This was an anniversary issue beginning Year 17. The first issue of the Poetical Journal was emailed in February of 2002. The pictorial focus is on the Big Island, HI.

  • Two Poems: Mokuaikaua Church and A Moment of "Why?"
  • Vignette: A Bit of PJ History
  • Recommendations


....If you land on the west coast of the Big Island (Kona airport), get used to seeing black lava fields–stark beauty.

Opening Comments from Bob

This Page: This issue began the 17th year of this publication. In the vignette I provide a brief history of the newsletter. We are again in Hawaii, first on the Big Island and then Maui for a winter sojourn. All the pictures have a touch of Big Island Aloha. There are two poems this month, Mokuaikaua Church and A Moment of "Why?". The vignette provides some history regarding this newsletter. A BIG Mahalo to each of you for subscribing

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Enjoy a scenic sail off the Kailua-Kona Coast, Big Island.

Two Poems this Month

Mokuaikaua Church
(Built 1820)

Seated in the oldest Hawaiian Church
      listening to a sermon even older.
The building timbers
      are nearing 200 years.
A majestic spire
      rises heavenward
      above the waving palms
      while the bench seats
      test concentration stamina.
Despite all,
      my mind celebrates
      the spirits who worshipped here
      for close to two centuries.

Comments: The steeple in the top picture on the right belongs to the church. Two larger ones appear below.

A Moment of "Why?"

Do you ever sit and ponder,
      "What is my purpose?"
Why have I been given existence?
Was it by accident,
      anonymous egg and sperm uniting,
      mere happenstance?
Or is there a greater being
      who put everything into motion?
For over six decades,
      I have pondered.
My conclusion,
      at least for now,
      the reason matters little.
Instead, the secret of life
      and the way to the Infinite
      is through love.
A life filled with love,
      the giving and the receiving,
      is the holy grail
      to a life well-lived.

Comment: No comments.


Downtown Kailua next to Kona on the west coast of the Big Island. The white background is due to the vog (volcanic smog from Mauna Loa).


Coffee bags from some of the 255 growers Holualoa Coffee grinds coffee for.


Though a bit unpleasant looking, Pele's Hair is actually lava that has air-dried into hair thin fibers.


Pictured is the oldest church in the state, Mokuaikaua Church, built in 1820. Pic: exterior and interior

Vignette: A Bit of PJ History

Sixteen 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. In 2015, as part of a financial decision, the traditional format was eliminated and all subscribers simply receive a general announcement and a web link.

Of the current subscribers over ninety-three percent have subscribed for fourteen years or more. An unsubscribe is rare with less than 12 in 2017. On average at least 36% of the subscribers open the newsletter. I have no idea how long they spend reading it. I sense that most do a quick skim. However, some have emailed me that they read it all, something unusual for an online newsletter or blog especially since the average PJ is over ten printed pages. Click here to view one of the first web issues–my how times change. (Back then putting pictures into a newsletter was very difficult. Besides high-speed internet was just coming into existence.)

At one time the PJ was one of the largest (if not the largest) online poetry newsletters in the world. Over the decades I have removed thousands from the subscriber list due to the fact that the newsletter was never opened. Also, one year I had difficulties with Yahoo and could not obtain help correcting it. Over 3,000 subscribers were eliminated to take care of that issue. On the plus side, the reductions in numbers saved me hundreds of dollars in emailing costs. Over the sixteen years, over $18,500 have been spent in its publication at no cost to subscribers. Last year two subscribers offered a donation to support the newsletter. These are always appreciated.

The biggest plus is having the opportunity to interact with individuals. Two special subscribers I have watched grow from teenagers to women, both now married. Others have written and shared their poetry. A few of those poems appeared in my book An Oasis in a Cluttered World. Some subscribers have taken me into their confidence when dealing with personal issues. Others on a given moment share their excitement whether it is over birds or the arrival of spring.

The PJ link is also delivered via Facebook and Twitter. Over 5,000 have the option to open the newsletter.

As always, thank you for being a subscriber.


Mauna Kea on the Saddleroad: This road shortens the drive time by over an hour from Kona to Hilo.
Pictured above is a morning shot of snow capped Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano which stands at 13,802 ft. Most
of the mountain is underwater. When measured from its oceanic base, Mauna Kea is 33,000 ft., the tallest mountain
on Earth. Below is the volcano taken late afternoon.


Rainbow Falls, Hilo, is an 80 ft. waterfall on the Wailuku River. The falls are named after the rainbows
that are visible in the spray mist on sunny mornings.



Bamboo Restaurant & Gallery in Hawi, is located in a historic
building serving fine food. The small artist community of Hawi is
also a fun visit.

Aomastu in Hilo was introduced to us by two individuals who
know excellent Japanese food. Following tai chi, they took us
there, and we enjoyed some of the tenderest, breaded
pork I have ever tasted. Pictured are the owner and chef.

Cronies Bar and Grill, Hilo: This restaurant serves above average bar food
with very friendly service. Very large portions!

Two other restaurants that I didn't get a picture of are Splashers Grill in Kailua-Kona (Best fish and chips I have ever had.) and Krua Thai Cuisine which serves inexpensive but delicious Thai food.

Please take a look at the gift page.


Above: Mauna Loa from the Saddleroad, an active volcano. Below: A closer view.


Above and Below: Rolling Ranch Land. In my opinion, some of the most beautiful ranch land observed in my travels.
Located near Waimea, the Parker Ranch is one of the largest in the U.S. It also provides excellent employee benefits.


Kohala Coastline is one of the prettiest on the Big Island. It is located near the far northern tip and was as blue as it appears. (The island often has a vog haze generated from the ash of the active volcano, thus making it appear that the sky is overcast or cloudy. The light is sometimes reflected into this blue appearance.)


Dr. Myrtle Miyamura's Tai Chi Class, Hilo, HI: I enjoyed assisting with tai chi instruction in Hilo. The next day Myrtle and Jon took us on tour of the National Volcano Park. Pictured are a few of her students. (Instructor Myrtle is in blue.) Jon has the rose in the hat. GREAT time was had!

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