Fifteen Sides

Here is the first page of a new book I’ve been writing

A wise man once said that you can learn something from everyone you meet. If you can’t learn something to do from them, then you can learn something not to do. It is my experience that this is true. Most everyone you come across can teach you at least a couple of things. Our lives are filled hundreds of people who teach many small lessons every day. And into each of our lives there happens one or two people who teach not small but great things. People to whom you owe the gratitude of life changing guidance.
Sometimes they are someone we meet briefly, by chance in a coffee shop or at the park. Among the small talk and idle chat, perhaps they offer up a conversation that crystallizes a serious life vexing problem for us and sets it in a new, clearer light. Or perhaps they shatter some profound misconception we have long had. Suddenly the whole world shifts just a little for us and we come away grateful and indelibly changed.
Other times they are people who are around us for many years and who always seem to touch us profoundly at just the right moments with just the right bits of wisdom. Sorry is the man who is not told by someone older and wiser how to come in from the cold and keep close to the love of his mate. Sad is the woman who does not learn from someone more schooled in life how to maintain the soft touch of a lover and the kindness of a mother as the years pile on.

Small Things

Small Things

Just last Wednesday I had a blowout with my wife
When all the shouting and throwing things was done
I figured I’d better get out of the house
Take a walk, I told myself
Let things cool down to a low boil

I walked slowly down the street
To the park three blocks up and three blocks over
There I bought some stale bread at the hot dog stand
Found a bench and sat down by an old man wrinkled and gray
We were quiet for a long while
Throwing bit’s and bites of wheat bread
To the pigeon’s that wandered by now and then

The old guy had the kind hint of a permanent smile
He seemed quite happy and very content
Got me wondering what advice he might give me
There from the twilight of his life
I said, “Old man, I’ll tell you
Life at thirty-two looks pretty damn bad
What makes you so happy
With you in your eighties
And death’s door waiting to open just down the street?”

He smiled a little more and said in a voice soft and quiet
“You know, when I was young I wanted a whole lot of things
Later, I learned to want a few things a whole lot
But in the fullness of time I’ve found
That much of what has given me
The greatest happiness in life
Can all be put into just one word.”
“And what word is that?” I asked
His eyes sparkled
As he gave a good-hearted bit of bread to a bird
“Linore,” he said

“She is my lady
Linore waits for me at home
In a little while, I’ll get up from this bench
And wander on back
I’ll probably find her in the dining room
With a calico cat on her lap
When I walk in, she’ll look up kindly and say
“Hi baby, how did it go for you today?””
Listen son, Linore is just a tiny little thing
Like me, she has gone very gray
But when I look at her I see
A half a million memories all rolled up inside
Half a million things to think about
Lingering quietly there in her turquoise eyes
They are small things
Stuff you’d hardly mention day-to-day
Things that most people never even notice
Or take for granted and cast aside
But I think about them all day long, every day

In Linore I see ten-thousand kisses
Scattered across fifty-five years
Ten-thousand times her soft hair
Has brushed up against my arm
Ten-thousand times her head has rested on my chest
Ten-thousand conversations
Bright or wise, idle or sad
Ten-thousand jokes and wise cracks
Adding a little happy spice and pepper
To the passing days
Ten-thousand smiles
Ten-thousand “I love you’s”
Always from the soul, always good to hear
And at the end of ten-thousand tough days
Ten-thousand cuddles in bed after the lights went out
Ten-thousand times we have taken each others hand
Ten-thousand times I’ve felt her gentle embrace
Ten-thousand times her face has lifted up my day
Ten-thousand times I’ve looked in her eyes
And seen the bright spark that dances inside

Small things
Things you’d hardly notice
But if you weave them all together
Across the long, long years
They tell a grand tale
That is epic and eloquent and entirely uncommon
A tale written by two small souls
With two small pens
A story written by Linore and I
That is worth telling over and over again

Now son, you get up and go on home
And when you do, keep to the small things
Keep them handy
Keep them close by
Keep on remembering them
They are what will get you through the long years ahead
They can make your life heroic
A romance that you live every day
If you let them, they can be ten-thousand things
That together
Are so much more than just a bunch of parts

Dewey Dirks

Sharing Water

Sharing Water

Words rich
With the sensual fabric of life
Full of emotions and heartbeats
Lounge on the page
Resting like a high mountain cat
Fur soft and thick
Deep in thought
Washing a paw
In whispers
Of fluid movement and lithe power

Words born of bone deep pain
Words written alone
In a room with nothing
But an old Formica table
A bare light blub
And a stubby brown pencil
Reach out in desperation
Plead for empathy
Cry for care
Eyes soaking wet
Or sit forsaken
Alone in a crowd

Words born of love
Words gentle and kind
Softly touch me
Welcome my soul home
From a long, long journey
On a straight desert road
With a cool cup of sharing water
Or brilliant and bright
Warm me inviting rest
In the afternoon sun
Golden and honest with joy

Nothing in this old world
Like a good poem
Written deep
From the human heart

Dewey Dirks

Glass of Water

Glass of Water

A glass of clear water
Holds a bit of a river
To quench your thirsty body
But only in the river can you bathe
Words are drinks of water
Quenching a minds thirst to know
But it is a great river of love
Where you bathe a soul

Glasses come
In many shape and sizes
And each can hold some water
For you to take a drink
The river has many names
So people from many places
Can find it on their maps
But it is the caring waters of life
That loving wash over you
And satisfy your thirst

Dewey Dirks



Ever notice
how laughter
can reach clear across
the world and goose you
in the ribs?

How emotions
can span far
across time and place
so that when you read
of a tender kiss
written by some unknown soul
long, long ago
you can still feel the touch
of ‘I love you’
whispered on soft lips?

Ever notice how a single word
spoken by just the right person
can brighten the room around you
as you sit half a world away?

That is why I believe in magic

Dewey Dirks

Words Blind

Words Blind

Words can blind you
Make you think the word
is the thing.
Drape what you believe you see
in preconceptions and assumptions.
Shade what you and others experience
with shadows of news bites
catchy phrases
and rhetorical spin.
Or put cloth over your eyes
with fossilized passages
whose meaning
has been lost to time.

Every creature you ever see
just by virtue of existing
is a waking enigma clothed in a mystery
wrapped in a dream.

If someone as simple as a man
is such a thing
how then in the farthest reaches
of our imagination
would we ever expect to figure out
something like the powers that be
that made this place
by blinding ourselves
with words like “God?”

It’s true, a single word
can mean everything to you
or nothing at all
As you so choose.
On one hand, it’s just the word
some people use
for the best thing they can imagine.
On the other hand,
after nine thousand years
it carries
about four train car loads of baggage.

So, what do you call
something so fair minded
that it gives enough quickness to cheetahs
that they can catch some food
while giving enough speed to antelope
that they can run away from trouble.
And is so compassionate
that it makes every single baby beautiful
can forgive mistakes men have rarely forgiven
and offer up chances in life over and over again.
With wisdom so deep
it can watch human hearts
mend and break at the same time
without going bat shit from time to time?

Personally, I’ll not give it a name that blinds
I’m just some dude with a pen
and a couple thoughts now and then
I just ain’t that smart.

Dewey Dirks

Pair of Hearts

Pair Of Hearts

Her name sounds like a wild flower
She has a man who smiles when he sees her each day
And tells her of his long travels
Taken to learn more of life’s strange play

She is wise in the ways of caring
She is wise in the ways of the world
She is wise in the ways mice and men
She is wise is the ways of kids and cats
She knows how to scold
Knows how to mend
She knows how to be serious
Knows what is fun
She knows how to touch the current of life in everyone

She loves her man powerfully
She loves him strong
She loves him deep in the night
She loves him all the day long

He wanders near
He wanders far
He wanders the world
Listening to life’s melodious song
He’s seen many things happen
And can tell many a tale
About the wide river that nudges and twirls us all
Like leaves bumping gently together
As we float in the kind eddy of distant falls

Now of all the wonders he has happened to see
None are so dear to him
As his lady’s tender touch and his lady’s lilting song
Drawing him home at night
Loving him powerfully
Loving him strong

Dewey Dirks and Elaine Cunningham-Dirks