Brother John Poet~Minstrel~Muse

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MY BACKGROUND

Posted on April 8, 2016 at 11:30 PM

      I had a simple birth in the very small Irish Village of Byrneville, Indiana and grew up in touch with the earth and the woodlands, the soil, farm animals, chickens, and making mud pies. There is nothing as grounding and wonderful as walking barefoot on newly plowed ground as it puts you in oneness with Nature and close to God. The smells and sights of the seasons are each distinct and delightful. I love long walks in the country, laying in piles of leaves in the fall, and seeing new shoots of life reborn in spring. I adore drives down tree canopied back roads, finding unique bridges and rippling brooks and enjoying their laughing sounds. I am a poet and have used poetry to express my sense of life's ebb and flow and those heartfelt things that characterize us as homo sapiens: men and women of wisdom. I compose music and sing not only the hymns of the church but folk and spiritual music that I have written. I love to eat, relax and meditate by candlelight and feel the flickering lights embrace and sooth my senses as it calms the soul, causes introspection and centers me in ways that nothing else will. I grew up as a chicken farmer and love large gardens, fresh strawberries, corn on the cob and fresh lettuce. Dad always kept flowers growing around the house to add to the natural beauty around us. I believe in very traditional values - God and country, church and family and we believed in the Golden Rule and helping others. I am thankful and grateful for God's many blessings and I love to be active and live as fully as I can. I have a diversity of interests and talents that I am happy to share with others. I know I have helped many people in my life. I duplicated myself 3 times as a math teacher with students who say I inspired them to teach mathematics themselves. I had one student find me again after 40 years just to Thank Me for changing her life and giving her a joy for learning. She had gone on with her education and had graduated as a doctor ftom the Indiana University School of Medicine.  I have reached for the stars and have fallen flat on my face at times but I have always reached again. I left teaching after 15 yrs and worked for two different grocery companies in Kansas City for a total of 16 years. My areas of expertise were deli, seafood and meat as a customer service specialist and supervisor. I live near my daughter and 3 of my 4 grandchildren and enjoy a host of friends and experiences that I treasure. 

  • Harrison County Indiana native born of Irish heritage in Byrneville, Indiana; graduate of North Central High School in Ramsey, Indiana; Earned B.S. in Education Physics and Mathematics Major and Minor in General Science and some graduate work at Indiana University Bloomington. Additional study at Indiana State,Ball State Universities as well as Central Missouri State University. Certified in Adult Basic Education (ABE) specializing in basic mathematics skills and fundamental operations: help can be given in 54 basic computational skills of Arithmetic, including whole numbers, decimals, fractions, ratios and proportions, percent as well as basic algebra and geometry skills. 
  • Work Careers included15 years teaching 7-12 math and science classes in public, private, country-day, military and parochial schools, coaching junior high and freshman basketball, was scoutmaster Troup 113 Howe military School;  10 years teaching basic math skills at night in Adult and Community Education at Truman High School; customer service and management of grocery superstore deli and seafood departments; 3 years experience as a Meat Cutter.
  •  Grounded in music early in life from listening to my father Aldon, lead singer of the Bow-Tie Southern Gospel Quartet and his solos in the Byrneville Branch. My mother trained me to sing bass and tenor in her choir and provided for my instrumental training on the soprano saxophone, baritone ukelele, tenor saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet; I participated with my 3 younger sisters in instrumental and gospel quartets. I played in the Graceland College Band and toured with the Graceland Orchestra in 1961.
  •  Active Poet since 1960 and Composer since 1970 focused on traditional and religious lyrics and melodies including psalms, folk hymns and spiritual songs. My “Life’s Ebb & Flow: A Poetic Journey” was published in 2012. This is a volume of 148 original poems drawn from over 50 years of my life. I have written on my greatest needs and have arranged this work into the 7 areas noted below, each area enhanced by the beautiful artistic creations of my very gifted granddaughter, Julia: ON FRIENDSHIP, ON LOVE, ON FIBONACCI AND HAIKU, ON MELANCHOLY AND RECOVERY, ON REFLECTION, ON SPIRITUALITY, ON SINGING NEW SONGS, which includes new lyrics for 8 common traditional music tunes.
  • Ordained to office of Priest in 1963 and Elder in 1970 in the R.L.D.S. Community of Christ, continuous service with ministry and experience as a Pastor, Counselor, Scripture Teacher, Christian Education Director, Music Ministries, Youth Ministries, Financial Officer, Scoutmaster and Coach.
  • Currently plays the guitar, some pennywhistle and harmonica, kazoo, and the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer; member of the Corydon (Indiana) Dulcimer Society and Independence Prairie Dulcimer Club.

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