Two Old Poems, One New, Copyright Doug Stuber

Ode to Horace Mann

Be ashamed to die until you have won some
victory for humanity. – Horace Mann

Be aware that energy is life, save some for your kids.
Be afraid that our minds are bent by news, not books.
Be awed by the healing power of the simple purple cone flower.
Be awake before the bombs drop, before the money rules.
Be agile: live in a town that walks and bikes to work and play.
Be amused by ants and birds, goats and potato fields, lilacs and sycamores.
Be angry only long enough to solve the problem, then move on.
Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.



Carolina Wren


This time a solitary wren perches on

power lines that divide purple-blue sky,

slicing rhombi, diamonds, thin rectangles,

pushing geometry into a regular autumn

morning. This makes you wonder how birds

keep their feet warm in countries with no

power, or how people survive on a hundred

bucks a year, or where refugees go when war

hits.  Our wren flies, a speck, ever smaller

as she finds her way.  Given our superior

brain capacity, how is it we cause misery

across the planet while creatures so small

live, content to take their share peacefully?





He reads in
a room full of wild
generational flux, thus
the fray caused by some

disagreements that
occur in a boy,
girl, boy, girl,
boy household. When first
we met he built the fences for

our kitchen
garden out of small
branches, nails and string. Oh your
silence was
a lesson for a

loud mouth like me. A
loud mouth gets himself
and his kin
in trouble here, while
the calm man lessens problems.

When will I
learn? Quiet means less chance of
being a
hypocrite, more time
for writing, way less

big huge fights
as long as I can, like you
did, agree
to others’ plans for
me: forever loved.

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