"Wheels Turning Inward" is a is a rich collection of over fifty poems, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions. The artwork at the top of this page, is one image found in the Gordon Moore Memorial stain glass window at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, by the artist Kim Clark Renteria. The image of these three circles, is emblematic of both the Trinity and the title for this new collection of poetry now available from Friesen Press.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When I Was a Boy

when i was a boy

it was easy for me to imagine

living the cowboy life, like John Wayne

somewhere in Kansas

which is where i was born and mostly raised

or even further out west among the mesas and cactus

southwest of home by only a few hundred miles

my imagination ran rowdy in those days

we lived in the far suburbs of Kansas City

but on the close edge of a cultivated countryside

where small farms and ranches

were stretched and scattered between subdivisions

creeks and streambeds were our favorite play fellows

they were the wild companions and places of our childhood

and of my heart i believe still

there was a small field i once walked by on occasion

where two horses grazed, and where

i would often stop to say hello, they weren’t shy at all

about galloping up to the fence, anxious for me

to pet their broad foreheads and dive deeply into the

the black pools of their pupils

where sunlight and stars floated forever

speaking out loud with a neigh and a nod

whispering horse sense to my ear

my maternal grandfather and grandmother were farm folk

all their life, wedded to the land and the changing seasons

the rhythm of their lives guided

by the movement of earth and moon

and Sunday morning church at St. John’s Lutheran

where relatives and neighbors gathered weekly, some still do

i can still see my grandmother’s face and her secret smile

like Mona Lisa’s, knowing more than any child may imagine

and her soft loving eyes, wise with wonder for the world

her hands bent with arthritis, but never a complaint

as she snapped snap beans for dinner

or kneaded dough for bread

i can still taste the delight of those farm days

especially the strawberries and shortcake in summer

vine ripe juicy tomatoes exploding with flavor

into the back of your mouth and throat

and i can still see my grandfather too, so clearly even now

his hands especially, so strong and so sure

calloused from years of work on the farm, but so very gentle

i can remember as a small child, crawling up on his lap

as he sat in his rocking chair by a pot bellied stove, truly

and how he held each of us in turn,

all his grandchildren, joyfully patient

eyes twinkling like some dime store Santa

even though he was bald and beardless

wearing blue jean overalls with

brass buttons and snaps we’d play with

there was no safer place in the entire world you know

Ron Starbuck

Copyright 2010