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Armchair Poets: Self-Composed Poetry

Photo by Jean Arnold

Since early last spring, Artful Journeys has been hosting a poetry hour on Wednesday mornings. These readings and discussions have built a greater understanding of the meaning and themes that make great poetry.

The enjoyment and study of some marvelous poetry have inspired many of us to take pen to paper and create our own prose. In this latest chapter, you will find the work of many of our Armchair Poets. Please enjoy!




“You’re reaching back too far,” he said.

“You’ll get caught in the trees.”

Too far….

Down summer days washed clean as white pebbles,

Time curled from the pipe he smoked

On green-moist rock

Behind me,

My grandfather.

Knee deep, I cast the fly

Upon still waters–

The fish slide silently, swirling–

Quietly, the old man grasped

My eight-year-old hand in his,


The rod moved soothingly

Back and forth, back and forth

My hand lost in his,

And the line extended




At its back-most reach,

My hand (in his)

Forced it forward.

The silent fish swirled

In the green summer mornings I woke

To seek him in his wrinkled bed

And the stories he told of

The salmon-clustered streams and

The Indian guides he knew and

The paths he’d walk, and

The sun moved for him

He asked me to kneel by the brass bed

And look upon the window’s day

And pray beyond the elephant clouds and

Nettled pines to a silence

Beyond questions

His water-blue eyes closed.

The fly settles on the stream

Making a vague disturbance,

A small, but widening circle.

He died in my fifteenth summer, the old man,

Propped against a small sapling

On a golf course in Cape Cod–

He found sufficiency in little things–

He spoke that day of the grandeur of God,

The jewels on the ocean, not far away,

The underside of the osprey’s wing,

Of the sleekly swirling fish, back and forth.

He watched the widened circle of the noon’s sun.

Grasped in the palm of his memory,

My days are not his.

Fish slide silently in the still streams–

I may not grow old.



Photo by Bob Summersgill

Walking on the margin

Where beach greets inbound seaIs as in a poem

The rhythmic harmony

As sea meets shore

The gentle layered waves

Spread quickly over sand

Backed by soft and steady ocean roar

The sky is dense with fog

The sea alive with sound

Together with the beach they say

Press on, the sun will shine today


We have so much more for you to enjoy. You can find more of these works by our hard working Armchair Poets by clicking here.


Written by

Joan Hill, Artful Journeys Director and

Carla Bohnett, Artful Journeys Co-Director

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