Terry McNeely

i began writing, mostly poetry, shortly after my wife, Mickel, died in ʻ95. Death figured prominently in my thoughts, my own loss, my own alcohol abuse, the manʻs ecological destruction of a planet, the impoverishment of billions. Through these parallel dyings, i learned everything changes, there is nothing to hang onto and i came to find compassion, for myself and the larger world, and through compassion, i believe, we can find meaning in our lives, in our actions. To that end, i write.

Iʻve lived most of my life in northern california, until i moved to hawaiʻi in 2003, where i live on the big island in Hilo. I have worked at various jobs, mostly USPS, but also owned a small bookstore.

free flowing river

The River

The once marshland again longs to fill itself

with water, and up in the mountains

among the shoulder blades of the earth

energy lies clotted behind the dams

awaiting surgery…

August 4, 2023

Redwood trees

Whitman’s Redwoods

i bow

to James Stephens who once did chant

the first and last duty of humankind:

to dance.

June 23, 2023

Red Pua Lehua (ʻOhiʻa blossom

Kaiao, Elua

It is makahiki,  the beginning of the rains

and through this falling fertility

the garden crying out

with a deeper, a darker gingery voice

to these young gardeners…

May 19, 2023

volcano hilo

From San Juan to Cali to Hiroshima to Oakland to Hilo

Creation begins in the hungry darkness of chaos, the web of life begins in the sea. Words appear from nowhere,  phrases form…

May 5, 2023

taro fields

Ekolu Mea Ku’i

Kaleimomi told me the story as Hilo rains were dancing across Waiakea Pond.

April 28, 2023


Cache Creek

The animal community, that is mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, has shrunk on average 68% between 1970 and 2020, according to the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London in the Living Planet Report.

April 14, 2023