I have always been a closet poet starting in the fifth grade at age ten.  My writings from that time were destroyed in the early 1950’s when the family home burned to the ground.  They were in a trunk that Mother used to store all of her mementos.


I remember your hands, large and worn
Folded over the crook of your cane 

I remember your grave green X-ray eyes
Your rumbling voice, as gruff as Dylan’s

Carrying you back to your youth in England
Touching on politics, “state’s rights must be upheld”
Moving me through my ironing chores

My small daughter at your knee, entranced
Playing with your watch chain
Hypnotized by the even tones of your voice 

Tales of the time your brothers
Rolled you to the window, stood on your back
To watch the Queen pass by in her royal carriage
To this day you still walk with a limp

You spoke of your days as a proud boss in the local sawmill

So proud of your independence
Of your years as central committeeman
Your position on the Lyman town council

Aging’s sluggish pace and illness defied dignity
Trampled you those long white months 

You, who refused always to be catered to,
Turned your white face to the ashen wall
Wishing to be left alone to die in your own bed

They kept on needling you, held you on Death’s point
Until you heaved your last sigh
Reservoirs drained, empty.
Free at last


Dahlias By Moonlight  1969

Echoes of moonlit movement on Iron mountain
Telegraph a coon hunt’s end 

Baffled baying hounds. Yeahed in by their masters
Sound their chagrin 

The lunar orb ascends over the mountains

An ancient cherry tree’s life bled limbs
Fingering air, earth stretched
Time’s moss veiling their promises of fruition

Gossamer ground mists drift, rise and float
Silently, obscuring half grown capering calves
They reappear as staid statues as mists rise 

A bat flits by, a dark thought in the night

Above moon-glowed dahlias
The reds, yellows of flowerness await
Frigid freckling frost

A chill pierces marrow, I turn
Seek the lighted window


The following poem was written around 1975 after the sudden death of my beloved yearling Appaloosa who died with intestinal problems after eating frosty grass and could not be saved by the vet.  I was with him at the time of his birth and named him Wallowa, the Nez Perce Indian name for the wind.


I see you there, hear you there, feel you there

In the tossing, trembling treetops

Your spirit thundering along the driveway

Skidding to a lightening stop

Stretching across the split rail fence

Licking my reaching hand

Nibbling at my hair

You ARE the wind!

Capering, prancing, pounding the parameters of your space

Now hiding behind that old dead cherry tree

Your place to pause, to rest, to pout

I grieve through thousands of images

Always remembering the soft nudge on my forehead

The hoof at my heel

The tossed head at every whistle



Lightening chased by thunder
Torrents of raindrops
Tumble down the windshield
Bounce off the pavement
As exuberant as children
On a trampoline

 Turning up Icicle Canyon
The raindrops slow
Blue sky fades in and out
Speeding dark shadows
Trail thunderous echoes
I reach my destination

 Rising scents of settled dust,
And summer rain
Pulls me into my running shoes
Floats me along the ancient river trail
Through brushing wet foliage of
Mock orange and oceanspray bushes

Rushing babbling water, birdsong
Create musical accompaniment
Scented showers slapping my shoulders
Soft greens hanging, clinging to my racing feet
Through wildflowers

 Hoof print map and faint musk scent of deer
Eyes watching as I passed by, so beautiful.
Reaching the end of the trail, I turned
Mind drifting through the dusk
To cabin, warm shower,
Deep scented sleep



Rich, dark garden loam

Draws my hands, my energy, my soul

There, on knees, weeding, planting

Dreaming miles of swirling thoughts,

Traversing time, Reliving loves,

Solving enigmas.

Daydreams go on hold

Overhead an eagle soars

Circles, perches atop an

Ancient tall Spruce tree

Along the driveway

His shrill chatter impels

Clouds of sparrows and finches

To take cover

Foolish stellar jays summersault

An attack, screaming obscenities

Proud eagle ignores, stares

Straight ahead, above such foolishness

If only we humans could

Live so simply, react so appropriately



A stolen day off stage

Filled by a lazy lag of time

Melts minutes into hours

Forgotten are schedules, decorum

Found, a stretched hand

To touch

Life runs new in nerve and vein

Music long unheard

Sweeps through, echoes

In the chambers of the heart

Recalls, Hopkins passage penned

“Man, how fast his fire dent,

His mark on mind, is gone.”



Sitting near your hospital bed

Watching your sparse even breaths

Via the ventilator

Your gray pallor, your mostly unclad gray skin

In silent repose, you seem warrior-like

Your gray hair splayed on the pillow

The sweet nurse massaging your toeless foot

With soothing vasaline to ease the loss

The toes victims of silent attacks

By your famalia  heritage, diabetes.



Through fields of grain aglow

Shadows Race

Eyes aware, stare

Mesmerized by changing landscapes

Changing populace

A world hypnotized

By twin chameleons



Expanding ebony shadows

Cross the valley

Fertility ravaged, sacrificed


Future Shock in action


Anti War and Racial Discrimination

Poetic thoughts about American politics

Protest Writing in the late 1960’s

The following text was written by me in 1968 as a college class assignment my senior year at Western Washington College.   The class was titled  “Introduction to Poetry Appreciation.” I was asked to write a poem in the style of e. e. Cummings.

I chose the e. e. cummings poem Buffalo Bill’s to model his style:

Buffalo Bill’s


               who used to

              ride  a watermelon-silver


and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat


he was  a handsome man

                                                and what I want to know is

how do you like your blueeyed boy

Mister Death

My poem written in his style:

Uncle Tom’s    By Lavone Newell

Uncle Tom’s


              who used to

              bow and scrape to a silky- white


and work  onetwothreefourfivesixseven daysaweekforwhat


he was a patient man

                                          and what I want to know is

how do you like your black-skinned friend now

Mister Democracy


I live among old men

Listen to their bells of doom

“Anarchy and violence”

“Law and order”

“Anarchy and Violence”

“Law and Order”

Their echo muffles the lure

Of a frog’s chirrup and

Desire to lie on velvet grass

Where wind whispered melodies

Make the spirit dance,

Did the old men’s dance die too young,

Leaving them dull and empty

Able only to mouth dire predictions?

“Anarchy and violence”

“Law and order”.



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 Lavone M Newell-ReimMount Vernon, WA360 707 8850