I lived on the island of Kauai, Hawaii for 10 years.  While there I used to see this man who stood at the beginning of Kuamoo Road in Kapaa. Rain or shine he was there. He had a lawn chair and sleeping bag. Standing near the traffic light he always looked as if he was waiting for someone, always with an expectant look on his face. I would often see him with a styrofoam container with lunch or dinner so he must have had money or someone helping him. I heard there were people who helped him. A stranger to me and yet I somehow knew him just like everyone else who passed that spot and relied on his being there. I moved back to California for awhile and when I returned to Kauai he was gone. I heard he became quite hostile to people and was made to leave. I never found out what happened to him or where he wound up or if he found what he what or who he was looking for.

I wrote this song about him and another woman I met while in California, a complex woman who didn't wait, not for anything. I suppose it is really about us all or who we choose to be at any given moment; we hope; we wait, we expect or we have days we don't.

"Kuamoo Road"

a song:

There is a man who waits
at the stem of Kuamoo Road
and he is waiting
for his life
to begin.

There is a woman who sits in the dark
and she drinks all alone, 
she is waiting for
her life
to end.

I stand alone
in shadows
and I sketch out their frames
sitting near
in the secret
of disguise.

I'll be a lilac
be at least a petal
or an amaranth
in their wake
I will treasure all
the lessons found
as I fly
so very far away.

by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen Feb. 2000, copyright 2000