Mission: To provide poetical and thoughtful comments on life


What an Anniversary Issue I have for you! This issue starts Year Fourteen.

Along with poetry, vignettes, and much more enjoy pictures of winter in Utah, Lake Havasu, the Grand Canyon, Scenic Arizona, and Zion National Park

VOLUME XIV – Issue 1: Sunday, February 22, 2015 (162nd Issue)

Anniversary Issue: Thirteen years ago on February 10, 2002 the first issue of the Poetical Journal was emailed to a small group of friends. It was two pages. From that first mailing about 31 decided to give the fledgling e-zine a try, especially since it was free. For several months, the PJ came out twice a month. By Issue 3, there was a web version but no pictures. The first pictorial issue started with Issue 40, December 24, 2004. Since then, photographs have played a large role in the web publication. In 2012, new format options were offered to subscribers. They could continue to receive the PJ in the traditional format that had been used since its inception or choose a revised version, which allowed readers to click on links that most interested them. The vast majority chose the revised version. At one time, the PJ had the largest number of subscribers of any poetry newsletter in the world, over 22,000 subscribers. Of the current subscribers over ninety-eight percent have subscribed for eleven years or more.

This Issue: We travel to a number of beautiful locations in this issue including Lake Havasu, Grand Canyon, Rt. 89 and 89a in Arizona, and Zion National Park in Utah. The vignette talks about uniting with a friend. Three poems appear in this issue–Where is home?, Intimate Joys of Flying, and Gopal. As with every issue, I hope you enjoy!

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.Three Poems this Month


Where is home?

Is it the feeling
    that runs deep within the veins
    where smiles and joy reside?

Or, is it a building, an address,
    where one rests the head at night?

For the nomads of life,
    home is the present,
    the place where the moment resides.

Comment: A few thoughts to ponder.



Intimate Joys of Flying

Squished, squashed, squeezed
    into a window seat
    designed for a little person.

A person of large proportion
    of female persuasion
    in the middle.

Intimate contact
    skin to skin
    unavoidable with this stranger.

As a youth
    such physicality never existed
    even after multiple dates.

Comment: A bit of humor regarding a very uncomfortable situation. I am sure the woman was not pleased either.




An old friend Gopal
    is flying in for a two-hour visit.
I anxiously await
    as headwinds delay his arrival.
Over 40 years have passed
    since we cycled
    and practiced taekwondo together,
    thirty plus since last meeting.
We both have journeyed
    to the far corners of the globe.
Our paths different
    but also the same.
How has he physically changed?
I have grown a bit wider
    with less hair on top.
How will he look?
Whatever has happened physically,
    our bond remains.
Comment: I recognized him right away as he exited his small private plane. He had a slight limp from his multiple climbing and skiing accidents. As always, he has lived close to the edge. His laugh and indomitable spirit remained unchanged. We promised not to let thirty years pass until we meet again.

Gopal arrives in his plane.

Gopal is an avid photographer, traveling the world in search of the perfect picture.

Kolob Canyon, UT (Technically, the loop is part of Zion National Park.): On the road entering Kolob Canyon-about .5 of a mile in.

Playing bocce in Lake Havasu

Traveling in view of the Vermillion Mountains


Provo Canyon, UT: :Covered with beautiful layers of fog.

Deer Creek Reservoir, UT: You have seen this area in the summer but winter has arrived. It was taken on a very cold day with steam rising from the warmer water. (The water has not yet frozen.)

Midway, UT: This picture was taken along River Road
Lake Havasu, AZ, - Harbor Entrance
Lake Havasu is a large reservoir behind Parker Dam on the Colorado River on the border between California and Arizona. The city of 53,000 rambles around the eastern side of the reservoir
London Bridge, Lake Havasu City, AZ: This community has gained a national reputation as the home to the old London Bridge that was originally constructed in 1831, torn down brick by brick, and relocated here. The resembled bridge opened to traffic in 1971.

Vignette this Month: Gopal

When one is a young adult, old age and death seem decades away. Friendships are formed but with job changes and moves they often end with separation and then new friends at the new location. In my mid twenties our paths crossed. He was an engineer at a prosperous company at the time, North Electric. In fact, the company employed a number of personnel from Sweden, England, and India. This gave our small town an international flavor. I remember playing soccer on weekly evenings. My sole experience with the sport at that time was a quarter of soccer in college physical ed. But it was not soccer that brought us together but taekwondo. Somehow we struck up a conversation, strangers at the time, and found an instructor who offered to teach us. Gopal already had some previous experience. For two years we dutifully practiced, including many drives to a neighboring city for additional lessons. When I formed the local cycling (biking) club through the YMCA, Gopal also showed up for a ride. He and I cycled many miles together. Being one who lived close to the edge, he informed me one day that he was going to learn to skydive, which he did.

After a little over two years Gopal informed me he was taking a job with a company in Chicago. I was saddened to see my friend leave, but being young we both moved on. We had a brief reunion about a decade later when he flew into Columbus for a meeting. We had drinks together and caught up on each others lives.

In 2008 I traveled to India for business. While there I remembered a promise that he and I would visit India together someday. I began to wonder what had happened to him. Following an extensive web search and many false leads, I found him via Linkedin. In 2014 we arranged to meet, but it fell through at the last moment. Fast forward to Lake Havasu! Via email and voice mail Gopal said he would be in Las Vegas. From there he would fly into the local airport. (Pictured above you see Gopal and his plane.)

In catching up on his life I discovered he continued to live on the edge including being a salvage diver in the Caribbean and an Alaskan bush pilot. He also worked in time to climb numerous mountains, earn a 4th degree black belt, become a serious photographer, own a consulting company and hold several patents, ski expert terrain (carted off in a stretcher), and explore many corners of the world. He did not come through all this without scrapes and broken bones. He continues to limp and has had to curtail some of the more risky activities.

What I loved about our reunion was that his spirit remained the same–the smile and enthusiasm for life. I still hope we make it to India.

(When I shared this vignette with him to check accuracy, he concluded his response with "We'll definitely have to make a trip to India.  I went in 2012 as a tourist and spent 2 weeks in the mountainous NW by myself, had a blast taking pix and wandering around...camped by lakes, crossed passes of 17,500' kept open by the Army, etc." Hmm, I am thinking of a plusher trip-hotels and beaches...:-)   


Guest Vignette this Month: China Time

This month's vignette contributor is G.L. Rush, living near Cincinnati, Ohio. Over the history of this newsletter, she has contributed numerous quality vignettes. I am grateful for her support.


No, I'm not traveling across an ocean or going to a restaurant for spring rolls and Szechwan shrimp. Instead, I'm thinking back to a two-story colonial house on Atwood Street in Ohio, where I grew up. It was where I celebrated many special occasions, like the annual Christmas evening buffet when the house was over flowing with relatives and friends, Thanksgiving and Easter dinners, birthday parties, anniversaries, and anything else Mama decided should be made "special." This always meant fabulous food, a pretty table, and of course the "good dishes"–china time.

I remember the lacy white table cloth with the fine bone china dishes and the sparkling crystal goblets. The pressed and folded cloth napkin with the polished silver completing each setting. Mama loved candlelight so there were always tall tapers in her crystal holders. If it was a buffet a fancy centerpiece nestled in between. When all the work and effort passed her final inspection, it was just perfect!

Now we girls didn't exactly love "special" quite like Mama did (unless it was OUR birthday) because it was a lot of extra work back then (no dishwashers with that nice china setting). Now I smile at those lovely memories. I know it was Mama's way of showering her love on friends and family to let them know they were "special" to her.

I don't do grand quite like she did, but the lesson was learned. If it's "special," you go the extra mile...and that's China Time.

If you have a guest vignette you would like to submit, please do so. Not only will I enjoy reading it, but if agreeable with you and space permitting, I will print it in a future issue. The vignette should be written in paragraph form and relate a personal story or event. Equally important, it should fit the overall tenor of this newsletter. Ideally, it should not exceed twenty lines. Please send to

On Lake Havasu looking toward the shore
Inside Copper Canyon, located on Lake Havasu
South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ: The 4 inches of snow had mostly melted by the time we arrived.
South Rim - Grand Canyon, AZ: Nearing sunset
South Rim, with the setting sun the reds intensify

Recommendations: Lake Havasu including the travels there and back

What a list I have for you!

On the way and back: Market Grill, Cedar City, UT: This family run restaurant is not for the vegetarian. (It is located on the front grounds of a cattle auction.) The lunch specialties are burgers with fresh mashed potatoes (no fries here). The coconut cream pie was so good that I stopped on the way back for a piece. In talking with one of the owners (a daughter of the founder), I discovered that she uses whipped cream in the filling. Oh my!

Lake Havasu: FoodPapa Leone's Pizza creates an excellent hand tossed pizza at a very reasonable price. You have the choice of dining in or carry-out. The restaurant is located adjacent to the London Bridge. Krystal's Steakhouse and Seafood (dinner only) is celebrating 25 Years in Lake Havasu City. The food is ample and very tasty. Locals know about the early bird specials that are served throughout the evening. You save a substantial amount of money by requesting one. If you want to split a regular entree, there is a $5 additional charge but that includes potato, soup, and salad for each of you. Stores – Two fun places to visit for some unique gifts are Havasoap and London Bridge Candles. Be sure to tell them that Bob sent you. Things To Do: Enjoy a slightly over one-hour boat tour to Copper Canyon provided by Sunset Charter; stroll the channel walkways where almost everyone greets you; enjoy most boating type of activities; and hike one of the many nearby hiking trails.

Please also take a look at the online book and gift page.

At the peak of sunset

Grand Canyon early morning

Colorado River below that formed the Grand Canyon

The beauty of the Canyon continues
Vermillion Cliffs, AZ: US 89 is a beautiful drive. Note the Navajo house. This is Navajo country.
Still in the Vermillion Cliffs


Scenic Highway US 89a, AZ: A closed highway forced us to take this byway. What a visual treat it proved.

Looking out toward the I-15 as we enter Kolob Canyon

Kolob Canyon, part of Zion National Park

Another picture taken in Kolob Canyon
In Zion National Park
Another picture in Zion


Bob Casey
Poetical Journeys
P.O. Box 319
Midway, UT 84049

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