When I First Knew Myself I Was Six


 

When I first knew myself

the wind whipped my hair into knots

untangled by fingers searching for roots

ropes buried in sea salt brine

in the crook of my arm

in the folds of my skin

secretly breathing in

my own amber scent

pleasure of me

nestled in my lungs

tasting deep wells of sunlight

with my tongue.

 

KKLE   April 1, 2016

Good Food Gone to Waste


 

You always serve me good food with your bad news,

and my mouth hangs open:

Food unchewed, Fork splayed to the side,

Cold prongs missing the plate,

Undigested thoughts like frozen peas

in a hot stew.

 

At least wait ‘til I’m done eating,

‘til the sweet savor of fresh herbs

has had a chance to dissolve on my tongue

in wordless wonder.

 

Digesting it together would have been better.

 

January 10, 2016

 

 

Rootlets


 

I’ve been digging for a while

A stubborn weed that won’t let go

fingers prying stones

nails packed with soil

subcutaneous levels of time

digging deep

tiny tendrils seeking dark

Purple, gold, red, black

And the transparency of white

Not knowing the strength of grief

Or the nakedness of light.

 

Have we grown strong, then?

Barefoot children,

Pressed clothes and slicked back hair,

“Just because we’re poor,

doesn’t mean we have to be dirty”

Cereal boxes and fish hooks,

rail road tracks, and chandelier gems

from a plastic factory across the tracks,

Pacific Islanders in a Mexican barrio

in a foreign land without “birthsands”.

 

Oh those young roots holding strong in desperation

A generation of mixed breeds pulled apart,

Separated, dispossessed from birthlands

What was there to hold onto then, But each other?

 

I cried in the dark, afraid,

Of being alone

Of being born

And dying

A bastard

Without a name

To my skin

But you were there. Then.

Clinging rootlets without soil.

Never letting go.

 

Are we not now resilient weeds digging deep

Ferns turning stones in an Ahu of our own creation

Distant lives in our own image, still holding on.

One Word


 

parting, and not knowing.

drowning in wanting, needing,

and not having.

in the 11th hour

one word

could keep you going

 

one word

 

heard whispering from internal workings

of the Universe,

in tongue, in social media,

threading the air like music

on a Sunday morn

from street

to corner grocery store,

unexpected movement,

speaking to be heard

through the least of these

mouths of the poor,

cardboard desolate,

pavement lonely;

 

thick calloused worker hands

tenderly counting out dollar bills,

each symbolizing time and hard labor

away from doe-eyed children

clinging to grocery carts

longing for big corporation candy,

wanting, and yet not having

this land of the free

does not diminish want and need.

 

did you find everything you were looking for

I find myself saying

to a white sleeveless preacher man

Soft-drawled, and crucifix tattoo’d

who beamed cherub-like and replied

“I am blessed with Jesus’ blood And more.”

His pensive wife, tired from worry by his side

 

to which an elder black man smiled

and chimed across the aisle

“Aren’t you gonna ask me how I am?”

grinning with a glint in his eye

a plaid hat and walking stick

yet still walking out with buoyant stride,

thread-bare pockets and

a loaf of white bread cradled in his arms

and a pocketful of change to spare

throwing a word Into the air

for all to hear

 

“Blessed”

 

and I react with surprise

recognizing wisdom

whispered from universal wells

of wanting, and longing,

and knowing

that whatever I have is enough

and with a desperate nod,

breathe out

 

one word.

Yes.

 

Karen K.L. Espaniola               September 15, 2015

MO`O


No tink

I no know

What dat mo`o know

Da one who stay stuck

On da cah windo

Or inside one crack

Or on one doah

All green and secret Like

You know da one

Like da mo`o of ole times

Da one fo good luck

Who like ride inside Maui pocket

Riding da wind

Looking fo land, fo aina, fo one place

Fo come ashore Makai side

But da wind come too strong

Like da one come out your mout

Every day

All nice like

One perfec wave

Til da air come flat

And you jus one stink buggah

Who tink

I no

Know

But I know

like one mo`o

know

Riding da storm.

 

falling


dog crap dries in the sun

in this place

this spinning place

gathering uncertainty in my arms

arms of needing

and not having

of stumbling

and crying

in dry laundry

wondering if fall is coming

alone in its coolness

color falling from trees

and needing

to be numb

of her movement

falling from my chest

falling from my eyes

her sound of blue skies

and crisp air

and of kicking this dog crap

high and wide

and away

and falling.

 

 

Releasing Crow


Releasing Crow

Releasing Crow

Unfamiliar Stars


My self-esteem is at an all-time high level of low

To return

is to strangle comfortably

To move forward

is to free fall over a cliff

To stand still

is to get swallowed up

by self-loathing.

 

And there is no place to go

but out

and in

and down

A trail of unfamiliar stars

highlighting unrecognizable paths

in rough waves.

I, Romeo


IMG_20150321_190906_127-1

 

“I defy thee stars”

twinkling in the world so bright,

A showering of power and might,

Shimmering glow of sweet innocence,

Dismembered ember, distant progenitor of my destiny.

You protected my ancestors upon the sea,

Against fearful shadows and hateful memories.

Yet here I am, a product of your mystery

Alone, and seemingly without a guide,

Embarking on a journey without any at my side.

 

“I defy thee”

That eats away the known universe

Carrying ancient legends of heroic deeds

Of fearless, selfless men who dared to bleed,

That sends angel gods whispering to my ears

To escape the paradox of wanting to be free

Of wanting,

Of time in memorial,

like scattered flowers in rotting sun,

Still exuding a day of soft petaled love

Nested passion, fated kiss

On a cheek, on the lips,

in a garden,

Under a tree.

 

 

“I defy thee”

though your beauty reels me in

A siren’s sweet melody licking heart’s wound

Of sorrow simmering in torn silence

Waiting for your ancient fire, burning,

Wanting in beauty, drowning

Under a cold starlit heaven, weeping

In mass self-destruction, bleeding

Unheroic dreams, written at my own birth,

My house is crumbling,

A spinning light in a darkened universe

A failed perception of reality though I try

A burned path of old destruction though I cry

In the shadows of city lights

Old fears of broken social order

Are still fighting in the streets

like bodies falling to the ground

with rusted daggers to the heart

love is a paradox that is only tasted,

and sorrow a potion that “shall be endured”,

drunk with an eternal silence,

A lonely drop under the universe

Just a drop left

Just a drop left

For me.

 

A Poem at Mid Night


What would Wordsworth say

About today’s poetry,

About the over-saturation of words,

“Spontaneously over-flowing”

or a cry for help? In

A world burgeoning in self-deprecation

And violent human provocation

Some words sink to the bottom

And some float to the top

In dead zone books

Of undercurrents

Often called education

Where thousands of miles away

Intelligence is dictated by the few

And for the many

Where the loss of the value

for nature and

A forgotten art of pondering daffodils

In the stillness of a wild field

Is the real deficit

We are looking for.

 

The thoughts of half a century sway

Unsteadily in my mind

And I want to get away

From what is surely my own death throes

Of expectations

Dissipating slowly in

This mid-night hour

Starless and moonless,

Blocking out the noise that is my life

And merging into the soul of the earth

Where money no longer chains me

In that vicious cycle of measurements

In words that analyze

Haves and

Have not.

 

April 18, 2015

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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.