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(for Samuel)



His tales depicted to me in gouache,

some scenes from where he’s been.

The delicacies of his motherland

permeate from his very skin. 

The eyes that once winked at the

stars, as they peeped ‘tween rows of palms,

replayed to me a tableau

set on shores of lava swamps.

He didn’t hold a picture book,

or a screen on which to demonstrate

the grandeur of majestic slopes

where molten and air escaped.

The chance passenger studied him,

and saw a paradise;

but I had to smoke my lenses against

those hid from a stranger’s eyes.

I’ve never been to his native land,

but his stories animate

the charm and healthy intercourse

of his manner and its climate.

Perhaps his tanned complexion,

lives as a testimony,

that the fire which rises there,

is the same that’s scathing me.

Inebriated by his tales in a cup,

engulfed by his imagery —

I mirrored his portrayal,

with a touch of reverie…

I said:

(Like mine) your name is a story

of a thousand years ago,

your smile reflects the wondrous way

your mother shares her soul.

Your forehead, its protrusion,

shows you where you mustn’t go;

but today the compass favored

that out here we get to know

each other, dear stranger,

you brought your country here.

as though the waves that set you

free, has also swallowed me.

And the whispers of the seaside air

rehearsing your history, plays

the music that your virgins

sigh to their lovers by the sea.

But alas, as in the country

in your eyes, the day’s good to go,

and the waves in your horizon,

are more possessive than before.

The sun in old Hawaii, my friend,

is slowly setting now…

Goodbye! Oh dear sojourner,

hope we find that other town.

Ruth V. Mostrales



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