Angelic Songs


Have you heard the angels sing?
How do they sound?
One Sunday morning in Moorea
I think I heard their songs
The music came from Islanders
lost in spiritual ecstasy
But I think the voices were from angels
singing in Polynesian harmony
Sometimes I still hear those lilting,

enchanting sounds
while lying in my bed
Surely they come from angels
else why do they reverberate in my head

Comments: One Sunday morning while on Moorea in French Polynesia, my son Craig, his friend Ryan and I attended a small church down the road from our hotel. The day was picture perfect as it is day in and day out. All the church windows were open with ceiling fans circulating the hot, humid air. Upon entering, visitors were escorted to the back balcony. The fragrance from hundreds of tropical flowers drifted like incense throughout the packed sanctuary. Women dressed predominantly in white sat below us while children played in the aisles. The men, many in suits despite the heat, sat toward the front. All the elders, who sat so seriously in the raised pulpit area, wore their Sunday best. Out of courtesy, a formal greeting and a very brief message were delivered in English. Then the service moved to the predominant language, French. What mesmerized me was the singing. Oh, what glorious sounds we heard. What a beautiful experience to have been there!

Blazoned into My Soul


The bay is quiet after the day's sail.
Earlier, we rounded Huahine, emerald island covered with lush vegetation,
....disappearing into the white sands and coral sea.
Billowy clouds provide scant shade from the tropical sun.
To cool off, we dive into waters so clear –
....the fish, though afar, appeared so near – wants to reach out and touch.
Below the lobster meal for the evening
....moves slowly across the sandy bottom.

After navigating, oh so carefully,

....through the coral lined channel,
....we drop anchor for the night.
The postcard sunsets occur quickly in the tropics.
The sky is soon dotted

....with thousands of pure light specks,
....undefiled by smog or pollution.
Only the mild clanging of the tied off halyards
....and the sounds of the waves
....lapping against the anchored boat
....soothingly, disturb the quiet.

In the early evening
....I walk to the bow.
Sitting, resting my back against the mast,
....I soon become lost in thought.
Above, the Southern Cross* in her diminutive glory
....peers down.
The fresh evening breeze against the flesh
....washes away the heat of the day.
Life could not be better.

Suddenly, the senses are interrupted not too distant explosions, the sky is aglow with a multitude of colors.
The Islanders and French are celebrating Bastille Day.
....I look on in awe – mesmerized by my good fortune.
I knew this night would be forever blazoned into my soul

* In the Southern Hemisphere the Southern Cross is viewed similar to the Big Dipper in the North. However, the Southern Cross is a much smaller constellation.
Comments: A number of years ago I sailed with six others from Raiatea to Bora Bora in French Polynesia. As one might expect, the trip was almost mystical as you live what so many dream about 'sailing the South Pacific.' Gauguin was so mesmerized by the island life that he left family and belongings to live and paint there. I must say that I was momentarily tempted. What I didn't mention in the poem was that I had just put my headphones on and was playing Les Miserable when the fireworks started. Thus, music from the great Broadway play served as background to the aerial display.

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