The Place

"Lord of the Deep" takes place on what is commonly called the Big Island in Hawaii. (The island is officially named Hawaii, the same as the state, which can be confusing!)

Author Graham Salisbury grew up on the Big Island and Oahu, another of the Hawaiian islands. His poem "Island Boyz" describes a childhood full of wave-catching days and star-gazing nights:

"we wore rubber slippers/and boroboro [beat-up] clothes/biked to the beach with/boards under our arms/surfed our brains out/hour after hour after hour/got out with useless rubbery arms/stole papayas/right off somebody's tree/broke them open/savaged them into our mouths/hoping to calm our raging hunger/nothing could beat/papayas after the ocean."

The long poem ends:

"I would not have/traded places/with anyone/not even/God."

That's quite a statement, but Hawaii can have that effect on a person!

The island chain stretches more than 1,500 miles across the North Pacific Ocean. Seven of the eight main islands are populated: Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Maui, Lanai, the Big Island and Niihau. (Niihau is privately owned and closed to most tourists.)

Each island has its special charms. But the Big Island is popular for its range of wonders: volcanoes, waterfalls, valleys, snow-capped peaks and white-sand beaches.

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