To be, frequently mistaken

But never, to be wrong

To be, part of the group

And yet, not belong


To be, so really scared

But at no time, be afraid

To be, a frequent failure

Yet, always make the grade


To be, a teller of tall tales

But, never tell a lie

To be, so deeply saddend

Yet never, made to cry


To be, sometimes obstructed

And yet, not be delayed

To be, so undecided

That you, cannot be swayed


To be, consistently a loser

And yet, never to lose out

To be, so well convinced

That you, never have a doubt


To be, filled with desire

But not be, filled with greed

To always keep in mind

That others also need


To be, so exhausted

But, never to letup

To be, a last defeated

Yet never, to have given up


To be, in time forgotten

Yet, always be remembered

For all those helpful deeds

That you, so often rendered

BOEMS BY JA 169    

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Image your life, without a friend

Now imagine, it goes on without end

Not a kind word, could you say

To anyone, each and every day

Not a thought to talk about

No advice without a doubt

No smile, no laugh and no hello

A lonely life, to live it so

Imagine life, with this longing

Now, imagine life, without belonging


To belong is our life’s newel

To live without, is just too cruel

BOEMS by JA 672     

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We don’t know

What life’s about

Sometimes it’s just

How it turns out


Our time on earth

Is not forever

We come and go

Just like, bad weather


At work and play

Our time is spent

But in the end

What has it meant


To change the world

If we succeed

Are we, remembered

Or, just the deed


Does what we’ve said

Or what we’ve done

Have meaning only

When we’re gone


And if in time

We are forgot

Our life on earth

Was all for not


Is what we do

Or what we say

Kept in a record

In some way


If what we’ve done

Whether good or bad

No longer matters

Is that not sad


If we didn’t contribute

Had nothing to bring

Are we null and void

Not worth a thing


The only way

That we endure

Is in a memory

That’s for sure


Is this our destiny

For what we’ve wrought

Are we worth a memory

Or are we not

BOEMS by JA 85  

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It’s been said life is an adventure…but I believe it’s more complex

Life is not just one adventure…it’s one adventure…then the next.…


Then the next one, then the next one, then the next one…then the next…

Life is a series of adventures…as I say…a bit complex.


It’s true, when you stop to think about it…when one adventure is abating

up ahead, just around the corner…another adventure is awaiting.


Any adventure hinges on you…as to how it is defined

It depends on how you experience it…how you see it in your mind.


The Grand Canyon is magnificent…as you look out over the vastness of the land

but have you ever watched a ladybug…as it walks upon your hand.


An adventure can be simple…doesn’t have to bring acclaim.

Have you ever watched your granddaughter at a child’s softball game?


Reading a book can be an adventure…no matter what its shape or size

Even reading this poem can be an adventure…(for that I apologize!)


Yes, every moment can be an adventure…every move you make

every time you step outside…every breath you take.


If you look at life with adventure in your eyes…

think of all the things you’ll learn…

think of all the wonders you’ll experience…


when you see adventures at every turn.

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Mark Twain famously said long ago…words that, today, still apply…

He said, ‘The two most important days in your life 

are the day you’re born

and the day you find out why.’


I’ve been told it was a cold day in December…sometime in the early morn…

but I have no personal recollection…of the day when I was born….


But I do remember the town where I grew up…because it’s influence never ends…

and many of the people I grew up with…I still proudly call my friends.


And I remember the day I became a teacher…

Standing in my first classroom filled with apprehension…filled with fears…

and I remember many of the students…I taught in those 39 years…


And I remember the day I became a father…how proud I was…how glad…

And I remember the day Bryan first smiled at me…

and I transformed from a father into a Dad.


And I remember the daughter who followed…I remember life beginning to swirl…

for I was just getting used to raising a son…and now I’d be raising a girl…


And I remember the day I married Deborah…and how when that day was done..

what started out as two separate families…we found a way to blend into one.


And I remember the birth of my grandchildren…

1 amazing girl and 3 wonderful boys….

And how, when I hear them call me PopPop,

my heart still fills with joy….


It’s true I can’t remember that cold day in December…

when I arrived sometime in the early morn…

but how blessed am I to have discovered


so many reasons why I was born.



I did not ask our cashier’s age of course…as etiquette forbids.

I imagine she was in her 80’s because she kept addressing us as ‘kids’.


She was effusive, kind and talkative as she undertook her cashier’s task

She mentioned she was from Oregon…

“What brought you to Florida?” I asked.


She smiled though her eyes seemed sad, then sighed, 

I’m sure she was working up the nerve…

“My husband and I were visiting here,” she said, “when life threw me a curve.”


Her sadness drifted onto us…we found it hard to orient…

We were not sure what to say or do…for we knew what her words meant.


“Now I’m on my own.” she said, “It’s not the way it was supposed to be…

so I moved here to be closer to my daughter and help with her family.


“Life goes on!” she said forcing a smile as she took a bag off of the shelf…

but I wondered…was she still talking to us…or trying to convince herself?


We talked with her a while…perhaps we made her load a little lighter

and I noticed as we left the store…we held each other’s hand a little tighter.


For, once again we were reminded of how quickly life can pass

and why…while we’re still on this planet…

we need to make each moment last.


So hold the hand of someone you love a little tighter today…

show them you love them with respect and passion and verve…

because you never know when tomorrow comes…


If life will be throwing you a curve.


I was raised on fairy tales…my favorites were the rhymes.

It’s where I learned about happily ever after and once upon a time.


Fairy tales helped develop my hopes and dreams.

I can’t measure their effect on me.

They helped to shape who I was then…

and the who I came to be.


Then I grew up and I was told happily ever after is harder than it looks…

that it doesn’t always happen the way it does in books…


But I believe it can…


for every fairy tale, as anyone whose ever read them knows,

had their share of troubles…had their share of woes…


but troubles were always resolved…and all the woes were mended

and happily ever after…is how those stories ended.


Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Cinderella

all had sorrowful moments…devoid of joy and laughter

yet in the end didn’t our protagonists…

live happily ever after?


It’s simple really…we have to learn to recognize the signs…

because sometimes life…as with fairy tales 

Is lived between the lines…


As for me:


My fairy tale has come true…I’m living my once upon a time

I found my happily ever after…and as you may have guessed by now…

I still enjoy the rhymes.




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I love the big moments that happen in life…times of celebration…times of mirth…

Birthdays, marriages, family reunions, Christmas’s and births…


These are wonderful moments…moments I don’t wish to demean…

but for me the meaning and the beauty in life 

is found in the little moments in between.


A morning walk, watching the clouds, the changing of the tides…

eating a bowl of cereal with Deborah by my side.


Watching birds come to our feeder, squirrels scurrying up a tree

eating lunch with Michelle and her nieces…at a restaurant…gluten free.


A golf cart ride, a fabric store, seeing the girls smiling faces

as they chose their fabric, took it home…and made two pillow cases.


Eating chocolate, watching you tube, looking T-Rex in the eye…

after spending time together, finding it hard to say goodbye.


It was a day of little moments…no big moments that I’m aware

but in the midst of all these little moments…I found some comfort there.


For I believe these little moments are where living and life coincide…

and where, if we are lucky, joy and happiness reside.


Yes, big moments in life are wonderful…

the big celebrations…the big scenes…

but most of life…

a happy life…

is found in the little moments…

in between.



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Growing up there was this tree in my back yard…

She was an oak…it seems to me.

And it’s amazing what I learned about life..from climbing that old tree.


From her branches I would watch the sun rise and set…much to my delight…

As she taught me how lovely is the daytime…and how beautiful the night. 


She taught me no matter how daunting the task…not to give up…to never stop

for if you keep on climbing…one day you’ll make it to the top.


She taught me about friendship…her limbs guiding me when things went well…

Supporting me those time I slipped…catching me when I fell.


She showed me how to live in harmony with the land…

that there’s no need for high acclaim…

She taught me how to love a world…where no two trees are the same.


In summer she shaded me from heat…in winter she let sun in to keep me warm…

She taught me If I’m strong enough…I can weather any storm.


I’d find support in her when I was happy…and solace when I was sad.

She taught me never to lose face or heart…that good times follow bad.


She taught be about equality and balance…because when I’d bring friends and we’d compete…

No one climbed her any faster…than Sally from down the street.


She taught me patience, love and kindness…She boosted my self-esteem…

She’s where I learned to trust myself…She’s where I learned to dream.


And though it’s been many years since I last climbed her…

her lessons have remained with me…

lessons I learned while entwined in the branches 


of that old climbing tree,