Most Poems

Most poems we could all have written; Few though stand strong against the sea of mediocrity. But be not discouraged by “be not” phrases or those who’ve memorized technical beats; They often merely bleat like goats on cliffs where their true gift is in nimble feet. I belong there among the goats but occasionally we all bleat into the wind and get lucky, the whoosh and whirl of creation belonging to eternity and physics but … Continue reading

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Wild Writer

During the first part of “Wild,” by Cheryl Strayed, I felt as if a woman I didn’t know was sobbing in my arms — repetition, rocking, and rhythmic gasping for breath. An uncomfortable feeling. Not to mention the topic in the first chapters. (I’ve had my own battle with cancer.) I read quickly. The point is, however, that I felt her stark feeling laid bare in poetic and compelling narrative, and she took me to the … Continue reading

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Now the Mountains

I hear the call of the mountains of my youth suddenly now discovering that I am sixty-two and my muscles are stiff and my tendons ache yet I still long for the miles winding through forest and above timberline. I will go there and if I do not return then so much the better for what better place to rest forever than beneath a giant Redwood tree or sitting silently next to a glacial lake while … Continue reading

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Testimonials

“Jeff possesses that rare blend of exceptional focus, talent, and experience.  His professional expertise brings both skill and intuition to the publishing process.” ~ Paula S. Stone, wellness advocate, author “Jeffrey Penn May formatted and placed several of my novels on Amazon as eBooks. I am one of those people who missed the computer generation and must depend on experienced people to do various chores. Jeff was patient, answered my questions, gave direction and very importantly, … Continue reading

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Death with a View

Can you control your death, give it parameters, give it stage direction and make it dramatic, pastoral, humorous? Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? Most of us have trouble managing life, and death just happens. Typically, it’s out of our control. That doesn’t stop us from trying, nor should it. After all, we try to avoid head-on collisions. But, aside from the various purgatorial outcomes, you either make it or you don’t. Perhaps that’s why … Continue reading

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“Best” Note About My Writing

I continue to scan old letters onto my hard drive. (An act that in itself defines our time.) This note about my writing is perhaps the “best.” I think it was around 1982. “Jeff, thank you for sharing your work with me. I think we should stop seeing each other. If you’d like to talk about it, give me a call. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine too. See you around.” Share on … Continue reading

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9 Obvious Harsh Realities To Tell Your Children (That You Never Fully Understood Until The Great Recession And You Got Old)

My kids are kind, considerate, and empathetic. Where did I go wrong? 1. Money really is power, freedom, and pretty teeth. While it can’t buy you perfect health, it can help – a lot. While it can’t “buy you love,” it can help – a lot. People are often attracted to money. Freedom isn’t free – it’s expensive. 2. Volunteer work is good for a hobby if it makes you feel good, but don’t count … Continue reading

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Letters From Ingomar

Recently, I began unearthing old letters with the intention of scanning them onto my hard drive. (An act that in itself sort of defines our time, doesn’t it?) I started with letters from Ingomar Robier (for no reason other than they were “on top”), a 1976 classmate from English Lit classes at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Since I had a habit of befriending people who didn’t seem to fit in, I insisted … Continue reading

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Why I Stopped Revising My First Novel

Over a 35-years span, Roobala Take Me Home was rewritten, revised, reworked, and partly re-imagined so many times that I’ve lost count. Despite my best efforts to stay current and true to my ever developing self, Roobala Take Me Home inevitably, like all novels, turned into a historical document. Even “historical” novels are rooted in the imagination of the writer looking back. A historian from 1980 looking back at 1900 has a different perspective than … Continue reading

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Secure in Social Security (156 words)

Social Security will be there for me, more if I make enough money in my six years past sixty. Curious, the money is based on thirty-five years “highest paid.” So be careful of years unemployed, years for schooling, for children, for illness and for saying goodbye to parents. A welder gets less security than a surgeon, a retail manager less than a lawyer, and me, a private sector educator, far less than a financier. Sort … Continue reading

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