A Photo of Maui

Pink Beach

A photo
Looking straight at you
Of grand skies and
Dramatic low-hanging clouds
Of lustrous tropical plants and
Sinewy trees

There it is
The warm beaches and soft sand,
You feel the gentleness seep in
A place to smile, a place to laugh
A place to hold a hand
To lay your head on a heartbeat
And let yourself get a tan

The sun, the flowers, the colors and fishes
Alluring waterfalls and bamboo forests
All the seemingly un-ending rainbows
And all the riches of
A postcard

But it creeps in
The dark storms and droning mountains,
Moody winds, heavy shadows,
Foreboding clouds
Oppressive hours

Isolation on an island
Sacred pools of tears
Feeling something so crisp
So pungently real
The irony of feeling something that’s gone
You don’t want it but
If only you could jump back, cheerfully say hello
If only you didn’t have to carry it alone
It’s a part of you
No one knows what it was
Emotions of a memory squirming in your brain
Feels so alive but so far away
Unique to that time and place

That world is gone
Nameless, without a face
It will always be out of reach from you
Unattainable, broken
Loving something broken
It was broken back then
It was beautiful and broken all along

It’s been years now
Years feeling free,
Simply being,
Simple is happy

Caught off guard
In the lives of others
A friend’s vacation
Their smiles in a photo
And there

There it is

A glance,
A ghost,
An echo
Enticing you

For a moment,
Looking at the rain forests and plumerias
The hibiscus scattered shores and
The ancient relics of nature’s mystery
You feel relieved to re-live
Someone understands
Someone can hold it with you

But then it unfolds

You see through
The light casted over the still-frames
A sugarcoat of the world you knew
A mocking parallel universe
You see spirits in the trees
But they’re only visible to you

An enchanted secret
A mysterious portal to another realm
A shadow under your beach towel
An enigma in your sunblock
A faint dream fading in your souvenirs

A special memory hidden in you
That others are blind to see
When looking at a tourist’s photo of
A beach in Maui

 

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  • Chelsea

    Mmm. I used to live in Kona and this is such an articulate explanation of how I feel when I look through old pictures. Nostalgic; yearning to “jump back, cheerfully say hello” as if each picture were a portal to home; isolated in and protective of my memories. Great imagery especially in the last three sets of lines. Love these:
    You see through
    The light casted over the still-frames
    A sugarcoat of the world you knew
    A mocking parallel universe

  • Thank you Chelsea! I’m glad it resonated with you. 🙂 There really is something in the air on those islands. I never lived there myself but I would visit every couple months for a couple years during a long distance relationship I had with someone who lived there. I think that context added to the emotions evoked there. :p