"Oh? Whose birthday is it? How old are you?"
And sure enough, that kid's mother is bringing those red velvet, white iced cupcakes to school.
I have to remember to tell the kids to throw those wrappers outside into the big trashcan, or the roaches and ants will come into the classroom demanding theirs too. Here you bugs, you can have all you want, but just have your party outside with the mongoose, cats, rats, chickens, mynas, mice, geckos and parrots.
Happy birthday kid, whoever you are. And tell your mother thanks, it was "sweet" of her to think of it. With a mouthful of cupcake, the adult loses out to the kid in me and I say with food in my mouth, "Are you having a birthday party later?" Some of the red velvet cake spills on my borrowed desk, while ants and roaches begin their strategies of how to make it across the battlefield of 30 sets of insect mashing slippers and sneakers to get to that red velvet treasure.
I usually try to push roaches and centipedes outside to fight another day, because kids with cupcake in their mouths will stomp them.
the state park was open early for pig hunters and pseudo-scribes
for collectors of bottles and early morning hikers
dogs on the scent, tracking that invasive species
cold, misty rain whistles through the air
all the while the sun and clouds play hide and seek
lighting waikiki below our majestic mountain
the ocean surrounds like a comfortable blanket, this island bed
the music, disjointed and not made by man
the winds bluster and subside the birds do jazz calls
each answering that beaked horn
with his best blow
in the end the sun lights a veil of misty curtain closing
until the next show. . .
from-Louis Marvin Lives Again
I am afraid to step inside the zoo, for there are beasties and man-eaters (so they think)
idiots and brow-beaters, point chasers and artificially inflated rankings buyers
"we are doing it for our children" they claim
I have armed my child with a bullshit detector, and she knows to walk away from it
but sometimes, you have to load the gun, you have to string the bow
for we have seen the beasties, the parents unleashties, pedofreaks and spiders that lure flies
we have seen parents who transform like Talbot or Hyde, into a mad man howling at a moon
these my darling, are the ones I have given you the silver bullets for
Welcome to the zoo, where the monkeys claim to be tigers
and we know the only tigers ride the waves and hit baseballs and volleyballs in Hawaii
drink your gatorade, and hunt for something grander than these little monkeys
So there I stood, a father waiting for his kid to finish her tennis lesson
looking at the volcanic rock structure of the school of the arts
wondering if my daughter would be in this place next year
playing piano or dancing or doing art or singing with them
I came to a place where the stairs went down to dark corridors
it went down to where ghosts from so long ago could inhabit
I descended, then ascended and found no ghost here
Then came to the back of the building and looked down a story
and the story was a black pair of ballet shoes perfectly placed on a window sill
the girl now gone, left her spirit in the ballet slippers
they lay flat on the sill, for she was out and about the property
she was in tree shadows and had her ghost feet in the grass
but sometime, you could see those ballet slippers dance
at midnights, with moons bright, with black cats awake and hunting
those ghost black ballet shoes could dance from memory
shows she had put on at Mid-Pacific School of the Arts
Working generation auntie-grey haired, with strong hands
Her neices come into the 7-11, to buy junk food
with food stamps (auntie works, but we don't)
Then, a young school age girl calls the food stamp neices auntie
She bums some change and smokes
Food stamp auntie says, "How come you're not in school?"
little girl smiles
The working, grey haired auntie smiles and shakes her head at me---
I say to myself--
Who am I to judge?
I'm ditching work, watching them ditch work and school
I love Hawaii!
From "Wind and Rain on Rock" and WORKS
Let us bask in the light
of a 50s or 60s bright, fake crystal chandelier of The Imperial
Locals and tourists alike, politics left and right
have walked happily under the light of The Imperial
Arizone sisters, with some sun blisters
some Phoenix sand and Prescott pine tar in hand
Have left the confines of a comfortable local condo
for the light of The Imperial
Don Ho is gone now, IZ has passed, Gabby too
But their bright spirits still shine under a dim, fake light at The Imperial
Up around her roof and roots has grown the Beach Walk and Trump Hotel
an ultra rich, silly hell
I am saved in this heavenly light of the fake crystal chandelier of The Imperial
from "Louis Marvin Lives Again"
get along Asian pretties, island mommies too
get along and float your boats in these family streams
get along and live your lives, in an island dream
while the rest of the world smolders and smokes
we float on short boards and icy umbrella drinks
get along island children, raise up the island chain prosperity
get along with all these crayola races and faces, foods and moods
none are wrong, when they lead to a song of peace
get along lady island fair, get along on a trade wind
troubles blow away on a breeze
green plants, blue sky and water, black and red volcanic rock
and 1,000 rainbows color our eyes
This is dedicated to the lady who helped me in the front office and to the gate keepers everywhere at Hawaii schools.
There is a beautiful statue in front of Royal Elementary School in Honolulu. It was crafted by Kim Duffett of bronze and acrylic. It made me want to write.
There are two children reaching for knowledge, who seem to have befriended the book.
In it's transparency I see it being there for the taking. Not hidden, or grown old and musty like many millions of books have grown through the ages. It is a book of now, transferred into the teacher's and children's minds.
It grows transparent because it is being used like the tree in Shel Silverstein's "Giving Tree". The book is ghosted, as it's spirit now rides in the minds of the island's children and adults.
Mr. Duffett and the lady in the office, along with my poor writer's pen and paper can all share a smile.
The job of the sculpture or any piece of art is to make one think. The school has a similar function.
From the man who waters the garden behind B-2, to the tater tot makers and bakers in the kitchen, we all feed the children.
The art of teaching, parenting and assisting children in their learning creates masterpieces. The students in turn, reshape and reform us each day as we are but clay in their hands.
All parts synchronized make us think and grow.
There is a sculpture in front of a school in Honolulu, that has succeeded Royally in it's intent to teach.
From "A Teacher's Notes Volume 1"
Driving from Honolulu to Hawaii Kai, to Kailua, to Kaneohe, to Kahuku, to
Haleiwa-----all along the ocean shore and beaches
It is no reach to view the heavens in purple, pink, orange and first rays of the sun
It is no stretch to view the colors of angels in the ocean both shallow and deep
It is no great leap to see the greens of the world unfurled before us at rainforest, jungle
and public park
But, the blasphemy comes when we become so blase about this church of beauty, so
matter-of-fact that we don't tear up
or swell inside with laughter and pride
When this becomes a bore, it is the devil's work
From "Walking Church Tour".
Maybe those skipping lightly from wave to L & L to church to family to talk story got it right.
see ALUMINUM FOILS.
Standing at the rocky cliff
right of Sea Life Park
We beheld the birth of a new day
in baby colors risen in pinks and light blues
As volcano rock stacks and hillside cactus were lit
by the dawn's baby
The pinks and blues faded to greys and whites
The ocean played alarm clock waves and woke the birds and man
The wind was cool and cutting
From "Louis Marvin Lives Again"
So green up in the living tree (like so many fans)
And when the wind whips up and the leaves fly and flutter from their slumber
It is our autumn (only in Hawaii)
Browns and yellows on the ground (like a carpet, with bugs in it)
Have you seen the banyon tree carpet of leaves dance in the wind?
Coming and going, going and coming
Some stay close like momma's boys
some take off like adventurers
Only the wind knows who comes and who goes
From "Chisland" and WORKS.
The piped in Hawaiian Strip Mall Music plays behind me
The ocean water laps the dock
A couple of boats took out some folks
A lone paddler cruised by
And here I sit at another great island office
spilling my simple soul
From "T-Shirts and Video" and WORKS
He cast his line into the sea,
with a clatter on volcano rock--
His pole hit
His line and lure jumped and flew into the ocean--
The line snapped and the pole cracked
Who was there to chastise with love?
The same man that showed me how to fish.
The Same man that showed me how to cast.
The same man that showed me how to bait it.
He says with love:
"Hey little man! You tink you could be a little more careful!?!"
From "Truth" and WORKS
Dash in, dash out
Hit rock, hit sand-----and you give birth to your babies
Mother Ocean gives birth to her baby tide pools
She nurtures them
So many children, and each like a child-
With a different life in them
Each pool a miracle to behold------
Stay and pray and give a nod of private love
To each pool and child you can know
From "Truth" and WORKS
From the moment she steps off the plane in Honolulu, Satie plays a sad song as the background music to this tale.
The sunshine is bright, and this time a man, escort-tour guide-companion will help her to spend the time.
She goes to her bags and he'll meet her outside the doors with the rental car. Everything is paid for by the woman.
He is waiting for her in a modest car. The man jumps out and grabs the bags.
They drive to her hotel. The man points out Wyland's whale wall. He's lived in Honolulu long enough to know the tourist and small "local" spots.
They settle her into the hotel and decide to scout the area around her place within walking distance.
The man's services come from an idea he had to try to stay the lonliness he had after his wife passed. He would be a personal tour guide/escort.
The job had no hidden agenda in it. But, from time to time women and romance or lonliness, added to male companionship and Hawaii, plus some alcohol, led to sexual encounters.
The crux of the meeting was to have meal companionship, a beach mate and someone to shop with.
He got paid as tour guide, and the companionship was part of the tour.
They dined and shopped. They read and swam. He showed her parks and secret places around the island.
They had room service and listened to local music. They ate plate lunch and shave ice.
They went to late night jazz bars, got drunk, fucked and laughed.
He loved his home and showing ladies the island. They enjoyed having a man to do this with.
It was happy and sad at the same time. It was Satie playing piano. It had a tear and a smile. It was sunshine with some rain too.
From "Bobby's Mostly True Adventures II" and WORKS
It was always a pleasure returning home, not to the big city. She lived in the Tantalus/Roundtop jungle, mountain area above the Manoa/Makiki neighborhoods.
She lived in the rainforest, where the chickens still multiplied and the parrots and cockatoos had long ago escaped and gone wild again.
The mosquitos were a problem, so you have pleasant smelling, natural repellant at every entrance/exit.
She so loved the Museum of Modern Art in her own mountain neighborhood. She modeled her own home to have art spread throughout. It was elegant and never imposing. She would commission new artists or veterans to use a space or an idea and then find the space.
The home, landscape, art and lighting became one. Top of the line BOSE and JBL/Harmon Kardon speakers filled the property. She mixed Indian, Jazz, New Age, Classical, Acoustic Guitar, Hawaiian, Soft Rock and quiet cerebral music from Asia, Africa and South America. It was a visual and acoustic wonder.
Sometimes dinner parties had themes of Literature or art, music or video------which could include movies or television. She had wine, spirits, beer, juices and the ocassional huka or some other discreet recreation lined up for the mind.
Doris Duke had Shangri-La, and Dr. Wang had her home done like her life was painted by her parents----arts, academics and athletics.
Her office, working medical-civil engineer library was filled with books where Literature and history, women's studies, Asian studies, etc., sat side by side with medical journals, civil engineering and chemistry books, plus social sciences and technology and construction books.
The music ran through the house and grounds from here too, and this was another extensive collection.
She had a grand tennis court with a fridge and men's and women's lockers, ball machine and a wall to hit on. Here too was a little stereo system, that played a little more rockin' music with Elvis, Buddy Holly, Punk, Rock, Return to Forever, Symphonies, Bluegrass and Country, Fusion and big band stuff that all got you excited to play.
"If you don't like my music, tough shit! It's my court." Then she would try to win every point and every match.
There were bikes, beach stuff for snorkeling and stand up paddle equipment. But the court was queen.
In each of her living areas in 1-2-3, she kept smaller versions of this paradise. All underscored by ethics.
From E-R-* (1-2-3).
Than a gentle breeze to cool a classroom.
Than palm fronds blowing in the breeze.
Birds, making a music.
The classic radio station on or Hawaiian mellow tunes bouncing like waves.
A book of verse or sayings or Thoreau on Walden Pond.
A small snack from the little store next door.
A drink to cool my throat.
To return to my wife and child, to see a movie we like, to eat a supper of fish and rice.
This is a heaven.
From "Truth" and WORKS
On a daily basis
I enter into contract
My reputation on the line
On a daily basis
I earn my living
Satisfied with my piece of pie
On a daily basis
I interact and teach
I coach and mentor too
On a daily basis
I am content
I shut and lock up the day
I return the key--------------
On a daily basis
A good day or bad
It was but one
No more, no less
Today-smiling in me
Tomorrow-a smile yet to come
Like any great love, sometimes it's more soulful, sometimes you have to tell it like it is to show that deep, deep love and affection.
The island has been my muse. I just have to head to the rainforest or the ocean or cruise to the north shore. There is always something beautiful to talk about.
The island where my daughter was born
The island where I met my wife
The island where we spread Gram J. ashes
The island where I found my favorite jobs
The island where slack key lives
The island of hula and aloha
The island we call home
The island where we make our stand
The island of love
From "A Wife's and Daughter's Virtuous Protector" and WORKS
In a Chick Corea
or Bill Evans
or Keith Jarrett
moment in time
With an island breeze
a bird song
a salty sniff of ocean air
The ivory key is struck just right
From "Japanese Folder" and WORKS
So I prayed
with salt sea air
and a constant white noise crasssshhhhhhh
on volcanic rock
As God lit up the horizon
in orange and purple blacks and blues
Sea salt into my lungs
following flowing water patterns
play like children along the shore
From "Walking Church Tour"
I liken the character of this eroding beach, to the character of a man growing old with grace.
It is only natural that a man and an island will someday both return to the earth and sea from which they came.
Palms have been uprooted in the daily swash, swash, swash of the waves. Like a man's arms who wear down with muscle loss or from a stroke.
Yet, this beach and this man's face, are lined with character and changing daily.
Each wave of time washes over us and we grow to less and we grow to more. We become saltier, and friendlier at the same time.
I do not want to preach, or overstep, or reach, but, a man and a beach, seem so similar.
Memories and tourists sunbathe on our shores.
From "Walking Church Tour".
she was so pleasant
I stained this page in homage with my ILLY coffee
and thought pleasant thoughts of you
At the Times in front of Temple Valley
From "Scraps" and WORKS
a wave silently swept ashore
the breeze blew east
if ever there were a time in the history of life, that the island could send aloha
it was then, and it was then that the aloha went
Local mothers, and Chinese mothers, and Japanese mothers all prayed their special ways
and this small, small island so far away
sent aloha in the quiet breeze
and one worker each at The Pentagon, The Trade Center and in that hero field
each had their cheek kissed with an aloha kiss
a silent, sweet breath of aloha on a long travelled trade wind
I have completed the formula
and, have digressed from successful tennis doctor
to unadulterated savage beach man
In other words,
I have gone from tennis bum
to beach bum
From "Parrots" and WORKS
The music cut through autism and Down's syndrome
It even cut through the tired lethargy of a middle age man
We rocked with Steve and Greg
We formed our own school band
The boy strapped to the gurney began to swing and sway
Every kid had a song to play
Every kid a star, the magic of music
That Sesame Street lullaby in this little corner of Hawaii
From "A Teacher's Notes, Volume I"
Next to where construction was bangin' away
next to the police station, and the middle school land 'o the dead
we had rockin' band of misfits, lead by the music lovin' teacher
that would be preacher, that former soldier, grey ghost growing older
those kids I can't control, those kids you can't beat
sittin' rocking out under the shady tree
maybe the only time all day there was freedom to see
they banged away on drums, hit that tamborine
I shook a shaky maraca, it was a chaos scene
the other classes heard it, started tappin' toes
a gecko heard it shook his ass and then he licked his nose
the police and teachers said "turn it down"
"no way" we said it's our time to rock and roll this town
until the last note had faded away, it was our turn to turn it on
that's a scene from Kalihi, which school I will not say
but the kids and me know
we know, g'day
There is a family with a grumpy rabbit from the desert----
a barking dog from China-----
And a dragon, who burps and farts fire (from Honolulu China Town)
One day the grumpy rabbit said,
"Don't eat the Korean hot wings---they are too hot for you dragon"
The dog barked "too hot! too hot! too hot! too hot! too hot!"
But the dragon thought she knew it all. So she ate the hot wings, hot kimchee and all the hot Korean stuff.
The dog saw a tear and came up to wipe it. The rabbit layed behind the dragon and sighed.
The dragon burped and farted at the same time, and burnt the hair off the dog and rabbit.
The people see the naked rabbit and dog and think "wow, you gave all for your dragon."
"No, she did not listen and burned us."
From "Chinese Calligraphic Impressions Parts I and II"
Later in the evening, she offered me the shrimp from the plate lunch
"Hey, these noodles look like Singapore Noodles from Mini-Garden!"
They were the ghost of noodles, as only little shrimp spirits remained
Those great noodles, not overdone with curry are my favorite of their kind
"What, that great sandwich from Foodland wasn't enough?"
It was, but those noodles will always haunt me, and I will always have room
Like me, up at the crack of dawn
Casting his line into a deep, dark ocean
Closer to the shore, than the real deep
We bait our hooks, go to the likely spots
and hope for the best
Good luck Mr. Fisherman!
From "Baby Grows Up" and WORKS
It sat in the middle of a Chinatown
It sat just off the street
It sat between vegetable vendors
A mattress, a lamp, an old TV and some other mundane stuff
The former owner was dead
And I felt priviledged to see the temporary shrine
After being in roomlight for so many years
Soaking up the Honolulu sun
In honor of. . .
From "Wind and Rain on Rock" & WORKS
A salty sea breeze,
a slow drive around an island,
writing as the waves crash and breeze blows,
dancing with your wife,
a kiss on your kid's head,
a dog-who has his master in the ocean surfing-
taking a huge shit in the bushes, with a dog smile on his face
lots of life in tide pools-universes of their own,
a ratty old hat, in a beater car, that gets good gas mileage,
with old chip bags and cans of coke,
sitting around Diamond Head Tennis Center,
having a beer and some snacks,
talking smack, after some games with friends
And now, back to that kiss,
they can't foreclose on it, it doesn't drop in points,
it does not lose it's value,
a kiss-a real in the moment kiss
it's the treasure you seek you silly pirates and plundering cowboys.
From "Snakeskin and Turtle Shells"
I show up to work with special needs pre-school children, and I am greeted by the other state bird of Hawaii. The place has chickens galore, and they got "chicken babies".
Personally I love a classroom that has something alive in it, such as turtles or rabbits or birds or fish. In addition to the chickens running round the campus, this teacher had guppies. And she has an aquarium full of fish babies.
I spent the end of the day listening to Jack Johnson and friends "Curious George" music, watching the fish or sitting between a hen that had a set of white chicks and another that had a set of black chicks. Never too busy to sit with some integrated chickens.
When the kids took their naps, they became the kids in the boxes. They had cardboard boxes that would stay together with clips so the kids were "forted" in to their naps areas.
I noticed, like thousands and thousands of classrooms around this country, their share of Dr. Seuss books. Going into the little kid classrooms is like a lifetime of kindergarten.
a rail worker, working above one of the roads or freeways got cut, and some blood splashed on the asphalt and white line of the road
I can already picture the flowers, breeze, birds and grasses under a magic Hawaiian sun. My Chinese girls are slowly waking up and will head up the ladies team to battle other Hawaiian women at Central Oahu Regional Park.
There must be magic in a place that has enticed me to stay for the better part of 15 years. I recently took a trip that started at the North Shore Pipeline area, where I travelled down the entire North Shore coastline stopping in various beach parks, then making a final stop at the Kaneohe District Park. Each one of these trips is magic for me.
A very special time was sitting at Turtle Bay and watching the sun rise, coloring the clouds pinks, oranges, dark and baby blues, while the ocean pounded the shore with white water waves.
The magic is the allure of the tourist trade, and the simple folks just trying to make it.