Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Note from Auntie Logy

[Eds. note: This is the fifth is a series by Gae Rusk under the column, "A Note from Auntie Logy." To read more from Auntie, scroll down or click on the link in the sidebar to the right.]


Auntie Logy returned from the mainland yesterday. It was a stressful trip back to Kauai, but Auntie recovered happiness after arriving at the family’s orchard outside Kilauea, and Auntie stayed happy to be home until picking up a copy of The Garden Island. That’s when Auntie Logy had one big hissy fit.

When Auntie could breathe again, she asked herself, Is Kauai now third world? Is Kauai now Haiti-West? Are cronyism and palsy-walsyism now a given? Auntie is thinking maybe Senator Barak Obama should come to Kauai to present the same anti-corruption speech he gave in Kenya.

Auntie is ashamed of all the self-centered special interests who want to run this island. For the last four decades, Auntie has been ashamed of County officials who awarded heinous building permits, sometimes secretly and illegally. Auntie has felt shamed by power struggles that make no sense to anyone watching.

There are other shames alive and well on this island, it’s true, like that judge, the one who dismissed charges against Kauai’s most well-connected career criminal in the face of all evidence of guilt? Maybe that judge lives on Oahu? If so, it’s of no matter to her who roams free to trash this island.

And Kauai’s youths, those angry boys who flap around in clothing ten sizes too big for their bodies? Auntie sees them dressing their egos, not their waistlines. And the way they talk, are they as dumb as Auntie’s tree line? Has Kauai dumbed-down to accommodate the slow and dysfunctional, so the whole island is becoming slow and dysfunctional? This is a scary thought that Auntie has tried to avoid for a long time, but articles in The Garden Island always put it front page center.

Auntie Logy is ashamed of being ashamed of so much about this new Kauai. Auntie is afraid she sounds old-fashioned and whiney, but Kauai is Auntie’s home! Auntie’s ohana, Auntie’s calabash family, all live on Kauai, and now it is difficult for any of us to thrive here. It is stressful to give aloha to malahines who steal our beaches at night and put in gated communities without asking. It is impossible to think kindly of absentee landlords who turned Hanalei and Kapaa and Waipouli and Wailua into time-shared, strip-malled hells. It is hopeless to have any respect for officials giving out permits to pave over Kauai.

Stir these crimes against Kauai’s communities into the brew of Kauai’s future grownups, those clothes-flopping, moronic-sounding youths with cars and money and no self-discipline, claiming freedom without training or responsibility. Stir all this together and what do you have? Something worse than Maui. Something like Haiti, a toxic, urbanized atoll in a shallow, torpid ocean.

It is exhausting for Auntie to keep making protests that are no doubt ignored and discounted. It takes a lot more effort to live here than ever before, and this is wearing Auntie raw, and Auntie is not alone. One neighbor said to Auntie, There is so much to protest! Suddenly everything’s going bad at once!

Auntie’s neighbor, he’s right. He’s smart too, so he protests when he can, just like Auntie, and everyone’s tired already. Who let things get so bad so fast? Kauai is going crazy, ho’o pupule, just like Maui. Going garbage, ho’o pilau, just like Haiti.

Which brings up a question Auntie has asked before: Where is Kauai’s Chief? Please, Kaumuali’i, come home soon! We have our backs to the sea cliffs now, dear Chief, and we need you.

Oops, Auntie has to run! One blasted red helicopter is chopping overhead. Auntie has to go outside and curse it forever and calm the dogs. But Auntie does feel better for talking to you. Mahalo nui loa for listening. A hui hou.

Please note, antilogy is an inconsistency or controversy in terms or ideas, causing controversy and discussion.

Gae Rusk copyright 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ride & Wretchedness

by Kim Steutermann Rogers

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a four-wheel drive truck running 33-inch tires on 20-inch rims with a six-inch lift must be in love.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well-fixed in the minds of the surrounding families that immediately without a word, protection is put in place—curfews are set, doors are closed, dogs are unleashed—everyone ever hopeful it’s not their daughter but their neighbor’s and, preferably, a few blocks away.

Truth be told, the feelings or views of such a man are widely heard by everyone, excepting the man himself and possibly the girl, but only at first, as he exposes his intentions roaring round the road’s bend heading for the neighborhood in his super-size Tonka truck.

Otherwise why would he replace the factory tires boasting 30 miles-per-gallon for gas-guzzlers that keep him at the pump all day and empty his wallet, and not calling on his sweetheart?

Why would he leave those tires on the road’s surface at the neighborhood stop sign by standing one foot on the gas pedal, the other on the brake, and later, that evening, scouring the dump for replacements, his date lonely at home?

Why would he choose the howl of his tires over the sweet nothings his sweetheart desires to hear?

And why would he wonder where his money goes, why his girl no longer answers his call, why her mother and father and brothers and sisters and aunties and uncles and cousins all flash him the stink-eye?

Why? Because he’s profoundly, stupidly, deafeningly in love.

# # #

Monday, September 11, 2006

Feared Drunk

[Author's note: This poem was entered in a contest while attending KCC at the request of my "Literature and Medicine" instructor. It won first place in Hawaii and went on to the national literary competition where it took second place.]

by Pam Woolway

Feared Drunk

Suddenly nobody knows where you are,
your body thin as mother’s milk,
your mind tipping like a teacup
on the flesh of a split lip.

Your body is never left alone,
a daughter or your husband sit
like sparrows sipping from an
abandoned spring.

You see things only you alone
can see; Yogi the Bear, The
Virgin Mary and a family
of literate mice.

Lucid dreams leave
your family waiting outside
the picture frame:

You paint Mary leaning
against a pine tree,
Yogi is drinking coffee on
a street corner and
the mouse delivers a note.

Then, from the bed, your gaze turns
from a pearl into a bullet.
You know exactly where you are.

Coming closer, you see the family
resembles a hungry pack
of winter worn wolves.

But there’s no den to retreat into
and no drugs to soften the return.

Once you survive
an addiction,
it becomes the duck
that ate the bread
that does not lead back home,
but rather
to a hot and yawning oven.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ark of Mu

by Craig Davies

From out of the Blue…such Beauty to see.
The Earth at Peace was unveiled to me.
The Future I trust; One World...we are Free.
I asked of the Blue how this came to be.

I saw turbulent seas; black was the sky.
The end had come with no tear in my eye.
In the midst of the chaos, a vessel so small,
Tossing and turning yet, surviving it all.

Transcending all conflict; with darkness withdrawn,
The Good Ship Kauai ushers in a New Dawn.
All becomes Peaceful; my vision is true.
A New Beginning...We're the Ark of MU.