Black Sand Beach Cave, Momento Maui


30×42″, acrylic and pastel on paper

“Momento Maui (Between Kipahula and Ulupahakua Ranch)
A Poem by Peter Stilton:

We lost the tourists and their rental cars
At the seven pools after Hana,
And drove carefully on as the road declined.
The air was clear, the sea was strong,
And discovery was around each curve.

In Wordsworthian rapture we met silence with whispers…
Bird cries echoed against the heaving surf
And we descended precipitously,
Spiraling in ellipses into angular rock
Poured out of Haleakala centuries ago.

We were pilgrims in a cataclysmic landscape
Where the glowing molten lava had hissed
As it met the turquoise shore.
In geologic time that was minutes ago…
Yet for us serenity of greatest magnitude prevailed—
Cows roamed free, on the cliffs and on the road; High pyramids of stone with coverings of cloud Conveyed monarchical immobility and eternality.

The tires rattled the cattle guards,
Loudly, yet muffled by the vast silent space.
The broadness and power of mountain, sea, and sky
Swallowed up all petty thoughts
In contemplation, of the revelation of creation.

Pale dry grasses made black rocks darker,
And shafts of light from a falling sun
Silhouetted black twisted trees and ink line barbed wire…
A gorge of convoluted lava,
Ribs of the earth,
Testimony to metamorphosis ….

And over a crater, geometric, sculpted, and mysterious—
Clouds of rose and lavender and mist,
Covering the charred stone and the sapphire blue ocean.

Having seen the eastern Adriatic coast of jade waters
And white slopes with Venetian castled walls, Sacred Parnassus perched above purple-blue Corinthian Gulf,
Pharonic claws of the Valley of the Kings,
The drama of Death Valley, the softness of Mendocino,
The upturned cliffs of Kennebunkport and Ogunquit;
I saw Maul as specifically Pacific.



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