Elaine Cunningham-Dirks

Elaine 3 SMALL

Hi folks. I have some real bad news. Three months ago my wife Elaine was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She passed away peacefully in her sleep with me by her side early in the morning 12-30-2013. In her last few weeks alive she was able to spend much time with our family which was very important to her because for Laino, family was everything.

Laino was a very loving mate, mother, and friend. No one could ever ask for a finer partner in life. She was the kindest person I have ever known and one of the most capable people I’ve ever met, bar none. It has been an honor to be her mate. We were together for twenty-two years and I’ve known her for over half my lifetime. We all miss her so much.

Laino was one of those people who was always moving in four directions at once and so was able to fit a very great deal into her life. She was a jack of all trades and was very accomplished. In life she had been a bartender, waitress, process server, business owner, loan officer, appraiser, paralegal, caregiver, and patient advocate. Many times over the years she worked three jobs at once. Through it all she managed to fit time in for our kids and myself every day.

She is survived by myself, three sisters, two brothers, her son, her step-daughter, two nieces, two nephews, a grand niece and a grand nephew. In life we considered her nieces and nephews as though they were our own children.

Elaine Cunningham-Dirks



When you loose your mate,
your souls match,
the pain you feel
runs so very deep
like a ragged gorge cut
into your heart
with a dull, salt covered spoon.

But I promise you this;
The love and peace and beauty
gathered carefully, gently
by two pairs of hands
bit by bit, piece by piece
from a grand lifetime
of love between two
who know what it is
to live a charmed romance,
runs even deeper far, far into
the brilliant white light
of your soul
and deeper yet, far into
the star filled night sky
that surrounds us all.

Look inward my friend
and look outward
deep into the night sky
it’s there for you to feel,
there for you to touch,
there for you to taste,
there for you to see.

Dewey Dirks

Winter Poetry

I’m pleased and honored to let everyone know one of my poems has been published in Brian Wrixon Books new anthology “Winter Poetry.” Here is the link: Winter Poetry

The Song

The Song

You can hear it in the morning
brewing in the coffee pot
As you sit at the kitchen table at dawn
Later in the day, when you’re busy at work
You can hear it in the rustle of papers
down at the copy machine
And though you’re too involved think about it
Still, you dance along
You can hear it when your wife calls at noon
You say “I was just thinking of you”
And she says “I just thought I’d call”

You can see it in a dogs eye
And in the toes of a tiny kittens paw
You can feel it in the hand of a stranger
As he helps you up from sidewalk
After an icy night fall
Just as you can feel it in the smooth wooden handles
Of old, well worn tools

You can taste it in a freshly cooked cob of corn
Or in the water from a hose
Out in the yard down at the farm
It’s the nothing
That makes everything whole
And the something that fills the cool air
Of empty beaches and elementary schoolyards
That makes you want to visit
On Sunday afternoons

Everything that lives, everything that is
Dances a grand dance
And sings a grand song
Living is music
And the secret in life
Is to listen for the melody
And then sing along

If ever you wondered at the gossip
Of a bushy brown squirrel
Or sat in the car with your girlfriend
Outside the airport for two hours one afternoon
Watching 737’s take off
You’ve noticed for awhile
A few of the notes in life’s long song
And felt the gentle rhythm
That nudges and twirls us all

You’ll never know where you’re going
Unless you can tell where you’ve been
To know where you are right now
You have to learn to appreciate
The things that are right in front of you

From “The Questioning Way”
Dewey Dirks

For Giving Away

For Giving Away

He showed me two songs
Heartfelt and full of life’s
Ironies and aspirations
‘Said these two helped me
When I needed a hand
And I’m grateful to those
Who made them
For giving away pieces
Of their heart and glimpses
Of times in their lives
When some muse showed them
How to scribble a moment or two
Or a breath onto paper
For giving away

Then he asked what helps me
I showed him three songs
One that reminds me
We all have hoped sometime or another
For a love lasting and true
One that reminds me of
How life can seem charmed
When true love touches you
And one that reminds me
Some dreams are for living
Sometimes we dream together
Sometimes we each dream alone
Because words cannot convey
And some dreams we dream
are for giving away

Dewey Dirks

White Lines

White Lines

Even though
I’ve not gone
in quite awhile,
I used to love to take
drives out across
the country.

When I was young,
I’d go all alone
or with a friend
late at night
for drives
with the excuse
of getting a coke
or a vanilla shake
from obscure little
towns ninety
or a hundred miles
away from home.

Driving on summer nights
with the window down
the sound of warm evening air
rushing into the car
wipes clean your mind
and clears your inward eye.
The white lines flow
rapidly towards you
in the headlight beams
and quickly disappear
beneath your car
taking the clutter and jabber
of day-to-day thoughts
with them.

The vastness of the land
and the star filled skies
reach far, far into your soul
and draw out ideas and emotions
as deep and broad
as the skies your journey
takes you under.

Long ago, driving there
far across the Wyoming
sagebrush prairies
roving quickly through corners
thinking speed,
my life took a wide turn
and became philosophy.

Dewey Dirks

Signs and Wise Child


Animals in the white clouds
Fortuitous shapes
In a flock of sparrows
Dashing over
To your neighbors yard
Two doors down
Faces in the green branches
Of the forest across the pond
Sun dogs high
In the sky
At three in the afternoon
Fox on a boulder at the edge
Of your yard stopping
To stare at an April
Nights full moon

Signs people see
Signs people dream
Some things you see
Once or twice in a lifetime
Others you see as often
As you care to read
The palm of your hand
Or a deck of tarot
For a friend just up
On a visit
From out of town

The secret of signs
Is that they are just
Nature waving hello
To your minds eye
It is you that give them
Meaning or cast them aside
Like brown leaves raked up
On a cool October evening

The secret of signs
Is that they happen
All the time
They are some of the lullabies
Our mother planet quietly sings
To us all

Dewey Dirks

Wise Child

Each day rise,
Sit at the table
For a few cups
Of good coffee
And soak up
The fine morning air

Put on your clothes
And your best
Working attitude
Astute and mature
Take care of business
As best you can

After the days business
Of paperwork,
And power bills
Is taken care of
Throw off once again
Your age and spend
As much time
As you can
Being as young
As you can

Life is too short and sweet
Not to see it through
The eyes
Of a wise child

Dewey Dirks

The Place To Be

The Place To Be

Many talk of silencing
your mind.
I speak only of becoming
accustomed to knowing
that wherever you are
in your brainbox
just now
is precisely
the place to be
just now.

Become, my friend,
comfortable with
you own
wandering and wondering
and most everything else
will follow soon enough.

Just as long
as you know how to drive,
a brilliant mind
is like a red Ferrari;
It is Gods own joy
to see elegant and at rest,
but it is happiest on a curve
at high speed.

Dewey Dirks