Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Promises





I've often said that I can't rhyme worth a dime ... but here I go again.


I keep trying. For me it's something like trying to leap over a high picket fence ... uphill ... and on a slippery slope, at that. I have trouble maintaining any kind of a rhyme scheme while trying to tell a story ... if, indeed, I have a story to tell.


I keep promising that I won't, but I do ... keep trying, that is. It's simply the challenge, I guess.


The result? Today's poem ... a double-edged blunt blade, if you will ... a poem about the difficulty ... at least the difficulty I have ... with keeping promises, especially to myself ... a poem in rhyme.


And I can't promise you that it won't happen again.


I keep being drawn back to this difficult task. I keep thinking that this time it will go well and I'll end up with something I can share with others. But it seldom does.


Today's illustration, I suppose, speaks to promises unkept ... I prefer to think of them as promises I will keep ... just as soon as I can get around to them.


Actually, it represents things I should've done yesterday ... must do today ... but probably will still be working on tomorrow.


Ah, tomorrow ...


Meanwhile, today ... and the poem:


PROMISES


I begin my year
With high resolve,
But my plans, I fear,
Start to dissolve
As the new wears off
The leaf I've turned
And the flames flare off
Bridges I've burned.
© 1996
(originally published in Mature Living)

Today's word: rhyme

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Heart Listens






This poem was written during a few quiet moments on Christmas Eve, 1997. You will note that it was published approximately eight years later. Patience, my writing friends. Patience.

During those eight years it received many tweakings (that happens almost every time I look at something I've written) ... and, because I keep track of such things, I note that I did seven major revisions.

It was sent out about twenty times, and came back to me, for various reasons. Patience, remember? Ah, but then it arrived in the right place at the right time, pleased an editor, and was published.

I glory in that, not because it will make me rich or famous, but because I believe poetry is meant to be shared. I am delighted that this piece was shared with Brave Hearts readers, and now with you.

I don't remember the weather on the evening it was written. Wintry, no doubt, with cold winds and falling snow.

It reminded me of so many winter evenings when I was growing up. What beauty the snow brought to the countryside.


What magic there seemed to be in that transformation. What music seemed to enter my being. How my heart danced at the thought of tomorrow.

And now, all these years later, my heart still "listens" ... and dances when it snows.

The poem:

MY HEART LISTENS


This winter night
like no other I have
known, trees glisten
with newborn snow,
shining armor that
seizes the moonlight,
sends it dancing
down the corridors
of my mind. Oh, this
quiet night, my heart
listens to the song
and dances, too.
 © 2005

(published in Winter, 2005 issue of Brave Hearts)

Today's word: newborn

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's Only Darkness




Sometimes I think it's best just to let the poem speak for itself. This is one of those times ... although I'm tempted to say something about so-called Daylight Saving Time ...


I always have a comment or two ... mainly to myself ... as I make the rounds ... twice a year ... setting the clocks back ... or forward ... and back ... then forward ... no, back ...


My usual thought is ... why do we have to fiddle with the clocks? 


Why can't we just adjust our work schedules ... a work schedule for the summer months ... another for the rest of the year?


I usually end up commenting ... to myself ... that so-called Daylight Saving Time is all just a ruse to provide farmers with more time to play golf in the afternoons.


Don't get me wrong ... I'm all for saving energy ... especially when it's costing us all an arm and a leg ... like it is these days ... 


But I'm not going there today ... because ... well, actually, the poem isn't about Daylight Saving Time ...


The poem:


IT'S ONLY DARKNESS


There's such an absence
of light this morning,
it's like scaling a wall
of darkness as I rise
slowly on familiar stairs.

My feet seek supporting
places, my hand searches
for a railing I know
is there, but still hiding
from my straining eyes.

I’m a child again, bad dreams
still haunting me while my
sleep-numbed brain struggles
to convince me there’s nothing
to fear: It’s only darkness.

My hand reaches for a hand
no longer there and I pause,
listening, waiting, almost
expecting a touch, a word
to guide me in my climb.
© 2003
(originally published in ICON)

Today's word: darkness

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Homage




(One of my colored pencil drawings)

I grew up within sight of that cemetery which held the grave of a great-grandmother I never knew ... a sister ... a brother ... and so many others who had peopled the small community in which I was growing up.

I remember the curving road which carried the funeral processions up and around ... the parked cars ... the tent covering the grave site ... the mourners gathering ... heads bowed ...

I remember the flowers ... the small flags moving gently in the breeze ... the sound of the rifles being fired in salute ... a silence as the echoes of that gunfire ebbed and flowed away ... the faltering, mournful sound of a bugle ... somewhere distant ... up there among the bluffs ...

I remember it all ... especially now that I am unable to travel back that great distance ... but I think they would understand my absence ... as they understood my presence among them then ... they would understand ...

The poem:

HOMAGE

I stand in the silence
beside the graves
on the slope of that hill
where the acorns fall
like spent minutes.

I stand, thinking
of those who helped me,
gave me that gentle push
in the small of my back,
sent me off toward places
they had never been,
would never be, sent me
off toward becoming
what I am, what I may
yet become.

I stand there thanking
them for their love.
© 2007

(Received First Place award, ByLine Contest; published in Brave Hearts, Fall, 2007)

Today's word: becoming

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Good Deed




My reaction at the time the event occurred went from puzzlement ... to surprise ... to that pleasant feeling you get when somebody does a good turn for you ... and doesn't want, in fact, would refuse, anything in return.


The poem tells that story.


Oh, I suppose my neighbor was grateful for the small favors we did him and his family when they had a house fire shortly after moving in. But he didn't owe us anything for our help, either.


That's what neighbors do for each other.


He was grateful then ... and I was certainly grateful for all that shoveling he was doing for me. I had been waiting out the storm, dreading the task that confronted me.


Then, suddenly, there he was, the good neighbor.


If I were to go ahead with this, I'd probably become preachy ... so, I'll just say that this one was originally published in The Christian Science Monitor:


THE GOOD DEED


All day the snow
has come sifting down,
obscuring objects
in our shaken globe,
and I'm standing
staring out the window
when I see the shape
of a person who's
obviously been driven
wild by the storm,
who pauses and turns
into someone I know
... my neighbor,
shoveling my
 walk.
© 2003

Today's word: shoveling

Friday, July 26, 2013

Evening Train





Today's poem is heavy with memories ... from  a summer evening about sixty years ago.


While the evening described was certainly a low point of my young life, it was not to be the end of the line, as I indicate in the poem ... and as events have since confirmed.


I'll never forget that feeling of emptiness, abandonment, of having certainly hit bottom ... all because I had won a college scholarship, with its promise of good things ahead, but I didn't even have bus fare to get to the campus.


There seemed no way to turn, no way to escape, as I sat there alone on that darkened front porch ...


But then I enlisted in the Air Force, saved some money, and eventually began college - not, incidentally, the one where I'd had a scholarship and the offer of help with finding part-time work, "once you arrive on campus."


The rest, as they say, is history ... thanks to some hard work ... and a lot of help along the way.


I also remember the feeling of relief, of a load finally having been lifted from me, all these years later, after I had written this poem.


So, you see, poetry - the writing of it, or the effort put into trying to write it - can be good therapy.


The poem:

EVENING TRAIN

The swing’s creaking
heartbeat held me
captive in the dark

as I sat watching
those lighted cars
swaying up the grade,

green trackside eye
blinking to red,
a clear sign to me,

believer in signs
and good fortune,
that my young dreams

had finally melted
into that S-curve,
vanished in darkness,

and there would be
no college, not even
bus fare to get there.

It seems so long ago,
such a vague memory
now, scar fading like

a distant whistle,
that evening train
somewhere, echoing,

reminding me that
I finally escaped,
became who I am,

but never escaped
who I was then.

© 2000

(originally published in Waterways)

Today's word: escaped

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Behold, the Dogwood





When summer comes sizzling in, I try to nestle into a bed of cooling thoughts ... about winter ... about autumn (one of my all-time favorites) ... and ... yes, spring.


Spring also brings to mind the struggling little dogwood that stands on the front lawn of Brimm Manor ... near the sloping driveway where I labored so long to lay the brick when we first moved here.

Twice a year the little dogwood gives us a magnificent show ... particularly in the spring ... with its remarkable display of blossoms ... but again in the fall, too ... with its fiery red foliage.


I think today's poem pretty well tells its own story (and if you discover one of my "sermons" in it, well, so be it):


BEHOLD, THE DOGWOOD

Poor, struggling,
glorious little dogwood,
you have survived
drought and freezing,
even neglect, and yet
this year you bestow
an abundance of blossoms,
you teacher of lessons.
© 1996

(originally published in Capper's)

Today's word: teacher

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Avalanche!



(Another of my quick watercolor sketches ... done along the way)


As always, please keep in mind that these ramblings generally reflect only my viewpoint ... and they may not be really current (I understand that's the way the mind works, sometimes, as  it ages).


So-o-o-o … I was driving (some months ago, now) as we started out to run some errands.


At our first stop Phyllis gathered up a double armload of covers … not heavy, but really bulky …  and headed toward the laundry/dry cleaners. 


I sat behind the wheel and pulled out a tattered crossword puzzle collection … to, as is my custom, fill in a couple of minutes by filling in some blanks.


Then I glanced into the rearview mirror (I do that occasionally, so I‘ll be ready to go when Phyllis returns).


Oh, NO!


There was Phyllis on the ground … on the pavement, actually … and someone was helping her up.


By the time I got out of the car and to the building, she was already just inside the door … and the proprietor was trying to help her. 


Her glasses were badly scratched, but weren’t broken. Her lip was bleeding, she had a cut just below her left eye, and there was a large discolored (bruised) area there, too, all the result of tripping and falling. While I was fumbling for a tissue to apply to her lip, another customer entered.


What perfect timing!


“I’m a surgeon,” he said, in a quiet, matter-of-fact voice, and started checking her out … advising against stitches for her wounds, but recommending some remedies … which we followed.


Meanwhile, if you happened to see Phyllis … and noticed that she had a black eye … I hoped you understood … I didn’t do it. 


Meanwhile ... I’ve said it before ... and I’ll say it again: I can’t rhyme worth a dime.


It’s true. Oh, I can sometimes put a couple of lines together, maybe, but then I get so bogged down in the mechanics of it that I can’t tell the story I started out to relate.


So, I stick mainly to what I CAN do ... and that’s what’s called free verse. It has a certain rhythm to it, a certain amount of rhyme, though not always where expected (no end rhyme, for example), and I do ... sometimes ... manage to tell a story, or get a point across.


(Oh, how I envy those who have the gift for creating structured, rhyming poetry which tells their story for them!)


And now, Exhibit A in the case for "can’t rhyme worth a dime":




AVALANCHE!


When I wrote my first poem,
It was really quite a chore,
But I just had to show 'em
I could do one, maybe more.

Now poems spill off the end
Of my desk, across the floor.
If this continues, my friend,
They'll be sliding door-to-door.
© 2011 
(originally published in PKA's Advocate)

Today's word: rhyme

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

At the Wheel




I sometimes write about driving ... or other drivers ... but not today.

The wheel referred to in today's poem is a potter's wheel ... that device on which a glob of clay is tossed, then, with an expert touch as the wheel goes whirling round and round ... that glob gradually becomes a work of art.

It may become something quite fragile, or it may turn out to be a very substantial piece, depending on the imagination ... and skill ... of its creator.

I feel that same process at work when I "toss a glob of words on the wheel" (I always hope it's a somewhat orderly collection of words, even in the beginnings of a poem). Then the revision, the serious shaping and reshaping, begins.

Over time those words take on new shapes, new meanings, sometimes quite fragile, sometimes substantial. Then I let the reader judge ... in light of his or her own experience, for the reader always brings something to the poem.

This one was originally published in Candlelight Poetry Journal:

AT THE WHEEL

I sit watching
these words
mounded, whirling,
rising at the touch
of my fingers,
becoming something
I shall slide
into the glowing kiln
of understanding
and, warmed by it,
stand marveling
at what I've made.
© 1998

Today's word: substantial

Monday, July 22, 2013

At Sunset





I can usually recall the starting point ... the impetus ... of something I've written. Not so in this case.

It might be because I've written so many. It becomes a bit difficult to recall precisely what triggered each one.

I have a feeling, though, that this one promised to be a longer piece ... perhaps a short story. I was letting my imagination run free on this scene from the close of the day. I'm not sure where it was headed ... its ultimate destination.

Writing is like that sometimes. I always like to get the words on paper ... those bits and pieces of thought which come to me of their own accord ... for, on later reflection ... and a bit of tweaking ... they may turn into something worth keeping and sharing.

This one didn't go on to bigger things. But I liked the descriptive phrases, and it appears that the editor liked them, too.

With that, here's the poem:


AT SUNSET


Dying embers of day
arc slowly on drapes
drawn tightly
like an old man's mouth
sealed against saying
that which must
not be said. His room,
steeped in darkness,
recalls a steely pool
of tension, burdened
dome of sky,
dark leaves stirring
now, a gathering
of thoughts seeking
shelter for the night.
© 1999

(originally published in Potpourri)

Today's word: steeped

Sunday, July 21, 2013

When the Frost Comes




Most of my poems are fairly upbeat. Oh, there are those I've written just for myself ... a little less than upbeat in instances, I suppose ... poems that deal with pain ... and healing.

I find some release ... some relief ... for having written them. They are unlikely ever to be shared.

Then there are those like today's.

It's not an upbeat subject ... this matter of loss ... personal loss.


Still, in coming to grips with loss, we sometimes do find a degree of comfort ... I don't know if that's the right word ... an easing, I guess, of the burden imposed upon us.


I hope that comes through in today's poem:


WHEN THE FROST COMES

We miss the flowers
that kept us company
during summer months.
Well into the winter
we savor the memories
of their nodding under
the weight of foraging
bees, of their colors
lifting our spirits.

And so it is
with dear friends
and companions.

When they have gone,
we remember the bright
times we shared, how
we cheered each other,
and we cherish these
good memories, flowering
long after the frost,
to give us sustenance.
© 2003
(originally published in Brave Hearts)

Today's word: sustenance

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tall





I don't often do dream poems ... that is, poems about dreams ... simply because I have trouble recalling the dreams when I wake up.


This one was different, though.


I had this sense, as I say in the poem, of actually being taller than John Wayne on his horse. What a feeling that was. I wrote down what I recalled of that feeling.


Then, later ... that's right, pardner ... this one turned into a poem about writing, a subject that I find mysterious and perplexing. Even when the words come together neatly to form a poem, I'm sometimes puzzled as to how that really happened.


Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not completely baffled by the writing process, but it sometimes seems that poems, in particular, "write themselves," and I can't help expressing some amazement at that.


And now, the poem:



TALL

I dreamed that I
was tall, taller than
John Wayne, taller than
John Wayne on his horse,
and I just stood there
looking tall

and silent,


looking at all those
people looking up
at me, at last,
looking down at them,
but treating them
quietly as equals,


because that's the way
it is with me,
pilgrim,
no matter how tall
I get, nor how many
poems I’ve roped
and led home.
© 2000

(originally published in ByLine)

Today's word: equals

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summertime Blues





I've got 'em today. I really have. 

After being blessed with a smattering of cool days ... so nice that I almost quit complaining about the weather ... summer ... real summer ... has returned. Has it ever.

Still, I thought it might be fun to dwell for a few moments on that heat ... perhaps in a hot-headed way, too. I hope you won't mind.


Posting this particular poem today also gives me an excuse for dragging out this self-portrait that occurred with the addition of a digital camera to my arsenal.


I noticed that my new toy had a self-timer.

Naturally, I had to try it; however, it seemed that nothing was happening. Finally, after several seconds, I decided to check. Just at that moment something did happen.



Surprise!


The camera was working, and the result was this blurry picture, snapped precisely as I turned to sneak a peek.


I thought it was the perfect representation of how I so often appear ... early in the morning ... late at night ... and in between ... always a bit behind schedule, and generally befuddled.


The poem:

SUMMERTIME BLUES


I've got those
low-down,
good for nothin'
summertime blues.

My handkerchief
has wilted,
my shorts have
turned to glue,
my socks have
already melted
and run down
into my shoes.

Oh, I've got 'em bad,
as bad as they can be,
those prickly-pested,
heat infested
good for nothin'
summertime blues.

© 1995

(originally published in Capper's)
Today's word: blurry 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rainy Night





I have an attic space where few sounds intrude, where I often go to write.

I became aware, one evening, of a tentative tapping on the skylight - rain. The scattered drops were, indeed, binding city lights to themselves, and clinging gem-like against the darkness.

I felt safe in that space, visualized motes dancing lazily in bright sunlight, beckoning, and I started writing.

What I wrote that evening evolved into a poem, which later found itself in good company in ByLine Magazine, and eventually found its way into Chance of Rain, my first collection of poems, all about rain, or its absence.

RAINY NIGHT

First few drops
spatter warily
on my skylight,
binding glimmers
of city lights
to themselves,
sliding them
down the dark
throat of night.


In this dim light
I am held safe
by an arid warmth
that eddies like
motes escaping
an attic book,
swirling, dancing
up a long stairway
toward that door
through which
the golden glow
of revelation
beckons me.
© 2003

Today's word: spatter

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Paths That Crossed





After I retired from my "regular" job, I began looking for something else to do, something structured, something which would take me outside these walls on a regular basis, something to ease this void in which I found myself.


I found all of that in becoming a "temp," a temporary worker who had a variety of assignments, doing inventory, sorting, filing, things I could do without stress or strain.


Then I found myself assigned to a project which was expected to last a couple of years, maybe more. What a great assignment that was, working with people of a wide range of ages, from a variety of backgrounds, all of us learning the routines, growing, settling in, enjoying this adventure.


Then another door opened, an offer of "early retirement," which I took. But I didn't just walk away. You don't do that with a family of friends. I maintained contact (and it wasn't just for the monthly carry-ins for sharing tons of cake in celebration of birthdays), watched the others continuing their growth, celebrated their successes, shared in their setbacks.

After a gathering once again for lunch  I was reminded of the poem I had written ... a rather long time ago, now.


It's an effort to capture some of those feelings,  to preserve some of it for myself, perhaps some for them, too.


PATHS THAT CROSSED

First the warehouse site,
then Newmark and Woodman.
How the paths of lives
came crisscrossing there
with the burgeoning work!


My own path veered away
at the end of '90, but
came back several times
as ever-widening circles
tested the boundaries
of my untethered life.


Now the grass reclaims
my old path, footprints
erased, nothing to mark
my having ever been there.


But I possess evidence.


The landscape of my mind
is alive with these paths,
tracks of those crossing
the path of my own life,
seemingly without design
or plan, yet unerringly.

These stored memories
endure on a gentle slope
teeming with paths strong
where crossings link them,
and likely to cross again.
© 1995
Today's word: paths

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Memory






Sometimes, you may have noticed, I try to use an illustration that goes along with the poem. 

I was stumped at first, when I tried to think of something to match today's little offering.

Then it occurred to me ... there it was, under my nose, practically ... the side view mirror on the Little Red Car, famous among readers of my former weekly newsletter, "Squiggles & Giggles," for its many escapades.


And what is memory? Why, it's a looking back at things which are sometimes indistinct, blurred, reversed, or "closer than you think."

And now the poem:


MEMORY

I know I've stashed
scads of things
in the dusty attic
of my mind . . .
but in which boxes
are they hiding,
when I really,
really need them?
 © 1996
(originally published in Capper's)
Today's word: hiding

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lattes for Two



(Just a photo of an old fence, you say? Oh, but I think fences ... old ones in particular ... have things to say to us, if we will just listen)
                                   
Meanwhile:

Each of my poems has a past life.

Sometimes that background is quite complicated ... though the poems are usually pretty straightforward ... ordinary subjects presented with few adornments.

This one, I suppose, might be considered as having a "complicated" earlier life. I'll try to present the short version.

When I started painting, I simply started painting. It was later that I decided it wouldn't hurt to have a few lessons ... maybe a lot of lessons ... but that's another story.

When I started writing poetry, it was much the same. Eventually, I signed up for a class.

Needless to say, I was an older student ... THE oldest in the group, even counting the instructor. The class was very accepting of me, though, and I really enjoyed it.

Among those with whom I became acquainted was a young student who worked part-time in a coffee shop.

Possibly because I reminded her of her grandfather, she one day gave me a couple of coupons for free coffees.

Phyllis and I couldn't resist. We were soon sitting under the umbrellas, sipping our coffees ... er, lattes. It was the first latte I had ever had. I found it rather nice ... inspiring, in fact.

The rest is history, as they say.

The poem:

LATTES FOR TWO

We're sipping vanilla lattes while sitting
beneath the umbrellas outside the coffee shop,


enjoying the soothing warmth of the cups
against our hands, the coffee sweet and gentle,


not aggressive, as it can sometimes be.
In my coffee and cigarette days, I slugged down


many a cup, always automatically topping off
after absently stubbing out another butt


and lighting up again, phones ringing, nerves
jangling, my paradigm of perpetual dependence.


But I've grown independent of such things,
an enforced laying to rest of my worst habits


in these years of summing up, a slow falling away
from a tendency to overindulge in so many


things that cheered me up or calmed me down.
Until today. Lured inside by the tempting offer


of a sample, I've wavered, weakened, lifted the cup
again, and after a few tentative sips to make sure

my taste buds weren't playing tricks on me, I think
I might be hooked, feel myself being reeled in.


Oh, if Eve had only suggested a hot, sweet latte
back then, what a different world this might be.
© 2005


(Part of a my third collection, Wood Smoke, issued by Finishing Line Press. To visit the Finishing Line Press site, please click here:


Thank you for taking a look.)

Today's word: hooked

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's So Simple





"Writing a poem is as simple as pouring a cup of coffee ... "

Oh, do read on. 

Before we're finished, I will have led you down the winding garden path with still another poem about writing. As always, my usual disclaimer: I write about writing, not because I'm expert, but because the process intrigues me so.

As you will see, as you work your way through the poem, I don't think writing a poem ... or writing anything for public consumption, for that matter ... is a simple matter. Nor need it be so very complicated that only a select few may do it.

But the end product, I think, should give the appearance of having been done with ease ... not flippantly or shallow, but done with a certain polish about it which may intrigue the reader, without getting in the way of the poem itself. 

It should appear to have been easily, naturally written, and none of the hard labor of producing it need show through.

What I'm saying in the poem, I guess, is that a poem should come to the reader with the ease one experiences in simply pouring a cup of coffee.

I hope you'll have a sip ... hope you enjoy it.


IT'S SO SIMPLE


Writing a poem is as simple as pouring
a cup of coffee. First, though, you plant

a seed, wait for the sprout, nurture it,
then transplant the seedling, let it mature,

hope that frost doesn't kill the buds,
let the bees pollinate blossoms, wait

for the beans to mature, pick the beans,
dry them, haul them, roast them, transport

them again, package them, grind them,
add water, let them leap as they

percolate and you keep an eye on the clock.
Then you simply pour, sit back and enjoy.
© 2006

(originally published in ByLine magazine)

Today's word: percolate

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Howdy!



Some of you may have seen today's poem before ... when it was originally published ... or later here on "Chosen Words." Sorry about that, but I think it might be worth a second look.


It all began when ...


There was a lull in the festivities at my high school class reunion, class of ... let's just say we graduated somewhere in the previous century ... and Floyd was saying, "You know what I remember about you?"


Uh-oh. I braced myself and allowed as how I didn't have the foggiest notion of what he remembered.


"During study hall, you'd go to that big dictionary at the east windows, and I'd swear you were standing there, just reading it for pleasure," he said.


That's right! I remembered that, too. It was a huge dictionary. I would go to it to unlock the mystery of some new word I'd encountered ... then I'd get sidetracked. There were so many other words I was curious about ... so many other avenues to explore. I can't imagine how much time I must've spent with that book. Oh, what great times those were!


My reverie was interrupted.


Floyd was saying, "As a matter of fact, you introduced me to the word 'laconic'. I'll never forget that."


Well, I had certainly forgotten. That didn't even ring the teeniest of bells. But I was intrigued by the fact that he had remembered "laconic" all those years. The wheels started turning. In coming weeks and months, I thought about Floyd's comment. A lot.


It wouldn't turn me loose. It released its grip slightly when I finally sat down and wrote "Howdy!" ... and a little more when it was accepted for publication.


The moral (I suppose): Words you've planted with someone, years and years ago, may come back to haunt you. But then you have material for another poem, right?


Right.


The poem goes something like this:


HOWDY!

I grew up
wanting to be laconic,
because my models
were mostly Saturday
matinee heroes.


Their voices were
leathery, dust-covered,
wind-blown, spare
sounding voices.


I dreamed of my own
young voice becoming
like theirs, joining
those deep voices,
saying deep things.


But laconic?

Tried it. Liked it.
Some. Found it lonely,
though, on those long
rides between words.
© 2005

(originally published in The Christian Science Monitor)

Today's word: laconic