Creative Writing Excerpts from Punalu'u (An Interim)
When the rain stopped, the stories started. Stretching legs, opening hearts, everything awaited our arrival with a keen calmness. The droplets that lingered spun worlds of microtubules. Layers upon layers upon layers of movement, contained but not caught in the tiniest of reservoirs. Elements danced, fire licking ever upwards, the ever-present-presence of the earth’s grounding embrace. By morning the breeze’s breath blew new life into every one of us.
There is a child playing with a water gun from Walmart. As he shoots streams of water, he is unaware of the WW2 bombs that fell decades before, just meters away. He is unaware that the water he shoots has sustained a people for centuries.
The eyes of a five year old do not harken to history. For him, the world is to live for and the world lives for him. If I were to sit and wait, when would he understand the sand he walks on and the air he inhales. When would he have his first moment of curiosity—not for what IS here but for what WAS here? The footprints of this place are as woven together as the stratification of earth’s crust. A white man in an aloha shirt from Costco sits on a rock that Hawaiians once scooped pa’akai from. A lifeguard yells warnings to turtle conquistadors. A young man sits and writes, trying to take it all in. And yet there is a beauty to it all. The remnants of a pier. The colors, smiles, languages that pass freely through my line of sight. I can try to observe everything in front of me. But what am I forgetting? What am I unaware of?
people walking past me
their feet trudging through black sea,
taking some, leaving some.
if each granule were a moment
i’d count them all,
sort them into jars.
one per year, ten per decade,
a hundred per century,
infinity per us.
may i trudge to and fro through
until there is nothing left to see?
and even then when home again
these moments will stick to
me for days on end.
shedding obsidian scales
on my floor, my blankets, my bags,
congregating to be sorted and counted
over and over again
oh, time god,
sitting up there on your big robust cloud.
maybe wielding lightning bolts, maybe rays of sun.
definitely sporting a toga.
when will you descend from ether,
wet the trim of toga in our raging sea?
born of your passing, fed from your hand,
agonized by your promises
i live for you.
i live to meet you face to face.
to study that huge brass watch of yours
and fixate my own name:
that’s where i’ll start and that’s where i’ll stay.
please, dear time god,