Water Foul

Once upon another century,

Ali’i women bathed

In Little pond’s cool clear waters,

Their broad coconut-oiled shoulders

Glistening like smooth lacquered koa

Under a tropical sun.

Her lens mirrored the song of the iwi’i,

Tracing its hurried flight path;

Darkening to the approach of rain clouds,

That birthed mountain springs

Refreshing her vision.

When the machines came Lono cried,

His tears washing over mauled mountains

Flushing weed-evicting herbicides,

Advancing Little pond’s clouding cataract.

Shadows blacken her brackish waters,

Cast by an overgrowth of kiawe trees

Dropping leaves, pods and long-spiked branches

Piercing the Braille of her depths.

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