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?

Writing in Sand: First Deathbed Edition of Collected Poems

I grew up in Kellogg, Idaho USA and attended Idaho State University and Boise State University. I was born of an immigrant father from Camborne, Cornwall, England and a mother who grew up in upstate New York. Three generations of my family and I worked for the Bunker Hill Company mine in the Silver Valley of the Coeur d’ Alenes in North Idaho.  My family made mining a career, while I found summer employment that helped finance my college education. Bunker Hill was my working scholarship. I have worked as a teacher in public schools and a local community college, and as a bookseller. I live in Southeastern Idaho and continue to write.

This first published work is a collection of my poems from the last twenty-five years. At first, I kept writing without a goal of publishing. That kept me going for a long time–twenty-five years. Some of my early poems were about my immigrant father and his family from Cornwall, England coming to a mining community in North Idaho. I originally intended my early poems to be a tribute to my father’s entire mining career. To me, he was Superman without a cape. He was never more animated and energetic than when he was working on his ore train. He became a super charged younger man. But then, I fell in love with my craft. I wanted more and my writing grew.

Subsequent influences on my writing were the Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, and America’s Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Neruda’s magic of transforming common household items, such as chairs, tables, plates, forks, and knives into objects of distinction and importance for his poetry subjects widened my lens for choosing subjects. I found narrative poems everywhere I looked in common items. Collins mesmerized me with his often-humorous narrative poetry. Common objects for him came to life with their own personalities and life lessons.

I’m excited about this publication of my first poetry collection. I look forward to promoting all things Poetry on this site. I hope you choose to return and learn with me. It will be a journey with a payload like my father’s ore train.

September Colors Along the Snake River

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