I was looking through an old poetry journal of mine, looking for something to use in a post.  I found a folded sheet with a poem by a dear friend who died recently, Pat Masumoto.  The poem was dated September 10, 2015.

I remembered that Pat asked me to read this poem for her at a Maui Live Poets gathering she wasn’t able to attend because of conflicts in her hectic schedule.

Memories came flooding back and I was missing my dear friend.   Poems have that ability to speak for you when you’re gone, it seems.

Aloha no, my ‘aikane…aloha no….

Here’s the poem:


(to be read with a perfectly straight face)


Self control.  It works.


When I feel hurt by rude insensitivity

I talk a lot and sometimes shout.

If I’m not heard, I walk away,

            even when I want to choke someone

            until he turns a putrid green.


When I feel alarmed by injustice

I stand up against it,

And if I can’t get anywhere, I read about heroes…

            instead of spitting at people’s faces.

            and I don’t like using guns either.


When I find myself in fear,

I might compose a poem…or two.

I won’t cross my arms and crouch and I absolutely

            will not growl and bite anyone coming near.


As I become stronger and tougher,

I’ll do a silly giggle and laugh like crazy.

If you want to know what else, I’m aching to

            get down on all fours and

            howl at the moon, but I won’t.


When I’m gladdened by kindness,

By patience and generosity, I smile and grin.

I don’t get naked and

             run amuck in the streets,

            arms raised and hands open, screaming with joy.


(visibly take a breath)


After exercising self-control for my whole life, I’m now bored with it.

I want to change the game.

Header picture credit:  “Maui Sunset” by Bernard Spragg, NZ via Flickr.  [CC0 1.0 – Public Domain]



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10 thoughts on “CHANGING THE GAME

  1. Hi Netta, even though I never seriously got into poetry I am an avid musician and music lover (who isn’t!) and I can therefore truly appreciate great poetry. Songs have a sort of poetry to them as well.

    I really like the line
    “When I’m gladdened by kindness,

    By patience and generosity, I smile and grin.”

    This is so true. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, Michael.  Please do come again….

  2. Won’t say I am a massive poetry fan but this one struck a cord with me. I definitely read about heroes or look to inspiration from others when I can’t stand up against injustice.
    Your friend sounds like she was in touch with the human soul, and my condolences for her passing.

    1. Hey Mark:

      Thanks for your visit and your comments.  I do appreciate it.

      Please do come again….

  3. Oh, your friend really understand what self control is and the importance of this great feature in a person. 

    I must say that the world has really lost a big gem in this lady and maybe I too could want to put pen to paper and write what I have felt over time about controlling oneself.

    1. Welcome back, Suz.  Thank you for your visit.  You’re right.  Pat was a special lady and very inspirational in her way.  I still miss her.

      Please do come again.

  4. Good day Netta, That was such a beautiful poem you put in this post and I was really touched by it. I’m glad that I came across this article. 

    I’m really sorry about your friend Pat and I hope she’s in a better place wherever she is. She wrote a really amazing poem and I hope she got enough recognition for it. 

    Poetry is about opening up your heart and it shows in this poem

    1. Beesean, thank you for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  You are right:  Poetry is one of the best ways for opening up your heart.  Pat was very good at that.

      Please do come again.

  5. Hi Netta, I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m sure that will have good testimonies and memories like this poem of your friend, to feel her soul near to you everywhere. 

    This poem is so actual, and, I find myself in many of these verses. I try to have self-control in my life and my daily routine, but not always I am so successful. I think that only God can have control. Maybe changing the game is the thing to do…

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. 



    1. Alketa, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I’m so pleased you enjoyed the poem and I do agree that changing the game is really the only thing we can do.  

      Please do come again….

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