I think this is one of the most obvious poems I’ve written, which gives me some concern. As Oscar Wilde said, to be understood is to be found out.

We were planning on leaving Hawaii forever, and I was certainly having qualms about it. Despite the congestion, the un-islandy feeling, the loss of mystery I felt for the first ten years, there was still that indefinable tropical shiver which makes us foolishly order rum drinks and wear straw hats (and also write poems). Our small wind-swept garden had been my inspiration for a long time, and what smells, what sounds, what discoveries was I now giving up?

Away from Hawaii, would all this beauty end up just as words, instead of being something you could feel? There’s an opposite sense to the last line, where words become the ultimate repository of our lives (of course today we also have home moves).