Watching Deer and Scaring Starlings

I am working on a book tentatively titled SLOW RIVERS: 60 Poems From My 60’s and am posting an early draft of the preface and the first poem this week. More information on the project follows the poem, below.


These poems were born in the loneliness of the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in the spring of 2020. I began to keep a journal about events of that time but quickly gave up the project as too damn depressing.

I next began collecting all my poems in one place. Most of the poems were written more than 20 years ago – when I was in my 40’s – in the hope they might one day help future generations of my family to know more about me than simply the dates of my birth and death, the names of my wives and children, etc. If you are somewhere around my age –   I’m 68 as I write this – you will understand my motivation.

I soon found myself writing new poems climbing out of bed each morning with energy and purpose. I have come to view the poems as a gift, and for the first time in my life I tell anyone who will listen that I write poems. I embraced the idea that it’s never too late to follow one’s passion and I began the pursuit. What are you waiting for?


[Let us grow old together]

Let us grow old together.
I'll carry a pocketknife
and drive so you can knit.
We'll nap and run endless errands,
returning to our matching chairs
to watch deer in the yard at dusk,
and in the morning take turns
banging on the window
to scare away the starlings.
A deer looking in our living room window.
Yes, sometimes they really do get that close.

I will be another month or so choosing, organizing and rewriting poems, after which I will begin looking for a publisher or make the decision to publish the book myself. I chose this week’s poem to be the first poem and I don’t think that will change. I’m fond of this poem, and it sets the tone for a book examining life from an older person’s perspective. Do you agree?

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A New Poem Every Monday
(tho’ sometimes life gets in the way)

Joseph Neely, all rights reserved 2023