A few years ago, I was dragooned (tricked!) into participating in a theater production of the “Mama Monologues,” an evening of dramatic readings and performances by assorted creative folks on Maui that was put together by a friend of mine, Pat Masumoto.

Pat, who was a force of nature, strong-armed all of her friends to participate in this annual production that she organized and produced at the ‘Iao Theater in old Wailuku town.  It was actually a part of a national effort and she managed to keep pulling it off with the help of her loyal crew of fans and friends for a number of years.

The “Mama Monologues” thing was one of the ways Pat dealt with being the primary caregiver for her mom, Florence, who was another force of nature.  Florence was a feisty, sharp cookie who was pushing on 100 years old and still going strong at the time this took place.

Talk about “Living Out Loud”!  Pat was one of those who literally made productions out of all of her issues!

There was a poem I had written about my own grandmother who raised me and about our running argument that lasted until she died. (That argument still continues in my head.)

Pat liked it and she spent weeks wearing down my resistance to the whole scary concept of standing up on a stage in front of a for-real theater full of people and reading a poem to them.

We did it!  It was good.

Pat died a while back, a few months after her mother’s death at 104.  I still miss the ladies.

Here’s the poem:


Mama used to always tell me

“If you want the rainbows,

You gotta put up with the rain.”

“To get to the glory,” she said,

“You slog through the pain.”


Me, I’m just a silly git,

But I’m not at all sure

Mama had the right of it.


I’ve been thinking:

Rainbows also need the beaming sun,

And glory may be the price we pay

For this goofy race we run.

Smiles are frowns turned right-side-up…

Then, laughter bubbles over…

Foaming from a too-full soda cup.


It occurs to me:

In this illusory world of mists and dreams,

Nothing is really all it seems. 

So…come on now…let’s go!

We’ll dance through all the changes – ho!



I just remembered something:


Mama sure did like dancing and prancing.

She knew:

The music grabs your feet and pulls you out of bed

And, always, there’s the magic

That tingles in your head.


Smart woman, my Mama.

By Netta Kanoho

Picture credit:  ‘Iao Theater, Wailuku by 293 (own work) via Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]



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

12 thoughts on “MAMA MINE

  1. Your friend Pat sounds like a friend of mine named Pat, strong willed who can talk me into anything. As much as I might put up a fight I’m usually happy for her pushing me outside my comfort zone. I loved you poem, so personal and a beautiful tribute to someone you obviously have great respect for. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the visit and your kind comments, Joy. Every so often, I like to do a heart-post…just because. Please do come again.

  2. Hello Netta,
    First, I want to say that I am glad you were strong-armed into participating in that play because people need to hear your poems anyway they can. I love the poem you shared with this article but all your poetry is amazing. Keep on writing and sharing. Netta, because talent like yours is meant to be shared and also recognized. I wish you continued success.

    1. Hey Carol: Welcome back! Thanks for your visit and your kind words.

      Please do come again.

  3. I really enjoyed you showing a side of this life that you have enjoyed. What great characters that Pat and her long-lived mum were and amazing that they died so close together, although Pat must have been getting on if her mum died at 104. 

    Pat sounds like a force of nature and a really great friend to help you share your poem. I loved it! 

    Your mum was a clever lady and had a great attitude. Keep sharing your poems, they are lovely.

    1. Lily, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      Please do come again.

  4. Thanks for sharing the story and the poem, both of which clearly are very personal to you – it was truly lovely to read.

    The poem was great and brought a smile to my face when I read it. I really enjoy your poems as they deal with real life and the issues that we all think about or come across.

    I’m definitely going to have a proper look around the rest of your website.

    Thanks and best wishes


    (As an aside, theatres have always fascinated me and I found some information about the history of the Iao Theatre on the MauiOnStage website – it was interesting to learn more about it)


    1. John, I am so pleased you enjoyed my story and poem, and, of course, I’m all for you running around through the rest of my site.  

      Come, come, come!  You are most welcome….

  5. Hello Netta, thank you for sharing your poetry with the world. It takes courage to put your thoughts and emotions out there for others to see, and I am glad that you have found a way to do so.

    Your poem in this article was particularly powerful, and it resonated with me on a deep level. I appreciate your willingness to share your experiences and thoughts through your poetry.

    It is clear that you have a gift for words, and I hope that you continue to share your work with others. Your poetry has the power to inspire and uplift people, and I believe that the world needs more of that. 

    1. Herman, thanks for your visit and for your kind words.  I do appreciate it.

      Please do come again.

  6. LineCowley says:

    I absolutely love this poem, and how fantastic that your friend Pat finally persuaded you to share it in front of an audience, and now online with your followers. My oldest son is always saying to me “turn that frown upside down”, which always makes me smile, so it really struck a strong cord with me. 

    I am going through life changing decisions at the moment, and feel quite overwhelmed on occasion. I will take this part of your poem “We’ll dance through all the changes – ho!” as a fantastic reminder that life is good and I should not fear the changes I am making. 

    Thank you for lifting my spirits with your beautiful post and poem. 

    1. Thanks, LineCowley.  I am so glad the post was a help to you.

      Please do come again.

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