Robert Louis Stevenson (2012 Poem In Your Pocket)

Somewhere in This World

by Gail Harada

Somewhere in this world
anything is possible.

ʻŌhiʻa lehua might take root in black lava
or high on a windy cliff
with blossoms beautiful as the perfect velvet-red rose.

New leaves after devastation
might emerge thicker and more verdant than before.

A native hibiscus, kokiʻo keʻokeʻo,
growing in a schoolyard
might unfurl its delicately fragrant petals
one ordinary morning as traffic merges on the freeway.

A mountain might stand more majestic
Adorned again with stories told in the reborn air.

Gail N. Harada was born in Honolulu and spent part of her childhood on a military base in Japan. She has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 2000, she won a Pushcart Prize for her poem “A Meditation.” She is the author of a collection of poems and stories, BEYOND GREEN TEA AND GRAPEFRUIT (Bamboo Ridge 2013). She teaches writing and literature at Kapi‘olani Community College. Find out more about her books at


To Princess Kaʻiulani

by Robert Louis Stevenson

FORTH from her land to mine she goes,
The island maid, the island rose,
Light of heart and bright of face:
The daughter of a double race.

Her islands here, in Southern sun,
Shall mourn their Kaʻiulani gone,
And I, in her dear banyan shade,
Look vainly for my little maid.

But our Scots islands far away
Shall glitter with unwonted day,
And cast for once their tempests by
To smile in Kaʻiulani’s eye.

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