National Poetry Month


Cyndi's and my hat on the peg by the back door.

Hats On the Peg

Twenty-eight years
a long time to hang one’s hat
on the same peg
Nearly three decades

Good times and bad
we’ve seen it all
you and I
Now we grow old

Oh sure, we’d make
some other choices
But one choice
Would remain constant

I’d have it no other way


The picture is of our hats hanging by the back door. Saturday is our 28th wedding anniversary.

© 2011 by J. M. Strother, all rights reserved.

Photo by J. M. Strother


Photo of a house in a West Virginia valley by whobee.Almost Home
J. M. Strother

I know these hills, these valleys,
Those old familiar trees.
I know the house in yonder field,
The smell upon the breeze.

I know these roads I walk down now,
The byways of my youth,
My spirits rise as I approach
That old familiar roof.

And as I tread upon these feet,
Which have seen many a weary mile,
I see an old and familiar face
That greets me with a smile.

As I round the final curve in
This path that I now roam,
My heart swells in knowledge that
I am almost home.

Not all of my poetry is free verse. This is a rather old poem of mine, and I included it here because it also happens to be one of my personal favorites. As I mentioned at the beginning of the month my poetry is often an emotional outpouring triggered by some outside stimulus, such as a news story. Like many people, I was gripped by the rescue of Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital in 2003. I wrote this poem while out walking the dog, trying to imagine how she must feel coming home in the midst of the firestorm of media coverage around her. I suspect her thoughts may not have been too far from my imagining. Of course at the time I did not realize that her feet required follow-on surgery, and she probably wasn’t doing much walking – except of course metaphorically.

© 2003, 2011 by J. M. Strother, all rights reserved.

Photo by Hubert Stoffels via Flickr Creative Commons.


Wet streets at night reflecting automobile lights

Driving In the Rain at Night

Wet pavement reflects myriad lights
Streams of red from taillights
Splashes of greens and yellows
Rivers of white, flowing
Straight into my eyes
Wide with the night blindness
That comes with age
Night driving, no longer a joy
In a driving rain at night – a nightmare
The eyes of youth are gone

It’s Hell to get old

© 2011 by J.M. Strother, all rights reserved.

Photo by Calvin Dellinger via Flickr Creative Commons.


Max, cowering at my feet during a thunderstormDog In A Storm

Winding underfoot
Breath panting
Tongue lolling
Panic in his eyes
He looks to me
For comfort
For solace
Me, an ineffectual guardian
We cower together in the basement
He quivering in fear
Me annoyed at the storm
Yet we comfort each other
In our own ineffectual ways

© 2011 by J.M. Strother, all rights reserved.


J. M. Strother

I did not know her well
Old, but far from frail
Known in passing only
For months

We shook hands once
Exchanged introductions
That’s all
Only a name

Yet somehow a foundation
A name bond
In an often hectic world

It’s three months now
Since last I’ve seen her
Vague worry

How I wish I had come to know you better
© 2011 by J.M. Strother, all rights reserved.

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