11 December 2006

What Has
To Me


Justice Putnam

I am a 51 year old broken down athlete, suffering the ills of society in the SF Bay Area, while basking in the unholy glow of self-interest. I am living Neruda’s dictum that the Poet is both a Force for Solidarity and for Solitude.

I began my writing "career" in earnest during my twenties, though I had published poems and stories since high school. I taught History and English at private schools while coaching football and track briefly. I have worked at various jobs while traveling around the world; sometimes surfing, sometimes fishing, sometimes to learn, sometimes to love; but always, always I wrote!

I have climbed up Mount Rainier and I have bicycled the Pacific Trail. I have chipped glacial ice in the French Alps and taught English on Hokkaido. I was the cook on a tuna boat in the Gulf of Alaska and I have seen the gutted remains of Honduran peasants desiccated next to red bougainvillea, as green hummingbirds darted and stopped at delicate petals and darted away again. I have seen the blasted remains of the last hospital in Sarajevo spilling stone and beds onto the street.

I have held my own son at the moment of his birth.

My son now, is almost 30. He has given me two grandchildren and a step-grandchild. I have two ex-wives who remain dear to my heart but don’t know it, no current lovers but many loving friends, no dogs or cats; save for the neighborhood ones that know I’m a soft touch.

Wild finches splash in the rough stone bath in my little garden. Their songs fade as they fly to the cottonwood that stands as a monument in the neighborhood.

French lavender, lemon thyme, rosemary, and English sage await their certain demise in a skillet on my stove.

When sated, I curl up with an ancient author I choose from my shelves.

© 2006 by Justice Putnam
and Mechanisches-Strophe Verlagswesen

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