Lines of Fact or Fiction
2017, High School, Prose
Poseidon charges forth
Shoulders laden with multi-coloured shards.
He throws himself against the receding shoreline.
The time Before.
I have been told stories of when our Island Nation respected the ‘Āina and Moana,
Of when Honu were not susceptible to the debris left behind by Man’s endless hunger.
Stories of our Kuleana.
She is stunning.
She paints with colours engineered by divine eyes. She floats, each step lighter than the last, above the ground.
She is strong.
Independent and cooperative, she gives all she has to her children.
She is beautiful.
Flowers adorn her hair, her haku lei a crown of ecstatic foliage, always changing. She is beautiful to all who view her but she never looks the same.
She, Mother of All,
Māui who snared the sun,
“An earthen twisted cord ties the hook.”
He raised the islands of Hawai’i.
“Oh the great fish hook of Maui.”
Our demigod, save us.
The Ulua are dying
Pimoe, the God of Fishes, has been losing his strength.
At a loss for words.
A toxic ocean
Dear my terraqueous planet,
“If I swim in the sea, does the sea swim in me?”
If I exist among your beauty will it find a home in me?
To appreciate I have devoured, I have snipped you from your stem, took you home, and was surprised
as you disintegrated in the morning sunlight.
For progress. You belong to me. Your beauty lives in me therefore it is all mine.
To do as I please. For progress.
I assumed I had conquered you, your rightful monarch, but you allowed me to win. You allow me to
live within your art. You allow me to destroy you. I seek change. I cannot let you die. But,
“I can’t change what I am overnight. Nor can [you]. And yet, one can’t stop changing either.”
I am sorry,
She, Mother of All.
Nature is dying.
She is choking on our mistakes.
The vibrancy of her colour dims to dark grey cityscapes, industrialisation, progress.
She is coughing.
The flowers gracing her wither and fall, replaced by thorns of plastic that paint her with vibrant red.
Yet she does not struggle
For she cannot
Poseidon retreats, water swallowed by water,
Broken gems of death for his starving creatures to gourmandise.
Admin. “Doc Luben – “14 Lines from Love Letters or Suicide Notes” (500K views!).” Button Poetry. N.p., 10 June 2016. Web. 15 June 2017.
3-4) Slonczewski, Joan. A Door into Ocean. New York: Avon , 1987. Print.
1-2) Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2017.
Westervelt, W. D. “II. Maui the FIsherman.” Legends of Maui, A Demi-God of Polynesia: II. Maui the Fisherman. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2017.
This poem implores people to respect our oceans. As I was born and raised in Hawai’i, I have been taught to always respect nature and the gifts received from her. In sections two and four I reflected upon legends or things told to me throughout my life because an important reason I care for the oceans and take opportunities to participate in volunteer work is my life on Oahu. Also, having seen Honu (green sea turtles) ensnared in discarded fishing wire and people rejecting our Kuleana (responsibility) inspired me to write these sections. Section six is the portion of the poem I believe very deeply reflects my views on how we as humans are treating the planet. This section is meant to be an open letter to Mother Nature, and I was inspired by Joan Slonczewski’s book A Door Into Ocean and the grace with which she writes. This section was meant for people to see through the eyes of others the effect of our actions on our oceans. This poem was inspired by one of my favourite slam poems by Doc Luben entitled “14 lines from Love Letters or Suicide Notes.” Luben’s ability to separate and explore different concepts and writing styles within the same poem inspired me to craft my own take on the idea. I used this to create rhythmic segments of multiple different thoughts that can represent mankind’s, and my own, multi-faceted view on ocean awareness.