Earliest Poems

The poems below represent my first attempts at writing poetry from 9th grade through high school. Most of the poems written during that time are lost or were thrown away, and these just happen to be the ones I retained. A few got published in the school literary magazine. The time period covered is from roughly 1972-1976 from ages 14-18.

The first poem I was ever inspired to write was in 9th grade. I was waiting on second load bus after school when the muse came over me. I found an empty classroom and the poem seemed to come out as fast as I could write it.

Ode To A Pencil

Ah, tis a pencil, fine and neat,
sharpened to its greatest peak.
Wherein my hand it doth rest,
now I shall put it to the test!
On the page it is placed,
pray not it be erased…
a line – crisp and clear,
a graceful line – to me, so dear.
For there is nothing so grand
as this beautiful strand –
Oh, but what’s this???
A curve hath been drawn from my wrist!!
A curve so sweet ~
doubtful that this could be beat~
the curve continues ’round,
forming a circle ~ ASTOUND!
( My fingers now quite raw. )
Though, once more before I stop,
all these others I must top.
Oh, the pencil of wood and lead,
something hath happened to its head!??
Upon closer examination,
setting right my anticipation,
alas, my poor token,
the head of my pencil is broken!

Possibly the second poem I wrote was intentionally a short, simple, sweet, sing-song poem to be contrasted against the “dream” of nuclear war at the end (though, that part it isn’t obvious).

Shaded Pink

The death of day is shaded pink
and meadows lay, in which to think
Lazy flowers bow towards the sun
Time and space are now as one.

The wind doth blow
the grass doth sway,
Life is short, it fades away….

And in a time, night will fall,
Stars and moon will rule all.
Heaven and Earth will be my bed
as dreams are formed in my head
of a sun dipped in ink
and mushroom clouds shaded pink.

I wrote this one late at night before bed. I’m not sure who I was writing it about except maybe the goddess of love.

Falling Upon Sleep

The wind blew misty in the deep haze
passing on to sunset.
The sky was a violet hue,
enclosing the Earth in a dark net.
A grassy red hill stood before me
and I knew I would have to climb,
as warm sweat raced down my face
for there wasn’t much time.

I hid behind a tree, watching you swim in the water.
You and the water became as one…
You and the water…
You and the water…
I looked up and saw a flower fall from heaven
into your hands
And then you expelled onto all the world
content with your plans.

Thus, being tired,
I kissed you and held you and
fell upon sleep.

I began to be more conscious of my own morality sometime around 4th or 5th grades, when I was going through puberty (coincidence?). That awareness found expression in some of my poetry over the next several years.


Sign you name upon the stone
and understand you’re all alone.
Sign it well for all to stare
for no one else will sign it there.

Another quick one…


Lost in a world of confusion,

I stumble…


I stare across the night and darkness…


From the vines I come, bearing grapes.

To escape this land,

atop a mountain, I shall stand

and tempt the fates.

I imagined this one on a tombstone.


Here you see what once was me
not feeling any pain.
But I did not intend to end like this –
merely soaking up the rain.

There was a time I danced and played
and laughed right out loud.
Now, I’m quiet and I don’t move at all –
far away from the crowd.

In life, I had many friends and lovers
but everyone must die alone.
And once, I stood as you are now,
reading words like these in stone.

I have nothing more to say or to teach
my lips will not make a sound.
My name is written on the sands of the beach
my body lies here in the ground.

By about 11th grade, I was becoming more ambitious….

Lunar Mantlement

Latent growth surrounds the church temple in divine lunacy,
Cosmic noises erupt from vague distances and expand along the ground.
And I walk through tall, cascading weeds, thick with congruency,
Watching the children run from the silent darkness of sound.

And I believe I’ve said this all once before,
Through days of future and days of yore.
When time and reason disperse through the eve
And noises are muffled by the dark as they leave.
And I’ll sit on a bench and watch the passing of night
And reflect on the moon’s cold silver light….

Lunar mantlement
cover the sea –
and ignore the lies –
the truth in my eyes –
there are those that follow me.
For I am –
the story of a child’s greatest doom –
growing old in the park –
as days pass to dark –
I sit and play checkers with the moon.

The wind cries a despondence of last recourse,
while lonely instructors preach denominational intercourse.
Dismal starlight fades along with the destruction of time
And I see how deep this night seems – living under darkness of rhyme.

There is no one to notice as the lights grow few
And shadows mingle and shadows dispense the dew.
Footsteps approach and resound in my ear
Of things yet unlearned and of things that we fear
Of things that have come and of things that are gone
Of things gone so right and of things gone so wrong
And here I sit and recite the moon’s early song….

Lunar mantlement
cover the sea –
and forget the lies –
the truth of my eyes –
there are those that follow me.
I am –
the story of children’s greatest doom –
growing old in the park –
dying alone in the dark –
I sit and play checkers with the moon.

Death will not escape me, only grow with age.
Only my feelings will remain, forever captured on this page.
With each passing second, there is one less moment before death…
one less moment before death….

And I think I’ve said this all once before –
through days of nigh; through days of yore…

Lunar mantlement
cover the sea –
and ignore my surprise –
that my truths are but lies –
for there are those that follow me.
I am –
the story of childhood’s greatest doom –
growing old in the park –
as days pass to dark –
I sit and play checkers with the moon.

My very first poems used a basic AABB rhyming scheme. As you might note in the last few above, I began to include some ABAB and ABBA schemes as well. Here is one where I pulled off AABBCCABC….

Through the Dark

I shot through the dark like a spark
and lit up the night with my plight.
Burning like day, then flickering away,
I missed my mark,
ended my flight,
and fell astray.

It wasn’t all death and doom. I did write some that were a bit more light-hearted. In fact, some were positively absurd. In this one, I break away from rhyming and get into some alliteration…

The Pianos Are Falling

Be quiet!
The pianos are falling…

Outside, the dull den of my messmates
moo at the menu
and perspire on the porch,
inciting lorn and latherous salamander
to serenade and shampoo
their motley minds.

Be quiet!
The pianos are falling…

Inside, the soft screams of my marshmallow
matches the madness
and heralds the hoax,
exciting cold and clamoring fishermen
to fulminate and forebode
its quiet qualm.

Be quiet!
The pianos are falling…

And I am a parrot, perched on a paradox.
And I am a parasite, parched on a paragon.
And I am a passenger on this parallax
and a prisoner of this parody,
Poised and posed
under a paper parasol –
puffing promised parables
to be sheltered from the sun.

Be quiet!
the pianos are falling….

The last one in this post of my earliest poems is total nonsense….


Snazum and snounder – I snit
Gobble Gobble Gunbeam
(Good Great Gumbeam).
narry not, narry nickle
Oh, sad and grainulated, grandulated cormflake.
(A peace of mime.)

Tear us down all
in spare, lod, and lare.
Devus crab –
Mock chair.
Mon oui, bittersweet Greenbeam,
ridus ob little chairs and delite the channel fame.
A kandle dewit obzerd;
A kandle wit a wick.

Dabble at you, placid Greenbean.

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