The Sleeping Giant of Hawaii
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We put to sleep our own Gulliver centuries
ago. His horrendous appetite for poi
did him in. He serves us now
in a comatose state much more than we served
him in his waking moments. Reclining,
he holds vigil over Wailua, his belly
decaying with the cancer of erosion. We take him
for granted, remembering him only when the tourists
ask us for the legend. Embarrassed, we
make up stories. We have fallen asleep ourselves.
Soaring over the giant's mouth, scissors-tailed birds
forecast rain. The birds know the giant's secrets:
the cache of bones of long-forgotten ali'i; the
Lilliputian trails of menehune, merry architects
of the night; the cave where three Cub
Scouts carved their initials in 1962; and
the giant plays possum. And why not?
The days of legend have no place in a world
And so sleep, fair giant,
sleep. The rain
falls on you and washes clean
the wounds of so much apathy. The dreams
are sweet, of long ago days when life was simple
and simple was less
and less was enough.
the opiate of poi dreams,
the royal heritage of a giant.