Life Stage


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I hope I’m not a “pantaloon” in my middle-age

Clowning around in my own self-importance.

with paunchy sides and drooping eyes

Silver–lined hair wanting repair,

Laughing at my own self-imposed despair.

 

I want to be elegant in my carriage

With eyes bright like morning’s light,

And poetic tongue—quick and lithe

to praise the soft petals of delight

And sing my urgent heart’s desire.

 

Who wants to be a doddering fool

With slack mind flowing with repetition

Of unsung dreams, and hopeless monologues

Of how things aren’t what they used to be.

 

Instead, take me to your snow-clad mountains

To drink, to taste, to breathe such majesty

And let my blood run wild like maple syrup

Such sweet infusion of sun and scent and

Spring me, pour me, take my every starlight fervor

For if “All the world is a stage”, I’ll be alive

til’ my last bow, when petals fall, my day is done

without so much of a second childhood.

 

April 1, 2015

*Note: Shakespeare writes of the seven stages of mankind, the 6th being the Pantaloon.

About Face


 

Fern shoot

Fern shoot

“You bave?”

“What?”

“Bave?”

“What? Brave? Bathe?”

“BAVE? You no understand English?”

Her Lahaina sweat in the cracks of her neck,

Her pork face and Malolo lips

In the 2nd grade bathroom,

In my face

She shoved me against the wall

She backed me against a stall

 

I thought…

 

I was brave,

My sisters were torn from me,

My brothers ripped from me

My mother wielding knife in hands

With intent to kill herself

And war and death and Vietnam

On T.V, crying eyes saying good-bye,

And me hiding under the bed,

Cops looking for me in the neighborhood,

Where I punched dirty-faced JoJo,

and made his nose bleed  on Golinda Street,

And then they took us all,

Because she was “sick”

And they sent me away

To live on a boat.

 

I bathed,

Maybe I had moldy lips

Like the woman in a sea shanty

That my aunt sang out at sea,

After bathing us with buckets

Of ocean, with our sun savored skin,

Between California and Hawaii

We begged her to sing,

So she unwrapped her guitar

With a leather cloth and bungee cord

And sang to us at sunset,

“Yo Ho…”

Flying fish springing onto wooden deck

Patched with marlon string.

 

“I Bave,” I said, “I Bave.”

I looked her in the eye, and she backed away,

her face didn’t know what to say

and I laughed,

“Yeah, I Bave, what about you?”

March 30, 2015

 

Born Barefoot


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I was born barefoot

And learned to walk on rocks,

And hot pavement,

Stubbed my toes a lot,

And packed them with red soil

To heal in soft earth.

Tough Samoan feet

That felt hot in shoes

And didn’t fit the narrow, prissy,

Slender girl look.

“Wide!”

I said with pride,

“With rubber tips” that could

Scuffle and kick

Like the best of boys,

My feet took a beating.

But in summer,

They found the shapes of trees

With toes that gripped

The coconut, papaya, mango, guava trunks,

I was the mastermind of gathering fruit

With bulging shirt in teeth

Climbing over fences,

Pedaling bikes,

A solid, fast get-away.

 

I was told,

“Stay outside, your feet are dirty”

And I did.

Who wants lacy white socks that itch,

Or ugly pointed shoes that pinch?

I was born barefoot,

And was proud of it.

March 28, 2015

evolving


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Lead me over stony pebbles

And deep-rooted paths

To the sounds of the universe

Evolving

Empty words

Trailing like the tail

Of a comet

Lighting my mind on fire.

For now,

It is only the smell of the earth that matters,

Rotting leaves and dark soil

In the fragment of bark

And small things that

Have been buried awhile.

 

March 28, 2015

 

 

Exhaling and Waters Lifting


Rainy day in Pahala

Rainy day in Pahala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That opening into the universe

Where prayers move in and out with the wind

And silent rivers move

Ferocious in strength,

Yet calm

Waters lifting,

Trickling droplets

Of mind

Yearning,

Acquiescing

to accept, without protesting,

The current,

The flow,

Letting go.

 

March 28, 2015

 

Grounding

And the sound of doves

And the distant sound of people moving

Awoke me

And I dare not move

Less my breathing change

And daylight slip away

Before I open my eyes

Exhaling

Slowly.

 

March 27, 2015

 

For A Moment


sunrise

sunrise

For a moment

The silence had roots

And clung to me like

A light cloak

With a bed of stars

Gleaming in its velvet folds

Black, purple, light

Settling in for

A deep night.

 

And I breathed,

Again,

Deeply.

 

 

Clearing My Mind


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Can’t stop glancing, Wondering,

Hello?

Can’t stop clicking, Looking,

Are you there?

hundreds of miles, in a second

to get there,

fingers aching, to send

heartstrings to the universe,

waiting, agonizing for some reply,

Instantaneously Nerve-racking

symbol keys, wanting to smile,

Wanting to make hearts,

Make love in cyberspace

Quickly with two fingers, and sometimes

My thumb, over thousands of miles

Wanting to know why

You are silent.

 

And now my phone is off

And words are scrambling out of space

Detaching from an exterior sense

And turning inward

To clear my mind

Of all instants

Of hearts and smiles

And I Love you’s

Spattered expectantly,

ambiguously

 

My heart wants to be filled

With your intentions

Words

And broken phrases

To fill the gaps,

A chinking of cracks

missing you

Wanting to kiss you with

sleepy words

Curled in bed yearning

Like a cat

In a dog’s world.

Anxiety


 

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Anxiety eats me up

Uncounseled

By the up-side-down moon,

Is not content with Venus,

Or Maui’s nets dragging the Universe

Of stars, plowing the planets in a surging sea.

A throw-net of river stones

Plunging me into blue skies,

Tears me apart with shark teeth

And sea shells,

Kills me with patience,

Ka-bobs me with sharp spikes

And holds me over a keawe wood fire

To burn hot, and clear, and bright.

 

Anxiety drives me into the soil

An O’o stick on stone lamenting

Where planting fingers linger near,

Binds me,

Ties me,

Strings me,

Stakes me,

And leaves me

Empty,

A fluttering Hawk’s feather falling free,

Without vibrant red flowers or the sound of rain

Or small ferns bursting with green

On muddy earth

And silent words unsaid in firelight

Lit only with eyes

And rain on skin

once caressed me

With a look.

And a touch,

A leaf on a current

Of air, of water, of breath, of sadness,

Of love with nowhere to go,

Blows me quietly away.

Tender Petals


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Fragrant in the rain are the buds of love

Tender petals open like lips divine

Mountain air, a delicate breath exhales

Lightly, her mist on leaves, and skin reply.

Unwoven


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The fabric of nature

Woven into the texture of sound

And water

And color

And thought in knowing

There is a reason for knowing

We just don’t know why

And there is an awakening

For a journey to shape Hope

In juxtaposition

To the silence of tall mountains

In juxtaposition

To war in Afghanistan where poppies wave orange

Against bullet blue skies and wind ravaged hills

In all

That matters…

In the end…

How does the curve relate to the angle?

The cross to the star to the sickle

Symbols of fallen snow

And sunset glow in acid rain?

How does blood dry up and blow away so quickly

Like forests

While I sleep

And the thudding discontent of selfhood

Lost in wanting to be

where it matters most

in the veins of the earth

where curvature has no shape and

roots stretch north

To where the stars begin

Treading softly

In what’s been left behind

 

In place.

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Poetry

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© Karen K.L.Espaniola and hinarising.com. 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen K.L. Espaniola and hinarising.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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