for Mr. Oyama

Simon Seisho Tajiri



The fields choke on the black plastic our fathers taught us to lay.

The work keeps going—

                                   Fields of endless pine.


I know poison descends with dew.

I know the treeless soil is spent.

I know the world will tire of pineapple.

But when the whistle wakes, I rise and join the circling trucks.

I feed the machine’s unresting maw with fruit and crown.

Bending, twisting, snapping.

Bend twist snap

                                   Until the whistle shrieks.


The food I plant is not for me.

With each fruit I pick, a can is crushed.

A puddle of petrol smokes.

I plant, I poison, I harvest.

                                   The land does not rest.


Sometimes the wind catches me and I look up from the line.

When I was a boy the birds cast shadows.

When I was a boy, only feathered wings passed by.




Simon Seisho Tajiri is from Lānaʻi, an island distinguished in the calm.