A finance person who writes poetry?

Why not? After all, both TS Eliot and Wallace Stevens were members of that small group. So maybe there’s room for one more.

I’ve loved poetry since I was little, when my great aunt read me the nursery rhymes in “Winnie the Pooh”. Over time, I’ve come to love poetry’s concentrated and layered nature, its ability to evoke a complex emotional and intellectual response with hints and indirection, and with so few words.

And I love poetry’s requirement that we participate in it. Poetry recruits the reader as a necessary part of the process: the poem’s meaning depends as much on what the reader brings to the poem as on what the poem brings to the reader.

For about five years I created the poems that are in my latest book. They are reflections about family, friends and adventures that have been a part of my life.

Below are some poems I’d like to share with you. They’re from my last book.  I hope you’ll enjoy them (and the rest of the poems in the book, too).  And I hope you’ll find things in them that I didn’t know were there. Because I wrote them for me, but I wrote them for you, too.

Read Selected Poems
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When the going gets tough

I played football and ran track in high school. I wasn’t quick enough to be a great defensive end, and I was too tall and heavy to be much of a runner, except in the 440. Those of you who ran that distance know that it wasn’t as much about speed as it was about not quitting.

The head football coach was also our track coach. Mr Pearson had a large and magical supply of criticism. Most of it was pretty graphic, and it flowed freely when I missed a tackle or botched a play; events that happened too often.

In the parlance of the late ‘50’s it might have been regarded as “constructive criticism” in the sense he was telling me how to be better than I was. But it didn’t feel constructive; it just made me feel worse…

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Not your father’s New Year Resolutions

The old year is in the rear view mirror. Once again, we stumble hopefully into a New Year.

I used to think all the talk of New Year’s resolutions was just some sort of cultural artifact; maybe the result of our country’s rich and variegated religious, racial and cultural stew.

Look closer, though. You find that all places in which there are seasons also have had, for ages, some sort of ceremony for saying “my bad” for the acts of the past year, and “I’ll do better next time” for the coming year.

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