Sunday, April 3, 2011

Poetry - "Morose" and "Pele's Fiery Embrace"

Morose (© Naomi L. Shank, 1990)

Death pokes its leperous head up between weed roots
Peering at me through the twisted vines of my addiction.
Mocking me toward the abyss,
And daring me to jump.

Pele's Fiery Embrace (© Naomi L. Shank, 1999)
(O Kalapana e o Anson, Me Aloha*)

Visage of charcoal skin and ashen glow,
Billowing ropes of blackest licorice.
Deceitful crust, the lava's deadly flow.
The homes and lives of man, Her sacrifice.
Wild reddened embers spark engulfing flame,
Hot coiling entrails searing o'er the land.
Devastating all, sparing none.  She maims.
Charred remnants of ghost palms, spirit of man.

Queen of desire.  Queen of fire.  Goddess.  She.
Consuming all, to rocky shore She comes
Embracing sea with a deafening roar.
Crashing.  Pounding.  Steaming.  Full geysers seethe
To the rhythm of ancient native drums.
Where once breathed a village, there lives no more.

(* To the people of the village of Kalapana, and to my brother Anson, with love)
My brother Anson died November 16, 1998 at the age of 43. Kalapana, Hawai'i was an ancient fishing village on the Big Island until Pele covered it with volcanic flow from Kilauea in 1990. This poem is dedicated to both Anson and the village of Kalapana.

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