HAWAII ON A LARK (Memories of Flight)

HAWAII ON A LARK (Memories of Flight)

As you know, if you’ve spent some time rummaging around in this blog, I’ll ask my readers to share a self-made poem that has meaning and mana for them.  I am always surprised and pleased by the work of the people who take the time to respond to this request.

This latest lovely is a story-poem by fellow online entrepreneur Donna Holberg (a.k.a. “Deelilah”), a wonderfully down-to-earth storyteller who has lived a lively and adventuresome life.

She has, she says, “a major case of wanderlust” and in her free-wheeling journeys with her husband Steve, for eight years as a long-haul trucker (between stints in the food industry), Deelilah has visited almost every state in the Union except Vermont and Maine.

The couple has lived in Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Oregon, and (currently) Washington State.

About the poem Deelilah has this to say:

“The poem is the story.  One day we, my now-husband and I, got a little high on Margaritas and decided to move to Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“It was very hard to make the decision to leave Hawaii, but because I had family obligations back in Seattle, we left– at the six-month mark. (They say at six months, you either stay or go.)

“We had begun to fit in with the culture — especially Steve, who had found a job as a Captain in the Kon-Tiki Restaurant in the Hilton Hawaiian Village. He was one of two “Haoles” in the entire operation– and they liked him.

“I worked downtown in a high-rise private club restaurant (I can’t remember the name).

“We took no car. We rode the bus everywhere, including, for me to work, and around the island several times, etc. We lived a short walk to the beach, and we grew to love it.

“After a while, we imported a roommate from Seattle, Dione, from the Space Needle, where we had all worked together in the restaurant on top.  Ironically, Dione stayed on for another two (maybe more) years, another benchmark for leaving.

“She dated “Tavanna” from a famous Tiki Dancer show (I hope I got that name right). Many of the images I brought back with me were from that show, and another one on Kauai. 

“Drums, tiki torches, and soft night breezes are in my blood. 

“Except for the expense, now that the kids are gone, we would move back. Of course, there is much more to the story. Maybe someday, a book….”

“Bird of Paradise” by Jett Brooks via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
Deelilah also mentions that she published a book “around 2000” that was derived from writings put together “while driving a long-haul semi-truck around the U.S.”  It’s out of print now, but a revised second edition is in the works.

Here’s her poem:

Hawaii On a Lark

We sat one day in a Mexican Bar
on the patio next to the park—
Tequila flowed freely
and dreams grew wings

as in a lark.

The breezes were warm and inviting
in Seattle that time, reminding us
of beaches we longed to see,
speaking of which, it must be


“Let’s fly to the western shore,” I said, then.
Liquor talking, he said, “To be sure—when?”
“We’ll go right away, soon as we can pack.”
And before he knew it, we got on track.

A 747 would fit the plan—

Big-bellied bird, wide with possibility—

Nine or ten hours until it lands
in time for cocktail hour
on the sands

of Waikiki.

We stepped off the plane into a bath
of orchid air—
The wind blew softly through our hair.

Blue surf pounded the Pacific reefs
as totems imagined mermaid myths.
Magnolias around our necks were hung
with beads that were strung

from miniature shells.

Drumbeats bathed in balmy air
while shadow dancers
with feathered hair

twirled round and round—

A hollow conch horn played.

But six months later, from our dream we woke—
Our lark had flown away broke

back to Seattle.

Filled to the stars with Hawaiian lore,
we are Haoles no more.
Six months is all it took
To be forever on the hook.

There’s no forgetting the Hawaiian folk.


By Deelilah (Donna Holberg)

Header photo credit:  “White Terns, Waikiki, O’ahu, Hawaii” by J. N. Stuart via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]


Please note:  If you would like to contribute a poem to this blog, please let me know by leaving a comment below.  I’d be happy to hear from you.

I do ask three things of my guest poets:

  • a poem of your own making that has great meaning and mana for you,
  • the back-story for the poem — what inspired you or how you made it or whatever you want to tell about it, and
  • an image that I can use as the featured photo in the header. (The last is optional. I do ask that the image you share is one you own — either an image of yourself or something that relates to the poem.  If you choose not to send an image, then I’ll go find something that works.)

If you click on this thing –> “Guest Poet Portal” you can submit a poem right now.


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you would drop a note or comment below and tell me your thoughts.

6 thoughts on “HAWAII ON A LARK (Memories of Flight)

  1. LineCowley says:

    Although I am not a poet, I love reading poetry and this poem from Deelilah (aka Donna Holberg) really resonated with me. Describing how Hawaii hooked them in a matter of six months, but then returned to Seattle, brought back so many memories for me. 

    I am an expat and have lived in several countries, and at the moment feel like a bit of a nomad, and not sure where I belong. At the moment I am a lark, but on the east coast of Australia, and am ready to spread my wings and discover more. 

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, LineCowley.  The thing I am noticing about life-built poetry and storytelling is a really cool thing:  Other people’s stories set up echoes that call up your own memories and help you to revisit your past and integrate your new realities into your old ones. 

      This whole process might help to reveal to you imbalances, influences, and undercurrents that you may not have noticed so much and that may help you find a new balance and maybe start making another chapter in your story.

      You can continue on and maybe try a different way of walking or try a new direction.  A good thing, I say.

      Please do come again….

  2. Michel Maling says:

    What a lovely story and a lovely poem to end it all.

    It is great if you take the chance and go on adventures when the mood takes you, as these are memories that you will have forever.

    I am always sorry that I didn’t take more opportunities to travel and work abroad when I was younger, because as you get older you just seem to have so many more responsibilities that make leaving, even for a brief while, impossible.

    1. Michel, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts. 

      It is a truth.  No matter how much you love the life you build out of the choices you make, there will always be some paths not taken that will make you wonder…especially when you encounter other people’s memories of their adventures. 

      Please do come again.

  3. Hello Netta,

    I really wish I could write a poem myself, but I can’t.

    However, this does not mean I do not appreciate poetry. I love reading poetry and listening to people’s life stories. It’s because I believe that everyone’s life story is a poem. Not everyone knows how to arrange their story into a poetic format, but they are poems nonetheless.

    I really enjoyed Deelilah’s story and poem. I can’t imagine myself and my family moving from place to place every six months ☺.

    (By the way, Hawaii is one place I really want to visit in the US. It sounds like a nice place to live and raise a family.)

    Fingers crossed … I will visit Hawaii in the near future. 

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Deelilah’s story and poem, Alice.  I’ll share them with her.  (I’m sure she’ll be pleased.)

      I like your thought that we’re all building out our own poems as we live our lives.  Cool, huh?

      Please do come again.

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