I was first published in a letter to the Editor in early 1964. It was a spontaneous letter. It was also long and memorable. Out of school two years already, with only a Grade 8 education, the bulk of which came from a one-room schoolhouse, and in French, some questioned how it had been possible to write in English, as I had done? I never did, nor would I ever question what I could only refer to as a “gift.”
As an adult, I furthered my education through upgrading, followed by graduating in journalism. Nearly forty years have now elapsed since that period, and my pen has never run dry.
In 1978 I had my first book of poetry published, that being a single poem, written while on a train, as a stream of consciousness. My second book of poetry made it into print in 1990. A third was published in 1999, and a fourth followed in 2002. Those two last books were nominated for the Governor General's Award, the last of those also for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Since then, I have published additional books of poetry, as well as two novels and two biographical works. In total, I am the author of seventeen books.
On New Year's 2000 one of my poems was read at the United Nations University for Peace, in Costa Rica. In 1993, some of my work was read at the 4 th World Congress of Poetry & Cultures, in San Francisco. I have since read at two International Literary Festivals, as well as a National Literary Festival. I have twice been invited to attend a Middle East Poetry Festival in Lebanon.
Overall, my poetry has been published a few hundred times. One of my poems appears in the world book, “Prayers for a thousand years,” by invitation, alongside work by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as many other Nobel Peace Prize Winners, among them Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. In September 2009, one of my poems took first place in a World Poetry competition. It wasn't the first time I took first place in a competition at the international level...
I continue to attempt to organize my “body of work,” which consists of an estimated 40,000 + poems (my sonnets alone now number 5555). My themes have been consistent: peace, love, and spirituality. I also write a lot of philosophical poetry, as well as earth-based poetry. I write practically every known form and have even invented a couple of my own.
In recent times I have had the distinct privilege of meeting outstanding poets, among them New Brunswick's own Carol Knepper, now embarked on a second career, that of author, following 32 years of teaching English.
Carol's writing is lyrical, natural, with distinctly spiritual overtones. She and I share a powerful belief that the world needs all the love, peace, and spiritual enlightenment possible. As such it is our hope to help make our world a better place.
On a daily basis, I write new poetry. Carol Knepper is the first to read the poems. She long ago volunteered to add music and graphics to the work, which I then send off to people in various corners of the globe. The feedback has always been most favourable, while I forever deem it my privilege to share the work, as I do...
As I see it, for us, as humans, universally, peace is the only answer, but peace implies many things, among them the implementation of justice, which means equity, with emphasis placed on education. Peace can only come to the masses when individuals have it as their experience first. We need gentleness, cooperation, loving-kindness, and the unwavering desire to truly move forward as a collective. I see it as incumbent upon each and every one of us to do his/her part in the fostering and promotion of peace.
I consider myself an eclectic thinker, someone who believes there is potential vitality and validity found in myriad systems. I especially believe in alternative healing methods. A student of Reiki for some time, in 2006, I was given the title of Reiki Master, something I look forward to exploring further.
To those who may chance to read this, I offer what I consider to be a truly gentle poem: