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Maui: Concerto For Island And Developer

Early riser, victor,
interpreter, conductor,
the sun, pure purpose focused in a pale baton of light,
steps up from the nocturnal pit.
Downbeat! as cymbals latent in a golden wave
crash fortissimo against black rock and give
a magisterial cue to winds
weaving counterpoint among palm fronds
while strings of green lianas play in rife
unison, and drops of water drip from leaf
tip to leaf, the pearled percussion of piano top
notes, pouring it on as the tempo speeds up.

Enter the trumpet call's descending figure
as a 747 lands and eager
couples or singles crowd the aisles. But one
whose linen suit matches his understated tan
lets the stampede pass before he disembarks.
Look in those green eyes. Gold fever. It works
overtime in runs of bonded notes, strategic flights,
attracting capital and buying votes
that set big wheels in motion --
it's history's most effective lubrication.
Just ask the cabby promised double fare
if he uses the accelerator. What else is it for?
Later, up on the hotel balcony
among high branches of a flame tree, no
reason those eyes shouldn't play
lightly over the well-framed vista. A waiter will supply
answers to questions put, quite happy to
be swayed by a voice that resonates authority.


Earth-movers growling at a low pitch slide
back and forth like trombones in the mud
as wizened banyans are tugged
from their sockets. Clearance for months bogged
down in bureaucratic hooha about
ancestral graves come through at last when heat
is carefully applied to powers that will
or will not be. A-major chords break through it all,
fanfares of top brass greeting shipments from Taiwan.
Ten thousand yards of concrete flow. A skeleton
of steel confronts a bay where seabirds soar.
Butane flame is simmering vats of tar.


The final presto pirouettes through its paces.
Gin meets tonic at the bash, where spinning slices
of lime and lemon float on pings of pure ebullience,
chitchat and rhinestones twinkling as mogul and free-lance
journalist gauge the potential. No sunset
without its shutterbug, its duo for jet
and publicist, who meets the press outdoors
for a stunning tutti, in which trade winds ripple fires
of the torches, surf crashes to the accompaniment
of gull-cry, of sonic boom -- and a few sounds that can't
be heard, like soft crunchings of bone
as a matter-of-fact vulture consumes the fine
wings and breast of a dead tern scooped up
from a shallow grave in the golf-course sand-trap.

-- Alfred Corn

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