"How to Pass A Month in Honaunau"

Solana Travel Writing, Spring 2021

Jeddie Kawahatsu

Wake up to the sound of coqui frogs
Miniature aliens
Radio frequencies
(you went to sleep to their lullaby too) If its early or late,
The sound of a boar rooting
Outside the tent
(you take a peek).
If its 3am,
Wake to the sound of roosters
Chasing chickens in a mating dance.

The first thing your feet will feel upon exiting the tent
Is dirt,
You are always damp anyway,
So what is dirt
And the residue of decaying leaves,
And the crunch rustle of hollow
Macadamia nut shells,
The tender meat eaten away by
The boars.

Hoku, the black dog, with flies that
Drink from his eyes,
Brings you avocadoes sometimes.
Perfectly ripe and unpunctured,
Or mangoes or papayas,
It is breakfast in bed.

I will pick coffee berries today,
Bright red,
The trees full of little spiders and mosquitoes That eat me, a little at a time, day by day, I become more insect, they become more me. Afternoons are spent in the warm tidepools Of lava and reef,
Where all the sand is little shells,
You sit and half of it walks away from under you On crustacean limbs.

Starfruit has never tasted so sweet,
Washed in the ocean and crisp
Against teeth,
We watch dolphins play in the distance.
There is a nostalgia I try to grasp,
Even years later, hot black coffee,
The mesh windows,
That let’s in the geckos
And centipedes.
The tea house on the ridge that we never visit, has the best view of the horizon.
We sleep all night on a wooden platform, Not quite level, and the blood rushes From your head to your feet.
The midnight showers,
In a wooden hut, lit by a flashlight
Precariously balanced on a
Motley collection of ceramic frogs
That watch you, naked,
As you try to get clean,
Then dry off with something that
is half mildew, half towel.
Sometimes, the cats watched too,
Slinking their way through
The curtain in place of a door,
Careful enough to stay away
From the spray of the shower nozzle.

I hated the rain,
But here,
I learned
To let it wash away my homesickness. Most mornings,
after avocadoes,
It would pour.

For a month
I walked slowly through slippery mud to the main house,
My feet a timid sacrifice to the elements.
On my final day,
I gave no offering of apprehension. I believed I belonged,
And knew every safe step.
And in that final journey,
I slipped.
Mud and leaves in my hair, down my back my skin baptized
In everything that Kona is made of.
I lay there on the slope, frozen in shock, Looking up at the rain that thundered down From the sky to fall
On me and around me,
I opened my mouth to laugh
And the rain fell into me.
This is how you begin to become.



Born and raised in San Francisco, Jeddie was a city girl before she decided to drop her job at an insurance office and spend a month picking coffee berries on a mountainside in Kona, Hawai'i to experience something different.
Her love of Hawai'i grew from there and she pursued hula dancing upon returning to San Francisco and it eventually prompted her move to Oahu, Hawai'i in 2018 in order to chase her dreams of competing in the Merrie Monarch competition (AKA the Olympics of hula).
She successfully attained her goal of participating in Merrie Monarch in 2019 and has been happily working at the Honolulu Museum of Art while attempting to chase her dreams of being a painter and writer on the side. She has always been painfully shy about sharing her work, but the pandemic in 2020 forced her to confront the brevity of life and her intention in 2021 is to share more of her art with the world in the hopes that it can inspire and provoke others to create, travel, and share their stories with the world as well.
Instagram: @jeddiek


  • Koichi Fukuda

    Your words springs to life your adventure, living and working on a Kona Coffee Bean Plantation… Hawaii… live your dream and congratulations on your insightful Poem… well done!

    … Koichi

  • Emi Tom

    Hi Jeddie…thank you for sharing your poem, which was beautiful and calm. Hoping that your endeavors will inspire. Love hearing about your journey.

  • Manuel Kichi Woing

    From Uncle Manuel: your writing gives me a clear picture of who you are, what you experience, and I could smell “nature” (even with my allergies, there is beauty). I appreciate you and know that I too have “written poetry” or short stories that pack a punch but so personal, as i know you might feel that way too, and a legacy of the “now”. Good moments happen when there is a explosion of feeling. I am not a poet, a painter (I will try some watercolouring" and take a walk and write a dream. My travels to Vancouver are my writing times but now I will have to find my “head space” to do it here at home.Don’t know if you know I did publish my third book. I will send to you. Caring Uncle and happy for your expression of self and your sharing with others. Manuel Kichi Wong

  • Cheryl Miyashiro

    Jessie, you have become a very mature and very passionate of what you love and should be so proud of yourself! Keep up the great work💕💕💕💕 Aunty Cheryl

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published