The Thinking Poet

The Thinking Poet blog includes a poem along with a few though-provoking questions.  You can use it to ponder, journal, discuss, and/or comment in response.  And if you want to, you can purchase Jim's book, Solstice To Solstice - A Memoir In Verse

The Thinking Poet - On The Highway 


On The Highway

On the highway outside my window
Trucks crash their hollow shells,
Drums of commerce, 
Beating a cadence I could never follow.
Cars swish by, ride cymbals
Counting in slow 12/13 time,
Awaiting the entrance of the soloist,
The testosterone-stoned saxophone
Of a motorcyclist
As he plunges headlong into the night
Which he will never outrun,
The silent dark that overtakes us all.

1.Do you ever listen to the sounds around you? Of what do they remind you? What does that tell you about yourself?
2.What do you do to outrun death, or if not death, fear? Does it work?

The Thinking Poet - The Moon Has Risen 


The Moon Has Risen

The moon has risen above my window top,

Though it was shining in two hours ago

As you and I spoke from a telephone distance,

Locked away from one another for our own good,

And for the good of others in this masked age.

We tell the trivial, the true language of love over time,

Talking about nothings that fill the blanks between us.

I can't remember a thing we said,

Now that the moon has taken her perch above the hackberry tree,

Though it was as important as anything ever said by anyone

Because the saying of it said, by implication,

That even as the machinery of earth and moon and time creep on,

You and I are connected -- in time and beyond time.



1. To whom can you converse about nothing?

2. How do you bridge the gaps between you and others?

3. What assures you that you are connected with someone?

The Thinking Poet - Bird Worship 


Bird Worship

Peeper came to my window this morning,

Squeaking as he pecked corn and sunflower seeds,

Black mask and scarlet crown dipping in homage

To his sometime provider.

I don't pour the styrofoam cup of seed every morning,

Only on those days when I want to watch him up close,

Like a Greek deity, capricious in my attentions.

He knows not to trust me overmuch,

Just as the Greeks must have known

To stay away from gods who were no better than themselves,

Honoring them with statues and temples,

But avoiding "personal relationship with Jesus" type devotion

As an invitation to trouble.

And just so, after a peck and a peep,

The Cardinal sees me move through morning window glass

And flits away to safety.



1. What is your relationship to the creatures around you?

2. Would you prefer more or less interaction?

3. How do you imagine that they characterize you?


The Thinking Poet - Winters 


The Thinking Poet blog includes a poem along with a few though-provoking questions.  You can use it to ponder, journal, discuss, and/or comment in response.  And if you want to, you can purchase Jim's book, Solstice To Solstice - A Memoir In Verse



Winter, according to the calendar, 

Begins at the solstice, 

When days are short, 

And nights long, 

But anyone who has left the house 

With too light a wrap 

Knows otherwise. 

I walk bravely today, 

Facing a cold, wet wind, 

Hands stuffed into pockets, 

Hood pulled down 

Over my forehead, 

And I feel winter's cold fingers 

Along my neck and shoulders and thighs. 

No sleigh-ride jingle 

Cures this kind of winter. 

It carries no festival lights 

Or yule log warmth. 

This is the season that gets in 

Under your coat to remind you 

That her sister, death, 

Is coming for you sooner than you think 

With icicle talons to hold you under 

Until the summer that thaws all things. 



  1. What reminds you of your mortality? What feelings come with that? 
  2. What would you leave undone, if death came today? 
  3. In your worldview, is there a “summer that thaws all things”? How does that affect your thoughts and feelings about your life? 


"Winters" is reprinted from Jim Weber's Solstice To Solstice - A Memoir In Verse.

What's A Solstice? 

A solstice is when either the day or night is at its longest.

For me personally that happens on those nights when I can't sleep because my brain hasn't gotten the message to shut up already.  This happens about four times a year.  It also happens on those days when I'm passing a kidney stone and it hurts like crazy for a long, long time. That has only happened three times in my whole life, for which I am grateful, though zero would have been better.

But for the whole planet together, the solstice only happens twice a year, once in December when the night is as long as night can get and once in June when the day gets as long as day can get. Its like they have an ongoing ping pong match, tied at 21, and they keep changing serve and winning their point over and over and over. 

Solstice appears twice on the cover of my new book, separated, not by six months or a ping pong net, but by the word "to." "Solstice To Solstice" then, means from one solstice to the other, which is the period during which the book was written.

It might be helpful to mention that the subtitle of the book is, "A Memoir In Verse." If you didn't know a memoir from a solstice or a ping pong net, a memoir is a set of memories or thoughts of one's life written down, and "in verse" indicates that they are written in poetic form. So, the book contains poems about thoughts about life between two solstices, all written poetic form. 

If you are not familiar with poems, they are very similar to prose (what you are reading right now), except they are written differently on the page.

For example,

This sentence

Is written

Like a poem,

Though it

Is not one.

Dramatic, huh?

Of course there are many other things that distinguish poetry from prose, and I learned them in grade school or college or somewhere else long, long ago, about the same time I learned to play ping pong.

But I don't know if you learned them in grade school, or anything at all for that matter, even ping pong, and not being a grade school or college teacher, I don't intent to give a course in the many differences between poetry and prose except to suggest that you could learn a lot more about the convergence of solstices, memoirs, and poetry by buying and reading my book, "Solstice To Solstice - A Memoir In Verse."

Buy it here. 

There is nothing in there about ping pong. Sorry.