The Heavy Cost of Light


In time darkness is softened along the edges,

losing a grip on the rim of the moon

but still visible in the shaded pools of Nuuanu.

Mostly unseen, this transitioning

into morning surfaces

serene streams of penciled lines

drawing out the movement,

the illusion of time,

how all is subject to its division,

a revision of the bliss we knew as children.

Our passage, an indentation in someone’s memory

and nothing besides belief in something grander,

a glimmer in thickets of bamboo and banyan.

In the translation of a moment’s whim

the word gets out like a wind

through the gnarled branches of past instances.

What should have stayed within palace walls,

escapes like a confession

and in this expression

we diminish what is sacred,

wringing out any secrets with a reckless pretension

as we transition online and appeal for attention.

Photos shrink the moment,

while egos inflate with over exposure,

every posture crowding the foreground

obscures nature until it is rendered irrelevant.

Under compulsive scrutiny

we cannot escape the desecration of those walls.

It comes inadvertently from increased foot traffic

in the worn out light,

an oppressive weight as it falls into disrepair.



The Unseen Author

misty konahuanui

Along the knife’s edge of a volcanic ridge

upon a poised moment in which

despite the peril

Daniel inched forward to meet

the motion of clouds under his feet.

The trajectory of one life,

one flightless bird,

one tiny pebble falling from the peaks

to join the clouds.

Barely a word was uttered,

yet voices still fill the valley

with this story of caution,

forever suspended in mystery.

The sudden ending

passes between the lips of this author

into the impact of silence, pinned forever

with the bones of the old

left in unmarked graves,

unseen purveyor of secrets

sealing the entrances to caves.

Where time doesn’t lapse,

the mana is trapped

in earthen vaults where nothing is pillaged

between the city and the village

rainwater coursing through rock

that eternal slip

akin to an ocean’s walk

on a beach it has yet to create,

work we will not live long enough to appreciate

sunlight mingling with the waterfall

we can recall but not recreate

when smuggled into notebooks.

Here it plummets from cool heights.


the unseen author

of rockfall and quiet beauty.

Seated beneath this depository,

this effortless plunge.

What more can be said or done?

What is necessary to be at one with that which emerges slowly?

The light shifting amphitheater,

vocals from an interlude of drums,

how music informs the wild spaces

and clouds break the distortion

in billowing flowers blooming

from these heights

through the textured canopy

hiding in this jaguar’s belly,

distended in fur

shamanic chants in the blur of dark shapes

juxtaposed on the lightening sky

like paw prints haunting the riverbed

raindrops rippling phantom leads

following each,

like a glittering piece of some puzzle

that is tomorrow’s sky

streaming through the cathedral cracks

as if through stained glass

illuminating the path

that will see you through the depths of its tract.




Foundations Uncovered

Kamehameha  III summer palace

Roots pushing upwards

over the landscape with abandon

through the windows of this edifice

seemingly at random.

A palace for the discarded

in a sea of bamboo

its passages unguarded

foundations uncovered

where once royal origins started

to decay.

In the emptiness

where once you would roam

protected from the common by kapu

now ficus limbs and wisteria call home

until in time it forms an invasive canopy

that obscures all ancestry.

Ceilingless, still you could be a refuge

a stone anchor for this journey

that has moved and shifted its locale endlessly,

alternating between light and darkness

in valleys veiled in mist

dipped in umbrage

downstream it falls

along a disappearing path it calls


illuminated momentarily

by a cascade of light

restless, displaced

into shadow passes

far from the world of the masses

the phones, the screens, the ego schemes

disconnected from social classes,

the mindless chatter

in spurious cities of false dreams

planting seeds of deceit

that all can achieve the elite.

Oh to retire beneath the leaves

to become small again

through the doormouth it recedes

like time, drifting away on cloud rafts

above a dense canopy.

The imagination,

from a tenuous position

is sealed underneath the great trees.

Sustenance for the poet

nourishment for the melancholy,

its time has passed

for some it lays there still

blending in to lava rock and crown land

but like a shadow on the mountain

it has disappeared again.