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island poet May 2018
“Moby ****,”  Herman Melville

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~for the lost at sea~

after a year of saltwater absence and abstinence,
return to the island caught between two land forks
surrounded by river-heading flows
bound for the ocean great joining

the Atlantic welcomes the fresh water fools,
bringing with them hopefully, but hopeless gifts of obeisances,
peace-offerings endeavoring to keep their infinite souls

sea accepts them then drowns the
warm newcomers in the unaccustomed
deep cold salinity, which
sometimes erodes
sometimes preserving
their former freshwater cold originality

I’m called to depart my beach shoreline  unarmed,
no kayak, sunfish or glass bottomed boat needed,
walk on water and my toes, ten eyes to see the bottom,
no depth perception limitation,
reading the floor’s topography,
millions of minion’s stories infinite,
many Munch screaming

god’s foot, heavy upon my shoulders,
a daytime travel guide, hired for me,
not a friendly travel companion,  nope,
God a pusher showing off a drug called deep water salvation,
designated for the masses, can handle large parties

my in-camera brain  eyes,
record everything for playback -
the lost and unburied, bone crossword puzzles

walk shore to ship, on soles to souls,
is this my new-summer nature welcome back greeting?

puzzled at the awesomeness of vastness,
conclude this clarification for me of the occluded-deep,
is a stern reminder of my insignificant existence,
my requirement to walk humbly, spare my sin of vanity, and
forgive my trespasses upon the lives of others

perhaps then the infinite of my soul perchance restored,
older visions clarified and future poems
will write themselves
and sea to it my predecessors
be better remembered

Memorial Day 2018
ryn Dec 2014
Blades of grass shivered
As the fingers of the wind strum
A hum ever soft and hauntingly serene
Sweetest song my heart reluctantly would welcome

I stare into the minuscule expanse of land
The horizon does not exist far here...
But still my eyes would stretch
To see the obscured very clear

All alone save for the company of a lone tree
And the jovial chirps of annoying birds
On this island with very little space
Trying to find comfort in ill-arranged words

My eyes do see but my heart remains obstinate
Beauty of the universe would always invite
I could just jump and join in its merriment
But... I am just a tethered kite

I'd want to rise to the highest skies
To be one with the nature's song, composed and tuned
Alas bound to a string, I can only go so far
I am my own island,
                      *helpless and marooned...
Sam Hawkins Mar 2016
Carefree in leisure time, one blasé tourist,
almost happy, I once had collected a complicated stone;
after the sunny hours had ended and last opportunity
for keepsakes began.

In my hand the stone had kept all of its mouths sewn shut,
holding its amalgamated story, and likewise in the car,
on the plane, through US Customs where it was not
in the least suspected.

A thumbnail identity I now should guess at, marking an old date,
and fixing it to, with reasonable estimate, a map location:
Plot No. 243, East end of the island, slave sugar plantation,
the stone from the corner of a ruined sugarmill stair—
broken free by my criminal hand.

The stone like a bleached out mini-monolith,
square rectangular, could be stood on end;
was swollen at its center like a pulled cork.

What could have moved this sequestered world to opening?
That was not for me to exactly discover,
except what came on Christmas Day,
two days after my returning.

Slave watercourses, the sight of innumerable Dutch ships,
ballasted with human flesh and hewn rock
for sugar works buildings.

The drop at-arms-swish of the Driver’s bullwhip.
Flecks of spirit splayed on vegetation.

A mongrel dog barked beyond the windless wall of sugarcane
in centipede and mosquito heat.

Seaside, beautiful seaside impressions;
distant coral light shadows, etched deep azure;
snowy colored breakers that pencil-marked the sea.
The staid, vibrant, mocking power
of visual symphony backdrop.

So little of aid for the slaves, but for those dangerous secrets,
un-housed in the fallen coolness of the night:
demonstratively crystalline heaven of stars;
a ragged moon, clouds scudding eastward toward Africa.
And there -- Orion’s Belt, mid-sky, illustrious bright,
with its three centering star points in rational line,
as if Hope could have flung its anchor onto Life
engendering sanctified resistance.

Christmas morning, 5 a.m.
I had awakened from a stuck place, shapeless and dark,
half in dreaming and half knowing I was in no dream.

I was sobbing, yet strangely, because there were no tears.
I had only put the stone inside my pajama top onto my heart.
a story of what happened...a feeling and vision I had, in 2008. written then. the stone is piece of mortar...
Spenser Bennett Mar 2016
I have been gone so long
I forgot what it's like to live at home
So I stay inside
Watch the world walk by

All the people pass
On their way to work or class
I don't know
I feel that's someplace I should go

Once I was part of the race
Now I feel out of place
It seems this community
Has forgotten me

I want to laugh and shout
While I stay inside looking out
But I'll sit in silence
And watch from my self inflicted island
Thom Jamieson Jul 2018
"Over here"...
but nothing.
The scene continues
unabated by my presence.
Plastic smiles and lustful eyes
bountiful but not for me..never me.
In the mirror' s unforgiving gaze
I am unrecognizable
Replaced with a crude rendering
of my previous likeness
fashioned by children
with lumpy imperfect clay.
Silence replaces loving laughter
that used to follow my witty banter.
Silence and stares.  Sympathetic stares
tinged with smugness and fear.
"Over here...over here..."
still nothing.
I recently received a message from a composer named joe drzewiecki who was interested in putting this poem to music.  Here are the results.  I didnt know my words could sound so good. Thank you joe drzewiecki, I am flattered.

https://soundcloud.com/jomama-2/invisible
Stephen E Yocum Jun 2017
Gauguin or Michener
horizon lust inspired,
The South Pacific desired.
From early childhood on.
Fiji in the 70’s all alone in
A Personal journey of self
and world discovery.

From the big island of
Viti Levu, embarked
By native small boat, fifty
miles out to the Yasawa group.
Reaching tiny Yanggeta, with 300
souls living close to the bone,
No Running water, or electric spark
glowing. Bright stars shine at night
no city lights showing.

Unspoiled Melanesian Island people
Meagerly surviving only on the sea
and a thousand plus years of tradition.

I welcomed like a friend of long
standing, with smiling faces and
open sprits. Once eaters of other
humans beings, converted now to
Methodist believers.

Their Island beautiful beyond belief,
Azure pristine seas in every direction,
Coral reefs abounding with aquatic life.
Paradise found and deeply appreciated.
I swam and fished, played with the kids
and laid about in my hammock, enjoying
weeks of splendor alongside people
I came to revere, they generous and loving
at peace with themselves and nature,
Embracing a stranger like a family member.

My small transistor radio predicted a big
Storm brewing, of Hurricane proportions.
My thoughts turned to Tidal Waves  
coming. The village and all those people
living a few feet above sea level.
I tried to express my concerns to
My host family and others, getting
but smiles and shrugs in return,
Spoken communication almost
Nonexistent, me no Fijian spoken,
Them, little English understood or said.

It started with rain and strong winds,
Worsening building by the minute.
The villagers’ merely tightening down the
Hatches of their stick and thatch houses.
Content it seemed to ride out the storm,
As I assumed they always did.

Shouldering my heavy backpack
I hugged my friends and headed
For high ground, the ridgebacks
Of low mountains, the backbones
Of the Island. Feeling guilty leaving
them to their fate from high water,
Perplexed, them ignoring my warnings.

In half an hour the winds strong enough
to take me off my feet, blowing even from
the other side of the Island.
On a ridge edge I hunkered down,
Pulling a rubber poncho over my head,
Laying in watershed running inches
Deep, cold rain cascading down the
slopes to the sea below.

The wind grew to astounding ferocity,
Later gusts reported approaching
180 miles per hour. Pushed me along
the ground closer to the cliffs edge
of a 90 foot plunge to the sea below.
Holding on in the mud with fingers
and toes.

For three hours it raged, trees blowing
off the summit above, disappearing into
the clouds and stormy wet mist beyond.

A false calm came calling, unknown to me
the eye of the Hurricane hovering over the
Island, as I picked my drenched self up
and returned over blown down trees and
scattered debris to the Village of my hosts.

Most wooden structures were gone or caved in,
The few Island boats broken and thrown
up onto the Land. Remarkably many of the
Small one room “Bure” thatched huts still stood.
The high waves had not come as I feared.
Badly damaged, yet the village endured,
As did most of the people, some broken bones
But, thankfully, remarkable no worse.

Back with my host family, in their Bure,
new preparations ensued, the big winds I was
informed would now return from the opposite
direction, and would be even worse.

For another four hours the little grass and stick
House shook, nearly rising from the ground,
Held together only by hope and ropes laid
Onto roof beams held down by our bare hands
and some good workmanship two years prior.
Faith and old world knowledge a wonderful thing.

Three days past the storm and no one came to
check on the Island, alone the people worked to
save their planted gardens from the now salt water
contaminated ground, cleaned up debris and
set to mending their grass homes. The only fresh
Water well still unpolluted was very busily used.

With a stoic resolve, from these self-reliant people,
life seemed to go on, this not the first wind blown
disaster they had endured, hurricanes I learned
came every year, though this one, named “Bebe”
worst in the memories of the old men of the island.

On the fourth day a young boy came running,
Having spotted and hailed a Motor yacht,
which dropped anchor in the lagoon on the
opposite side of the Island.

I swam out to the boat and was welcomed
aboard by the Australian skipper and crew.
Shared a cold Coke, ham sandwich and tales
Of our respective adventures of surviving.
They agreed to carry me back to the Big Island.

A crewman returned me ashore in a dingy.
I crossed the island and retrieved my things,
Bidding and hugging my friends in farewell.
I asked permission to write a story about the
storm and the village, the elders' smiles agreed,
they had nothing to loose, seemed pleased.

One last time I traversed the island and stepped
Into the yachts small rowboat, my back to
the island. Hearing a commotions I turned
seeing many people gathering along the
shore line of the beach. I climbed out and
Went among them, hugging most in farewell,
some and me too with tears in our eyes,
Fondness, respect reflected, shared, received.

As the skiff rowed away  halfway to the ship,
the Aussie mate made a motion with his eyes
and chin, back towards the beach.

Turning around in my seat I saw there
most of the island population, gathered,
Many held aloft small pieces of colored cloth,
Tiny flags of farewell waving in the breeze
They were singing, chanting a island song,
Slow, like a lament of sorts.

Overwhelmed, I stood and faced the shore,
opened wide my arms, as to embrace them all.
As tears of emotions unashamedly ran down my face.
Seeing the people on the beach, the Aussie crewman
intoned, “****** marvelous that. Good on 'ya mate.”

Yes, I remember Fiji and Bebe and most of all
I fondly remember my Island brothers and sisters.

                                    End
Two years later I returned to that island, lovingly
received like a retuning son, feasted and drank
Kava with the Chief and Elders most of the night,
A pepper plant root concoction that intoxicates
And makes you sleep most all the next day.

My newspaper story picked up by other papers
Galvanizing an outpouring of thoughtful support,
A Sacramento Methodist Church collected clothes,
money and donations of pots and pans and Gas
lanterns along with fishing gear and other useful things.
All packed in and flown by a C-130 Hercules Cargo plane
out of McClellan Air Force Base, U.S.A and down to Fiji,
earmarked for the Island of Yanggeta and my friends.

On my return there was an abundance of cut off
Levies and Mickey Mouse T-Shirts, and both a
brand New Schoolhouse and Church built by
U.S. and New Zealand Peace Corps workers.

This island of old world people were some of the best
People I have ever known. I cherish their memory and
My time spent in their generous and convivial company.
Life is truly a teacher if we but seek out the lessons.
This memory may be too long for HP reading, was
writ mostly for me and my kids, a recall that needed
to be inscribed. Meeting people out in the world, on
common ground is a sure cure for ignorance and
intolerance.
shamamama May 14
Kolea sees the rising of Orion's belt
and follows the belt into dawn's day
He spent his winter on green pastures on an island
nourished by rainwaters which have fallen
swelling into rivers and red dirt

Plumage changes, reminding him of his return
to the Alaskan tundra
How can he know this path of
three thousand miles across ocean
to ancient nesting grounds
his grandmothers used?
What faith does he need to ride through
currents of air across vast waters to reach land?

He arrives in green tundra,
and finds his feathered brothers and sisters,
Seeking his mate,
they dance and unite,
then begin their nesting ritual,
Eggs laid, patience sets in

Time well spent, the eggs are ripe to hatch
emerging birds open mouths wide to
feed and grow strong--
Those bones, those feathers, those wings
must be mighty  
for the journey home

They watch the sky for the sign to return,
Some seekers who have called him papakolea
follow him now in double hulled canoes
praying to the night sky,
While papakolea listens for the
whisper of the dragon
thrashing across dark skies

In the middle of the ocean
he rides on dragon's breath
to find a pasture on an island
where he had fed a year ago,
Paddling canoes, tracing after stardust
from papakolea
they reach the shores and reunite to land
In this way
Seabirds and seekers
find reunion
Every May, for maybe thousands of years, the kolea (pacific golden plover birds) begin their migration to Alaska, to meet their mate, and lay eggs.They all return in August, to rest and feed up for the next migration. I have often wondered how they sense their traveling time--I have also wondered how the Hawaiians found the islands---and so a while ago, I wrote this poem, to explore this.  One of my Hawaiian elders shared that the Milky Way is "the dragon" in the sky, and as the Milky Way rotates in the tropical night sky,  the dragon is "thrashing" in the sky.
CA Guilfoyle Mar 2017
In Florida
the beach cut in half
cool sun baked cake, one side blue
the other side white in swirling sands
and after the waves of tide left
birds stamped footprints, webbed and wet
disappearing in the afternoon sun
sand art lost and windswept.
Joanna May 16
Mystery Island across from me. I wish I had the tools to come
and see all the treasures and secrets within.

I wish I had the means to crossover before it grows too dim.
But instead, I will just sit and wonder what mysteries you hold.

A flower, a book, and a bit room to breathe, I will sit here and
let my imagination run away with me.

Weaving a picture of what is within. I see it as a castle built
from the outside-in.
To read more of my writings go to: http://reflectionsoflight7.wixsite.com/home
Qweyku Sep 2016
Character is an island
Where men fear to sail

It's waters too deep a reflection


© Qwey-ku
Umi Jul 2018
A delicate sillhouette, agile and elegant, sweet and unique.
Almost playful, she slides over the water so majestically,
Even if the whole world were to drown in the deep blue sea, all her hope would gather into the motivation to move forward, burst forth.
Oh wind, carry me out of this sea of tears, of bottomless sadness.
Sail towards the coming future, sealed doors can be broken open,
What hope does the future hold for one who survived but couldn't protect her friends, going down alike the sun, slowly slipping away,
Even the azure beauty beyond us is filled with danger and misery,
But I will stay positive, for it is you my little breeze who is gently holding me, letting me sail with you through thick and thin.
Leave the waves behind you, swiftly like a shooting star but proud like an eagle in flight, but warm alike the ray of sunlight.
As the sun rises, the clouds have drawn a picture in the sky over us,
Quietly, serenely, you live with determination in your heart, when all freedom and light, ego and deception have become lost in this world.
Trailing over and over, with irrigular gaps I caught a smile in this clear water for the first time of our long journey.
It is for you, my dear Shimakaze.

~ Umi
Joanna May 25
Little flower, so delicate and fine, you live where fate has stopped the hands of time.

With the forest above and the falls below, you have a simple beauty all your own.

You lighten the load, of others as they pass by, setting a new tone.
Without even knowing it, I would say you don’t have to try.

Nestled in like hidden treasure, you give joy that surpasses lofty desire.

Little flower, so gentle and refined you inspire me to live above the mire.
To read more of my writings go to: http://reflectionsoflight7.wixsite.com/home
Morgan Mercury Jul 2013
I said I'll meet you by the water
Just follow the path down the shore.
Follow me across the world,
to a place that's left unexplored.
We'll carve our names into the tallest tree,
reaching up towards the heavens and skies.
We'll count the stars as we leave,
to the other side of the island.
Drag a stick through the sand,
drawing tiny infinities.
and then we will sleep in the trees,
it's safe, trust me.
Look at the skies and watch the clouds roll by,
they were all ours.
We traced constellations with our fingers,
and talked in the language of the stars,
so they smiled back at us and sang us songs to sleep.
There is an island named after us.
A legend of a pariah duo.
Oh, the stories this place will hold.
KiraLili Sep 2016
West island waves crash
Along San Juans rocky shores
Sunswept beach house view
Whidbey Island , WA
September long 2016
Carter Ginter Sep 2017
I think of your soft skin
The sweet lines of your beautiful face
And I can't help but smile.

My frozen heart warms at the thought
Of the way our souls collide as our foreheads touch
Satin skin against skin.

You are the most wonderful part the universe
Your soul vibrates so perfectly with mine
We complete one another so gracefully.

Despite your place in my heart
I will try to hold myself stable
Enough to not drag you into this darkness with me.

Your beautiful heart and it's unnatural beat
Have carried you through enough torture
And still it strives forward as perfect and innocent as ever.

Baby I love you more than myself
That's why I haven't opened up yet
I'm afraid to give you more nightmares than you're already plagued with.

But I want more than anything
To give you all of me
I just wish it could be done more easily.

I know I'm not perfect and
I'm dripping with bad habits
But please believe that my feelings for you are real

Even though I seem walled off right now
I really am trying to open up for you
For you and for me

So one day soon we can both live at ease
Without the fear of this falling apart
Dreaming peacefully, on our little island paradise
island poet Aug 9
green island privilege

we thread our way through the Johnstone Strait,
where every landmass, largest and smallish,
all islands, so this particular three-island-man is comforted and
comfortable in his surroundings, in his skin,
in his watery rivered veins

the outlines of myriads shapes, assorted puzzle pieces of earth adrift,
fitted sheets, awaiting assembly upon the magic of water,
fitting the continuously moving puzzling frame, accepting all,
mutually funding each other for each must, by definition,
define each other

the sky allows itself to be glimpsed, “yes, I’m still blue,” it teases,
but sky is busy bathing its undersides, in gloomy whites
of a bubble bath, of a deep morning mournful fog,
we underneath, observing, bestride a double sided fir and pine forests corridor either-sided of our the cold calm watershed,
a green privilege

fog above, touching so lightly our green tree waterway enclosure,
just as a human caresses his truly beloved’s cheeks, so so softly,
the fog sitting on top of the treetops, kissing, allowing that,
but no more,as the day is now only hours young,
disallowing mature sunset romance

close enough to touch, the fallen branches that people the shoreline and I, marvel at my privilege, my history, how I came to be
witness to this moment, testifying to the luck of life, cris cross continental running from European Black Forest persecution,
Spanish inquisitors, whose auto-da-fe cris cross burnings earned them no truth, no fame,
where racism hatred made my tribe an official inferior kind,
worthy of extermination, yet, here I am surviving to be arriving
to the serenity of this goddess Columbia moment in natural embrace

but here again, at this second, still excoriated as virus-privileged,
aligned this time to the guilt of my skin colorations,
guilty genetically, in my nation of 99% immigrants,
which confuses us,
for we, our troop, victimized by quotas, ghettos, crafted laws,
once upon a time burnished, now burnt by our successes,
we asked for nothing more, fair play,
a chance to win but never by stepping on the backs of others,
are told, no, no, guilty by chance,
cause you won the oppressors color coded lottery


the sun keeps on battling, though now late afternoon,
its glare, no fair, makes me squint to see the horizon,
a thin lucent bright line, who knows how far away,
it challenges me, saying am I not the sun to everyone,
leading you to new islands, green end zones for anyone
to touch down, leading you back home to where you shelter
anyone who asks, a new horizon for anyone comes to me,
giver of words, my inspiration family history shared for anyone,
I adjudge guilty, your privilege was earned, by the exile you’ve endured and the truth of your island green privilege,
and the trees, in unison say, hallelujah selah
An island lets itself go.
In rising  water finds a friend;
The past comes to naught.
rainstorms fiercely bulge the waves
toss honeysuckle and bougainvillas
blow their blossoms high
towards the rainbow
that in sunny moments
sparkles over volcanic hills
Waves storms honeysuckle rainbow sparkle
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