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Oregon, United States

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A Poem from Paul

A favorite client of ours is a man named Paul. In his late 80’s, Paul embarked on a new endeavor, pursuing his interest in poetry. Poetry has become a great path for Paul to express his ruminations, values, and reflect on his legacy.


As personal historians, we learn so much from our clients as they tell us their stories with great strength and passion. Often in the story creating process, our clients find new meaning and purpose to their lives. We love being a part of that energy and witnessing firsthand how telling personal stories sparks and rejuvenates lives.


Paul’s poetry is no different. After completing a life history book with us, Paul realized he had composed enough poems to create a separate book containing his poetry. We’ve been working hard with Paul to complete that book and bring his dream to life.


With his permission, we’re sharing an excerpt with you. A brief explanation of the poem's origin, in Paul’s own words, accompanies his poem, which is entitled Work. This poem touched us, as it illustrates how we all can find new meaning and new dreams to pursue and accomplish, no matter our age.

I have been writing poetry only a few years. I began in September 2015 when my wife was terminally ill and failing fast. I needed to do something for her.


I acknowledge Love Song to my Wife was amateurish, but it triggered a desire to continue. Since then, I have been writing the occasional piece and I think they have improved some over time.


Over the last year, as I have shared various poems, people who have read them often asked where my ideas came from. I really didn’t know and decided to answer poetically.



Work


In recent time, I’ve oft been asked,

what is it fills my idea flask.

To them I truthfully reply,

I know not when or where or why.


But, maybe something seen or heard,

will then suggest the written word.

Or singing poetry of songs

will wake a thought that slept so long.


Many times at 2 a.m.,

I wake to find, to my chagrin.

Words, lines, and phrases crowding in,

then exercise the trusty pen.

Then from these scribbles sometimes find,

ideas to excite the mind.

And then from all this sometimes came,

a poem of which I’m not ashamed.