Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Voyage to Peace and Justice in Hawaii: Our 7th Anniversary Poem

Seventh Anniversary Poem
By Jill and Anthony

Seven years ago came a moment quite thrilling:
Said Anthony to Jill: I’m willing
To be your husband, will you be my wife?
She said “ok” and we began our new life.
Wed in the city of roses, we flew on wings of love
To isles of breathtaking beaches, to the cooing of Quaker peace doves.

Anthony said, Let’s go back for a two-week vacation
A time of re-creation and of celebration.
So we returned to a place that made us glad—
The Quaker “book nook,” our honeymoon pad.
We broke fast each day with David and Jenny, resident Friends,
And had conversations we didn’t want to end.

Day two:  Jill had a lesson on the hula dance,
While Anthony sat and watched, utterly entranced.
Jill’s teacher Lani-Girl studied hula from age three
And shared with us her broken life and God’s healing mystery.
With God’s help she chose a song that deeply touched our hearts
And taught Jill one of Hawaii’s most beautiful arts.

Day three: we worshipped with Friends and asked for healing prayer.
So good to be in a circle of friends who care!
Over Pali highway to Kailua, a beach with birds and kids at play
And the birdman of Kailua, a highlight of our day,
Along with turquoise waters and gorgeous white sand.
We  topped off our day with dinner at Yogurtland!

Day four: anniversary was spent with two married priests,
Wally and Gigi, men of social justice and peace.
On the way to  Gigi’s farm Wally took us on a tour
And showed us a thousand affordable homes he’d developed for the poor.
We arrived at the farm on a beautiful day
Where sustainable farming was on display.
A model where kids can learn to grow plants and find joy.
A place of peace and love for every girl and  boy:
Farm critters and fish as well as tropical fruits of all kinds.
Respect for the earth, for native beliefs, for body, soul and mind
What God is doing through these men made us impressed:
We felt we had come to a place that’s truly blessed.
Next day back to Kailua and Lanikai, a beach nearby,
Where the sands were softer and whiter, under a glorious sky.
(Another dinner at Yogurtland: no need to wonder why!)

Day five: our anniversary dinner at a fancy hotel
Was overpriced, underwhelming, and we were bored as hell.
Servings were small, with “carrot reduction”
Their feeble attempt at culinary seduction.
We longed for a rowdy luau, but got lost in the dark.
When we finally got home, we barely managed to spark.

Day six:  Olivia, a tropical storm, came and went.
So glad that much of her fury was spent.
At the arboretum we saw unreal tropical trees
With cannon balls and sausage fruit swaying in the breeze.
At a high school farmer’s market we purchased a Thai meal
Which we ate at a volcanic cliffside that was utterly surreal
with multi-colored rounded rocks in swirling and curling bands.
After pausing in awe and wonder, we went back to Yogurtland.

Day seven: we spent on the Big Island in Kona at Sarah’s b ‘n b,
Called Magic Mountain, where they grow organic fruit and coffee.
We spent the morning at Manini, a stunning volcanic beach,
Where fish darted through clear waters beyond our reach.
It was here at the beach, by the deep blue sky and sea,
That we heard the sad results of Jill’s biopsy—
News which God had prepared Jill to hear.
We left the seaside feeling numb, but without fear.

We picked up a hitchhiker named Kevin who worked at Loco Wraps.
He took our order for a jackfruit delight and other snacks.
while the rain poured down like a waterfall.

Then came the sun and we went out and had a ball
At the international senior hula festival.
Somehow we got in, even though it was sold out,
A wonderful stroke of luck without a doubt.
We loved the hula dancing that touched our souls and hearts,
And told the story of Hawai’i through its subtle arts.
We had a poki bowl with Mahi Mahi, a delicious fish,
As yummy a dish as anyone could wish!

We then drove over the Saddle Road between the mighty breasts
Of Mona Loa and Mona Kea, who made this island blessed.
Out of fire and fury, came a place of peace and bliss.
(To make this line rhyme, we stopped for a honeymoon kiss.)
There the military had placed its command center, a base
Where half the world could be destroyed. What a disgrace!

We arrived just in time in Hilo
for a peace vigil at the PO
Where Amelia, an 88-year-old Quaker with white hair
Sat  blissfully in her yard chair,
peace signs on the grass at her feet,
hoping that we could one day defeat
the military might that lurked in high places.
Jim Albertini passed out leaflets with the happy faces
Of those who worked at Auschwitz, unaware
Or not caring what horrors happened there.
Not unlike the happy folks of Hilo, who lived not far
From where the military planned horrendous war.
At Albertini’s farm we heard amazing tales
Of work he did for peace, and times he spent in jail.
He lives off the grid, apart from the systems of war—
A nuclear-free world is what he’s striving for.
Since 9/11 he never missed a demonstration
And sets an example for our war-addicted nation
And those who came to Hilo for a vacation.
He is unrelenting, like a prophet of old,
His conscience clear as a mountain stream, his heart as pure as gold.
May we all be inspired to help his peaceful vision to unfold!

We ventured  to the seaside home of Rick and Tom
And took artistic “pics”  that pleased Jill’s artist mom:
In their backyard were lava flows like abstract works of art.
The kindness of these men also touched our hearts:
They picked from the crevices of lava flow,
White pineapple for breakfast that made our hearts glow
plus tapioca, Jill’s favorite dessert, how did this dear men know?

On our way to Hilo we saw a quarter million macadamia trees
Whose nuts world-famous Mona Loa sends overseas:
Prepared in diverse ways to please
(Chocolate covered is one of our favorite specialties.)
Back in Hilo there were old time shops by the sea
Where we felt a sense of warm community.
Our window of time was all too brief
Just enough to shop—for Jill, a great relief.
To her delight she found artistic clothes to buy
So pretty that she couldn’t help but cry.
While Anthony sat without a care
Reading his kindle on the husband chair.

We went to Rainbow Falls whose waters broil like a vat.
And then to the peaceful, multileveled home of Brenda and Pat.
They served a sumptuous meal and danced the hula together
To our delight, with gestures light as a feather.
Then Pat told us the trials that he’d been through
On his recent cancer journey, and now felt good as new.

Next day, after meeting for worship, we went where lava’d erupted,
Hundreds of homes destroyed, and lives disrupted.
At a farmer’s market we met a woman whose home was burned to ash.
But she was chill and her hopes had not been dashed.
By the lava beach we met a man named Bruce who was so downcast,
His tale of loss so tragic, we prayed for his woes to pass.

Then we saw a sight that gave us hope and joy:
Tiny homes for those whose homes had been destroyed
Built by a Catholic Church… their church land well employed!
As we drove on, an elderly gal named Robin hitched a ride
To a gas station, where old friends she espied:
A woman who lived in a tiny home, and a man who helped to build ‘em.
So good to see how a sense of community fulfilled ‘em!

Rather than take the Saddle Road, we went along the sea
And drove through a town named Volcano, and saw an art gallery.
There we learned that at dusk sea turtles came to black sand beach.
We found a host of turtles there, almost within our reach,
Amazing living boulder, sunning on the sand.
Returning to our b ‘n’ b, darkness filled the land
Along with pouring rain that made it hard to drive.
We feared we might not make it back alive.
This drive was the hardest part of our entire trip.
The curvy roads made Jill feel terrified, and sick.

Next morning we flew out to glorious Kauai
And marveled at the beauty of the islands we passed by.
Welcomed at the airport, we were utterly enchanted
By the lovely countryside, and the condo that we rented.
We entered Hawaiian time, we lost track of our days,
No need to number them, we loved Hawaiian ways.
We took a river cruise and saw fern grot, a gorgeous spot
Where thousands of couples came to tie the knot.
As roosters everywhere went cockledoodle-doing,
We settled down for a time that was renewing
Resting by the pool or in the hot tub we sat brewing.
With a view of the ocean, and the nearby beach,
Markets and restaurants, all within our reach,
We passed our time without a car or care.
At a farmer’s market an Hawaiian carved with joy and skill
A coconut, and told amazing stories and we drank our fill.
Then we went on a quest for the perfect bathing suit
And found a flowery one that made Jill look real cute.
We stopped at a little funky town that had the best ice cream.
Then drove up to a spot as lovely as a dream.
The grand canyon of Kauai, with rocks and clay bright red,
Colored like a rainbow, with white clouds overhead.
We felt as if we had come to heaven’s door.
But coming back we saw a place that was so poor
The roads were dirt, the homes ramshackle.
Such poverty amidst such riches raised our hackles!
With one main highway circling round the isle
We found ourselves in traffic jams LA style.
Our last day we went to a light house on the north shore
And passed by many an antique store
That made Jill wish we could have stayed for more.

Returning to Honolulu, we dined with Carolyn Stevenson,
Whose daughter died of cancer.  She shed tears of deep compassion.
We were joined by a Quaker named John, a commissioner who oversees
The state’s affordable housing and development of communities.
The food was not so great, but these Friends were a delight.
We’re glad that this was how we spent our final Hawaiian night.
A perfect end to a perfect trip! We had such a wonderful time
We decided to turn it all into this memorable rhyme!

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