Late Spring Flooding

A Sonnet for Yellowstone

Driving to Yellowstone Park last week, we

Wanted to drive a short distance for lunch.

The day was overcast with gray skies and

Some rain showers, even some mixed hail stones.


A week later, warmer days and more rain

Changes the landscape when melting snowpack

Combines with rain seeking the Gardiner

River to build a rising flow of floods.


Water rises, eating away river

Bank soil and stone, devouring road supports.

Paved roads collapse into swirling mud flows.

People evacuate the Park and leave.


Yellowstone Park may remain closed this year–

Collapsed bridges, destroyed roads close access.

William Peters Reads a Poem

Listen as William Peters reads a poem from his 25-year collection of poems, Writing in Sand.

Forgotten Gift on Trenance’s Hillside 


Climbing the path above the 

The beach cove cliffs, I see  

A welcome hillside sight. 


A bench, with wooden posts 

Set into concrete support legs, 

Leans forward on the tilted slope


As if reaching out to me.  


The hillside grass is long and 

Invites me to come forward 

For a closer look. I’m ready.  


I walk up and sit on one end 

To rest. I am high above the 

Cove, the beach, and the surf.  


I sit, short sleeved, in the breeze.  

Waves below echo up to me.  

This pause in the sun is just right.  


On the other side of the bench 

I see what someone left behind  

In the sun. An unspotted banana 


And I sit together in the sun.  

We are here but not of here.  

We are here for a while and 



We are gone.!AsiHc69QlANdjxgLBBbU3fEmnyiB

Inspiring Young Readers

As a former English teacher in a public school, I always wanted to inspire my students to read. It was a never ending process of being a book salesman. I wanted them to read, not because they had to for a required assignment, but because they wanted to for their own personal tastes and interests.

I can remember a simple trick used by my high school librarian, many many years ago.  She sold new paperback books to students– usually a Cardinal Edition for 35 cents in the 1960’s. She got me hooked on reading Agatha Christie mystery books. I kept coming back for more. And I always made sure that I came to school with some spare change in my pockets.

I was truly surprised, recently, by what one of my readers shared with me. My 25 year collection of poetry was finally published this year. This reader bought a copy of my book, Writing in Sand. She told me that since receiving it, she has been reading it nearly every evening with one of her granddaughters. They take turns reading a line of one of my poems aloud to each other.

I can’t tell you how excited that makes me feel. As a teacher of over thirty years, I was constantly encouraging my students to read. I wrote poetry in my spare time while teaching 14 and 15-year-olds. And now that I have retired from the classroom and dedicated my time to writing, I feel as though I’m still inspiring Young Readers to cultivate a lifelong habit of reading. At least one grandparent, and grandchild are coming together to read to each other.

Poetry can do that for us– pull us in and keep us coming back for more.

Thanks for dropping by to read this post. What do you think? What experiences have you had with reading? Comments are welcome. I’d love to hear from you.

New Writing Project

Most of the poems that I wrote in April have aging as the organizing theme. I could have 25-30 poems that I ‘ll publish as a Chapbook this year, or see if a larger book becomes possible.

A larger book seems inevitable. Aging is more than the diminishing of our physical abilities. Aging is a natural process involving loss. And boy, do I know about that loss.

I’m just about one week into having my water pipes re-plumbed. I had to do it to avert kidney failure. I’m fresh into learning about dealing with the new plumbing. I just bought tickets to see a movie with my grandsons this Thursday. I have to practice with a new bag to see if I can make it through the movie without getting up during it.

We can’t ignore the inevitable. Aging challenges our belief system. Aging well should be a time when we come together, not a time to be the Lone Ranger. We come into this life needing the help of others to survive. We leave the same way. We need help to live well, and we need help to exit well. I learned that from the Tibetan Book of the Living and the Dead.

That’s poetry–finding the unexpected in everything rather than the obvious. My life is poetry. So is yours.

What observations do you have about aging? Leave a comment. I’d welcome your insight. What surprises you? What makes you laugh? Or cry? Or makes you want to ignore the whole thing?

Always Evolving

Always Evolving


There in the fold

of the Smarter Living

section of today’s paper


are the results

of gorilla research.


Menopausal gorillas

show no interest in

their own grandchildren


often traveling apart

from their own tribe.


Seems sensible to me.


No dropping in

to drop off kids

for the day





you’re not doing




All I can see

in a kid’s eyes


is that sparking fuse

headed for a day-long

explosion of energy.


I know

I can’t

outlast him.


It just seems

more reasonable

to slip off alone

behind the campfire

and sip wine

from a Dixie cup


with the other gorillas.

Authors of the Flathead

I was excited to find out today that my book of collected poems, Writing in Sand, is featured as a new book to be purchased on Writers of the Flathead website.

When I went to their Writers Conference in 2019, I spoke to one of the organizers of the event. She inspired me to publish my collected works into a book. She planted the idea seeds of Where and How, and I left that Conference with an actionable goal to finally get my book out to the public.

It took me nearly a year and a half to gather all my work of the last twenty five years into a single place and to re-write each poem. I found printed pages of my poems from my active years with the Great Rift Writers of eastern Idaho. I searched hard drives of three old computers, and I also found folders of my writing in my Dropbox online account. I started using the cloud storage account about fifteen years ago. It was most helpful because all my folders were labeled with dates.

If you’re looking for something new to read, I recommend looking through the titles of these Indie Authors. It’s always good to support local authors of the northwest USA.

Sonnet for Grieving

Sonnet for Grieving


Yesterday is not the day that we count,

Even though it’s a record for our keeping.

All we have lost is now in that drawer.

We hold it tight because it’s all we have.


We pull drawers open, remembering.

We are afraid that if we do not look,

Then we will forget and never come back.

Everything will be gone and we’ll be lost.


Annie was my first family member

To die. It was time and my father cried.

What drawer did he pull open to look?

Did he see Annie’s sister, his mother?


Dad, home from school, found his mom’s suicide.

What’s in that drawer? Pull but don’t confide.






April Status Report

How am I doing? I assigned myself a job to write a poem a day during the month of April. It’s a month to celebrate poetry, to celebrate the art and the artists. My chosen goal was to create material for a themed Chapbook on aging.

I fell behind on Day 2. Not a great beginning for a big plan. But, most poems aren’t created on a conveyor-belt plan. There are long stretches of empty belt.

Today is Day 20. I have written thirteen poems in rough draft form. I’m behind my daily goal, but I’ve written far more often than I have in the past. For me, I count my goal as actually working for me. Today’s poem was inspired by something that I read. Too many times, the gnawing need for perfection has stopped me. For me, I would read today, without a second thought, a pioneer’s experience recounted in a daily journal. Wagon ruts and broken pencil tips be damned. The perfect does not interest me. My sister found a handwritten recipe in a book for plum pudding that our mother wrote on a scrap of paper. Its value goes beyond any publishing editor’s evaluation for a proper printing. That’s one of my poems.

And so, my themed Chapbook writings go on. Unplanned and raw– and ready for revision.

Just Like That

Just like that

We were airborne.

Climbing thousands

Of feet in elevation. 

A rough take off, 

Just like our talking. 

Stephen Hawking said

It doesn’t have to be that way. 

It takes a man sitting immobile

For years on his wheelchair

To tell us not to bitch and moan

About every perceived slight. 

Talking and listening leads us

Out of this self-made hell.

Don’t pick a side. 

Don’t pick a fight. 

Pick a time to heal. 

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