Friday, September 24, 2021

Flight to Kona

Traces of the slack key
Echo in the overhang
Of muscles deteriorating
With all of our dreams
Of jungle alpine escapades
In essential mist
Where one still can see
As far as forever reveals
And the tradewinds of Lemuria
Invite us to feel,
The hope that never quite came true
Except as blueprint,
Some flag to wave against the pain
We embraced, of this place,
The old school.

So many honors
From all-nighters, burned brews,
Ravaged pencils, savaged books,
What all seemed in memory 
As love: secret trysts,
Breathless kissing, bodies scored 
Like the sun in that radiant rapture
Known as heaven, in dusty alcoves,
Cold cafeterias, crowded halls
Where we were alone
As one ... combustion,
One all-seeing-eye, companion
Taken-for-granted angels
Formed into speech and listening,
Words and understanding, as easy
As a corridor flows from source
To classroom, intent on
The clinging ambrosia along the way 
But oblivious to the lines 
That define their trajectory, 
For every detail translates
To play and the laughter
Echoes louder than the bells
That sweep mad youth away.

The ghosts of nameless bands
Come through the latest
Radio silence dispatch
Of this time and this place
And we lose all those years
As if we never could change
— The dreams are as ephemeral as ever
And they never lost their hold
On our souls,
And we never lost
Our capacity for boredom
To open the next gift
With an expectation 
We would be home.

And we made it that way
For a time, as we made this place
Home, in our minds,
Never touching the thing that it is
For all our glorious
And ecstatic shocks
At what was just
Unfamiliar enough
To spill out of us
All manner of unrequited love --
For the earth, for the country,
For ourselves in the mist
Of other people's gravesites,
The envy of mansions
That can’t look away,
The untransportable clay
Of what is a theory, still, for us,
At best, a place in the world
For the place-less,
An escape into ourselves
From what we needed to leave behind.

And here it is,
Everything gone, a new skin
At last, the heart
Uncoerced, unrepentant,
As fresh as the morning air
Blowing from somewhere
The wishes of the elders
On the couple joined,
The new souls cajoled,
The plans for service
Laid out like the colors in the sky,
Permanent yet a moment

Where Ohana becomes Mahalo
And things are seen
Despite the earth
That tells you she is
Everything you need
To know.
And she is all, and always will be,
Despite these words
That burn — how they 
Burn now — like gold.