Lakeside

Have you ever heard something fall
under water, the dull scrape
of a fishing weight onto granite rock,
the drag, fisherman on the surface,
oblivious to you hiding, suspended
alongside dull mossy green bass,
still and not struggling between
crevasses of boulders, tumbled by time
into that glacial abyss; now tugging
his thin nylon line free, only to break
calm waters to cast again, this time
perhaps successfully;

The shafts of brilliant sunlight
as they pierce the shimmering pond,
how they illuminate that same boulder,
glint of metal on stone, almost too startling
for limited vision, breath taken in order
to descend, lungs now burning,
foolish gill-less fish, unable to remain
submerged indefinitely;

And now I rest under the bluest sky,
breathing in, exhaling that thin mountain air
without effort, cracking of beaks breaking seed
or the snoring of dogs, discerning sounds
as if in command of my own destiny, which,
as we know, is as indistinct a fabrication
as those distant lakeside conjurings.

Under the Quiet

Golden showers stream down
in dappled luminescence,
crescent slivers of fragrant
eucalyptus leaves
and she sits, no distraction
save the gurgle of a coppery-
bottomed meandering brook,
sparkling and nosing its way
through giant boulders
rolled into place long
before flows were choked back
to mere trickles, still it exudes
contentment, beauty;

She wonders at the silence
under the silence, what is the
texture of a thing unseen?
Too fine a vision has gotten her
in trouble more than once,
overactive imagination
they called it yet it persists,
and her mind can’t stop wondering
if there is this, than there must
be that, something deeper
in the woven shadows of trees,
the hollows of husky trunks,
the shapes of billowing clouds,
themselves harbingers of light
released from cerulean skies
in the form of diamond drops,
lustrous liquid giving off
the only sound in a world
once silent as grass,
or the thoughts that plague
her now.

Mana Rd., Big Island HI ~ bj

Wisdom Watch

On the gentle winds that swirl around,
I hear the echoes of past, present, future,
voices of the ancestors, whispers
only the smallest attenuated bones
of a dog’s ear can hear, but:

Listen;

Just under the threshold of consciousness,
word images form, wisdom that comes
in an archaic language long forgotten,
and yet in dreams, understood;

Extraordinary hearing is not necessary,
only the desire to attend to prompts
normally screened out, leaving most
unaware of their existence, which does
not invalidate them;

Ignorance is a thing disregarded,
still, simply because one does not
Believe, does not make anyone smarter,
reveals, in fact, an unwillingness to accept
the viewpoints of others;

Listen.

Learn. Wisdom can be taught,
but not if one’s ears are shut.

 

Jump

Over the precipice I crouch, ready to fly,
far from nature’s firm embrace,
my familiar; wondering now
what remains, how to regain ground
if the choice is to stay;

I have been here before many times;
only jump, I counsel, and you will rise
like the phoenix, sail through basalt
ethers, soaring up and up
into azure heavens where the view
fans out clearly before me; then,
and only then can I return refreshed,
renewed in spite of edging darkness
threatening to engulf me in confusion;

Black birds dart obscenely as shadows
lengthen, drawing me forward and out
beyond the delicate framework
of existence and soon my choices
will evaporate like mist; favoring action
over indecision hastens transmutation;

Jump. The word echoes in the rushing
reverberations of wind, a whirling vortex
of ecstatic wonder, freedom of flight,
liberation from the dull pique of gravity,
unimpeded vistas of emerald and chestnut
and umber; snow-capped mountain peaks,
their jagged edges framed starkly against
smooth shoulder of river and glade,
oceanic indigo and turquoise hues
punctuating torn cotton shreds of clouds,
golden beams of light scattered through;

Without effort I light softly now, no bone-
crushing landing in this dreamscape,
weightless and cleansed and struck through
with illumination I awaken, newly birthed
into a world filled with marvels yet to behold.

Kohala double rainbow Waimea canyon overlook, Kauai

Red cardinal, Pololu ValleyMauna Kea beach sands

Kilauea tidepool, Kauai

as always, all photos ©Bela Johnson

Nocturnal Admission

Everything undulates slightly
in the twilit hours, rippling gently
as a mirage.

What seems solid during daylight
becomes other by nightfall,
as things left unresolved
return to haunt the living.

Thus we dwell upon passing thoughts,
full-blown as stories once told
to the very young when we remembered
that which we did not yet know.

Secrets carried like diamonds
on our back spilling forth, then landing
like rocks from the sack.

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