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.

Koko the Gorilla

Koko the Gorilla  


Koko died the other day 

At the age of forty-seven. 

She had this command of language 

That I admired. With sign language, 


She commanded two thousand 

Words and her compassion for 

Holding a kitten as a friend cannot 

Be matched in today’s Age of Humans. 


Darwin’s theory of evolution still 

Causes quite a stir but we could 

Have learned a thing or two from 

Koko’s vocabulary skills and caring  


Heart. Twitter was never ready for 

Koko’s hands and fingers. Those huge 

Fingers that talked with us were 

The same fingers that smoothed 


A kitten’s fur and held it to her heart.  

Tulip Spears

Tulip Spears

Red spear heads of
tulips break through
the snow melt and

It’s always surprising
Like do you know
what you are doing?

Whole armies have been
Lost by attacking too
Soon or not having the

Right equipment or
Out marching supply
lines in the heavy frost.

But then I realize that
I have missed chances

By never being ready
Or even never being
Ready enough for now.

Once the tulips come up
There’s no tucking them
Back in for another time.

Evening Sun

Evening Sun


Evening sun drops below

A ridge line some two

Hundred yards beyond

The reach of my hand.


Stand out colors fade

Before me like unmarked

Daylight moments when I

Did not brake to watch.


This sunset sky shakes me down

With shifting oranges and reds.


I pull to the roadside and

Roll down my window.


Crested wheat grass stands

Before some dark brush

In the soft gray shade.


A four-post fence follows

The ridge line bottom

And my eyes pivot up.


Pine tree sentinels stand

Atop like curtains for

The sun’s last show.


Too soon the shocking

Colors leave me and

I am left with the grays


Of my unmarked day.

Old Tomato

Old Tomato


How many times did I look at

You on the counter and think

About putting you into a salad

Or a sandwich or just taking you


Into my hand and maybe taking

A bite of your firm juiciness so


It could run down my chin with

Enough flavor to make me close

My eyes and smile and laugh?


I would return

Again and again

For more of you.


Even with a strong

Pull, I passed you by

For something else.


I see you sitting there now like

an old man with wrinkled skin–


With time eating

Him up from inside.


Will you be tossed


Or savored


at last?

Sample Poems

Last night, I took my Grandson to his school, where he and other students were presenting their projects to families and friends. I am a retired teacher who had taught at that school when it was Clair E. Gale Junior High School. The school has been renovated and re-purposed into a third high school in the school district. It is now known as Compass Academy.

I walked the halls and listened to some of the students’ project presentations. It was fun to hear the students’ excitement about their projects. As I was walking the halls, I started to encounter fellow teachers that I had taught with at that school building nearly twenty years ago.

It was exciting to renew our friendships after all those years. We shared stories and laughed like it was yesterday. I then told them about what I was currently working on– telling them about my travels and my recently published collection of poetry. I began writing some of my poems while I was still teaching with them at Gale.

One of my friends asked what my poems were about. What kind of poems are they? Good question. I responded that they were narrative poems– that I like to tell stories about snapshot moments in time.

A better answer would have been that I had a blog site where I have posted sample poems from my book. I didn’t think of it last night, but it would be my answer now.

I will continue posting poems from my collection. It’s like tasting a chef’s latest creations. Savor the moments and see what you think. And once more, thanks for dropping by.

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