All One

Time slips by, a wisp, a wrinkle,
and soon we are dust, unremarkable,
insignificant; as one, at long last,
with the beauty that surrounds us.

 

Waialea Bay
Old Kiawe, Waialea
Sunset, Kohala Coast
Kohala Coastline Mauka View

 

All photos ©Bela Johnson

What Has Been

This post is entitled appropriately as my ode to 2018. 2019 seems downright revved up, as we begin with the first dry weather we’ve had in some time. And the energy to clear up what was muddled most of last year! Aloha, All:::

Rain streams now in sheets, curtains sweeping,
drumming over metal rooftops, drawing me out
of slumber, winking like a mole as I snap
on the light, settle onto the spare bed
and begin to write, for there will be no sleep
in this sudden pitch of restlessness;

The waters of an uneasy spirit are drawn down
from overhead clouds masking what can only
be known when night filters out distractions
of the day; too much chaos, obligatory
conversations, automatic responses triggered
by years of people pleasing, dishonoring
my own deep need for less of everything;

And how could I have known this was
a requirement for sanity in glaring headlamps
of the world’s demands, as if Creation itself
could not possibly move forward without
my constant input;

Ironies abound as ends have overtaken means,
while the stark realization that life goes on
with or without me is finally the liberation
sought all along, freedom arriving,
at along last, unfettered and perpetual.

Waning light, Kailua-Kona
Around the bend, Kailua-Kona
Nishimura Bay view, Kohala
Lucy ponders the end of another year

All photos ©2019, Bela Johnson

Flux

I never wanted famous, though it was proffered
more than once; did not want to grow up
in public, recorded on the cortices of admirers,
on film or stage, no; talent may, through its
own merits, ease its way into hearts to pause
or to remain;

In the shadows or in the streaming blue daylight
I have roamed, senses piqued, attentive, bright-
eyed bird or a conger eel poking tentatively
in and out of its rocky burrow, seeking connection,
but then again wanting nothing so much
as to be left solitary, only the rushing sound
of waves overlapping, shards of sunlight slicing
through the columnar clusters of its coral cave;

In the balance it was nature that saved me,
shaking me down, down, until, touching bottom,
I was free to surface or submerge at will, no fear
of falling nor of what lay in the abyss,
no admonitions from trees or stars; skies did
not loom nor threaten, only sheltered, protected
whether blue or grey; in shrill winds or basking
crystalline stillness it was the same endless
continuum of something grace granted to explore,
within or without that strange flux, perpetual
motion drawing me into its rocking loose embrace,
lulling me, as if for the first time,
into contentedness in or out of the depths.

Puget Sound ferry
Mauna Loa pu’u
Kohala taro patch stream
Mauna Kea
Koa forest, Kohala

All photos©Bela Johnson

Journey

In self created confinement I dwell, waves
of consciousness crashing onto undisclosed
shorelines, thundering hooves of phantom horses
approaching through the sands of time;

Some might shudder at these contemplative
spaces, interstices of time before necessary
activities seep in to deplete inner resources,
yet how else to manage my own reserves?

It has ever been thus, on this shore
or that, in woods, blended into desert sage,
on this island paradise many yearn for,
and I wonder at life, at the marking of time,
random wandering through dreamscapes
of beauty, illusion teased into being;

Some call it journey, for how else to wrap
and ponder this packaged tour, fractal
in eternity, a never-ending celebration
of sense and sight and touch, carnality
and wits, the wonderment and awe;

And what is temptation if not diversion,
exorcising the terror of un-being, a race
to the finish, dip in the gold-leafed glory
of being alive, alight with threaded hues,
fabric of existence, cover for sorrow
at the temporality we share, and how
to eke out more, squeeze meaning
from the mundane; debts and obligations,
distractions and decisions, the weight
of knowing it will all be plowed asunder
and always too soon, too soon;

I sit with it daily, the quaking subsided,
ride it out in strong limbs while pedaling,
walk in companionship with creation, eyes
wide-open in wonder, capturing with my lens
what might otherwise be missed.

All photos ©2018 Bela Johnson

Bela’s Photographs

Aloha All:

Thought I would let you, my WordPress community know, that by popular request I have created a 2019 Calendar for the upcoming year. Each month features one of my photos taken within 50 miles of our home here on Hawaii Island.

I am so pleased to have found a wonderful printing company on the US Mainland that uses the highest quality heavy photo stock. They will mail the calendars direct to you, saving me postage from Hawaii to anywhere else, which at minimum for one calendar is $14.00. Best to invest in a good product rather than postage, I say.

If you’re pondering what to give yourself or loved ones for the holidays, this is affordable art for the home or office that changes each month and includes inspirational quotes as well. Calendars come in two sizes.

Aloha, and all the best,

Bela

Photos used for each month.

 

Husband Chris featuring January in a surprise photo shoot just after he got home from work 😉 Photo demonstrates the size of the large calendar as well as the various colored backgrounds.

Portal

There’s an invisible portal
in the mantle covering Earth;
look closely without staring:
focus softly, not sharp, and you
might conjure enough filaments
to pop through, unexpectedly
shifting into another realm
long ago expunged
from collective recall;

Most mortals have crowded
out memories beyond three
generations if that, not nearly
enough to make lucid a time
when indigenous folk and their
predecessors roamed a
wondrous green and blue planet,
gathering food and medicine,
striking camp to ramble because
that is what humans do, plagued
as we are with restless impulses,
compelled to elude perceived
restrictions;

The great Mystery held magic,
little known beyond one’s own
boundaries, where wildness
thrived, was necessary to a world
where life seemed more equally
met between predator and prey,
lacking modern means
of expunction;

Where have we come
in telescopic time, how now
to call ourselves civil, struggles
now stranded in boardrooms
and alleyways, even into ethers
of social media where the enemy
that is our own mind can be
sequestered in shadows
without cast;

Are we simply stuffing monsters
back under the bed as bequest
to future generations?

Rock face, Kohala coast
Spirit of the waterfall, Palouse Falls, WA. (See the face looking toward the right? And the leg ‘stepping out of the shower?’
Pele’s fire tender, Kalapana, HI
Do you ‘see’ the greenish/bluish fish toward the bottom of the frame? It wasn’t there, but then again it was. Near Walla Walla, WA.
Even this: someone hung an old deer or elk skull on a tree (to mark a trail? To scare someone or something?) Yet look at it from the side, and you can see an owl pecking at the bark. Clancy, MT.

Welcome to my world. I don’t often write about such extra-sensory experiences, but I have always observed things in nature that are difficult to describe to others (save my husband and girls, who likewise see what most do not.) Don’t look too hard, but try the soft focus suggested in the poem. You might view things differently, and maybe you’ll strike out in nature more often to ‘see’ for yourself! Aloha. (All photos © Bela Johnson)Rock face, Kohala coast.

Returning

My love for the land, whether thick wood
or freshwater, has never left my awareness,
ever seeking shelter in the bosom
of Creation, Gaia Mother, by whatever
name she may be known;

And as I return to this rugged terrain
of my birth, I am reminded that grace
is ever offered in the pauses
and the stillness of rivers and forest,
of mirrored lakes and skies where hawk
and heron eke out survival amidst
the frenzy of human existence,
and they see us, too, their razor eyes
yet trained on survival;

Still there is no tightness in shoulder
or heartbeat, gliding freely as wind
through my own crumpled hair, cruising
on lilting thermals, heedless of danger
and their own death stalking,
and I wonder at human folly,
the mistrust of our bodies, flesh
our own indomitable link to the endless
cycle of existence, mind eluding
this blessed reality in favor of fantasy,
the movie reel oblivious to the story, itself
impressed upon the film to last as long
as it will;

Rivers stand the test of time without need
to impress anyone, lest they be dammed up
at the hands of man; nourishing waters
without which we would lose not only
beauty, but the very fount of life, itself.

  • Deception Pass, WA
    Anacortes, WA
    Eby’s Landing, WA
    Forest trail, Ladysmith, BC
    River kayaking, Leavenworth, WA
    Whidbey Island, WA

    all photos ©Bela Johnson

River Watch

The river runs, swollen in spring
from a source high up in crevasses
of snags jutting skyward of tree line,
cracks perpetually harboring snowpack,
bald crags carved by weather and the
bare relentless blaze of a
beneficent sun;

Churning down gullies and sluices,
bounding over boulders and rocks
wrapped in tangles of gnarled giants,
arboreal elders rooted in gneiss
from ages past, feeding from that
pure crystalline source;

There is no stopping the flow
until inserted concrete bulwarks
cause it to fan out, curtain-like,
sparking jewels from midday shards
of refracted light, dancing through
branches and dying in the froth
of churning surge, foaming,
ever rambling, to the inlets
of the sea.

Photos taken while traveling over Stevens Pass, Washington State. ©Bela Johnson, 2018

After the Storm

So much to contemplate, days
without distraction save the pattering
and drumming of rain and more rain
upon metal roof, wind in absentia
selling short the hurricane;

Time alone in a storm differs
from time alone by intent, the former
leaving one feeling trapped and dodgy,
removing liberty from the equation,
stifling as the heavy wet atmosphere,
leaving one to wonder at illusions,
fascinations, human dramas
of desire and repulsion;

If granted all wishes, a day would
become simply a day, choices not
near equal to the gifts of Creation;
for a time we might languish then
grow fidgety, longing for something
other, even this water seeping
from heavy skies;

If we could fabricate weather, who
or what then to blame when yet new
circumstances beyond our control
creep up to tap us on the shoulder,
prompting questions to the lips,
spinning us round and round
until, exhausted, we finally lean
into surrender?

Social media capture of the highway that intersects our street.
Hapuna Beach as I have never seen it and as few have – no people, just a crescent of white sand.
Body surfers outside Kamana Kitchen cafe in Kona town.
Kohala Mountain Rd. heading toward Mauna Loa volcano and Waimea town.
Mahukona Park lonely tree, so called.
Sunset shot taken from Kapaa Park trail.

~All photos save the first, ©Bela Johnson