Paia My Love
This original song by Eddie Flotte accompanied by his watercolor paintings of the people and buildings of Paia Town is a priceless gift to anyone who loves Paia and north shore Maui.
I sat myself down on the streets of old Paia town
near a TV repair shop that some hippies surround.
The buildings were crooked the boards were splattered with rust.
This was just the kind of place I do my paintings of...
The neighborhood butcher with his cleaver in hand
and his wife in her apron, both Japanese American,
walked across Baldwin just to watch me work.
They brought me passion orange guava juice to quench my thirst.
Their shop was Paia yellow, built of cinder block bricks
with ceramic insulators hung way up on sticks,
to connect the tangled wires from the poles to the roof
bringing Maui electricity, that's powerful juice.
A great big Hawaiian, very dignified man,
on a mission in a white T-shirt to do what he can,
he just walks right by me, doesn't look, doesn't speak
until he's spoken to first, until we formally meet.
With a few soft words he's chosen careful and well
and a long lonely wisdom, his sad eyes tell
about a history and a legend and a place in time
and how he single-handedly has kept his ways alive.
At the edge of town dear Mr Brown's got so much to keep.
He's got a great big rusty pile growing into a heap.
A Good Year sign lets his aloha shine,
patrolling his side of the neighborhood and biding his time.
I heard the old paint cracking and the tin roof rang.
The screen door clapping as the gecko sang.
Black sugar cane confetti fell from heaven like rain.
And a nursery rhyme melody rang deep in my brain.
Auggie in his pool-room smiles as big as the sun.
He said he loves to play the game but never plays it for fun.
He knows the game well, he says he plays it to win
and he'll keep playing 'till he's back up on the top again.
I heard a thousand roosters calling him from way out back.
The multi-colored billiard balls go clackety clack.
Through my fence I watch him playing cards lit by the light
of a swinging yellow incandescent bulb all night.
The sugar mill is crumbling way up on the hill.
The dairy cows and dairy barns are further up still.
The paniolo ride their horses into the sky
and the cattle egret all just spread their wings and fly.
I heard the paint cracking as the tin roof rang.
The screen door slapping as the geckos sang.
Black sugar cane confetti fell from heaven like rain
and a nursery rhyme melody rang deep in my brain.
— Eddie Flotte