Puako Bay


It is low tide and almost too hot to be outside of the water, but you scour the shores at Puako Bay for the turtles that are usually ubiquitous in these parts. This afternoon the water is so clear you can see coral and trigger fish and anemone, and a couple of sea cucumbers.

From your post, you come across a couple of shy slowpokes that are phantasms you can’t quite capture in photos. On another stretch of lava, M attracts a turn of photogenic snappers that practically pose in synchronized choreography.

You are jealous, but as soon as you decide to lower your camera, your bashful turtles are no longer boulders; perhaps even smiling, they emerge from the shade. You decide to keep the lens lowered to better receive your coy companions.

puako1 puako2



You tell the waitress to pick what she might want on a Tuesday night.And, part of you hopes she doesn’t have top shelf taste because you are nestled on the plush cushions at Beach Tree Bar at the Hualalai Four Seasons, and even the base model beverage is nearly $20.

You know you are paying for your real estate: front row, center, so that it’s just you and the sunset in concert for thirty minutes until the finale unfurls across the impossible canvas before you.

The waitress returns with a cloud in a hurricane glass, and you toast to the two weeks of sunsets you have committed yourself to. You tip your glass to sweetness and softness, to all of the fruits of summer.

Will Wrestle Your Mother-in-Law

will fight mother in law

I was wrapping up a phone call on the short drive home from classes.  I stopped at the light by Church’s Chicken and could not help noticing his sign.  I had a quick decision to make: lose the best sign I’d seen for Sign Saturday in a long time and keep heading home or circle back.  I circled back.

Through the open window I praised his creativity, tossed him $5.  He posed as I snapped this quick shot before the light was green again.

Cotton Candy

cotton candy 1

At first, I didn’t really need to have any cotton candy.  I mean, I thought I knew what it tasted like and could relate to you the basics of how it melts on the tongue, sticks to the corners of lips, and, of course, delights small children.

Initially, I was not really dazzled by the way the pink and the blue floss made a stormy purple.

But, when M couldn’t resist, I pulled a piece of his thunder cloud, and I wanted more.

The just spun floss was slightly warm and irrestible.  The pink was vanilla; the blue was raspberry.  Together? I have a new favorite sweet flavor: purple.

We were so enamoured with the borrowed machine that, sitting at the party, we searched for a similar model on the internet.  We began calculating how many we’d have to sell and where to break even.  Could we sell cotton candy at our semi-annual pancake breakfast?  We’d buy it.

cotton candy


I went to a writers’ conference in Minnesota in April. It rained; it snowed; it was gorgeously sunny. And, it was four non-stop days of attending workshops and lectures and learning about all of the things I don’t know. I had never heard of small poems before the workshop on small poems. As it turns out, neither had most of the other attendees. I attended a moving panel on Poverty and Poetry. The speakers said things that I have thought for a long time but have never had the words to say. They talked about social classes and leaving people behind and how no matter how much knowledge one has, others can still make her feel like an imposter.

In one session, a Minnesota rapper, POS, did a workshop where he took his own rap lyrics from Genius (rap.genius.com) and examined how various commenters had explicated his sentiments. In response to the line: “But so happy to be alive,” from the song, “Lock-Pick, Knives, Bricks and Bats,,” one commenter wrote:
Here, P.O.S. rejoices in the tremendous happiness he feels simply by being alive. This happiness remains with him despite “looking through dirty lenses,” which can be read as a metaphor for the pessimistic worldview one has when depressed.

POS laughed, saying, he was just happy to be alive. Moving on to another piece where a respondent had made meaning of his desire for a sandwich, he insisted, “I was hungry.” There was no psychic hunger or great void to fill beyond his appetite.

I was thinking about the Billy Collins piece, “Introduction to Poetry” where he describes students trying to “torture a confession” out of a poem. Who has been teaching us to read like imposters?