Through an arch of palm trees

silhouetted by the Moon,

we watch the endless waves roll in,

to a Soundtrack of surf and seabreeze.

Watch the Moon imperious & graceful glide

far above the rumpled, silver carpet

she lays shining across the ocean.

The faint flickering glow of cooking fires

casts orange bands criss-crossing

the slender trunks

of the shadowed trees.

The women are singing,

the older children run,

chasing and laughing,

weaving amongst the huts.

A baby cries briefly

but is soon silenced, given suck to breast.

The men are quiet now,

sitting on grass mats,

a row of silent shadows

staring out to sea,

as they drink the sacred Kava.

Swollen with dreams, the gnarled root

is dug from the ground, washed, grated,

soaked, and sieved,

chewed, soaked, sieved and chewed again.

A time-consuming procedure

that in repetition crosses over into Ritual,

each repetition reinforcing the significance

of this ambrosial gift.

All good ritual culminates in the Ceremonial,

from the Priests of the Mysteries of Ephesus

to the Kava-drinkers of Fiji,

a procedure that protects the power

of the plant from the profane;

Here the Ritual climax is fully realised

with the passing of the long wooden bowl,

from which each drinks the Kava

in solemn Communion.

The discarded dross of material Life has been

sieved & soaked and extracted,

then cast aside,

only the quintessence now remains.

The aches and pains and cares of Day

have faded, the Moon rules now,

and in her name Kava shares

its balms & charms.

Drink deeply therefore

with your tribe,

and, sitting silent as shadows,

contemplate the Mysteries of the Moon,

her silver carpet upon the ocean,

and the endless waves rolling in

to the soundtrack of surf and seabreeze.



KAVA; research footnotes:

Personally I found it to be a second-rate High really, and if anything it speaks to the paucity of satisfactory psychoactives generally available to isolated Pacific island communities. Probably helps explain why they went all to pieces once Europeans introduced distilled spirits into a society unfamiliar with powerful inebriants.

Be that as it may, Kava tastes terrible, a bit like anaesthetic mud. One gulps it down at first, trying not to taste any, later on it becomes easier to imbibe, as the Kava’s anaesthetising effects paralyse the taste buds. The numbness spreads from the mouth and tongue to the face and seeps gradually onwards thru the body, the limbs become pleasantly languid. The Mind soon follows suit; a dull sense of inebriation ensues, not unlike drinking lots of Hops or Valerian tea.

Still, in the right setting, sitting on the beach studying the stars or gathered around the old campfire with a few old friends, it’s a pleasant enough way to pass a quiet evening.

Kava used to be quite freely available in Australia, generally from Indian Grocery type Shops (there’s a fair number of ‘Fijian Indians’ thanks to British Imperialism) without causing any noticeable social problems, until some nervous bureaucratic drone noticed it’s availability and decided (despite the lack of any evidence) that since it’s a drug that’s not alcohol, it must therefore be dangerous and addictive and should be banned. And so it was. Not that this has stopped visiting Royalty & Australian politicians ever since from quaffing down big bowls of the stuff whenever they visit FIJI on ceremonial occasions.

But perhaps these ‘High-Flyers’ & VIP’s are all secret Kava Fiends, desperately craving their weird drug that has them in it’s grip, and have only passed laws banning it to save the rest of us from the horrors of Kava-addiction that they know only too well.



The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

reliable Cleaning Contractor and 

an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism.

He remains cautiously pessimistic.



~ by reverendhellfire on November 11, 2018.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: