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]


Please note:  If you would like to contribute a poem to this blog, please let me know by leaving a comment below.  I’d be happy to hear from you.

I do ask three things of my guest poets:

  • a poem of your own making that has great meaning and mana for you,
  • the back-story for the poem — what inspired you or how you made it or whatever you want to tell about it, and
  • an image that I can use as the featured photo in the header. (The last is optional. I do ask that the image you share is one you own — either an image of yourself or something that relates to the poem.  If you choose not to send an image, then I’ll go find something that works.)

If you click on this thing –> “Guest Poet Portal” you can submit a poem right now.


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below and tell me your thoughts.

14 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….

  6. Poetry is not one of my strong suits but I can appreciate it when it is written and read with care and thought. The poem here has a lot of relatable lines within it which allows me to put myself in that situation to feel the words more.

    Great post and I am a really big fan of the website.

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Michael.  I do appreciate it.

      Please come again.

  7. I like this poem as someone that has used a lot of self control in their life. I have always tried to nice and polite when I want to tell people what is on my mind.

    I have had a lot people be mean to me, so I kept thinking “why can’t I do that back to them?” It has always seemed to me that it is ok for everyone else to be like that, but when I do it all the sudden it isn’t ok. 

    I do hit a point where I can’t take people’s attitude anymore.  I become a bit short, but I still do hold back what I want to say, when I really want to tell them to just leave me alone.

    There were times in my job that I did lose my cool and I was the one who got in trouble. The customer was the one who started it and felt the need to attack me. I wanted to tell the customer that I can’t make sure everyone does their job; I am not a manger just an employee.

    I would say what is on my mind when I was on my own.This is when I was server /bartender. 

    1. Reggie, I’m glad Pat’s poem resonated with you.  She tended to be much more concerned about being in control of herself than I ever was.  I always told her that was because she was way kinder than I am.

      (I didn’t tell her that, probably, I tend to just blast because I was the youngest cousin and a spoiled brat growing up in a large family of outspoken sorts.  For me, standing there being 100 percent POSITIVE that I was right — even when I was dead wrong — was a survival trait.  That’s what happens when you grow up around steam rollers.)

      I’ve had to become a bit more circumspect and I have really had to work at being gentle with other people.  The cousins say I’ve gotten mellow.  They still don’t like getting on my bad side, though.  (Hee!)

      Please do come again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)