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Not Our Hawai'i

dreamed 2008/8/20 by Wayan.

THAT DAY

I wake shivering and sweating. Never blooms into a fever but I ache all day. My mystery illness, back again! I wonder if this relapse is because I've committed to do whatever it takes to get well, after decades of just stoic endurance. Mere attention may be a shock to my system! So I think I'll keep just focusing on it--to fix anything, you first have to see it. And I haven't.

I'm also still mulling over how to write dream-poems. Today's mentor is Denise Levertov. Hmmm. Her rhythms are subtle, looser than mine. That's probably wise, I get heavy-handed. But at times she's too loose for me--a dilatory muttering of unaccented syllables. Not always--I think it happens when she retreats from heart to head, into the voice of a Literate Adult. Still, she has an ear. Unlike, as she points out, Robert Bly, who's evidently deaf...

THAT NIGHT


Sketch of a dream by Wayan: an island chain like Hawaii with the vertical exaggerated, plus a new craggy island northeast of Hawaii proper.
I float in the Pacific by my sister Miriel
off a squinched Hawai'i: the Big Isle
mere yards wide, but a witchhat--volcanic shields
tipi-steep! And not quite our Hawai'ian Isles:
see that craggy northeast satellite? Between
lies a sheltered strait whose verdant shore
is home to a tribe adoring war, unsubduable still
by feathered would-be kings of the archipelago.
Unconquered thorn-isle, jab the empire's toe!

What year is it? Pre-Cook, I know--before
Hawaii's dialect has much diverged; Hawai'i
still "Havaiki", Molokai "Morotai", aloha "arofa".
A time-tourist teaches me the rebels' greeting.
Not "arofa"--saying "love" to strangers annoys
those feisty Satellite Island boys. She
sings me the northeast paddle-chant, too--
I love it, roar aloud, as we all canoe
south around red basaltic cliff-heads to
the royal heartland. Mock their dynasty!

Then Miriel and I sail past the rebel shore,
and west along this Hawai'i's chain, far
shorter than our world's: just three or four
islands and two wide atoll-eyes. Then open sea.
Oars, canoes dissolving too;
now we're swimming, nakedly
on our own in blue.
But this dollhouse Pacific is untrue;
you can see all the Rim (for this indigo
eye is Walden-flat: mere pond in a city park)
and only neck-deep! To scale, the sea'd
be full fathom five, with trenches deep and dark.
Too shallow small. Lagoon, a wading pool!
Hence harmless. So I thought.

We stray into a current--several knots--
sweeping us south to a round low isle.
Uneasy, I think "What the hell's that, Fiji?"
A lone whale in lieu of our school of krill.
Not our world at all, at all. Polynesia gone!

Miriel and I let the torrent rush us on.
I kick the shallow floor, leap-splash!
Porpoise panorama. White seethe ahead.
A maelstrom off a sea-cave: Fiji's fanged
and hungry maw. The whole Pacific pool
here funnels under that island-dome.
A pumphouse filtering the sea? Unsure.
But as we near, I fear the belly of
the whirl--will it baleen us or devour?
The under-island pool that I surmise
may have no air at all! And could we fight
back out to light against relentless flow?
Alarmed, I start to wake. And so

I conjure a rope, to Miriel bind, devise a code
of tugs, and in the monster's mouth she goes.
Risky dangle. A torrent dragon-strong!
Who's tugging now--sister, pump?
Will I feel the sign to save her? So fierce!
What if Miriel drowns? Been 30 years
since I took CPR. Death sucks us from
this innocent turquoise pool.
How trusting, how naïve I was--
a current-floating fool.

I wake at moonlit 3 AM,
still sweating, fevered, ill.
Still drifting toward the maelstrom
whose gullet gulps us all.


Sketch of a dream by Wayan: my sister dives into a murky sea with a rope around her waist.

NOTES

Well! A complex one tonight, but you're an able-bodied dream-hand now. Let's give it a shot.



LISTS AND LINKS: other worlds - Hawaiian dreams - lakes, seas, underwater dreams - language - boats - swimming - gimme air! - vortices: tornadoes, whirlpools, black holes - habit - diagnostic dreams - nightmares - two more dreams of riding Pacific gyres: The Black Current and The Tiger Wheel - two dreams of that sea-dragon: Puff Tide and Puff's origins: A Mermaid's Dressing Room - dream poems - Denise Levertov - the Dreamverses project - the next Dreamverse: Surf the San Andreas! (I'm quaking already)

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