V2 Issue 2‎ > ‎

Prana Mandoe

the quiet of the land

 

I.

the quiet of the land

stretches over hills

 

trees rustle as the breeze

travels on sunshine

 

my sitting breath, the cabin,

the leaves are of one peace

 

mynahs squawk and far-off cars

whoosh by on the highway

 

at night the distant barking dogs

are a comfort like pelting rain

 

the drumroll on a tin roof

deafens watchers of television

 

and when the surf breaks on cliffs

the echoes boom across meadows

 

the boulders rattle, chatter

roll, knock, recede, talk

 

so too wind gusts,

splitting the lychee orchard

 

it roars, it whistles, it fills

the ears of a child

 

holding her arms out ecstatic

yet this too is quiet

 

in the vast life of

our spinning planet

 

as is her greatest sound,

the maelstrom of river

 

it reverberates in forest

shakes the bedrock

 

two days a torrent,

two weeks a stream

 

gurgling into

a moist pocket

 

this quiet

extends

 

to the farthest reaches

of our ability

 

to

listen

 

 

II.

one step,

then the next

 

up a switchback

into sky

 

at the mountain’s knees

goose calls ricochet

 

off crater walls

within the greater quiet

 

this music

sharpens the mind

 

notice, baby birds repeat

the same high cry

 

like a beeping

car door

 

notice

internal quiet

 

the flow of breath

aligning bones

 

the flow of work

absorbing mind

 

the feel of soil

the smile of cilantro

 

how a coconut frond

rides imperceptible puffs

 

of air,

ah, air

 

perceive

her patterns

 

breathe out

breath in

 

 

III.

hey

small squirts

 

the dark floor leads

to one big door

 

the quiet of the long hall

makes us tiptoe

 

we peek in

at the altar

 

a buddha, flowers

water

 

grown-ups sit

guavas drop

 

pak!

plop!

 

 

Prana Joy Mandoe is a mother, poet, 8th grade teacher, and gardener in the small town of Hilo, Hawai'i. Her work has appeared in Mothering Magazine and Bamboo Ridge Journal of Hawai'i Literature and Arts.