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It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In the same manner, I would say that poetry is in the mind of the reader. I have read much poetry that I thought was absolute trash. Yet I know other people who have read the same poems and been deeply moved by them. It is also likely that your tastes and mine differ greatly.
Despite the barriers of communication inherent in age, gender, cultures, and location, I would hope that some of my words reach into your mind and touch you gently. If you look, you will find a wide variety of style herein.
Should your tastes run to more classical meter, you might look at With Her Smile. Now Our Sons was written while my oldest son was in United States Marine Corps boot camp, following in his father's footsteps to my immense pride. He was discharged disabled after three years but the knee surgery performed by the Denver Veterans Administration hospital in February, 1999, has helped make his knee right again.
For My Lady, Gifts isn't really poetry, but simply impressions from some of the places I've been, dangers and hardships I've endured, and things of beauty that I have seen. The events are not in chronological order and span many more years than indicated. Though it doesn't appear first, the narrative was begun in 1965 during an early evening stop at a small town, or village, in the Costa Rican rain forest while taking the train from Punta Arenas on the Pacific side up to San Jose. I had never seen tropical fireflies before. Many other incidents are chronicled in Moments in Life.
Some items are quite the opposite of what they appear. On Touching You was written for a woman who I found, to my dismay, did not like to be touched, yet sought my company. Nancy and Pouting Pretty Girl were two women who worked as checkout clerks at a discount store where I shopped while working in the early aerospace program on Atlas and Centaur missiles, including Project Mercury. I was struck by how alive they were, and their sense of fun and adventure in what was a mundane job. To my regret, that was my only association with them.
I became interested in Buddhism while serving with Marine infantry and later had myself excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) and adopted the Buddhist philosophy in 1961. Haiku have thus fascinated me for many years and I hope that some of my attempts at the genre please you.
I Wonder Sometimes was written while I was serving with 1st Marines in the late 1950's and reflects the disaffection I was coming to feel with Christianity. And Who Shall Say followed after my discharge and was published while a student at Utah State University the first time.
Two of the poems here are not mine at all. I Had But Fifty Cents was a great favorite of my father and I have loved it as well. Through the kindness of one of my readers I've learned this poem was originally published by Sam Devere in 1885. The sheet music is available at the Library of Congress American Memory.
My nickname has been Bear for a long, long time now. In 1970, my then wife and I went on a five-month horseback trip starting in Cedar City, Utah, down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, up through the Four Corners region, and the entire length of Colorado. The two of us rode over 1,000 miles together and we later had two sons, who are now grown men. After that, my nickname was modified to "Cowbear", and the daughter of one of my professors at Utah State University wrote the The Cowbear Song for me.