Beginnings . . .

    About "Beginnings . . ."
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    My first published poems were part of a chapbook titled To Write Upon the Sand: An Anthology of Verse by South Bay Poets, printed by JADA Publishing, the company that also published the local community newspaper (Lomita Headlight) for which I was serving as a reporter in the early 1980s.

    It was a natural progression for me as a writer. My love for the poetic word was fostered at a young age by my maternal grandmother, who had encouraged me to write and express myself on paper in words that rhymed. The seeds of that early inspiration — of both reading and writing poetry — would take root and last me a lifetime.

    This book was the first door to open for me as a published poet, and other doors would open later. These three simple poems marked the very beginnings . . . of a journey of becoming, of dreams pursued, of a life devoted to the written word in all its manifestations.


    (All poems ©1982 Brian Covert)
    chevron_right When Heroes Fall
    Dedicated to the memory of John Lennon

    Why is it we paint them in a corner
    With their backs against the wall,
    But we’re always the first to shed a tear
    For heroes, when they fall.

    They live their lives as humans
    Though we may think that’s odd,
    Then they’re gone and soon we seem to
    Mold them into gods

    Their professions are their legacies,
    As a way of reaching out
    To people who seem worlds away,
    Far beyond a shout

    When heroes fall, we pick up pieces
    Of what they’ve left behind:
    Their many thoughts on what they’ve taught
    And their love for humankind

    We love them while they’re with us
    (Not long enough it seems)
    And when they’re gone, we can only hope
    That they’re following their dreams.
    chevron_right California Sunset

    When you’re way out in the Valley
    Or high atop the hills,
    The sun at dusk has a funny way
    Of making time stand still

    Standing on the golden beaches
    Amidst cool ocean winds
    Where the sun, the sky, and the sea all meet
    Is where paradise begins

    Or high atop a mountain range
    When the sun sheds its last light
    Soon appear a million stars
    That have been waiting for a night.

    It’s something you can count on
    Just like an old friend:
    Once you’ve seen it, you’ll be back
    To watch a California sunset again.
    chevron_right Still Friends
    STILL FRIENDS (After All)

    We’ve been in love all these years now
    Yet it seems to be growing stronger
    Nobody’s actually said, “Well, here’s how…”
    We’ve just kept love going longer

    And we haven’t had much time to think of
    Relaxing, much less straying
    Of all those toasts we had to drink of,
    “To love and us” we’ve kept saying

    And our children have grown up and gone
    To love and raise their own:
    Awakenings of a brand-new dawn,
    Much like we have known

    But those rough times, they weren’t much fun
    Were they? Life seemed such a strain
    Still somehow you and I saw the sun
    While others felt it rain

    Our many friends have drifted away
    Though they’re close enough to call
    You and I are alone, but that’s OK
    ’Cause we’re still friends after all

    Love, my life with you has been a ball,
    And we’re still friends…after all.

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MOTOMENAI • The Series

Japanese poems and nature-scene watercolor paintings by Shozo Kajima.
English translations by Brian Covert. All images © English Journal 2010-2011.

About “Motomenai”
4月号 April
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WINTER 2010-11
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