The first thing I ever published was my poem, The Flute. I have published a few more since then, plus If You Were an Aardvark. I don’t write that many poems, but this is a place where I share the ones I do write. Almost all of my poems are inspired by people, places, or things that are meaningful in my life. I enjoyed writing them, and I hope you enjoy reading them.

Earth, Marriage, Earth Marriage

Jerry Gidner and Amy Sosin
© 1991

Come with me and touch the earth
Let us join our hearts and hands and souls
In this sacred trust.

Let us share the warmth of a sunny shore
And be strong together.

Let us watch the leaves dance
And feel their joy.

Let us feel the peace of a snowy field
And leave our sadness there.

Let us hear the waterfall’s song
And laugh with it.

Come with me and love this earth
As I love you.


By Jerry Gidner © 2001

I sang the wind today
in a mountain field
under cobalt sky.
I sang the wind
sweet and clear,
in a meadow,
where summer’s grass was teased
by an ice-blue wind
while the sun shone bright.

I sang the wind with all my soul,
with head upturned and arms thrown wide.
The wind sang me, today,
where lichens grew
and the golden sun
made heath burn red.

I danced today,
with the wind,
my bones a flute
for the earth’s soft breath.
I spun about
off tufts of grass,
my knees up high,
my heart on fire.

I smelled the world today,
on a hot blue breeze on a hilltop sea.
My life was filled with earth’s sweet scent
Atlantic brine and Kansas corn
Buddha’s breath and autumn’s chill.

I rode the wind today,
on a clear blue swirl
that touched the sky.
And we looked down,
the hawks and I
on the sloping leas where we once stood.
We gazed down,
at mice below,
whose whiskers twitched
scared to die.

I rode the wind,
and it filled my soul,
‘til the hawks, the wind,
my soul, the sky
were all there was,
and it but one.

I was the wind today,
swinging sweet and singing free.
I was the wind, today,
in a crimson field
where moss was soft
and dead grass swayed
as I danced by.

The wind and I were one today,
in a mountain field,
where granite sighed at our caress.
I became the wind today.
I sang the wind
and it sang me.

Previously published in Gatherings, Volume XII,
The En’owkin Journal of First North American Peoples, Fall 2001

Old Lady Dancing

By Jerry Gidner

There’s an old lady dancing
She’s swaying through the trees
The music’s playing softly
Blowing with the breeze

She always wished that she could frolic
Though that wish she’d never say.
She hid the pain of antique bones
Beneath a scolding way.

Now free of earthly worries,
She wildly claps her hands,
Juggling tambourines
She made from seashells and tin cans.

In life a throaty chuckle
Was the only laugh from she.
Now she giggles like a schoolgirl,
Her head head thrown back with glee.

She spies a boy named Lewis,
And smiling, takes his hands.
They waltz, long lost lovers,
Beneath pines, on moss and sand.

I know they’re still there dancing,
Foggy wisps in soft moonlight.
Though my vision of them is fading,
As they dance out of sight.

There’s an old couple dancing,
They’re swaying through the trees.
The music’s playing softly,
Or is it just the breeze?

Says the Clock

By Jerry Gidner

Tick, the clock tocks
Tock, it ticks.
Counting the days
of an old lady’s life.

Punctuating the gloom
of a big empty house
in the northern pine woods

She sits alone, tick tock
her companions the clock,
and the deer Lewis shot
when they were young.

They didn’t hear the clock then,
it didn’t tick for them.
Its whispered ticks
Its murmured tocks
were for other ears.
Perhaps the deer’s.

The snow piles deep outside.
The dark drifts deep within.
Each flake a tick,

The gloom a tock
They mirror the clock
and the silent scratch
of pencil on crossword
as she waits alone
for Elizabeth to bring the mail
for Spring to come
to see Lewis again

The Bear

By Jerry Gidner

I awoke the other night
to find my wife of 14 years
gone from my bed

She was answering the nocturnal wail
Of the American Sleepless Toddler,
A species indigenous to the room down the hall

In her place was my daughter of six,
Who had crept in to escape the fuss,
A cat fleeing the rain

I lay awake and watched her.
Her waterfall of curls
Masking the pillowcase

Her eyelids in the dusky light were the deep violet
Of the sleeping dervish. Her body quiet for once,
But for random thrashings and hopeful breaths

I watched her dream six year-old dreams
While my mind raced to forget the ruins
Of my own once grand imaginings

Between us, untouched, lay her bear,
All purple fuzz and stuffing
Her constant companion for four years past

I grabbed the bear and drew it close
Tucked it under my chin and wrapped my arms around it.
My talisman, it became, against ghosts of years gone by

My daughter woke then, her eyes as smoky
As the early morning fog, but clear enough
To note the bears new den and be displeased

With both arms she retrieved her pet
And cradled it to her chest,
A familiar refrain for bear and girl

She rolled away from me,
Her back rigid in disdain for my theft
And I watched and waited as I so often did

Only a moment passed before she scooted back
Cradling herself against me
Warm with sleep and youth

I wrapped my arms around her
And breathed in the rich aroma
Of her dreams and promise

Then she with her comfort in her arms
And I with mine in mine
We slept

Originally published in Amlit, the American University Literary Journal, Fall 2006, p 53.

For Those Who Hate The Snow

By Jerry Gidner

Snowflakes strafe my cheeks
Falcons feasting on sparrows
Icy white talons shredding my eyelids
My soul

Monochrome sameness stretches outward
Snowy fields and the years before death
Merging in a colorless horizon
Broken only by
A meaty dog turd, the grey-brown of spoiled meat
Sloppily curled on the frozen blanket
Of my life

Steam escapes it, wispy in the cold
My soul shrieks to follow
Eating my brain from the inside
Shrieking “snow,” “snow,” “snow.”

For Those Who Love the Snow

By Jerry Gidner

The blizzard surrounds me
Thousands of tiny dancers
Flitting against me
My cheeks glow red like a winter sunset
As we dance
And the wind sings
Erupting from the icy delight
Like a joyful baby’s giggle
Bursting into life from behind tiny teeth
White and perfect

Chaos cloaks me
Energetic yet frozen
A blanket between my
Inner life and the raging heat
Of the August sun
That will burn too soon
I twirl in the weak light
That slides between the flakes
And cry out for “snow,” “snow,” “snow.”