Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Inkwells: Poems by Request

Every year our community hosts an annual fair, with music, games for the kids, crafts and booths that offer food and locally-produced goods. Our writing group's contribution - poetry on demand. If you're in the North Kohala area next Saturday, October 6, stop by the booth and we'll write you a poem.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

In Both Languages

Here's a poem from my poetry collection, Watermarks, which will be published next month:

In Both Languages

Here on earth we translate eyes
into ears and hearts into words.
We run needles through streams,
thread thoughts together like leaves
on barren trees. Today the dogs
next door bark unceasing, and my cat

hasn’t returned from his morning walk.
His breakfast waits like a new hat
for a headless giant. Perhaps the animals
have all gone up the mountain, or would
if they weren’t tied here by rope or loyalty.

Mynah birds wait until almost too late, give
a last warning squawk, then turn into dark
receding blots against the sky.

Where will you be when the earth trembles
like an enraged lover?

How will you translate into meaning
what you grab to take along? What
will fill your open hands, what will
tumble on the path when you follow
the animals up the mountain?

I used to think I would seize
my contact lenses on the way outside
in the middle of the night: what good
would I be in an emergency if I
couldn’t see? Later, it was my laptop,
all that history I didn’t want to lose.

Now, today, this evening, I would take
only myself, and urge my dog and cat
to follow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Walk to Writers’ Group

In North Kohala the weather is moody as a tired child. One moment the sun beats down desert-hot rays; the next it’s raining sideways. Another minute and the sun returns to steam moisture from the ground.
This morning I walk down the lane to the highway, smell of night-time rain still in the air, Allen Sapp clouds in a sky so blue it would be unbelievable if painted on a canvas. Another day in paradise and I’m on my way to meet the other Inkwells, our Wednesday morning writers’ group.

When the dog and I walk down the highway I notice dark clouds move in. But the rain only threatens until we’ve walked a mile. Then, just outside the credit union, the monsoon strikes. I have an umbrella, but the wind picks up and nothing can withstand the trades when they work themselves into a squall (like that over-tired child having a tantrum). In thirty seconds the dog and I are both drenched.

A white van pulls up across the road, blue bubble on the roof. It’s Jonathan, one of the dog’s favorite people and the police officer who provides procedural advice on the murder mystery I’m writing. He passed us when the rain started, then turned around to offer us a ride. We pile our sodden selves into the van and he drives us the remaining mile to meet the other Inkwells.

North Kohala – there’s no place like it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New book of poetry

My second book of poetry, Watermarks, will be published in October. More information at Wild Sage Press

Book launches and readings will take place at Connaught Library, Regina Saskatchewan on October 17 at 7:30 pm, and at the North Kohala library on the Big Island of Hawai`i on November 26 at 7:00 pm.