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Jan 2012
I remember reading
Martin Luther King, Jr's
Letter from Birmingham Jail
Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom
Mark Twain's Huck Finn
DuBois' Souls of Black Folk
For the first time

The words of Chief Joseph
Sitting Bull
James Welch
and Alexie Sherman
And others of indigenous kind
Linger like arrows in my mind.

Of course, there's
Gilgamesh's forlorn quest for Enkidu;
Osiris, Amun, Ra, and Seth,
Homer's Illiad and Odyssey,
And Virgil's Roman treatment -
(For whom the gods destroy
We all must learn bereavement).

I remember reading
Milton's Paradises (lost and found)
And Dante's Infernal quest for Heaven
Through the bowels of Hell with Virgil's spritely guide
And up the Devil's staircase with Beatrice by his side.
John's Revelation of Times' End;
And LaHaye's money-making Left Behind
Apocalypses here to chill my mind.

I have surveyed Dead Presidents
Both Roosevelts, Ted and Frank,
And Reagan
And smatterings of others...
Then hopped the bookish pond to read
Sir Winston and some others,
Not the least of whom is Gandhi G,
Taught by the Queen to free his brothers.

I have studied
The Disciples
and James
Though Jesus is the "Word"
He never penned one).

British poets's thoughts,
Tale tellers long-dead
Have found their way
Into my head:
Beowulf and Chaucer
Old moral plays
Shelley and Keats
Cavalier Poets
Scott and Brownings
Burns and (not) Allen
Spenser and Shakespeare
Dylan and Tolkien
Lewis and Auden
And so many more
That I leave on the floor

Western Americana I have loved
Hemingway and Steinbeck, all worth the time,
Mari Sandoz' Old Jules, and
Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth,
Keroac went on the road, while
Joseph Kinsey Howard showed us the West
Lewis & Clark in journals scribed
Their journey west and back again

I can't forget psychology
And so I will digress
Or Sigmund's accusation stays
That I have but suppressed:
Ellis, Freud, and Eric Berne,
Pavlov, Skinner, Thorndike, Watson,
Wundt, and Wm James, Piaget and Chomsky
Then Vygotsky and Bandura put a social spin
on cognitive psychology, and Everybody's in.
Diverging and Converging, psychic students, all
Could never make transaction
'Til Rogers tried to make some peace
But Ellis wouldn't have 'im.

And then, of course,
The lighter stuff,
The popcorn of the mind:
Clancy, Rankin, Carole Keene
L'Amour and Will James
Stephen King and Poe,
Cruz Smith and Leon Uris,
Grisham, Deaver, Cornwall,
Asimov, Bradbury and Herbert,
Carroll and Baum...
Written Words change us.... I use the term "poem" as Louise Rosenblatt did, namely, a poem is the creation each reader makes to describe the connection between the Text and his or her own life experience, opinion, knowledge, beliefs, feelings, etc. Those "poems" affect and change us in our wanderings on this earth. I am, indeed, changed by the texts I have read and continue to read....
In haphazard fashion, I am starting a collection of writers who give me an understanding of the world's color and shape. This is just the beginning.... If readers have suggestions or reminders, I will add the ones I have read....
Don Bouchard
Written by
Don Bouchard  61/M/Minnesota
   --- and John F McCullagh
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