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HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION, or FROM HAOLE TO KAMA'AINA













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"Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina i ka Pono" (the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)

        - King Kamehameha

 

it begins even before the plane lands

flight attendants with olive skin

a change in the atmosphere

shadows in the sea

on the shores of Oahu

Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head

I half expect to see

the ghost of Duke Kahanamoku
surfing the Pipeline

 

even in the airport, amid noise and fumes -

the flowers and spirit of aloha

soothe sore muscles

not to mention the music

come alive in Hawaii

fly the friendly skies

fly high

 

maybe it's the air

it clings to your skin

like soft flannel

thick as an armful of cotton

an ongoing spa treatment

maybe it's the lilt in their voices,

the flowers in their hair

maybe it was Dorothy Lamour

who first planted the seed

maybe it was Arthur Godfrey,

or Mitzi Gaynor on Lumahai beach

washing that man right out of her hair

maybe it's the blood-red veins

of the ti leaf, etched in green

maybe it's the morning rainbow

or the burnt-orange coating

over deep-green valleys

delightful even in the rain

...aloha ka'aina

 

there's a whole forest inside the banyan tree

I could live there

have tea on the second floor

look out the window

at a bouquet of bamboo

striped like a tiger

there's a yellow bird with orange head

such a mosaic of birds and flowers here

and fish in matching aloha suits - island style

"where the humuhumunukunukuapua'a goes swimming by"

 

I sit under a pagoda in the rain

looking into a pond

at my reflection

raindrops splash

my watch says eight o'clock

it's said that for days

time slows...way...down

 

until Lō'ihi rises from the sea

to become the next Hawaiian island...

warm aloha