Focus on the Big Island

  • Two Poems : The Eternal Leaf and Dr. Paul Lam
  • Guest Vignette: Celebrating Eighteen Years – Beginning Year 19
  • Recommendations


Boogie Boarding - Big Island

Opening Comments from Bob

This Page: This issue begins Year 19 of the Poetical Journal. This month we are visiting the Big Island or as it is officially known, Hawaii. There are a third more pictures than usual. Enjoy them, but also please read the other content. The two poems are The Eternal Leaf and Dr. Paul Lam. The vignette gives a brief history regarding the PJ.

My Facebook account is again open for a time.


Maui coastline on our way to the Big Island


                            Small beach near downtown Kona

Two Poems

The Eternal Leaf

The leaf is eternal, deathless
    no beginning and no end.
"How can that be?" you say,
"In the Spring it forms
    and the Fall falls."

Alas, think deeper.
From the great descent
    it decays
    returning to the soil.
Its nutrients
    reabsorbed by the roots.
Over the months
    Spring arrives
Branches fill
    from those who passed before.
Again alive.

But wait, what about
    the faithful rakers
    who gather the fallen
    consuming them in fire.
Alas, the ashes
    drift upwards and then downwards
    providing nutrients,
    the CO2 offering life
    to the green below.

Eternal, deathless they be.

Comments: This poem speaks about life more than just the leaf analogy.


Dr. Paul Lam

From the persecution of Mao,
    a young boy left the history of his youth
    to create his own in the future to come.
Through Vietnam and eventually Australia
    Paul began to leave his mark
    upon lives of many.
Life was not easy
    for this man of steel,
    not yet tempered.
    almost became the victor
    until a surprising friend, his father-in-law,
    showed him a new path
    of the Supreme Ultimate Fist,
    thus, forever changing his destiny
    and those of others.
Though he became a doctor of renown
    healing and teaching others,
    tai chi was the medicine
    that touched his body and soul.
Yes, gold and silver medals
    adorned his neck
    but another dream
    became his passion.
“Spread the message
    of health and discipline,
    the benefits that Tai Chi Chuan
    can bring to all.”
Despite naysayers and pessimists
    Paul persevered
    certain that his vision
    could reach the world.
Decades have passed
    and many dreams
    to fruition.
From the humble boy in China,
    tens of thousands recognize his name.
Yet, despite a multitude of accolades,
    what one word
    describes this man?
“A Gentleman” in the truest sense
    of that word.

Comments: You all know of my love for tai chi. Dr. Lam has played a crucial role in that inspiration.



A Leaf - Theme of the first poem


Beautiful flowering tree


Mokualkaua Church, Kona - Oldest church in Hawaii (1837)


Dr. Lam enjoying one of his favorite hobbies.


Hulihe'e Palace - Summer vacation home for Island royalty 1838-1914


                                                     A view during a Kona walk


'Akaka Falls on the Hilo side: This gorgeous falls is 420 ft. high.
A short 1/4 mile walk, steep in places, takes you there.


There were over 60,000 earthquakes during the 2018 eruption. Most were Levels 1 & 2. However, there were two
severe ones at Levels 5 and 6.


Place of Refuge National Park was a location in ancient Hawaii where violators of kapu (laws), which many
would have resulted in execution, were allowed to be exonerated. Clockwise: Canoe House; Temple Model;
Fish Ponds; Overview (note the meeting house in the far background: Portion of the original wall – 18 ft. wide,
12 ft. tall, over 950 ft. long, all done by hand; and a rocky beach next in the Park.

Vignette this Month: Celebrating Eighteen Years - Beginning Year 19

I find it difficult to believe that eighteen years have passed since I sent out my first Poetical Journal. This issue begins our nineteenth year. At one time the newsletter had over 22,000 subscribers. Sadly, due to costs and internet rule changes, that number has drastically dropped. On the plus side, ninety-one per cent of those who currently subscribe have been with me for over fifteen years. Two of my youngest subscribers at the time are now in their thirties, both married, and one has children.

Over the years, the format has changed. The original biweekly newsletters were two pages an issue with no pictures. The current issues run eight plus pages with pictures playing a dominant role.

As mentioned in the vignette last year, I proudly can say that the newsletter has always come out on time despite open heart and major abdominal surgeries along with two near death experiences.

I have tried to create a newsletter that is upbeat based on the premise that much of our news today is negative and disheartening. However, as a poet, I would be failing my role if I didn't write about the bigger issues facing all of us in life.

Another principle I have held is to never spam or inundate subscribers with unsolicited emails.

One of the great joys is to receive subscriber emails and be able to personally respond to them. Gratefully, some readers have become close internet friends.

There is much more I could say but will end a "Big Thank You" for your ongoing support.



Green sea turtles are found throughout the Islands.

Kealakekua Bay (Cook's Bay) where the famous sailing navigator met his demise. Note the small memorial
on shore in his honor.

Yes, there is snow in Hawaii. Pictured is the volcano, Mauna Loa, one of five volcanoes that formed the Big Island



There are many recs I could give, but these are my favorites.

.........Please take a look at the gift page.

Holiday Inn Express, Kona: A bit pricey but not unusual for Hawaii.
Our stay at the Kona Holiday Inn was wonderful. From the moment
we checked in and were greeted by the friendly, efficient, outgoing
receptionist; to the well-maintained room; to the outstanding breakfast;
and finally to the centralized location in downtown Kona, this hotel
more than met all of our requirements.

Splashers, Kona: An excellent downtown restaurant, superb seafood.

Quinn's, Kona: This small restaurant is next to Splashers.
Superb seafood, most freshly caught that day. The filet
strips are reasonably priced and delectable.

Chris with Kapohokine Adventure Tours is the BEST tour
guide I have ever listened to. Full of comprehensive knowledge
(a walking encyclopedia), personable, and a deliverer of a multitude
of one-liners!


Grazing land of the Parker Ranch, one of the largest in the U.S. A favorite place of ours!


Episcopal church found in the small community of Kapa'au

One of two painted churches on the island, built in the 1800s


From the flower the Kona coffee seed is formed. Kona coffee receives its name from the region in which it is grown.


We have made four previous trips to the Big Island but never realized that this jewel existed. What a treat! Below is the infinity
pool that awaits you at the bottom of the garden trek. So relaxing to watch as you sip your free coffee (A man-made infinity pool is a
body of water that at certain angles makes you think it goes on forever.)

Above is Hapuna Beach, often considered one of the prettiest in the U.S. It was very crowded that day.
Bellow is Wawaloli Beach just outside of Kona. Definitely not crowded. A break wall protects the swimmers.

Tai Chi Corner

Regular readers of this newsletter know that tai chi plays an important role in my life. Hence,
occasional pictures will appear in this section.

Enjoying a bit of tai chi social time.

Doing Yang 24 in the water at Wawaloli Beach near Kona, Big Island


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

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