By: Bela Johnson

May 30 2017

Tags: , , ,

Category: Hawaii, lifestyle, nature, philosophy, rural living, Uncategorized


Focal Length:4.15mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:iPhone 5s

Ragged cuticles rim blunt fingers familiar
with soil dug up in clinkers and clumps;
was it turned over to bury tree stumps, posts
from railroad iron serving as clothesline poles
strung end to end with necessary garments
scrubbed on a board, set in crude concrete
mixed by shaky brown hands creased
with good red dirt fused into long sheaves
of sugar cane cut by men with knives
still sold on these islands, melting pot
of workers brought from far away, promise
of a better life, only heaven knew the scale
upon which such an upgrade was tallied;

Hard times, yet still we walk
that same ocean path trod by families
with picnic baskets, headed for
cliffs fringing rocky shoreline, music
of voices glad for the end of day,
simple pleasures, family, friends, life
in and out of the moment;

Fast forward fifty years and a massive
backhoe guts the ground, revealing broken
bottle necks, china made in occupied Japan,
gaming marbles mottled in swirly hues
languishing now in a small handcrafted vessel
nested betwixt composite granite kitchen sink
and fiberglass screening, pitiful buffer
between possessions and provisions greening
and growing in an enclosure of earth
one claims as home in this hair’s breadth
of eternity.

14 comments on “Scale”

  1. Love the old marbles.. 🙂 and its surprising what people discard and leave ..
    When I dig in my garden, in the allotments, I often find broken pieces of willow pattern or earthen ware pottery. And I have found lots and lots of broken stems of clay pipes.. I am yet awaiting the prize of the pipe bowl.. 🙂 but each piece I save, in the shed, and wonder upon the man or woman who smoked the clay pipe all those years ago who stood on the ground I now tend..
    Love and Blessings 🙂

    • Yes! And where you stand is far older than these islands … I hope you do find your special treasure, it would be fitting to a treasure such as yourself ❤ Thanks, Sue!

      • 🙂 aww.. what a beautiful thing to say.. And I will be writing back very soon! 🙂

      • Not to worry! Now that graduations are over and photography commitments fulfilled, I am madly trying to get all my new trees and shrubs in the ground before summer sets in with its potentially searing heat. We’ve already had a few of those kinds of days. Chris has upgraded the outdoor plumbing to allow for another high-pressure hose to cover the backyard. Along with the front hose, at least now I’ve not got four hoses I’m winding out and winding back. The high pressure does it – shoots all the hard to reach corners and gives the smaller trees a nice shower and everybody is happy 😉 Aloha, Sue ❤

      • 🙂 yes despite all the rain the UK gets, April was unusually dry .. We had few thunderstorms but not much rain, so we are watering the home garden with hoses too.. The allotments takes longer with watering cans.. back and forth to the water cisterns on the allotments 🙂 But all worth it.. Enjoy your planting Bela.. Aloha.. and much love. ❤

      • Yes, we’ve had blessed rains this past year, all year long. But I’m afraid we’re going to go back to the ‘reverse weather pattern’ of Kona winds and straight-down rains, meaning our tradewinds with their lovely cool air and gentle nightly rains would be silenced and a searing humid heat in their place. Indeed I truly hope I am wrong about that. But preparing, nevertheless.

        Due to the increase of global warming effects on these islands, I’ve spent the last 10 years planting many trees on the two properties we have owned – not a minor task with volcanic soil. The soil itself is rich, but very hard and rocky in places. I spent 5 hours straight yesterday weeding a large new bed we had covered in macnut husk/much a couple of weeks ago, only to see significant tufts of grass popping up through. Some grasses are stilled with this kind of cover, but unfortunately (I now know) not the centipede grass(!) Then I added to the one papaya elder with several arms and the bush thunbergia with its lovely perpetual indigo blossoms: a Kula (golden) gardenia, a Tahitian gardenia, an amazing flaming colored hibiscus and two mosquito plants (citronella). And the crown of Creation: a sweet Magnolia – something I never thought would fit into the yard until I found it in a diminuitive hybrid/’dwarf’ size. After petting its lovely durable leaves with their soft furry underbodies, I put everybody to bed for the night with another couple of loads of mulch, some Super Thrive and a good watering. Then the (light) rains came to finish them off. This morning found me rewarded with a bright open hibiscus blossom and some perky plants! I’m happy, if exhausted. Only the Meyer Lemon to dig a hole for now – and that can wait until tomorrow. ❤ ❤ ❤

      • Oh wow Bela, sounds like you are creating your own little piece of paradise . I hope you are wrong about the weather.. But when we get a ‘Knowing’ it sits deep..
        Have a restful evening and enjoy your plants and planting.. 🙂 And Enjoy Every tomorrow! Bela.. ❤

      • You as well, dear Sue. ❤

  2. I love the perspiring and grimy sensuality of the first stanza, Bela, and how then we drop into the lilting second, and then how you bring the past into the present, tying in that superbly composed photograph. Really, very beautifully done. Many congratulations, Hariod. ❤

    • Ooohh, grimy sensuality – that’s a great description. Thanks for your sweet comments as always, Hariod. Hadn’t seen you skulking around lately, so it’s good to note your name popping up in all the familiar places 😉 Love!

      • Not having so much time for blogging of late, dear Bela. I’m back doing long form writing and very much enjoying it, although it is pretty demanding in terms of concentration and energy. I find I need to go offline and focus for 3 or 4 hours at a stretch to get properly engaged as I write and plan. I think I need the challenge currently, and shall probably be immersed in that at least until the year end. It’s going quite well so far, and I’m about a quarter way into what I imagine will end up being an c.80k word body. H ❤

      • You don’t know how happy it makes me to hear that’s what you’re doing. I hope I get to read what you’ve written one day! Kudos to you; I totally respect what anybody needs to do, and your contributions to this world are important.

        Please keep me posted, if you can and will – even a short email to say you’re fine and writing 😉 ❤ ❤ ❤

      • Thanks for the kindly note of encouragement, lovely lady. I shall still be here most weeks, and Esme’s place too, and maybe occasionally Pink’s (the awful little terror), but am needing to back off a lot of blog reading so as not to become too distracted. I’d like to sustain the blogosphere connections, if I can, especially with those few I feel a real affinity with (such as yourself), though I can’t really write whilst being pulled this way and that, so visits to most blogs are becoming less frequent. You poems and prosetry (is that the word?) are always so stimulating, though, and in all sincerity I feel you have such a special gift with words that I don’t want to miss out on the inspiration you provide. More than that, I feel you’ve become a dear friend to me. Does that sound weird? H ❤

      • Not at all weird, I feel exactly the same. It’s strange, too, never having met you. And I’m not a collector of friends, by any means. Acquaintances, sure. But friends are diamonds in my slice of sky.

        As long as I see you somewhere (esme, Pink), I am content. Please do not feel at all obligated to visit my blog. I promise I will not ever take offense. Thanks so much for your kind touch-in, my friend. No worries at all, however you need to take care of yourself. Big hugs and Aloha ❤

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