a poem from “out of africa”

In 1985, when Tommy was 16 years old, a movie titled Out of Africa was released. It was based on an autobiographical book by Karen Blixen (who wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen), which tells the story of her life on her farm in Kenya in the early 1900s. Tommy and I went to a lot […]

a poem by john greenleaf whittier

Happy New Year to all. I would like to offer a poem, a greatly abridged (with apologies to John Greenleaf Whittier) version of “Barefoot Boy”.  It reminds me of my son Tommy, and of my own childhood in southern California. Even though Tommy was 42 when he died, lately my thoughts return, again and again, […]

dreams, hikes, and conversations with tom

In the early months after Tommy’s death, I rarely dreamed about him, but lately he appears in my dreams very often. Like most dreams, these recent dreams about Tommy are a juxtaposition of fantasy and reality, of “wish fulfillment” and the ever-present memory of the boy and the man we all knew and loved so […]

a poem for loved ones, near and far

I read a poem this evening by the 8th-century Chinese poet Li Shang-Yin, which I found very moving. It is titled “When Will I Be Home?” For me, this poem evokes the feeling from many years ago, when Tommy was a boy, and I was a at sea many miles from home, missing my son. […]