Hawaiian Journal
page 9


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After trying in vain to get a ride around the West Maui Mountains, I’m back on the Hana Road, this time at Kaumahina State Park. Nobody else is even here. The place is incredibly beautiful, all kinds of incredible bigleafed plants arranged in a semi-garden. It is, alas, mosquito-ridden. There’s a bunch of half-grown (or very small) cats here.

Okay, I moved to a sit on top of a hill overlooking beautiful Keanae, the one part of Maui that looks exactly like my conception of a south sea island.

I feel immediately at home here. Guess I’ve always liked scenic but unpopular campgrounds. A family of some sort has driven in and unpacked. Perhaps I’ll meet them tomorrow.

Here’s an immature Maui cockroach, half an inch long. Full grown ones with wings are over one inch. Color rich chestnut with darker brown abdomen.

This is so nice, being underneath palms by the light of a gibbous moon. There’s nothing with the same kind of magic as moonlight on palm fronds. I can hear the ocean far below, a breeze through the forest. There’s three lights on in Keanae, a boat or lighthouse offshore.

What a place to make mad passionate love in the moonlight! Too bad I’m alone.



Saturday, January 17, 1981

How I hate having to work with lines. I think so much more in surfaces, areas, solid shapes. I should have left this palm more an outline drawing; it would have been clearer. Yet I look at this scene in person and except for the palm leaves the only lines are where one mass of color borders another, and in many places even these lines are blurred. But O this palm was so beautiful in the moonlight.

Ah, okay, that’s better. I’m happy with the palm drawing now.

This place is quite busy in the daytime. There’s about six people where my tent was last night. I’m glad I stashed my stuff in the brush.

I wonder if there’s any “natural” forests on the island. No matter where I go, the stuff seems imported from some other tropical place. Some of the trees are native, but there always seems to be a mixture of something else. Strange thing is, I like the non-native stuff better.


Spider about twice life size
black cephalothorax and legs
orange leg-joints
white abdomen with black
spots and brick-red spines
on a quite small triangular
web between two false
banana plants
seen obliquely here


A most incredible big-leafed vine grows here. At first the leaves look like ivy but get bigger and bigger as the plant climbs the tree. The highest leaves split like banana leaves do. The ranger told me they’re philodendrons, and most of the trees are eucalyptus.

He was Polynesian, a big, no-nonsense appearing man, but friendly talking about plants.

Philodendron: tree lover. So a philodendron from South America grows on a eucalyptus from Australia, slowly killing it here on Maui.

This is a very windy place, most of the time. There’s seabirds with bent wings and long tails. They rose with the air currents and sank back down, doing very little flapping.

Look at those whitecaps out there!

Looking at a philodendron closely, it’s easy to see it as a killer. It looks menacing. I’m glad I’m an animal and can move faster than it can grow. The trees are heart-shaped and a couple inches long on small stems, and get to be a couple feet long and nearly that broad up the tree. Some of the biggest ones get partially pinnate.

This evening I have a slight headache, possibly slight congestion. I feel sad. What am I doing here? I’m lonely.

Affirmation: I belong here.

At dusk the air grows still again. The whitecaps are gone. The horizon is slightly blurred.




I walk down a gravel road to get to a beach where I see a truck, but I’m on the wrong road. There’s a big stream or canal in my way, and no beach at the end of this one. So I stop and eat breakfast.

There’s a flower here with a red center, purple styles and white stigmas. It looks like a wildly-colored dandelion gone to seed, only half the size. The leaves are like tiny palm fronds or ferns.


Here I am at the Keanae Arboretum. It’s beautiful, but half the labels naming the plants are gone.

“What kind of fruit do you have there?” asked the man in the yellow and green shirt.

“It says it’s a wi fruit,” I told him. “It’s kind of strange but it’s pretty good. This one dropped at my feet.”

He didn’t venture to try any himself.


One thing’s for sure: Terry loves Kaipo. He wrote and carved many variant messages to that effect on this picnic table.

Kaipo I go crazy when I look in your eyes, Love, Ter.


Here I am beside beautiful Pi’ina’au Stream, which shares lower Keanae Valley with the arboretum and Palauhulu Stream. I was looking for a native plant section, but I don’t see it anymore.


It’s restful sitting here
beside Pi’ina’au Stream
listening to the water.


A small emerald fly landed on my thumb for an instant, then took off again. A black and white jumping spider hopped across my shoe.

I was looking at an orb web but now I can’t find it. The sun’s moved a little bit and now it’s in shadow, but which shadow?


I’ve had enough of this trail.
The streams are almost dry.
I’ll use this red damselfly
as a stop sign.


How could one write haiku
with seasonal words
on an island without seasons?


This damselfly seems to have only five legs. The hazards of being a bug! The shaded places are black, the rest red, except clear wings and white around the thorax top. It’s perched on my shoe now. Well, goodbye.

I’m back at the arboretum with the Terry loves Kaipo picnic table. The sun’s behind the other side of the valley and it feels like evening.

My damselfly drawing looks crosseyed. Its eyes were red with irregular black patterns on them, to make them look less like eyes, I suppose. Even being bright red, it’s too small and sticklike to be easily noticed. I suppose it’s a male, and the females are drab, like the blackwing damselflies in Illinois, but I don’t know this.

Here I am in some woods north of Nua’ailua Bay. You can’t get to the beach very easily. The dirt road ends; the barbed wire gate hasn’t been opened for awhile. I’m safe here, if maybe mosquito-ridden. I must leave early in the morning though. I’ll go to Keanae and have a coconut maybe. I don’t feel like walking all the way back to Kaumahina.


January 19, 1981


The pulse of the waves at night,
the brightness of the moon,
make it hard to sleep.


Two other people walked down the mud road I pitched my tent beside last night. I don’t know how they could have missed seeing my tent, so I assume they didn’t care. Probably other hippies looking for a place to sleep. I won’t take chances though. If I ever stay here again, I’ll be well off the road and out of sight.

I’m in Keanae itself, eating breakfast and watching the ocean.



Waves crashing on rocks
seem orgasmic. It’s been days
since I’ve talked to anyone.

I turn my head and see
a long-legged orb spider
on a web as big as a plate.

While I wait for a ride,
a long-horned bright green grasshopper
stands on the hairs on my leg

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