by Jinny Batterson
(This short poem was inspired by my first visit to the Hawaiian islands, whose natural beauty astounded me, and whose human conflicts and controversies, while not directly my vacation concern, seemed vaguely familiar.)
She rises majestic in the midst of the Pacific,
Her sides splitting with lava and laughter,
Greatly amused at humans’ sometimes frenetic
Attempts to own, control, or improve her.
They cannonade her coasts, move rocks around,
Bring new plants, animals, chemicals,
Hack at her interior with saws and bulldozers and machetes.
Mostly she ignores their efforts,
Growing back at her own pace
Once they leave, which they seem to do,
Sooner or later.
After aeons, she stops spewing forth new ground.
More aeons, and her skirts subside into the sea,
Eventually recovered by the waves.
Somewhere else, far from the hulking hunks of continents,
A new daughter raises her head skyward.