BOOKS ARE MY FRIENDS (For Laurel)

Books are my friends –
Accompanied by them I’ll never get bored
And if at times I get a bit “down,” a passing title will soon pick me up.

Books surround me with the most thoughtful people who ever lived –
Crowding around in my study
Their intrinsic seriousness and brilliance lifts my room sky high
Ready for long-distance visits to a future “me.”

If a book is empty and brings me down – I quickly put it down
And pick up another.

People without books remind me of deserts without water –
A mechanical kind of survival –
“Clank, clank, clank.”

Books are the sea we swim in
So as to relax by distant shores.

Books are magic pills we swallow
In order to change into someone else.

Books are dreams we can make real
By spending time inside them.

Books will make you an entirely new and different person
If you’re open to opening them.

A TIME OF BOOKS AND PENS

Life in the modern world is like a fire truck roaring out of the station,
Sirens blaring, leaping down the street to greet a new emergency.

I want to live in a time with fewer emergencies –
A time of books and pens.

In such a time we’ll prefer politicians whose main ambition is to fix roads
And who don’t view politics as a gladiatorial contest.

We’ll cherish prosaic problem solvers
And ignore charlatans and mountebanks.

We’ll establish schools that excel at increasing children’s competence
And instill a love of civic duty
So they’ll grow up to be like first responders – able to meet life and death situations.

We’ll value workers who thrive on keeping the city’s water running clear and clean
And, out on the farms, people who produce healthful food.

We’ll encourage lifetime love between our young adults
So that our grandchildren can thrive.