David L Williams


The nearest tree that I often climbed up

Was of the three by far the smallest one

But large enough to get up on our roof,

Yet, notwithstanding that, to no great purpose.

The tallest one was next closest to home,

Across the street, back of a parking lot.

From way up there and looking down upon

Our family church, I almost felt like God.

The one farthest away was also largest

Allowing for its depth as well as height.

It also made the greatest climbing challenge

Which when accomplished put me out of sight

Of grandma, when she came to check outside,

My first shout down, she almost died of fright.


A praying mantis and a dying bat

And several strains along the lines of worm

Are all the critters that I’ve found out back

While watching for them over a long term.

The contrast of the first two is one that

Equally makes you reverent or squirm,

And worms are likely just to leave you flat,

Yet all of these planted in places firm:

The mantis prayed by crack, bat clove to door

By handle, till I knocked it down a bit,

Night crawlers stretched out thinly as to floor

The slab where our chairs, usually empty, sit.

Though scant, these remote signs of life do count

As our back patio vermin on the mount.


The pianos of my past are numerous,

Though only two or three of them were grand;

Several were like studios or consoles,

And taller uprights also figured in.

The first place where I practiced was our church,

Which happened to be right across the street,

And by my mom’s arrangement with the pastor

Became my first short term keyboard engagement.

Then others when in high schools, and in college

A plethora of keys and in key places,

Much later even 2 found north near Effie

Accommodated woodland practices.

Now as I write this, right across from me

An old untuned one’s under our TV.


My early fascination with The Beatles

Began from Reverend Tyler’s family.

We once went over there for Sunday dinner

Amid his two young daughters' raucous screaming,

As could be heard from way down in their basement,

Their crush for George and John and Paul and Ringo,

Who at the time I had but barely heard of.

I was too smug to act completely whacko

As those girls had, but Fab 4 would become

A centerpiece of much that I believe in

Till I could sing most every single song.

They proved to me more vital than religion.

His family stood for beetle Black back then

As Reverend Charles preached early integration.


To speak of being ahead of any curve

Refers to graphically portraying trending,

With no display towards ending or beginning

Since it will tend to focus on the swerve

Of line that represents how things might serve

To pass in time, with a variety

Of shapes evolved in manner of evincing

Events like an arrival or departure.

Mathematically there is a sound foundation

For understanding how things move in space

And time, when taken as an overture

To actual progress, not just estimation,

Depicted on plain axes as they trace

Well off the charts of xy human nature.

David L Williams is recently retired from 34 years teaching high school English in Lincoln, Nebraska, his primary residence since he went to college there in the 80s. His poetry has mostly been written since May of 2021, and he has only recently started trying to publish, with success already in several publications. His sense of history derives from sitting on the two steps leading to their patio and looking back. He shares home with his 30 year living partner, Mary, who unknowingly models for some of his poems. David’s website is http://classwords.com