creative ramblings & reverie

Monday, May 30, 2011

Photograph at Kona

For Memorial Day, this photo which captures in spirit the yellow fish which my father and I used to watch on the Kona Coast together; an experience which I put into a three-part poem, and endless other things I wrote after he died.  Here are some fragments—

December 1996

My room smells of coffee and plumeria; the garden below is full of rain and mynahs, with rain clouds rising like white smoke from the hills across the harbor in the almost-dark.

The waves are high and white, crossing the harbor.

There is the garden of Japanese lanterns (red paper lanterns strung between the palm trees, like a celebration); the garden of yellow birds (tiny, yellow, with orange heads); the garden with the Japanese tombstone, beside the chapel, on the other side of the chapel from the koi ponds; the bougainvillea gardens, on the ocean side; the garden up from the rock pools (the lawn, the wooden bridge, the deck the stone paved terrace)—each has its own mood, its time of day.

Sea turtles at Honaunau Bay, reddish patterned backs like agates.  We take leis to the ocean there—orchids for my father.  The wisdom and serenity of the turtles could be his (or, withdrawing into the shell?  that is more me—what would it be for him, his ideal form?)

Green kayak stroking like a brush in Japanese painting.

The Manago Hotel with its big screened windows open to the ocean breezes makes me think, for no reason, or for the smell of cooking meat and fish, pensioni around the Italian lakes:  good lunch at simple tables (the old woman sitting in front on the road, though that was another road, Holualoa, all the galleries up on the hill).

The quiet joinings of flowers and deep pools:  where Hawaii started for me.  The mysteries of warm rain on standing water; fish ponds in fragrant gardens at dusk after dark in shadows out of all that fierce sun.  Reflections deeper than deep.  Past and future joined.

The zen sound of water leaving sand:  the slide of a quiet wave back down the flat beach—exhale.  ("Relax, breathe, feel the earth.")  A fine sandpaper sound.  (The poetry of island sounds in "Il Postino.")

Two other kayaks, crossing, parallel, fasten the bamboo leaves to the stalk.

For Christmas trees, rough glass balls like fishing floats.


(See also these journal excerpts at Kona.)

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