Beware, my friend, beware!
If you care, if you dare,
to go make some night soil
when in nights black as oil
near lakes both dark and still
and you feel a slight chill,
if you squat, drop, or stoop,
Kappa will have his soup!
He likes it fresh, of course,
likes it fresh from the source,
so you mind from behind
or he will not be kind,
taking the best of you
for his witching hour stew—
reaching for an hors d’oeurve,
up your butt, like a perv.
By Maui’s hook, dragged up from a bubbling sea,
the myriad truths come, writhing, heavy,
nightmarish as Life itself, the gnashing teeth
aswarm with froth, quick to bite as a reef.
He hauls them up, grunting, his Time-furrowed brow
weathered, grim, like a sweat-salty ship prow
slicing through the hostile oceans wherefrom float
the alien beings round his small boat.
He hooks and drags, hooks and drags, wrestling upwards
the monsters of the sea, lone or in herds
such would make a god shudder and loathe the world
of his birth where such monstrosities swirled,
and to lose all his sense and reason and heart
like milk from a coconut, cracked apart,
for to travel either East, West, North or South
is to chart the horrors of that womb-mouth
from which Life has sprung in forms as myriad
as waves from the Cambrian period.
By Maui’s hook he snared the elusive sun
and brought light to divide the horizon
from the night above, and the abyss below
where nightmares still lurk where he dare not go—
where luminous eyes glint like stars burning bright
above the palm trees, the moon, at a height
that not even Maui’s hook may ever reach
from the shrinking shore of his island beach—
shrinking shore, sinking land, the tide-eaten isle
soon running out of time, the maws meanwhile
crowding upward from the teeming depths beneath
to devour mankind and the trickster thief
who raised the islands and stole from gods the fire
to illumine a world soon to expire.
By Maui’s hook he dragged up a brief refuge
before the bloody tide and the deluge.