Sunday, October 25, 2009


I carry it in my
Pants pocket

It is like a well
Worn worry stone

A talisman
A connection
That nurtures
With its touch
Providing a sense
Of safety, security
And comfort

Each day it finds
Its way to that
Right front pocket
To go again
With me into the

My Dad’s
Pocket knife


Made both for
The academy and
For the world

Hewn by the
Wisdom and
Power of language

His lectures
Stirred the ramparts;
His students moving
On to make a difference

The impact
He had on them
And his broader
Community continues
Long remembered

With quavering voice
He said he was touched
By the impact a small town
English teacher can have –
Sending forth a student
Grounded in the classics

Unknowingly he spoke
Of himself
Of the majestic reach
Of a man and a teacher
Who has mattered

The occasion was
The unveiling of
A celebratory portrait
At his school

In it you could see that
Twinkle in his eye and
A mischievous brightness
That lights up our world


He was dying
Ravaged by an
Aggressive cancer
In his brain

When his uncle,
My father, died
Some three years
Ago he asked if he
Could have a small
Tool from his shop

A talisman of
The man he so
Admired who had
Taken him under
His wing when
His own father
Died suddenly when
He was a boy of ten

Along with Sunday supper
And a framed photo
Of him with my Dad
I brought a well used
Screwdriver with a handle
Covered in blue paint

Is this mine to keep?
He said, holding it in
The hand that still worked

I’ll treasure this and
Put it with the my special things
He said from his bed

It lay next to him
For those few more days
Until he too died
And joined the fellow
Craftsman he so loved.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I spent endless hours
Working on pursing
My lips just right

With practice I could imitate
Several local songbirds
And keep my self
Company while doing chores

I would do songs and sometimes
Go on so long my lips would ache

It is becoming a lost art
And now people don't
Know what it means
To wet your whistle