A place at once familiar
where forest paths converge
at a clearing, the old ruin of Kaniakapupu,
that enclave of unseen ushering,
canvass for myriad footprints
etched by moon glow
drawing the spirits through.
By dawn the silence is transforming
winged voices in the recesses
of tree snails naming it in praises.
It stands regal and half-lost,
the rustling leaves
pantomimed in light and shadow,
it’s secret language,
the calligraphy of what is absent.
Pulling the imagination
like a hala mat over the grounds,
one gets the sense of great feasts
suddenly not so long ago.
The hint of a trail,
ancient and overgrown,
leads deeper into memory,
collecting itself under the emerald canopy
of contours illuminated
before night can collapse so quickly
and all is lost.
In the hidden pools of Nuuanu
a nourishment resides.
Fed from on high,
the water falls
and blends in reverence.
By this and by wind
the walls are weathered
silent sentinels of what is hidden
within grooves and caves
the barely perceptible
imprints of all that have passed
into the gnarled limbs of giant banyans
a repository of spirit and energy
positioned between worlds.
By night, torchlight on leaves
as the wind grieves
through the crevices of its kingdom
and what’s left will surely dance.
Down valley, a palace of perfect symmetry.
Stones aligned and in harmony
between the gates
there’s rest for the weary,
under a parasol
the queen leaves years ago.
Iolani, full of spirit,
drifting in from four directions,
all are equally fragile
under the immensity of sky.
A raindrop clings to a branch with all its might,
like a proud people to their past,
building for that climatic moment
falling into the breadth of history,
they are shot through subterranean streams
to the depths of the sea
to again take root
like a seed on the seat in a great drift.
The passing clouds through the break
motion for escape,
above the spinning wheels of cityscape
and all the disruption,
know that what is binding
lies in waiting
in the quiet corners
baiting time for your return again.