Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.


July 2015

Those were the days.


I have played in the creek.

Built a dam.

Swung from the vines.

Climbed the lightening-struck tree.

Built a fort.

Hid a treasure.

Those were the days.


I saw JFK

the day before he was killed.

And then it was Martin Luther King.

And then Robert.

I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.

The world changed so fast.

Those were the days.


I grew up.

I dated girls.

Went to college.

Dated girls.

Got a job.

Dated girls.

Those were the days.


I helped build a company.

It grew and I grew.

I made mistakes.

We won awards.

I got married (again).

I made friends for life.

Those were the days.


We were young.

Or so it seemed.

We dressed to the nines.

We danced till midnight.

And toasted the promise of tomorrow.

Old friends, new friends.

Those were the days.


My hair is thin.

I’m always tired.

No dances now.

Friends have disappeared.

But the sun shines.

And blessings flow.

These are the days.


These are the days.


Copyright: joseph e bird, 2015

The Run

My shoes will pat the pavement,
In rhythms strong and sure,
Though miles to go and hills to climb,
I’m certain to endure.

The sun is soft, the air is cool,
And gentle on my face.
The wind blows light upon my back,
As if to speed my pace.

One mile, two miles, feels so good,
Then I start upon the climb.
The legs move slow, but steady still,
My strength is past its prime.

My breath comes hard and labored,
My body screams for air.
I pump my arms and power on,
And pray unspoken prayer.


Were life the flats on sunny days,
We’d run the course with ease.
As if we knew the answers, all,
To questions as we please.

There’re hills and rain and dogs that bark,
There’s worry that won’t end.
There’s snow and wind and knees that ache,
And sadness for a friend.

The body’s weak, the spirit flawed,
Ourselves we will betray.
But we’ll keep on running up the hill,
To have another day.

Rejoice, give thanks, the summit reached,
The effort strong and pure.
Though weak and tired and tested now,
I’m certain to endure.


Garden Steps for web

What is important?

What is necessary?

What can wait?

Where do the steps lead?

Who will walk them?

Will they care?

Do I care?

I do.

I will tend to them.

But first things first.

Overtime: A Basketball Parable.

It’s unlike anything you’ve read before.

Carl Campbell lived for one thing: basketball.

Regrets? Plenty.

But only after he is dead.

In the latest novel by Larry Ellis, Overtime: A Basketball Parable, Coach Carl Campbell – post mortem – sits on a bench behind the goal of a run-down, outdoor basketball court and reflects on his life as he watches young versions of his former players shoot hoops.  It is a kind of purgatory that forces Campbell to reevaluate the decisions he made and the opportunities he missed, hoping to find a sliver of redemption.

In Overtime, there are basketball scenes, but it’s not a sports book.  There is unrequited love, but it’s not a romance.  And of course there is the spirit? ghost? of Carl Campbell, but it’s not a paranormal mystery.

It’s just a good story with unusual characters that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

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