James Piatt is a retired professor and octogenarian who lives with his wife in a replica 1800’s eastern farmhouse in the foothills of the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley in California. Their farmhouse is 30 minutes from the ocean on one side, and 30 minutes from the mountains on the other. They have an old feral cat named Barny and a three-year old Australian Shepherd named Scout.
Two of James’ relatives, John James Piatt and Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, were prolific poets in the 1800’s. Their poems inspired many of his themes, and much of his style of poetry. James earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, SLO, and his doctorate from BYU. He has four collections of poetry: Solace Between the Lines, Light, Ancient Rhythms and The Silent Pond. He has also published five novels. He writes poetry to maintain his sanity.
One Morning On Our Porch We sit close together, shoulders touching, talking about the past, precious memories loosened, scattered in the soft fall breeze that swishes itself across our long porch. We smile and nod as each newly remembered piece of what was our youthful life emerges, it is as if it was only yesterday that they occurred. The echoes of the pleasant scenes reverberate like music bouncing over the porch’s uneven bricks, and caressing our aging ears. I look at my wife, notice the faint knowing smile on her lips quivering as my words bring back a newness from our past. We pause for a few moments, and sigh at what is gone, but not forgotten, fragile images still penetrating our minds, and hearts. We look up as a cloud overcomes the sun and its shadows cover our aging bodies, for a moment we feel a coldness, and the silence of things fading. Then a filtered ray of sunlight penetrates the clouds, and we feel the warmth beaming onto the limbs of our bodies. We watch the fall shadows of leaves dancing among themselves; then a mourning dove flies in, and sits on a barren limb, telling its sad tale about not finding its mate in that so familiar cooing fashion. A pair of sparrows suddenly start singing, and melting our soft melancholy with tunes of happiness. We look at each other, hold hands, and smile as we continue to recount our memories