No movement from the dome tent
in the beachside park.
Shirts hang headless from branches,
heavy from night rains.
Take the mini-bridge
over the lagoon,
and on the right,
a stream disappears
into the rain forest.
Just beyond the lagoon,
there’s the house with a 180 degree
ocean and mountain view.
It’s mud trampled yard is littered
with rusted car carcasses, a kitchen sink
and no trespassing signs.
The distant surf
looks like low clouds.
Two rock islands hold down the horizon.
The sea always salts the air here,
but you notice it more in the dark.
A concrete pillbox on the bluff
guards the expanse of green valley behind it.
You have to slow down to read the sign
on the barbed-wire and wood fence
reward for information about anyone
interfering with free roaming livestock.
An archway of violet and fuchsia bougainvillea
in the rearview mirror
frames a postcard view
of white sand and pacific blue
—somehow more alluring
when you’re driving away from it.
Follow the road as it winds into shade,
sheltering a flower and fruit stand
with flaming torches of ginger
sprouting from white plastic buckets
and boxes overflowing with pineapples, mangoes,
mountain apples and sugarcane.
The evening air is cooler along here―
Slow down for the yard that is packed
to each corner
with upside-down blue trash cans.
Notice the Hawaiian cocks
claiming their turf on top of them,
the mangy dog rigid at the end of his 3 foot rope,
just outside his dilapidated doghouse.
At night spotlights light up the yard.
Next, you’ll see a makeshift fence
of wood and twine
encircling a half-made outrigger
balanced on criss-crossed sticks
its final planks yet to be fitted.
And ahead on the left,
grazing on a lawn
that dissolves into the gravel
of this street,
the horned cow
with its companion white egret
on its back.
Getting closer to town now,
before the turn off,
you’ll see the two cemeteries,
the man on the lawnmower
churning grass and worms.
And without fail,
the fresh mounds of dirt.