Tag Archives: Poems

You leave me…

Whites

Speechless!
What could I say that wouldn’t fall short
Of describing your true beauty, softness, and elegance
Staring longer would only draw me further away from reality
Lost in thoughts, imagining, forgetting who, what, where we are
Nevertheless, for this fleeting moment, I found myself
Searching for words to describe a feeling, but failed
Some things better remain unsaid, some words unspoken
A thought came to mind as I walked away
I just kept going quietly
We both knew
Enough said

Rising of the Night

 

SD2_ (961 of 1361)A corollary to Setting of the Sun

It was the time when night would rise from the gray waters of the [Saint-Lawrence] river.
“C’était l’heure où la nuit sortait des eaux grises du fleuve.” Jacques Poulin, Chat Sauvage

We are, well at least I am, creatures of habit. Often, if not always, we see things in the exact same way, and it would take quite a shock for us to think they could be otherwise. Such is the case with sunsets.

We have come to know and describe sunsets as an end—the end of day—likely because of the events that the term conjures, as that time of day when the sun reaches for the horizon, its light dimming, the colours of the sky changing, the night approaching. That time of day could also be know as “night rise;” we could describe dusk with reference to what the night is doing, instead of what the sun is doing…

Night Rises
Colours slowly dissolve, giving way to darkness
Creatures of the night shift about, mostly undetected
Movements become more deliberate, almost tentative
Sounds travel long distances to reach attentive ears
Stars brighten, twinkle, night visions
The black shroud wraps itself around our world
Signalling a time for sleep… Sweet dreams.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Maui (959 of 2119)

We stood high above the clouds
Surrounded by silence
Until a soft whisper of wind
Pulled us from our reverie
Drawing attention to a scene far below
Where, at the foot of the volcano
Raindrops mixed with bright sunlight
Creating this indelible image
A soft ribbon of diaphanous colours
For a moment, if you listened closely
You could hear a familiar island refrain
Carried by the unique melodic twang
Only a tenor ukulele could make

Translating a Snowfall

I watched the snow fall, softly, a curtain of large flakes slowly drifting down to the ground. The white comforter it created—thicker than a simple blanket—covered everything in such a way that sharp edges disappeared, dulled out by the few inches that covered them. The snow effectively acted like a low-pass filter, attenuating the high frequencies of the scenery.

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I continued to watch from my front window for a while, then I took a look out back. Once more, the edges that could be seen only a few minutes ago had been dulled out; the gaps between the deck boards reduced to shallow curves barely perceptible in the gray light of the early morning. For a moment, the falling snow was transforming my familiar backyard into something new, different, almost surreal.

I scanned the whole view through the window and tried to follow individual snowflakes on their unique journey to the ground… and suddenly images of falling raindrops rushed to my mind… and I wondered if I could translate each flake into its corresponding drop, imagining this wintery scene turning into a warm summer shower. I could almost hear the sound of the rain as it hit the sunroom’s tin roof, the leaves on the trees, the blades of grass, and the wooden boards of the deck. I closed my eyes and could smell the rain…

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The snow hadn’t slowed when I opened my eyes; I ran outside to listen. Try as I may, I could not hear the sound of the falling snowflakes. In fact, the thick white blanket muffled every sound as it grew thicker. I opened my mouth and tried to catch snowflakes on my tongue, just as I did when I was a kid. Content, I walked back inside and closed the door.

Snowfall

 Flakes floating gently
Translated into raindrops
They melt on my tongue

Sharp, angular edges
Softened by thick, white blanket
Cold sound of silence

Childhood memories
Rekindled by a snowfall
Frosty eyelashes

Waxing crescent moon
Basket in the evening air
Set to catch Venus

Painting Haleakalā Crater

A visit to the summit of Haleakalā Crater is bound to create lifelong memories, and I’m not even talking about the drive. Once I found my mountain legs, which took a few  minutes after getting out of the car at the Visitors Centre (and later at the summit), I needed to find my mountain lungs. Trekking at 10,000 ft altitude takes a little getting used to.

No matter the viewpoint, every look is as grandiose and breathtaking—I did catch my breath eventually—as the previous. The crater’s rocky rim with its jagged edges, like a giant mixing bowl, runs down to the centre where a number of reddish chimneys (volcanic cones) are visible among what looks like endless rock slides. Clouds file in from Pai’a direction and others spill over the southern rim, like fingers of a hand holding on for dear life to the edge of the crater. Everything has a lunar landscape feel to it, with much brighter colours.

Reluctantly, and after what seems much too soon, we begin the 8,000 ft descent down Maui County Hwy 378 with its 30 hairpin switchback curves, when a small sign that reads Kalahaku Overlook draws our attention. Just one more look… Along the eastern edge of the crater, we’re treated to more breathtaking views and a new sightline of the reddish chimneys. Sheltered by the rocky wall above us, the wind has stopped where we stand. We’re alone. We swear we could hear a pin drop on the crater floor; all is perfectly quiet, magical. Everything stands still save for the clouds sliding into and across the crater. We could stay here for an eternity—there’s a certain calm, zen, all around us, peace, feels so good—but I don’t want to drive down in the dark…

But we weren’t alone. A young lady artist was busy mixing oil colours and applying them to her canvas, the spirit and life of the crater appearing with every stroke of her brush. Her face is well protected from the hot sun by the shade of her wide-brimmed hat, and covered with a thick white layer of sunscreen. She smiles at my surprise, realizing that we were not alone. I ask permission to photograph her, all too aware that I am disturbing her concentration and inspiration. She explains the painting in progress briefly and returns to her work. The name on the card she graciously offered is Hiu Lai Chong, from Maryland, here for the Maui Plein Air Painting Show.

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Haleakala Crater viewed from Kalahaku Overlook, Maui, HI

Haleakala Haikus

High above the clouds
Peace, awe, and serenity
Cool wind and thin air

Awe of destruction
Lava flowed 200 years hence
Pele rests in peace

High in the blue sky
Enchantment, dreams come easy
My feet on the ground

The fright of the climb
The reward awaits the brave
Sights like no others