|Image courtesy of Magpie Tales/Smoldering Fires, Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1904-2000|
Columbus Museum of Art
To Ahulani, Long Gone But Still Cherished, On Mother’s Day
The likeness was painted a long time ago.
The mountain was on fire, but that’s just background:
a setting for a portrait. In this tableau
you cannot see the truth which an artist found
but if you knew the story, it might astound.
After years in the shadows of smoky peaks
she found the baby, with his pink chubby cheeks…
but no one around knew who the small boy was
except that apparently someone left him
to fend for himself. And she said, “Just because
you’ve no name - perhaps abandoned on a whim? -
it doesn’t mean you should lack. Life shan’t be grim.
‘Little Boy from the Mountain of Fire,’ I
take you as my own. Ohana. ‘Til I die.”
Process notes: The form is Rime Royal Sonnet. The painting reminded me of a place in Hawaii, but viewed in a lens from long ago. The poem was penned in honor of mothers everywhere - especially since Mother's Day is this coming Sunday.