PHOTOS, VIDEOS, BLOG on PUNATIC by James Schwartz 

"PUNATIC" poem orginally published in the Fall 2017 issue of RFD!



Sweet Puna & Pele here we are,
It took many years to travel so far,
On our own with nothing to lose,
Only battered memories of gay sex & booze,
 James, my brother
Troubles roll by, soul is soothed
When we stand before great mother now brother
We’ve made it this far
Don’t let past distract from her stars
Sweet Gaia in our sandals we trod thy lava,
On Rimbaud’s birthday raising shells of kava,
A toast to the rebels in sacred land,
I’ll take Hart Crane in heart & hand.
Fire, Fire on the land
Fire, Fire with one demand 
Raise vibration, love creation
Spread appreciation,
See Pele’s fiya 
Listen to the rhyme, malama to the aina.
We make our way through sugar cane,
& through the winter’s torrents of rain,
Down jungle paths of cinder & stone,
To the huts that we call our own.
Red, red road got me blowin
Rings around the sun, call in Jah one
Send the kahuna
I’m drifting style Puna
Low Pu got me blue
Dreadlocked garden variety zoo..
Show me heights of the playah,,
Raise me all the way to my lady liberty Mauna Kea
Near the coast of Kapoho we frolic free,
Practicing permaculture sustainability,
 We tip our hat to erotic damnation,
We smashed our saints in shamanic transformation.
My brother loose the proclamation
Stars align, seven to one
Sign, Horus eye, these brothers Gemini.
I might be high and out so far.
Let’s head to the moon, surf on mars.
In addition to the stars,
Long days at the registrar
Late nights out in kava bars,
Drunk hours bent on rhyme
Stoned memories of another time,
Tasting gin and lime
When I was his & he mine.. (together)


"Only a Pompeii and a Herculaneum were needed at the foot of Kilauea to make the story of the eruption immortal." - Mark Twain, "Roughing It"

We hike over the miles of moonlit lava rocks, to the base of the volcano, the glowing crater above us. What are the odds of a girl from Brazil, Australia, California and a queer ex-Amish poet gathering at the Kalapana lava flow?
Nambe sings a spiritual song about creation and giving thanks. Molten lava flows around and beneath us, bursting through rocks and spilling into the rainy night.
On the way back I fall, Pele kissing me as a "kumu" later tells me. I carry a scar beneath my eye today.
We get lost on the way back, wandering for hours over the onyx landscape. A flashlight beams at us suddenly.
"I'm Nate the Great from Wisconsin but at the moment I'm not so great - I'm lost."
Nate the Great from Wisconsin joins our caravan as does a couple whose cell phones guide us to the road, well after midnight.
Nambe holds my hand the entire way. Nate is reunited with his friends and we walk the road back together.

Back to the moments at the flow, huddled near the lava's warmth against the cold rain. Back to Nambe's song. Back to the fiery streams.
I sit by the girls, watching the embers glow. The moonlight is gone, with only the alchemy of Pele...