“Dawn on Maui” by John Laue

John Laue


The horizontal clouds
above Molokai and Lanai
are turning pearly.
I sit with a cigarette
looking through the interstices
of a palm tree,
watching light come slowly
to the sky and ocean.
All night long I’ve heard
white noise, seen white lines
of phosphorescent surf
advance through darkness.
Once a boat’s dim lights
swept from left to right
but that was all the news
from civilization.
It seemed as if
I were in a wilderness
lying next to
some great beast
which kept me awake
with its loud breathing.

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007


John Laue: “I commenced writing poetry while at U.C. Berkeley in the late 1950s. There I attend a jazz and poetry reading featuring one of the Beat poets (I can’t recall which one). Being a jazz and blues musician, I went for the music but became fascinated by the words. I’d already written for local newspapers and edited a junior college paper, but poetry was an entirely new area for me. Nevertheless, I thought I’d try it. The poem in this issue is from my Hawaiian series which is unpublished as a full-length book. I wrote most of them while my wife snorkeled during several vacation trips to the Islands.”

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