A few more notes about love

Before the ever-abrupt end of our shortest month, here’s a follow-up to my annual Valentine’s Day Poem Blitz.


First, a face, a living Valentine.




Meet Pam Woolway, Short Order Poet. Her poetry is made-to-order and on-the-spot, each poem inspired by a single word supplied by the customer. She types them on a diner-style guest check, the green kind with the carbon copy so she can keep one for herself. She sets up her old-fashioned typewriter (is there any other kind?) at various locations on the island of Kauai. You can link to her blog here to learn more about her project.


I met her in a cool shop in Kapa’a called Kiko where she works and where she gave me a gift of one of her laminated poems. I kept it in my pocket for a couple of days (which is how it got bent), hoping to find a good spot for it. Eventually I came across a dog crate, and there I left “The Dog.”


poem is on top of crate, set against the yellow towel


The poem is a sweet reminder of the goodness of dogs and what they bring to our lives. It also gives me a question to meditate on. Who or what is “up” for me?


The crate was on the side of the road at a scenic overlook for Wailua Falls. No dog was inside—maybe he went to take a gander at his surroundings.



The second addendum to my Valentine’s Day poem blitz isn’t a poem at all. It’s a quote from Ali Smith’s beautiful novel Autumn.


I placed it at the base of the Kuilau Ridge Trail in Kapaa.

poem is in right forefront of photo


How do you feel about the last sentence? (In the end, not much else matters.) I myself don’t agree with it, but the desire to be seen truly is one that grows in me each year more than the last.




  1. Zarana Patel

    I am so utterly grateful for your posts. Every time I take time to read one, I get filled up with something. Having struggled with deep depression over the years, when nothing has meaning, I can’t tell you how I value things that pierce the veil of doom or just normal life lol. My depression is much better these days, and your pieces are heart-filling just the same. It’s not just the poems. It is your curation and the sharing of very specific places, times and emotions you yourself are feeling. Your clear decency and largeness of soul makes me feel less alone and lifts me up. Thank you. Blessings.

    1. poemelf

      Thank you, Zarana, how wonderful of you to share this. I’m glad to hear you are feeling better and glad to hear a first-hand account how poetry can connect us all.

  2. Pam Woolway

    Wow. I am so touched. Love what you’re doing and did post a comment on the Valentine Blitz that I hope you received. I think the last line resonates with me because as I age I realize the value of deep friendships and how few I have. Also I’ll email you because I’d love to send more little poems for you to share with your loved ones or leave as little elf treasures. Not for you to blog about, just for you!

  3. truus

    You really bring poetry in my life. And an adventurous feeling in searching for the place of the poem in the photo. Thanks so much!

  4. Wendy Conway

    I, too, poem elf – love your whole thoughtful project, and then, the way a simple, honest turn in your narrative makes me remember or realize a feeling I have had. e.g., a friend wrote out Mary Oliver’s “Why I Wake Early” poem and I put it on my bathroom mirror, but with the final two lines folded out of sight!
    – good morning, good morning, good morning. That is enough

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