Plume

Rising phoenix-like from the core of our Mother,
she gathers shards of herself into long, sinewy
fingers pointing straight or now diverging
into strands of molten marvel, goddess breadth
of hips dancing, swaying, undulating ribbons
of pāhoehoe folding in and over the land;

Now to temper in salty waters, spilling forth,
expanding continentally in the unseen depths
of turquoise sea to rise anew, again, bony spine
arching above, belly anchored far below
on the ocean’s quaking floor, tremors felt
through seismic needles oscillating wildly
or sporadically slowing, never flatlining;

Creation made manifest, insistent, beyond
the reach of meddling hands, this is lovely
Hawai’i nei, land of volcanoes, Pele’s domain,
locus of wonder, millennia in the making,
verdant forests rooting in rock, curls of ferns
in misty elevations furling in and out of memory,
mosses drinking vapor in droplets, conducting
underground symphonies to tangled roots,
ōhia striking through ebony lava with fluffy
crimson blossoms as majestic koa soar above;

An ancient kinetic knowing rules her expanding
coastline, slowly waxing under Hina’s watery eye
while we slumber soundly beneath her pale glow;
meanwhile creatures of the night begin rustling
and emerging from the cool of earth’s
dark shelter until dawn streaks watercolors,
welcoming the morning sun.

Volcanoes National Park lava tube
Volcanoes National Park – fern forest
Bark of old koa tree, Volcano Village

Kalapana lava flow – 2016
Ōhia (Pele’s flower) on the flanks of Mauna Kea
Pololu Valley, early morning – 2015
~ all photos ©Bela Johnson

26 thoughts on “Plume

    1. I am, thanks! Our island is expanding far beyond the expectations of many, though volcanologists were warning of imminent danger of eruption. No loss of life though. Meanwhile in Guatemala … 😔 Aloha, and all the best! ❤️

      1. Truly. Nature is both beautiful and terrifying, mostly because it gives zero f*cks about our feelings… Aloha and all the best to you as well!

  1. “An ancient kinetic knowing rules her expanding
    coastline,” So enjoyed your thoughts Bela So poetic.. Those dawn streaks of watercolour.. Beautifully imagery. And fabulous captures of her ancient expanding veins.. ❤
    Hope you are well and having a good week..
    Take care Bela.. Aloha xx

  2. Loved your poetic rendition of Mother Nature’s fury, making it pleasant through your words…well done Bela! Some of the expressions clearly bring the plume into sight… “of hips dancing, swaying, undulating ribbons…”Superb! Thanks for sharing lovely pictures though your words coruscate through a unique image of Mother Earth around you.

    1. Aww, thanks so much, Balroop. High praise which I am very grateful for 🤗 I usually just add one image, but in this case when using some Hawaiian words as well, I wanted to paint with a broader stroke. Aloha 🌈🙏🏽🌺❤️

  3. Wow, Bela! Stunning imagery in this, line after line. I’m in awe of the content, and also of your gift for descriptive writing. Thank you for sharing the photos. (I’ve been watching this on the news every day. Glad there haven’t been any casualties.) Gaia does what she must do – always changing, growing, reshaping herself. ❤️

    1. Mahalo, Betty! I agree about Gaia, for sure. “Civilized” humans have largely forgotten who is in charge. At times such as this on the island, we get to understand that concept a bit better. And most realize the awesome power of Tutu Pele and balance their losses with a dose of resignation. Guatemala on the other hand … those are some grievous losses. We can count our blessings. 😘

  4. Incredible ode, dear Bela! I can feel the passion of your love for your beautiful home. Such a massive eruption…and Guatemala…Mother Earth appears to be speaking.
    Sweet blessings 💜

    1. Thanks, Lorrie! Yes, I love this earth. No doubt about it. And yes, Guatemala. Such tragedy there. And though it’s sad to lose homes and possessions here on this island, no loss of life like our less fortunate South American sisters and brothers. We are so blessed. Aloha. 😘

  5. One barely needs pictures given your worded evocations, dear Bela, beautiful though the former are. Many congratulations on yet another exquisitely wrought posting. H ❤

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