Prana Mandoe

the quiet of the land I.the quiet of the landstretches over hills trees rustle as the breezetravels on sunshine my sitting breath, the cabin,the leaves are of one peace mynahs squawk and far-off carswhoosh by on the highway at night the distant barking dogsare a comfort like pelting rain the drumroll on a tin roofdeafens watchers of television and when the surf breaks on cliffsthe echoes boom across meadows the boulders rattle, chatterroll, knock, recede, talk so too wind gusts,splitting the lychee orchard it roars, it whistles, it fillsthe ears of a child holding her arms out ecstaticyet this too is quiet in the vast life ofour spinning planet as is her greatest sound,the maelstrom of river it reverberates in forestshakes the bedrock two days a torrent,two weeks a stream gurgling intoa moist pocket this quietextends to the farthest reachesof our ability tolisten step,then the next up a switchbackinto sky at the mountain’s kneesgoose calls ricochet off crater wallswithin the greater quiet this musicsharpens the mind notice, baby birds repeatthe same high cry like a beepingcar door noticeinternal quiet the flow of breathaligning bones the flow of workabsorbing mind the feel of soilthe smile of cilantro how a coconut frondrides imperceptible puffs of air,ah, air perceiveher patterns breathe outbreath in III.heysmall squirts the dark floor leadsto one big door the quiet of the long hallmakes us tiptoe we peek inat the altar a buddha, flowerswater grown-ups sitguavas 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.