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The Limu Picker

Updated on August 13, 2013 the first hint of day... the first hint of day... | Source


in burgundy blush

makes its serpentine sweep

down the tawny island cliff

as the first hint of day

demarcates sky from sea.

The limu picker stretches

and offers a yawn-prefaced prayer

to a God he hasn't worshipped in church

for years.

The common man in his element

unheralded in tourist brochures

untethered by a 9-to-5 schedule

unconcerned with shallowness

save the shallow of low tide

when--his wife and baby tucked safely away

in his heart--

he stoops

for hours possessed

with the harvest of seaweed.

Have you ever eaten limu before?

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @rajan jolly

    Many thanks, Rajan, for being so engaged in the imagery of this of my favorites because it's a true story of what my father, brothers, and I did decades ago to bring food to the table. It was backbreaking work for hours as we harvested the seaweed...but that wasn't the end of it. After supper, sometimes before I could hit the books and do my homework, my father would present each of us with a huge ball of limu, and we would have to sort through it, removing bits of coral, rubbish seaweed, and other things so that my mother could process and package the cleaned limu for shipping to Honolulu. I hated it then, but looking back, I'm in awe as to how we pulled together as a family. Thank you so much for finding this one to read.


  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Joe, this is an amazing poem. I'm touched by your awesome tribute and the picture by your son. Very heartfelt.

    Voted UAB. Have a wonderful day.