Hawaiian Journal
page 22


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The Last Trip to Hana


Wednesday, February 25, 1981

Woke up this morning with the trade wind blues. It’s raining off and on, windy constantly. I’m going through my Hawaii notebooks, working on the poetry. I’m also meditating, visualizing a better life for myself, doing affirmations.

I have company here tonight, a Swiss man and a Japanese woman from Vancouver B.C. The weather looks like it’s clearing up at last.


Thursday, February 26, 1981

I’m at Hana Bay again. The Swiss man and Japanese woman gave me a ride here this morning. We stopped at Puaa Kaa State Park, a wayside garden with pools and waterfalls and an abundant of exotic tropical plants.

There’s actually big waves coming all the way to shore, which is unusual here.

I’m back at Red Sand Beach after getting rained on while on the trail. The tide indeed did not come up as high as the ledge last night, but most important, there’s no wind here, so I can set up the tent in those fir trees and have a warm, dry bed.

The surf outside the lava rocks is mountainous, mostly grayish blue with some parts a beautiful pale aqua. Here’s a couple of older folks looking for shells. I have as many shells as I can carry. The waves have no regular pattern, just blue mountains bigger or smaller, sometimes splashing over the tops of the rocks. I film the waves with my eyes.


This energy of wind and rain,
of wave and energy.
I want to channel it through myself
and focus it.


There’s a kind of large bird that I saw twice at Kaumahina and once here, just a while ago. It holds its wings bent at the elbows and mostly glides, a W in the sky.

The woman who came here this morning with her husband and crying daughter was Susanna. She was a good mother, understanding her child but not about to be pushed around by her. Susanna said she wished she could remember what it was like to be a child. I said what I remember doesn’t help me understand children any better. I didn’t understand other kids when I was one. Susanna said she didn’t either. She couldn’t understand why they were so mean. She heard people say childhood is the best time of life and thought if this was true, there’s no point to it all. A responsive chord of experience between two strangers.



I had to try to draw these waves. It’s as good as my other landscapes of this beach, or better, though to paint this I’d either need a photograph, or the ability to remember a particular moment. A movie camera would be the best way to capture this. A good way to make white spots over dark areas is needed to draw this accurately. However, as always, I’ve captured SOMETHING, something totally personal.


High Wind at Red Sand Beach

The waves are moving mountains,
peaking, sinking, rocking in random directions,
gray blue and pure pale aqua,
white froth that gets blown off by the wind,
constant explosions of spray on rock,
sudden horizontal waterfalls,
arms of foam beating into each other,
thin sheets of rain mixed with spray.



Maui ants. Actual length about 3/16 inch.


Where I lie under the ledge,
a column of ants marching
here to there and there to here.


Friday, February 27, 1981

Rain came only for a little while last night. Wind fluttered my tent but did not beat it. Waves came no higher than the night before. The moon was slightly less than crescent. I saw it rise between clouds. Now the last big cloud has blown past the sun, but the horizon is a haze. I can’t see Mauna Kea. I stumbled out of my tent, I don’t know, twice?— drunk with starlight and a headache. My right shoulder and back felt strange. I woke up tired, glad to see the end of clouds.

The waves are choppy and explosive, if anything more so than yesterday. Huge splashes on the rocks edging the cove like the splashes on the cliff. The water’s not higher, just coming faster.


The rock rainbow of Kau’iki Head, north end of Red Sand Beach.


The clouds are back, then clear sky again. They come and go. That woman standing in shallow water gives scale to the waves. They’re bigger than I thought. Close up, the water is foamy, clear and fizzy like champagne.


Two long tailed white birds
buffeted by wind
flying back and forth
over a stormy sea.


Today the beach got busiest late in the afternoon, not surprising given how the weather kept improving. The clouds move more slowly and the waves aren’t nearly as wild. Of course, this is low tide, but last night it didn’t seem like there was a low tide.

I sat and talked with the sock-burning man who says he stays here three days a week. He hates the Japanese. The owner of the Hana market made him leave his pack outside, so Sock Burner got his revenge by stealing a papaya and swearing never to shop there again. I suggested that responding negatively with worse negativity doesn’t help, and he verbally agreed, but his heart was pleased with revenge. He ate a dinner of a potato and an onion cooked in sea-water and soft margarine. He’s the one who left the coconut husks around. The one he opened last night was bad, another bad Hana coconut. He came to Maui to play music.

He said he actually slept in Ka’ahumanu’s Cave last night, just what I was wishing to do, but I don’t think I will. I’ll just go there. He called it, “the place where the king or queen was born, the nativity scene.”

I’m hoping he’ll meet and befriend a Japanese guitar player.


Saturday, February 28, 1981

The sea’s much quieter today, but still rather choppy. The sky’s clear and it’s warm.

I came to the queen’s cave this morning and felt something very friendly about it, as if the cave or something in it loves me. I cleaned it carefully of cigarette butts and other trash, lay down, relaxed, made my wish and accepted some tokens from the cave, a pine spray which I braided and will burn as incense in my house, a small chip of rock, and eight snail shells.

Now I’ve done everything I came here to do. I’m on my way home.


Here I am waiting for a ride, across the street from the red and white cows again. These cows are all over the inland side of the Hana Road on both sides of Hana. They bellow and bleat and honk at each other. There’s lots of calves. There’s one calf with its penis dangling out of the sheath. One steer scratched its eye with its hind foot.

The postcard I bought of Kau’iki Head has ridiculous colors. The pines at their brightest are a dull pale gray green. The grass is verdant, but not day-glo chartreuse. The ocean and sky are reasonably colored, but darker than they are today. But at least Kau’iki’s form is there. I wonder what they do to postcard photos to distort the color that way. I’ve done worse things to colors in my paintings, made them darker and more intense than they should be.

I ended up walking farther, beyond the junction of highways 31 and 36 at the Hana police station, to the elementary school. I waited there for hours. A man dressed in a long white robe with a pancho, a black beard, and a large bible walked past me, thumb out whenever a car came past. He was followed by another man who sat down about a block in front of me, thus upstaging me. When he didn’t get a ride in about 20 minutes, he walked past me. I asked him why not stay with me and we’ll both get a ride. He said he’d walk on.

Traffic was almost nil. I kept visualizing I’m in a car going to Kaumahina. Finally a man gave me a ride to Ulaino Road, near where Chris and Stefano now live. I thought maybe I was supposed to go see them, but immediately a woman gave me a ride to a closed fruit stand. After a few minutes standing there I wasn’t feeling good about that spot. I walked about a mile, past Mokulenua, Ulaino, Heleleike’oha, and Lanikele streams. I found a likely corner near some cows, black ones this time, still no luck. I walked around a couple of more bends and started using my thumb on all compact and other new looking cars.

That’s a no-no on Maui, but cops don’t drive the Hana road that often. I flagged down a young Japanese couple from Honolulu who were going home tonight, and clicked their instamatic camera at every waterfall we passed. I looked at a spot between Keanae and Wailua where I waited for a ride once or twice, the spot next to the Pi’ina’au bridge in Keanae, the arboretum, saying goodbye to each place. I’ll probably never see them again. Don’t look back. Since I left Ka’ahumanu’s cave, don’t look back.

And so at last I came to Kaumahina, just before six o’clock and sunset. I had a brief talk with the couple who’s staying here tonight with the man’s mother.


Sunday, March 1, 1981


Waiting for sunrise,
I see a wide crescent moon
in the twilight blue.

Beneath purple clouds
a magenta disc of sun
shines through every hole.

I begin and end
my trip to Maui with brief
sketches of sunrise.


I got to Pa’ia without too much trouble. I can see the planes take off and land at Kahului. Tomorrow I’ll be on one.

It’s a warm windy day at Baldwin Beach. The ocean is pale greenish aqua shading to deep turquoise blue, lots of whitecaps, vivid blue all the way to the West Maui Mountains, which are pale with haze and topped with clouds. The shoreline of these mountains is below the horizon.

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