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The gift of everyday magic
showered upon us
like the fat drops
that pelted thick
from Hilo's darkening skies.

It was the end of a day
of music--old style, new style
lickety-split ukuleles
and deep throat guitars
that dipped or roared
or twinkled or plunked
with heartbeat rhythms.

The master was into
the second song of his set
when the sound system quit.
Just like that,
room-blasting reverb
froze to sudden silence.

But not quite silence after all,
for there remained
the soft acoustic tenor
of his old Tacoma guitar.

Without amplification,
his voice was lost,
overwhelmed by rivers
of rain on the tin roof,
yet, just barely, we heard
the pulse of the old guitar.

It was the crowd,
a hundred of us,
who picked up the song,
voices like whispers
of the sea itself
"He leo, no ke kai, e"
never overpowering
the faint ki ho'alu
of the master.

The voices of many
sustained the song
and my skin prickled
from the strength
of that collective voice,

The master
tilted his head,
lifted a shoulder,
and played on.

It was a Hilo moment.
No big fuss when the power fails.
It happened like that
and the story of Holei
never faltered
that rainy Hilo eve.

The everyday magic
of this land
comes with surprising ease
when a hundred whispers
carry the load,
sharing the gift.

The event depicted occurred at the 2015 Big Island Slack Key Festival, when the power went out as Cyril Pahinui performed "Holei."

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Article Details
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Author:Kageler, Dina Wood
Publication:Bamboo Ridge, Journal of Hawai'i Literature and Arts
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2018
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Next Article:FROM: "IN COMMUNITY--OR--LETTERS TO TAZ": (in response to a poem by Taz Ahmed, titled "If Our Grandparents Could Meet").

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