road 064

Morgan’s Corner

Winding, ever winding
amongst the long quiet.
You wonder when it will end?
As its painted lines
seem to unwind
from an infinite spool.
Only the unsettling thoughts
are left to drool into view.
Only decay,
fallen fruit and turned over trees in red clay,
these are the ones that stay.
Mr. Grant said it best,
that perhaps Morgan’s Corner is
“Nothing but a dark parking lot for the imagination”
for sinuous thoughts snaking between eventual ends.
It is about greetings and what grasped you?
About the fleeting who never last with you
past the next bend of banyans.
They say you should never whistle
when you are under their swaying branches.
They are like pendulums playing scenes of mystery,
urban legends whispered over and over.
This intermediary for history to repeat itself.
Imprints beyond that barbed wire entrance,
no trespassing back decades
to a murder site once cordoned off with police tape.
Past the scent of rainforest incense
and the moss ridden cylinders of trash and debris,
past the point of no return.
There’s a half-fastened noose in a tree
past the crossroads, a hairpin turn
cathedraled even during the day,
canopied by its terrible story
under the gnarled roots of this curiosity.
Past the fascination that beckons you forward
into the unknown.
A draw that originates somewhere
beneath the cliffs in this sacred grove.
Here where the jungle creeps over the road
and doesn’t disclose so simply its past
or the secrets that sleep underneath the concrete.
Mystery motions to loosen the wheel just a bit,
soaked in rain,
grounded in its tracks again,
there to remain under the Pandanus tree.

Cultures, history, shaped in the dying.
Shading the discovery of ritual.
Sketched to become visual,
some are whole, some are fractal,
sliced into and erased by the moving landscape.
It proceeds from some mysterious wellspring
to suggest to those who come under its spell
that not all is material.
Delicate and withdrawn,
we sit in ignorance along the borders of our tragedy.
But there is a tendency to take that corner too sharply
and there are no second chances at Morgan’s Corner.
What sordid rendezvous happens just off of the shoulder?
Under the eaves of great trees and out of sight?
You feel many have died here.
Claimed by its decaying walls.
Memories strung up in vines
that overhang and strangle the light.
So, if you go to Morgan’s Corner on a moonless midnight,
proceed cautiously,
for in your folly you may unwittingly
become part of its legacy.
Like the damned that went before you,
hung up there for eternity
or like fallen trees
were dragged across the road unceremoniously.
Through the frame of a waking dream,
suddenly limbs become tangible,
roots graspable, tugging at you.
All we ghost from real trauma,
from real armor over all the sorrow
that has been written here.
All the terrible drama buried from long ago,
you could swear something was sharing it with you.
Remember, Morgan’s Corner takes root in the mind.
To yourself rationalize,
“Is it really all within?”
The sudden snap at the periphery,
that flicker of movement,
you’re unconvinced
but that could just be the wind.

old pali road 065
Further reading from the dark side of the Pali: