By Maui’s Hook

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.

Wroth Froth

The boy shivered in the shadow
of the island lighthouse,
listening to Triton’s horn blow
and trembling like a trapped mouse,
for the wrathful waves rose up, nigh
with a fury well he knew
when his father’s hands surged up high
to beat him all black and blue.
The sea let loose upon the beach,
on crag, seastack, and sand,
flinging down frothy fists to teach
lessons unto lad and land.
His father had told him to stay
far from the bright beacon,
but the boy willed to disobey
father and lord and deacon.
The townsfolk went along the shore
at the calm of next day
and found the body—but no more;
his soul adrift from the bay.

Facsimile

She had been
kissed by coral,
scarred cheek skin,
her crown floral.
She carved the waters
on her board
like Triton’s daughters,
her heart unmoored.
Glistening swells,
golden-dew thighs,
bikini seashells,
Hawaiian skies.
Dudes paddled hard
to catch her wave
because she starred
as their wet-dream slave.
But she was flighty
and avoided such larks
which just might be
a frenzy of sharks.
Her body was found
on a peaceful day,
the ocean’s sound
a lullaby lay.
The water was flat
like a mirror so clean
it reflected all that
spread above that scene—
the clouds, the sun,
the seagulls and crows,
each sail and pelican,
the cuckoos and swallows.
But the one thing amiss
in the reflecting sea
was that dead detritus
ruining the facsimile.
When looking skyward
to see her soul in flight
there was not cloud nor bird,
but moon—bone white.