Center of Waikiki
Waikiki, later in the afternoon
Plenty of traffic in paradise (the beach is to the right)
The Royal Hawaiian, the Original - a wonderful place for breakfast!
Activities along the beach
Tranquility, one does not find on modern Waikiki
One only imagines what use to be

Tall hotels and shops dot every space
Serving the millions who come to this place.

The beach has narrowed over recent times
A narrow strip remaining from its prime.

Big ones, fat ones, shapely and fine
Sunbathe along the beach exhibiting all kinds.

The kings and queens of old who frolicked in this place
Now mutter back and forth and pray for Pele’s grace.

Despite with all that I've had to say
Waikiki still a wondrous place to stay.

Activities of ilk and kind exist for all.
Yes, even quiet niches to hear the Ancients’ call.

The Japanese again have attacked these shores.
This time victorious as they shop the stores.

Aloha still exists on the crowded streets
Frankly, a surprise and an incredible fete.

So if you decide to come this way
Please know that Aloha will govern your stay.
Comments: Many fly into Honolulu and as quickly as possible fly to one of the other islands. I, personally, enjoy Waikiki despite its commercialism. There are world-class hotels, restaurants, and shops galore. A few minutes trip to the other side of Oahu provides you less crowded beaches and highways. As the poem says, "Aloha is still alive in Waikiki." This was my tenth trip to Hawaii but the first time that I spent more than a day in Waikiki. There is a lot going on there and much does not cost a cent -- free Hawaiian shows, concerts in the park, a hike up Diamond Head, and of course the fabulous beach to name a few.
Lei after lei encircled her neck
She smiling and accepting love
Family and friends gather to say, "Aloha."
Wishing her Godspeed on her way to university
For her, the other side of the world
Known as Maryland

She looked so Hawaiian
So young
With layer after scented layer
Adorning her bronzed neck
As she bravely made her way down the aisle
Searching for her seat
Biting her lip and holding back the tears
Family and friends no longer there
Feeling so alone
Saying, "Good-byes"
All part of going to college
All part of her journey

Comments: Anyone who has read my book knows that I love to observe the human drama and that the airport provides a wealth of poetical scenes. Last August, we traveled as family to Hawaii. Following a wonderful week of enjoying island life for which these richly green volcanic oasises are so famous, we were in the airport waiting for the long trip back to the Mainland. As described in the poem family and friends gathered around a young woman bestowing their love in ways typical of the Islands. She was smiling and returning the affection. About 20 minutes later after seating ourselves on the plane, I saw her coming down the aisle, using all her will to fight back the tears. Sensing the need to say something to her, we talked briefly of her scholarship, her first trip off the Island, the quick passage of time, and the adventures that lay ahead. For me, I was returning home; for her, she was leaving. But for some brief moments that August day, our paths crossed – for me in a very memorable way.
Enjoying Burger King - 8 a.m.
Another early morning feed
Fabled Waikiki

Sitting on an isolated bench,
fabled Waikiki lay before my eyes.

The sun just begins
to peak over the mountains behind
while the offshore Pacific breeze
warms the skin.

The nearly empty beach belies the throngs
that will cover it well before noon.

Early morning surfers catch first waves, 
as a lifeguard prepares his work area
for the approaching army of sun worshipers.

Joggers run the walks of Kalakaua Avenue.
The traffic noise a mere distraction
compared to an hour from now.

The ubiquitous pigeons and doves
dance and coo around my feet.

I am at peace,
as I prepare to meet the day.

Comments: This poem was written during my most recent trip to Waikiki. While many are put off by its commercialism, I still enjoy a few days there each time I visit. It is a wonderful place to people watch as well as take in its own form of beauty. I especially enjoy early morning walks before the crowds build.

Joe, sister Joy, husband Harvey, and our rambutans
Hey Joe

Lost in Honolulu,
.....seeking Chinatown,
.....we ask strangers
.....where this mystical place is.

We were sent there–then there–
.....but still not there.
Upon our third try,
.....a dapper Chinese gentleman
.....provided precise directions,
.....“One block over and five down.”
Off we trod in search of the fabled East.

Two blocks later, still in doubt,
.....our paths cross again.
Joe's his name.
He smiles, “Follow me,
.....my wife sent me to purchase
.....some rambutans.”

"What?” Our education begins.
Four blocks and an hour or more later,
.....we have tasted this fruit from the East,
.....bitten into its soft spines,
.....and knew the best place to buy–
.....all following dining at Joe's luncheon place.

Ready to depart
.....we asked one last question,
“Hey, Joe, how do we get home?”
.....He smiles.

Comments: This poem is a somewhat humorous look at 'being lost' and some of the discoveries that occurred. We arrived in this situation because the 'on and off' tour bus departed before we finished our shopping at Hilo Hattie's. (I think that was part of their plan.) Rather than wait the 40 minutes for the next bus, the three of us – my sister Joy, brother-in-law Harvey, and I – decided to make our own way to the next stop, Chinatown. There we wanted to have lunch and then would board the bus at the Chinatown stop for our ride back to the hotel. Through helpful advice, we arrived near our targeted destination but began receiving conflicting information. As the poem states, Joe, a retired civil servant, personally led us there. On his advice, we enjoyed several options that would not have occurred without him. He served as our personal guide while visiting his area of Honolulu. In short, Joe, you are one fine fellow!
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