Plume II

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