by Jodi Ascuena
Knowing I was coming here today to serve tea to a group of eminent writers, I felt compelled to dress the part, so in an earnest effort to accomplish this goal, last week combed the thrift shops of Kaua'i for a couple of maid's outfits for Melissa and I. Saturday morning saw me up at dawn, bright-eyed, not QUITE bushy-tailed, traipsing round the yard sales hunting for that perfect mop hat and apron. When I finally located the required black skirt I had to drive halfway round the island to pick it up. ALAS! Not only was it a foot too long but the waistband fit over only ONE leg. Last night, even though I was officially babysitting, once the children were asleep, there I was, taking up the hem and adding substantially to the elasticized waist! As I'm still engrossed in this task at 10.30 p.m., I began ruminating "How come I got roped into this hare-brained scheme anyway? I'm up to my ears in schoolwork, I've got a big test coming up on Tuesday, Eddie Kamae's at EKK on Monday, I have to babysit Saturday and Sunday nights then again Monday daytime. I am SWAMPED; hell, what was I thinking?"
Well, then I began to remember how it was I got involved, how Carol casually mentioned there was an awards ceremony for Kaua'i Backstory and they were considering tea at.......
"TEA?" I repeated, ears pricked, eyes wide, head cocked.
Something about Carol Yotsuda always makes me want to throw my hat into the ring. I'll follow her almost anywhere. It's just plain fun. Words began to form in my head. By midnight I had the bare bones of a poem and by 2 a.m., I was done. Here it is.
Whither Goes Carol
She's a Treasure, you know, a Living one at that
And whatever she does, whether making a hat,
A painting, a pot or a bowl full of rice
It all becomes FABULOUS with unique Carol spice.
Simple dishes of noodles will be served with such vigor
It's quite useless to mention you're watching your figure.
She maketh me lunch from her bountiful yard
Encourages me to be a great bard
"Of course you can write, of course you can sing,
You're capable of absolutely every thing!"
I'll follow you, Carol, wherever you roam,
To the ends of this island and then return home,
For all that you do is bound to be fun
Continually joyful and NEVER quite done.
While working on deadline, fuelled by tea
Probably green for Carol; P.G. Tips for me,
We'd be eating at midnight over at Duke's
When EKK's over, having packed up the ukes,
Chairs carefully folded, some brown, some are black
Neatly lined up like soldiers for Victor to stack.
When in Honolulu it's easy to see
Why Carol's adored by that whole company
Her art is exquisite, success is a shoo-in
(I'm looking for something to rhyme with a "Chu-In")
Those forty nine figures, seven by seven, are delightful,
Though waxing them fast to the floor was quite frightful.
"Say, let's build a sculpture of wood, whaddya say?
On the beach at Kekaha at the end of the day
Then just as night falls, it will be our desire
To burn it all down, have one massive bonFIRE!"
I may dress up like Alice, Cheshire Cat or Mad Hatter
I'll come as a teabag; what the hell does it matter?
When you do stuff with Carol, why, everything's fun
Then you think it's all over, but you're not really done.
Whither goes Carol, there shall I go
Not once, even twice, but always I'll show
'Cos Carol brings something of the best out in me
Whether writing, reciting, or serving high tea.