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Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Corp.


Nature inspired poetry by HTMC Member Colleen Soares

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Olona Touchardia latifolia

One day, I was meditating on a mountain trail, after a short two mile hike into a beloved site. It was quiet, no one else on the trail. I was studying a plant – an endemic Olona plant. Olona has a history in the islands because it produces one of the strongest fibers in the plant family.*  Nestled against the green tickling my ear, I thought about quirks we have that some folks might think strange. I get joy in meeting a new plant. You might say – a plant? But here’s the thing. Plants breathe and interact with their environment in ways we can experience, if we have patience, for they are slow. It is green meditation.

Olona are diecious, meaning male and female reproductive organs are on separate plants. I watched the Olona and marveled at its sturdy, knobby half inch male sex globes. All of a sudden, a tiny puff of white cloud burst from a small hole in one globe. I was spellbound, mouth open in awe. Minutes later, another burst forth. I whispered, ahh, plant sex – enchanting melodramas of nature! My smile was big. Pencil handy, I wrote:


Touchardia latifolia, Olona, they say

Sword leaves surge upward and sway

Small sturdy sex globes

Puff pollen in sweet orbs

Surrounding all in its way


Pala’a Sphenomeris chinensis

Pala’a, lacey young lass

Nods to you as you pass

Sacred to Laka, she dances

On trailside she entrances

And captivates all with her class



Cyanea crispa with wondrous blooms

Overhead, on trailside, she looms

Though her numbers are small

And most plants are not tall

We’re working, so she is not doomed


Trail Mud

Trail mud is gooey, sticky

Thick, heavy, slippery, icky

Chocolate mud coats your boots

And hides the trail’s rocks and roots

Wet trails are not for the picky


Downhill slogs

Hard on the feet and hard on the knees

This downward slog is not a breeze


Hard on the knees and hard on the feet

This downhill hike is not a treat


Big rocks, loose rocks, threatening slides,

This downhill slog cuts into my strides


Olono Reference:


Mahalo to Colleen Soares for submitting her poems for the HTMC Newsletter.