Forty Miles from Nowhere

When I was a younger man, I had the great fortune to work on the island of Molokai, in the Hawaiian Island chain. At the time, Molokai was quite rural and the company that I was working for was constructing a new 36-hole Golf Course.

The site was rather remote and offered solitude in traversing the hills and valley’s of an alluring imaginative horizon and drawing a mental picture for developing a greater appreciation for life.

The poem was written while peering out over the beautiful blue Pacific ocean, on the West End of the island, where one can easily see the Southwest side of Oahu (Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach) that’s about 40 miles away.

Thus the name, “Forty Miles from Nowhere” reflects the appreciative differences between my apartment life in Waikiki and the real Hawaiian Style Life, that existed on this outer island.

Click video below to listen to a “What a Wonderful World” sung by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, while reading my poem below…

Forty Miles From Nowhere

Forty miles form nowhere the trades cast a breeze, as the sun sets on Oahu my thoughts are of things to be.

Gazed beyond distant wave that falls upon the reef, my eyes are stilled by sunset thrills and breeze on torques seas.

Lit clouds a glow from sunset low on endless sea’s horizon, spreads fanning light of glimmered rays that shine to new day rising.

Leeward gaze of restless sea spans time and empty miles, thoughts ride past the crested seas and dream of times on trial.

My body warmed by sun baked sand cause mind to be at ease, I lay alone upon this beach inhaling every breeze.

I close my eyes and hear the tide reseed and then advance, the ocean mist explodes tide’s bliss to scent my circumstance.

With eyes shut tight this place seems right to contemplate life’s fate. The sun, the sky, the wind now high mutes sounds of such debates.

These forty miles from nowhere the trades cast a breeze, and as a seed that blows bye my future calls the tune, and like a seed I’ll roll by for another day too soon.

This land is so fertile and the people are so kind, it seems that this island is from another place in time.

The deer and the turkey run wild through the hills, and the people live here simple with no pills for cheap thrills.

While basking in the wind whipped sand my thoughts have placed refrain. On days gone by and reason why the world has gone insane.

Senses hear and see and smell three thousand miles from major port, this span of sea can set one free from thoughts that cause contorts.

This place can lift a soul that’s fell and sounds of sea can mute the spells, refrain internal tones.

Unwind a mind, connect life’s rhymes and ground such thoughts to bone.

Michael Chaffee – 2-1-76

Waimanalo Blues
Arlo Guthrie
Wind’s gonna blow, so I’m gonna go
Down on the road again
Starting where the mountains left me
I’m up where I began
Where I will go, the wind only knows
Good times around the bend
Get in my car, goin’ too far
Never comin’ back again
Tired and worn, I woke up this mornin’
Found that I was confused
Spun right around and found I had lost
The things that I couldn’t lose
The beaches they sell to build their hotels
My father’s and I once knew
Birds all along sunlight at dawn
Singing Waimanalo blues
Down on the road with mountains so old
Far on the country side
Birds on the wing forget in a while
So I’m headed for the windward side
All of your dreams, sometimes it just seems
That I’m just along for the ride
Some they will cry because they have pride
For someone who’s loved here died
The beaches they sell to build their hotels
My father’s and I once knew
Birds all along sunlight at dawn
Singing Waimanalo blues



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Writing with the Veiled…