A Sunday Thought

It happens this way …

It’s taken me decades to understand that when my poems are rejected by a publication, I shouldn’t take it personally. I’ve learned to breathe deeply, take a quick look at the work to see if I need to make any changes, and then send it out again right away. That keeps my energy flowing and hope alive. As Billy Collins reminds me, “Writing is an act of hope, the hope someone will read it.”

Last week I sent five poems to Indie Blu(e) Publishing for their upcoming anthology on love. Their response:

We really like your work and want as much of it as possible in [our] Anthology …. Thank you so much and for being a tent-pole poet (one who holds up the tent with the strength of their work).

Two heartsThis kind of comment is so rare and so precious. I never heard of “a tent-pole poet” before. But it made me think about how we can be a tent pole in other areas of life.

How do we hold up the tent of relationships with the strength of our love, our words, our encouragement? How do we hold up the tent of hope by not succumbing to the discouraging news of the day? How do we hold up the tent of joy so that we  fill our corner of the world with brightness?

No answers today. Only questions I’m pondering.

The Maui Diaries, Part 7

It happens this way …

Hula and ukulele: can you get more Hawaiian than that? Over the years, Kathy has enjoyed taking hula lessons from one of the premier kumu hula teachers on the island. This master of the art form comes to the resort every Tuesday to give free lessons to groups that range from three-year-olds to honored senior citizens.



Not only did Kathy jam with several ukulele groups in the area, she was even a substitute teacher at the resort on June 2. The scheduled teacher had to be away and she stepped in. He had lent her a uke to use during our stay and would come early to his lessons and stay late so they could play together. Indeed, they were both teachers and students.nd time playing together and were teachers and students in the process.DSC08188

And in conclusion …

Whenever I arrive on this island, the beauty is so overwhelming that I start to cry. It goes right through my heart and soul and surrounds me every day. Needless to say, when we leave, I cry, too. However, this time I had an epiphany: beauty is everywhere and, while Maui’s is unique, there is so much beauty in my home world. My garden, my friends and neighbors, my poetry pals, my new students at Happy Valley Library are magical, too. I’ll let their beauty swim through me until we return to this island next May.


PS: Couldn’t resist: our last sunset on June 3, 2019.


The Maui Diaries, Part 6

It happens this way …

May 21, 2019

Ranked one of the ten best aquariums in the country, the Maui Ocean Center in Ma’alaea is a well-planned, well-laid-out ocean-lover’s delight. Knowledgeable folks invite you to watch them give turtles their physicals or handle sea urchins and -stars. A new I-Max exhibit puts you underwater to watch the movements of gigantic humpback whales in 3-D. On an otherwise hot day, this was the ideal spot to spend a few hours. My only regret is that I couldn’t get into the fish tanks and snorkel!

The Maui Diaries, Part 5

It happens this way …

May 20, 2019

On Maui, openness and flexibility are required to keep the Aloha spirit alive. Almost every time we planned a day of site-seeing to show Kathy’s mom “our” island, circumstances intervened. Plan A often had to be replaced with Plan B or C.

Case in point:

We decided to head to Lahaina, Kanapali, and other points north one day when my early morning walk changed everything. I looked up at the mountains where the Haleakalā Crater is usually covered in clouds and the whole range was clear. This meant it was a Crater day. I ran back to our condo and told Kathy we needed to go. Within a half an hour, the three of us began the 1 ½ hour drive up winding roads, past groves of lavender blue jacaranda trees, panoramic views of the valley and ocean, cloud banks that we left below as we climbed and climbed and climbed.

We arrived at the parking lot (9,740 feet) where the temperature had dropped 30 degrees and the winds were blustery. That’s when I discovered I had left my camera and driver’s license behind. For those who know me, not having my camera is like walking out of the house naked. I was devastated because this was one of the premier sites in Maui.

My first plan was to go to the Visitors Center to buy a throw-away camera, but it was closed. Kathy suggested a second plan: Ask other visitors to take our pictures and email them to us. Before I could veto this great idea – I’d be too embarrassed to ask – she’d already found a couple from Germany, engaged them in conversation (she speaks German like a native), and they were delighted not only to take our pictures, but to send us their pictures of the Crater as well

Then we drove up to the view-spot at very top of the crater (10,003 feet) where Kathy saw a man with a very professional-looking camera (We later learned it cost $5000). She quickly engaged him in conversation (He was from Toronto where his family had settled via India and Guayana over several generations.) Not only did he snap dozens of photos of us, but he let Kathy take some of him and his wife. Both of them were so delightful, we left each other with hugs and smiles.

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We made it back to Kihei – I drove carefully so I wouldn’t be stopped without a license ­– only to learn that the road to Lahaina, our original destination, had been closed all day because of a traffic accident. Since there’s only one road in that direction, we would have been stuck there and would have missed the wonderful people on the mountain. Maui Magic!

The Maui Diaries, Part 4

It happens this way …

May 19, 2019

To the south of Kihei is an exclusive area known as Wailea. Country clubs with their expansive golf courses, multi-million dollar houses and condos, high-end retail stores, and magnificent hotels are its hallmarks. There are a few hotels you can sneak into to enjoy their well-manicured landscapes outside and their art collections inside. Two such places are a photographer’s delight.

The Grand Wailea sports an ocean walk that takes you past a wedding chapel surrounded by a pond. We were able to get inside one night and see its beautiful stained glass windows.


May 30, 2019

Then farther south, we strolled around the Fairmont and acted as if we owned the place. Outside and inside it was a visual delight. The wood carvings are by the world-famous sculptor and painter, Dale Zarrella.


The Maui Diaries, Part 2

It happens this way …

May 17 – 30, 2019

The ocean and sunsets: two of Maui’s delights. Unlike New Jersey where you have to pay to go on a beach, all those in Hawaii — like those in Oregon — are open to the public. To give you a notion of the ocean’s variety, here are a few of our favorite photos:

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Although the sun sets promptly at 7:02 p.m. this time of year, no two sunsets are the same. Here’s what I mean:

When people say that Maui is paradise, they mean it!