Probably because of my
mathematical background, I like to play with structure. This explains the haiku
(“Haiku Meditations on the Church Year,” “More Haiku,” “Columbia Homecoming”) and rhyme-scheme experiments like “Sunday Afternoon”
and “Thanksgiving.” Some of my poems
dispense with rhyme and regular meter. Although I don’t always feel
comfortable writing such poetry—is it really poetry?—I do like
poems such as my “Apple Tree” and “It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”
the diversity, however, my poetry remains largely concrete and rational—it is inspired
by my experience, observation, and reflection, rather than by my emotional
state or by free association. This is not to say that my poetry is devoid of emotional content,
but it tends to avoid the solipsistic, self-indulgent, and obscure. I seek, if not universality, at least relevance to others.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for inspired imagery, I may not be
the poet you want to be reading.
Because I really want people to
understand my poems, each poem represented here is accompanied by an
explanation. My annotations explain how the poem came to be, problems I
had writing it, and what some of the less obvious references are. (My
annotations are actually there to remind me of the poem’s provenance as
much as anything.) I leave it to others to decide if I’m obsessive with
explaining myself. (See “A
Critique of Modern Poetry” for further discussion on my attitude
with children, it’s hard to pick favorite poems. I am especially pleased with “Musashi’s
Odyssey” and “The Quecreek Mine Disaster,”
each of which tells a real-life story. I very much like “It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,”
which achieves what is, for me, rare intensity. More modest efforts with
which I am especially pleased include “Reciprocity,”
“2001,” and “Labor Day Lament.”
has been fun writing poetry about items in the news and events in The
Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. Some of my favorites are “Airplanes II,” “Waiting
for the Lambeth Commission Report,” “Accokeek,” and “Second
I have also enjoyed writing what some might classify as devotional
poetry. This group includes “Haiku Meditations on the Church Year”
and “That They All May Be One.”
I am also pleased with my two hymns, “O Lord the Invisible”
avoided classifying my poems here, partly because so many incompatible
organizations are possible. I apologize if this seems unhelpful and
forces you to read poems with little warning of what you might find. I
hope you have some pleasant surprises. Find your own favorites and let me know what they are and why.
I have also
included an untitled poem by my son August.
He is not a frequent writer of poetry, but he does a great job performing this
particular work. We have shared many useful conversations about the craft of
— LED, 2/1/2013
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Entries below are listed oldest first. Go
Phan Thi Kim Phuc at the Vietnam Memorial,
Veterans Day, 1996
Meditations on the Church Year
Where Are You When I Need You, James R. Newman?
On Jackie’s Death
O Lord the Invisible
Untitled poem by G. A. Deimel
11 September 2001
Falling from the Sky
Poems of the Open Road
Do Astrologers Have More Fun?
May All Your Reinforcements Be Spiral Ones
Where Were You?
I Don’t Miss You Anymore
The Quecreek Mine Disaster
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
(not a song)
A Critique of Modern Poetry
Fall Leaves in a Creek
Glorious Companions Plus One
for the Lambeth Commission Report
Finding a Use for a Rough Stone Wall
Traveling North on the 42S
Thoughts on the Katrina Flood by One Who Grew Up in New
Orleans But Never Lived There as an Adult
Voyage of the Heart
Canon Mary Changes Her Mind
Farewell, Nano; Hello, Lou
How Can I Miss You?
The Amazing Cat
Realign with Me (song)
Hail Barack Obama
National Poetry Month 2009
Christopher Becomes a Deacon
I Was a Proud Southern Christian
Poem for Mary
Out of Many, One (proposed national anthem)
In the Hospital
Out of the Frying Pan
That They All May Be One
Labor Day Lament, 2011
A Twitter Poem
Three Silly Poems
“Hawk!” the Herald Angles Sing