I used to be Hawai’i

By Jeffrey the Barak

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I used to be Hawai’i

I am the Detroit Tablemount.
I am two and a half thousand meters under the sea.
To my East is the West,
Attu Island, the edge of the USA.
To my North is the East.
Ostrov Mednyy, the edge of Russia
I used to be Hawai’i

I was over the hot spot, but I moved North.
Once I had great volcanoes,
like Kilauea,
like Mauna Loa,
and before that I rose out of the sea as Loihi will one day.

Then I moved away and the rains came
bringing both life and erosion
And I became a shrinking island with steep cliffs
and deep valleys,
like Maui, then like O’ahu, then like Kaua’i.

Then as I kept moving and wearing away, I was an atoll, a reef, a bank, a seamount.
But I used to be Hawai’i

Deeper and deeper beneath the waves I sank,
and I kept on moving with the Pacific plate,
swinging to the North and continuing to where I now live.

I was not the oldest, and I was not the first.
My ancestors have passed,
subducting beneath the North American Plate
upon which Siberia rides.

Sometimes their voices and memories briefly reappear
as volcanoes in the Alutians
as volcanoes in Petropavlovsk-Kamchtsky
as volcanoes in Japan

But mostly they return to the mantle
As will I
Having enjoyed a great ride over the crust.
But really the world is just like one big volcano
And I used to be Hawai’i

 

 

the-vu does not usually accept poetry, but who can resist a talking seamount?

 

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