THIS IS PARADISE

by: Frank Marshall Davis

I.

Here is the peaceful postcard paradise

A considerate sun slaves overtime

The moon dances to a soft guitar

The champagne rain bubbles and warms

And June lasts a full twelve months;

Sun-washed, moon-dried,

Diamond set in the lava ring

Of browngreen mountain and rainbow valley

In the blue jewel case

Of the Pacific.

 

 

 

The seven main islands of Hawaii

Born two thousand miles from California

Are inhabited by people, pineapple

Sugar cane and Pearl Harbor

Grown dependently together--

This much is in the travel folders.

 

The rich cruise here in winter

Planes bring the middle class in summer

(The poor see the sights any time

At their neighborhood movie or on T-V:

Who says theres no equality in America?)

With air above and water below

Subject to municipal regulations

And official boundaries

Afloat on the ocean,

You enter the City & County of Honolulu

A thousand miles

Before you reach

The City & County of Honolulu

(Discount any comments

From birds and fishes--


 

They have neither voting rights

Nor civic consciousness)

Bring along a blank paper mind

Until the Island of Oahu

Inflates from dime to dollar

And then a sack of bulging bullion

Split by the worried brow of Diamond Head;

See the languid palms

Dressing the shining coral shores;

Bright houses and slick buildings

Like quarters and dimes

In a pocket of greenbacks;

Come luxury liner

And see the little welcoming boats

Like chicks around a mother hen;

Brown boys in bright trunks

Diving to spray tourists

With splashes of Local Color;

Hula dancers waving their hips

To conduct the Royal Hawaiian Band;

Come by air

And see the flyspeck mountains

Spring into gaunt giants

As the land reaches up

Like a friendly hand;

Come either way

And wear a lavalier of flowers

On that greeting drive through strange streets

Glowing with the brights prismatic people;

Now enter into the baited door

Of your tourist trap in Waikiki,

Pour your eager flesh and bone

Into a bathing suit,

Dash to the nearby beach

And sit;

Sit while barefoot boys bob by

Twanging ukes;

Sit while waves regularly report

Their quotas of spray and surf board riders;

Sit for dinner under soft stars

Sit until the night grows confidential

And solicits for his scented woman, Sleep

Now take a postcard to your room


 

Write Having wonderful time---

And go to bed, murmuring

Its really true!

This really is Hawaii!

 

Tomorrow, long after the sun

Has wandered into your room

Sat awhile, and left his calling card

You will leisurely arise

Breakfast on papaya,

Guava jelly and Kona coffee

Then buy a gaudy Aloha shirt;

Now start your conducted tour

Of the island,

See for yourself the fabled sights

Leap to life from the guide book;

Go to a luau and eat like the natives--

The quaint, friendly, childish natives;

Pinch the buxom bottoms of the islands girls

While your wife makes eyes

At the sleek brown boys;

Loaf and live

By all means live;

Go to the Outer Islands

Visit the bubbling volcanoes on Hawaii

Huge Haleakala crater on Maui

Wonderful canyon on Kauai

Or stay in Waikiki;

This is Paradise

Any way you take it--

And so two weeks, a month slip by.

 

Now it is time to leave

Return as president of that Iowa bank

(Good old Iowa, the REAL U.S.A)

Back as buyer for that Boston store

(Good old Boston, pride of New England);

Youve had as good a time

As money could buy

At prevailing prices;

(That explanation

By the Hawaii Visitors Bureau

Was logical:


 

Everythings shipped in, you know)

Youd like to come again

Not next year but sometime

But no matter

Youve plenty to tell the folks back home,

Youve seen the peaceful postcard paradise,

Youve seen the bright prismatic people

And now you know Hawaii!