The Family Reunion

The Family Reunion

The setting was an old wood-framed church house.
Built by a tree on the crest of a gently sloping hill.
Its wood siding all faded and weather-worn.
The brass church bell for years had been still.

He walked up the hill to the church house.
With each step, old long-past years reappeared.
Soon in his mind, he could hear the congregation singing.
Then down his cheeks streamed the warm, wet tears.

Once again, the old song leader was his Grandpa.
His young Mama on a pump organ played.
Packed on the third pew were his mischievous boy cousins.
Standing by the back door to the music his dear Daddy swayed.

And old remembrances flooded his being.
A grand family reunion was well underway.
Hearing again the stories of King Jesus,
He couldn’t hold the tears at bay.

Then he moved from the little wooden church house.
Walked down the hill on the path just ahead.
The music and memories slowly fading in the distance.
He arrived at a cemetery with the graves of his family long dead.

There will be a great reunion in heaven in the future,
They’ll all be reunited one wonderful day.
They were all Believers in Jesus,
He’s the Light, the Truth, and the Way.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
December 2015

The poem “Family Reunion” is in the forthcoming book, “Selected Poems: 1967 – 2020” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler and published by Poetry and Prayer Press.

Picture Credit: William Clarence Breeding, Sr. The church is in eastern Oklahoma near Ida Belle where my late father-in-law, William Clarence Breeding, Sr, and his family attended reunions.

Going Out to Eat

Please enjoy my reading of the poem “Going Out to Eat.” Going Out to Eat was written in May 2013 in Estes Park, Colorado, and originally published in vox poetica Magazine on January 27, 2014. Annmarie Lockhart is the founder of vox poetica. Nathan Gunter is the current managing editor of vox poetica. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did writing it.

Going Out to Eat

Sweetheart, do you have a preference for where we go out to eat?
…..No. Anywhere you want is ok with me, dear.
Great. There’s a McDonald’s. They have a senior coffee discount.
…..Oh, but look! There’s a Subway. I think that would be better.
OK. Subway it is. I’ll let you off at the door and then park the car.

Do you see anything on the menu you prefer?
…..No. Anything you want is OK with me, dear. We can share a foot-long sub.
Great. How about a foot-long Italian meatball sub?
…..Oh, but the Black Forest ham … I think that would be better.

OK. Make it a foot-long Black Forest ham on wheat bread, please.
…..Oh, get whatever you want, dear, but white bread …
Ma’am, can you change that to white bread, please. And American cheese.
…..Dear, pepper jack … I think that would be better.
OK, make it pepper jack cheese.

We’d like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, green peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos …
…..Anything you want, is OK with me, dear, but maybe not the tomatoes and pickles.
Ma’am, hold the tomatoes and pickles, please.
…..What if we skipped all the peppers and just got black olives?
OK. Make it black olives and mayonnaise instead of green peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos.
…..Maybe you should go with light mayo. Remember your waistline.
Yes, dear. Ma’am, we’ll take light mayo instead, please.

“Sir, do you want to make that a combo with chips and drink?”
Sure, that sounds–
…..Dear, we’ve got water and apple slices in the car. No need to splurge, but …
OK. Just the sub, not the combo.

That was a very good lunch.
…..Yes. Thank you for taking me out to eat. Aren’t you glad I let you have whatever you wanted?

And I recalled the words of the Apostle Paul,
…..Love is patient, love is kind.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Written in Estes Park, Colorado
May 2013

“Going Out to Eat” was originally published in vox poetic in print and electronic form. The electronic version can be accessed at: Kepler, Jimmie A. “Going Out to Eat,” vox poetica, January 27, 2014, Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://voxpoetica.com/eat/.


When I read the first draft of this poem to my late wife, I was shocked at how visibly upset it made her.

“You’re making fun of me and telling the whole world!” she said.

I was taken aback by her comment.

“I don’t understand,” I said with honesty.

“That’s what I did at the Subway Restaurant at Amarillo,” she said. She didn’t smile. She only lowered her head.

It was apparent the memory was fresh on her mind.

“It’s a composite of so many of the older couples we see at restaurants. It seems the wife frequently tells the husband to order what he wants. As he orders, she tweaks the order to what she wanted,” I said.

Again, she did not smile. She rolled her eyes.

“It’s not about you,” I said attempting to reassure her.

“It’s about me. Everyone will know it’s about me.”

“But it isn’t about you. Even if it were, who do you know that reads poetry?”

“So you admit you wrote it about me.”

“Sweetie, it’s a composite of so many of the older couples we see at restaurants,” I said trying to reassure her.

“And you’re going to submit it for publication?”

“Only with your permission. I don’t want it to upset you.”

“So it’s my fault if you don’t submit the poem?”

This time I rolled my eyes.

She glared at me for a minute and then sat silent for another five minutes. Finally, she started laughing and said, “I guess if I’m honest wives do that to their husbands. Go ahead and submit your silly poem.  No one publishes or reads poetry these days.”

I submitted it. It was accepted for publication. And no, it wasn’t about Miss Benita. It really is a composite of so many of the older couples I’ve seen at restaurants. It seems the wife frequently tells the husband to order what he wants. As he orders, she tweaks the order to what she wanted and then hands him a coupon to use.

 

Urban Pigeons

Please enjoy my reading of the poem “Urban Pigeons.” Urban Pigeons was written in August 2009 and originally published in vox poetica Magazine on August 26, 2012. Annmarie Lockhart is the founder of vox poetica. Nathan Gunter is the current managing editor of vox poetica. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did writing it.

Urban Pigeons

White clouds
Fill the Columbia blue sky,
Like hundreds of cotton balls.
The brilliance
Of the summer sun,
Reflected even brighter
Off of the clouds.
The clouds remain
Suspended in the sky
With little movement.
A flock of pigeons,
Land on an adjacent building.
They stand on the edge
Of the ten-story structure,
Peering downward
Looking
For some crumb or morsel of food.
They also eye the sky
And the roof,
Of a neighboring building.
The birds are watchful
As a red hawk
Is perched waiting,
Waiting,
Waiting
For one of the pigeons
To let its guard down
And become his next meal.
The sounds of cars,
Trucks
And an occasional motorcycle
Fill the air
As they travel
From their point of origin
To their destination
Using the freeway
That passes
Through the building’s shadow.
A panhandler
On a nearby corner
Looks up at the sky
Shielding her eyes
From the bright sun.
She looks to see
What the airborne commotion is about.
The sun temporarily blinds her
With its brilliance
And then she sees
Dozens of feathers
Slowly descending to the ground.

August 2009

Kepler, Jimmie A. “Urban Pigeons,” vox poetica, August 26, 2012, Retrieved August 27, 2012, from http://voxpoetica.com/words_to_linger_on.html and August 29, 2012, Retrieved from http://poemblog.voxpoetica.com/2012/08/29/urban-pigeons.aspx.

Winter Nights

Poetry Reading

Here’s a photo of me reading my poem “Winter Nights” at Barnes & Nobles Kitchen in Legacy West, Plano, TX.

Here’s the poem:

Winter Nights

The frigid nights fall earlier
On these chilly winter days
And the moon-man mounts the sky
Veiled in Metropolis haze

The mornings all break later
So slow the new day’s dawn
The bitter blanket lingers
For the winter nights are long

Stars spangle the satin sky
As the moon-man dips down low
Twinkling winks from a million worlds
And here we are, do they know?

Oh I wish the night would never end
Yes, I wish the night would never end

February 2017
Jimmie Aaron Kepler


Thank you Storm Ricamore for reading and your suggestions on the poem.


Photo Source: Storm Ricamore picture of me speaking, the other photo Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Urban Pigeons

Urban Pigeons

White clouds
Fill the Columbia blue sky,
Like hundreds of cotton balls.
The brilliance
Of the summer sun,
Reflected even brighter
Off of the clouds.
The clouds remain
Suspended in the sky
With little movement.
A flock of pigeons,
Land on an adjacent building.
They stand on the edge
Of the ten-story structure,
Peering downward
Looking
For some crumb or morsel of food.
They also eye the sky
And the roof,
Of a neighboring building.
The birds are watchful
As a red hawk
Is perched waiting,
Waiting,
Waiting
For one of the pigeons
To let its guard down
And become his next meal.
The sounds of cars,
Trucks
And an occasional motorcycle
Fill the air
As they travel
From their point of origin
To their destination
Using the freeway
That passes
Through the building’s shadow.
A panhandler
On a nearby corner
Looks up at the sky
Shielding her eyes
From the bright sun.
She looks to see
What the airborne commotion is about.
The sun temporarily blinds her
With its brilliance
And then she sees
Dozens of feathers
Slowly descending to the ground.

August 2009

Photo Source: Image by Wolfgang Claussen from Pixabay

Kepler, Jimmie A. “Urban Pigeons,” vox poetica, August 26, 2012, Retrieved August 27, 2012, from http://voxpoetica.com/words_to_linger_on.html and August 29, 2012, Retrieved from http://poemblog.voxpoetica.com/2012/08/29/urban-pigeons.aspx.

We Never Lived In the Now

We Never Lived In the Now

Your face shows your age,
though your countenance is still glowing.
Your age says grown-up,
but you’ve never decided where you’re going.

You’ve grown older.
Yes, I’m older too.
The remainder of our lives is before us,
oh, what’ll we do?

What were the dreams
you had so long ago?
What was your vision?
Where did it go?

You traveled your way.
I went mine.
A history so different,
yet lives intertwined.

The gray now shows in our locks,
showing how much we cared.
Your grin still lights my life,
my smile brightens yours when shared.

You lived for then.
I lived for when.
We never lived in the moment.
No, we never lived in the now.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Originally published in WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE! in 2008
“We Never Lived In the Now” is included in the forthcoming book,
“Jimmie Aaron Kepler: Selected Poems 1967 – 2019” from Poetry and Prayer Press.

Photo Credit: Image by dietcheese from Pixabay

Your Best Friend


Your Best Friend

If ever you find yourself being broken apart,
Because the one you trusted has broken your heart,
And all the time you find yourself crying,
While on the inside you feel like you’re dying,

Call me if you feel lonely,
Come to me when your life needs to mend,
From time to time you need only,
Someone with love unconditional – your best friend.

One time life gave you a fright,
Existence was as black as a moonless midnight,
You were feeling so out-of-place,
With no one to hug or embrace,

Then you saw the light,
You came to me in the middle of the night,
And you ran to me to give your heart,
And that’s when your new life did start

Call me if you feel lonely,
Come to me when your life needs to mend,
From time to time you need only,
Someone with love unconditional – Jesus, your best friend.

Copyright © 2008 by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Originally published in “WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE!”
Also published on: “Writing After Fifty” and in the book “Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection.”


Photo Source: Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito… from Pixabay

I Started High School

Grace Slick today at age 79
Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane 1967
Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane 1967

 


Starting High School

In San Francisco, it’s the summer of love,
Long-haired hippies, peace signs, and doves.
In Vietnam, the soldiers are dying,
Back home their families are crying,
And Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.

Jim wants to “Light My Fire,”
While Grace’s rabbit only flies higher.
The evening news shows the war isn’t cool,
This week I started high school,
And “All You Need Is Love” is what The Beatles say.

Written by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Schertz, Texas, August 1967


The photos are of Grace Slick. She is an alumna of Finch College where she majored in art. She is an accomplished artist. The artwork is hers.


Note: This is the oldest poem I have written by me. It was in notebooks and papers my mother gave me a few months before she passed away in 2014. Aren’t parents great about keeping things and then later in life returning them?

I wrote this poem as a freshman at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas. Samuel Clemens High School was two miles outside the main gate at Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Impressing, my English teacher was challenging. The assignment was to write a paper on “What I did on my summer vacation.” Instead, I wrote about what was happening in popular culture. Instead of prose, I wrote a poem. I failed to follow the rules. She called me a “beatnik hippy poet weirdo.” I viewed her insult as a compliment! I gave in, complied with her orders, and wrote five pages of drivel avoiding a grade of “F” on the assignment. I wrote about hitchhiking to the west coast.

“I Started High School” is from the forthcoming book “Jimmie Aaron Kepler: Selected Poems” from Poet and Picker Press.

Lady Violinist

Lady Violinist

Golden hair frames the picture
Of a countenance with a gilded gleam,
Her eyes are the clear windows
Through which the hurt is seldom seen.

Sweet melodies fluidly flow
Methodically from her fingers and bow,
A zest for life is apparent and yet
The quest for personal fulfillment isn’t always met.

Ethical philosophies as a millstone weigh
Attempting defeat in battles won yesterday,
Old things now past and yet, old weaknesses now a new
Regretting judgment lapses when remembered that make us blue.

Simple and complex contradictions describe
The roles she confronts each succeeding day,
With a symmetrical smile hiding the pains
Encountered along life’s highways.

Written in 1991
Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

“Lady Violinist” was selected for inclusion in the “Torrid Literature Journal,” Volume VI (electronically and print editions). April 2013.

Photo Credits: Title: Market Violinist. This photo was taken at the Kansas City Market, otherwise known as City Market. This young lady was playing the violin for tips. We talked for a few moments, and she reminded me a lot of Jewel Staite (Kaylee from Firefly). Honestly, she was a real trooper because it was scorching in the sunlight and she was sitting on the bare asphalt. This photographer: Russ Matthews The photograph is available to use under the Creative Commons License. It is available for non-commercial use as long as proper attribution is given.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/eatingmywords/1000640352/. The photographer is Russ Matthews.


Little Squirrel



Little Squirrel

Little squirrel
In the tree
I see you
Looking at me

Your color is red
In your furry coat
You look at me
Sitting in the boat

You’re eating the acorns
Found in the tree
A smile on your face
Dropping the shells on me!

© 2009 Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.


Originally published in:
WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE
May 2011


Image by Erik Lyngsøe from Pixabay