Anini Collection

Anini Beach, Kauai

Anini Beach, Kauai

Haiku and Other Short Poems


Holding tablet on knee,
Anini Beach sunset.
Turtles swim in current,
puff cloud reflections
stop at sandy edge.

Wesit, make haiku–
purple-gold ripples lapping,
roosters are crowing.

Winter niceties:
bathing in warm pacific,
sleeping in moonlight.

Boats go out at dawn,
whale spout below evening clouds–
this day of wonder.

Mostly sky, some cloud;
clapping surf on outer reef.
I’m home here tonight.

Just land, me and seas;
wind settled, foot prints wiped from
sand–listen to self.

I change at the sea,
the real me suddenly shows–
gray clouds turning red..

Wind comes back again–
glowing cloud water, turtles
hide in orange houses.

Yellow and red–orange–
puffy lines on horizon;
one hour more–star dark.

Thunder knock at my tent,
high clouds open blue sky holes.
False kamani sways.

Bare-foot white people
scan the beach for pretty shells.
Tiny birds peck crumbs.

White spouts from gray-green;
humpbacks leap above whitesurf.
Nobody knows why.

Winter butterfly
flits above swinging hammock.
Red birds chirp in trees.

From jade green to brown,
lacey foam washes on shore.
Seashell pickers stop.

Monday game is over.
One big team beat another.
Clouds pass over head.

High, tiny and round–
close, globular, swift-moving–
I love cloud parades.

January tropics–
Ohio hoboes in town–
albatross diving.

Camping on beach bluff;
Kona wind bringing warm air;
lazy clouds stare down.

Tide rise, full moon pulls;
dead kamani leaves launch from
verdant jungle floor.

Full moon sea, tree clouds
dance in speckled shadow light–
feel the Kona warmth.

Turtle under me–
legs wave over coral reef;
steamed goggles follow.

My sandals and shorts
carry me through Hawaiian
winter; rainbow wave spray.

Mad tossing froth lifts–
falling green, transforming white,
hiding the humpbacks.

Beach tent in the trees.
unzip in morning to see
a thousand mile view.

Cook chicken at night.
Late moon, so please stay awake!
Candles flickering.

Sip green tea and stare
at silver cloud reflections.
All life should be this.

Wind dies, clouds stretch long.
I reach for a sip of tea.
Great winter sunset!

Orange buoys mark channel.
Tiny boats go out to big sea.
Ono, bass, ahi.

Paddle board sunset–
turtles swim inside the reef–
ripples whispering.

Sandy impressions.
Coral wrapped in pine needles.
Barefoot heaven walk.

Gentle, restful shore.
Edge of a mighty tugging
between moon and earth.

Twenty-three poems!
This day my mind sings and hums.
Will I slow, come dark?

Snorkel boy–what do
you see in cloudy water?
Bright fish are not here.

Car headlights on point.
Two yellow beams shoot at me.
Night spits out star light.

Red belly lobster
clouds boil in cooking-pot sky.
Add salt and butter!

Freight train speed on rails
of crunchy, white pounding waves.
All aboard, surfers!

Rough night–strong north wind.
Nylon tent dancing bird-like.
Heavy rain in sheets.

People talk weather.
Iron wood limbs scratching the sky.
White and blue morning.

Coffee boiling now.
Tent poles bent from heavy wind.
Canopy flapping.

Sea always moving.
Hidden current sweeping south.
Birds talk about bugs.

Tropical winter.
Wind comes from all directions.
Behind tree: warm clothes.


Hawaiian Winter
Come to Hawaii in winter
when snowbirds from the north
country ride in on great goose-like

Compact white, blue and red
cars inch along rain-soaked
and soggy asphalt pathways
for miles.

I set up camp on the beach
and tie down tents and tarps
for the gnarly prevailing northerly–
and it comes.

Mornings, I see bent-winged albatross
pierce the ocean surface for mouthfuls
of brightly-colored native fish,
and gulp them.

Cars from factories, fish from
the hand of creation, all around
the island shore in seasonal abundance.
Such industry!

Nylon tent, blue, stretches to stop
the non-stop wind flowing over
coral reefs. White caps in moonlight
all night long.

Wind-filled tent, bulging like a swollen
organ, trying madly to flee earthly emodiment.

While reading in the night, a false kamani
nut hits my book and shatters my thought.

Moon is bright late, and tropical air is
overpowered by high-pressure cold.

Lumpy cloud masses, like sky tumors,
irradiate the sunset.

Ultramarine troughs line in march
across the coral-decked bay.

Roosters sit in the trees at night
and talk about tomorrow’s bread crumbs.

At first light a park ranger has me awake.
She tells me the pop-up is bent,
but I know.

First Sight
First sight this morning, pushing my head
through tent screening,
is a long-necked, black and white,
albatross zeroing in on a fish-kill dive.

Murder in the middle of this morning
landscape, when I am still casting off
sleep, the high and incessant drama of
life and sudden death by eating.

I will turn to my diet book today,
but the recipe for live fish-gulp?
I do not recall it in the table
of contents.

My old way of eating and living,
too narrow to sustain
much of wily creation.

Now the lanky bird is further out,
in slightly deeper tidal waters, but
still reading chapter one, titled
simply “Fish”.

One Day a Poem
One day a poem will be only mine.
I will pick it out of my upper me
when all else is asleep below,
reach for it or maybe lasso with
delicate rope, and give it a sound

so that it will fall into me
gently as it drags through the
friction og my machine-like being,
and evens out in the form of a
sunset happiness puddle.

The most difficult part of making it mine
will be when I must wait patiently
for the consonants to find their
dance partners and begin the
spinning and marching in a formation
that I can reorganize as
belonging to me.

I Thought I Should Be Quiet
I thought I should be quiet
while everyone in the sanctuary
knelt and spoke to their
invisible hopes.

I knew some of the words,
had memorized and then forgot.
My trembling knees straightened
one day from their bent position
and I walked away.

He who shall not, cannot, did not,
did anyhow. I could not
walk very well with a mind
full of memorized thoughts
and knees skin-thin and

I don’t even want voices to hide
and talk to me any more. I’d
rather see my way down to the
tiniest ball of fire burning on earth
and feel that my destiny may be
something like that.

What Does It Take
What does it take to glide across the Pacific?
One paper ticket anda pack of
summer clothing,
one desire to swim with turtles
and a shoeful of soft sand.

What does it take to fight your way back home?
One burnt outer shell of red crustiness,
hair lingering and intertwined
with the resonance of shaking palms.

Ukulele Clamor

Ukulele clamor, taut strings
humming like long, thin rock.
Fish stuck in a net of planets
and twilight stars.

Bag up some sandwiches and
park in a sunny sea cove,
where turtles come burying
their promises to earth.

Sunset begins to whisper death,
but ukulele strums over beach firelight,
like undiscovered turtle eggs,
ward off darkness, bringing on
the dance of tomorrow’s life.

Light Is Sinking
Light is sinking all around me,
everywhere, so that I cannot follow
it with my eyes.

People on the beach on this island
slip on hooded parkas and pajama–
like pants–and scuttle home
over broken seashells.

I put on my extra layer too
for this sinking light, this
rising night, preparing for
a sleep on soft sand.

The waves that have broken in
miraculous green all day now
change their dominant color to gray.
I fumble with a bag of popcorn

as the sinking light drops
ever deeper and palm fronds
splinter and divide the precious
golden orange glow among the
watchful islanders..

The Left Side of Me

The left side of me–I try to keep it secret
from my right. Otherwise, how would I ever
view this sunlit morning bay of surf
working its way over and over the far reef?

My left, I have discovered, wishes to catalog
my insights and intuitions, perhaps even
number and record everything I have thought
and said, seen, felt–and lock up in my own
museum for later comparison and structuring.

That other me keeps on seeing new life anyhow,
not dulled and deadened by my threatening
biological machinery that clocks and ticks
away nervously, as though movement equates
with the vitality of rolling surf.

I need both left and right to steer through
unlikely channels of existence.

Down Under the Kamani

Down under the kamani trees
overhanging the sloping beach,
come sunset and darkness–
a campfire.

Strum the ukulele under
dark and persistent stars,
four strings in tune,
vibrating familiar syllables

soft tree limbs that have
connected with ancient
rhythm and dialog
with sky elements.

I hear in the background
on coral reefs the forgotten
echoes of Polynesian war
chants. something indistinct,

but about the goodness
of mountains and waterfalls
flowing in eternity.


This Morning the Plan
This morning the plan is to go
out among the angel fish
and humu.

I want to see if that
tiny pretty one is
still smiling.

Just yesterday we briefly
greeted each other
before he swam under rock.

I know he’s been wondering
about this creature looking
at him from overhead.

The myriad underwater
channels and rock tunnels.
I have so many places
to look.

Haiku Afternoons
Haiku afternoons
with hot green tea
while thumbing through
Cold Mountain–

the old Chinese poet
living above it all
and scribing verse
on rock.

My words will not
be chosen with such
care as to last
a thousand years.

But even a few lines
should last me awhile,
then, poof, lost among
ages of far away chatter.

Late Afternoon
Late afternoon
Anini blow down.
Such wind
lifting tents!

Bending whispy
ironwood limbs,
the creaking and

Mind lost for fear
of being struck in
the head by
sailing cocoanuts.

Frantic camp
tear down;
first long angry
sheets of rain begin.

North Coast
North Coast looking
at big waves
coming from Arctic–

life along the seashore
seems so threatened.

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