The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness


Inspired by the haiku by  in Poésie, (See:

Is it righteousness or regret that we contemplate? Is there a bucket list or a mere acceptance that the quality of life is so diminished over time that we understand the demise of our physicality? I watch my mother capitulate to the last waves that wash over her breaking body, how we can predict the steps to her final resting place, someone who was once our equal and before that the first beauty to have shown her face, and by whom I measure all lovers.

Tonight, I held the head of a woman with my mother’s skull and I massaged her. I breathed her “essential oils” through her thinning hair and followed the lines of her delicate hands as I traveled them. She leaned against me and I felt my own heart and we looked at pictures of my mother when she was 18.

Sadly, I doubt this woman loves me, and so it is. Death is an acceptance of the truth; and like the arms flailing in the sand, it is a kind of suffocation that we felt when we were born: Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono.

And so perhaps you are correct: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.


  1. Others would try (and try is the word) to write something like this. But what came from your heart is beautiful in the photography of the moment.

    “by whom I measure all lovers.

    followed the lines of her delicate hands as I traveled them. She leaned against me and I felt my own heart and we looked at pictures of my mother when she was 18.”

    The ache. The art. And yes, we do look back when the inevitable pulls us forward.
    I am so sorry for the heartache.

    I visited a blogger who liKeD my poem — know? which I put up as a guest author. When I scrolled down to comment, I stumbled on your exchange with her. No need for a reply. Take care.

  2. Thank you for the compliment. You said that what came from my heart is beautiful as a picture and others may try to write something like this and yet you imply that their words would not be as beautiful. Doesn’t that depend on who the others are? We know others, who could “devastate” us with the pleasure of their words. Aren’t we always looking for that catharsis and don’t we and can’t we find it? I know you know how to find it. Your critical eye recognizes it, talks about it, and educates others. You understand the intricacies, the details, how and why it all works the way it does. You are the grammar doctor.

    “The inevitable pulls us forward” and as it does “we look back.” That’s a very interesting observation. It is almost like we are shy. We are moving forward but we run and hide in the past.

    I seem to do well with ache. Perhaps the only time I can write is when I sense an edge against which to push my body, my mind.

    The heartache is merely intellectual. None of it is real. I am so distanced from it that it is fiction, and so I recognize it, report it, and don’t even care about the consequences. I have no idea how it makes anyone else feel. I do put it out there as a kind of smoke signal to a descendant of the earliest injustice, but I doubt she is alive.

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