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Keith poem1.HEIC

I stood on the edge of the development

at the end of where nature

became insufficient somehow; 

I took a deep breath, pondering

as I watched a flock of coots

paddle quietly but deliberately

away from us humans,

and I looked to the fare shore: 

Pillars rose imperceptibly above

the still, dark lake, and I found

myself transported to the era

where those pillars supported

entire trains, entire communities

along that shore, when we humans

found walking invigorating,

and train trips acceptable. I witnessed

the whole economy of that little village

along the shore flourish and vanish 

with the railroad

the era the ethic, the very age.

I step back from the edge

wondering if I could live

in such a place. I ponder more,

as the coots slowly return.

Wherever I live

I hope to leave my own

small footprint.

Nothing more. 

© 2023 Keith Deshaies

written 2/20/04

Where I Am Now

When I sit quietly

The symphony begins

Slowly the strings of memory

Come to life and

The vibrations conjure a voice

In ecstasy, in closeness, in union

And as the oboe begins its solo

I hold a warm hand under the caves

Out of the rain, eyes holding tenderness

Such a pure time, long time ago

And as the tympani shakes my foundation

Turning the pages of distrust and fear, 

The raw torment of something beautiful

Dying hopelessly, helplessly, swiftly,

Tears wash into the present and the violins

Cry, too. The piano cradles the psyche and my

Eyes open to a new soul, brave soul, 

No remorse or regret, just present. 

The sun ends the symphony

And I sit and watch the sea

Relentlessly carving a new world. 

© 2023 Keith Deshaies

DEDICATED TO TOM AND ANNA:

Old Friends, New Friends

Dark places on the water

Puget Sound deep and cold,

Blackness interrupted night

crashing passively on ragged shore.

Winter settles in, cold blanket

wrapping four friends 

in a small island house: 

threat of snow welcome

against a futile backdrop

of Workingworld, Mondayworld,

bleak promises of capital happiness

all dwarfed by the immense

warmth of the little house

on the little bluff

above the benign waves,

evergreen dark black shadow

odd foreboding flagging attempts

to shirk the other worlds we know

we know too well.

Time to reflect, hold each other,

play dumb games, drink too much,

eat too much, there exists never

enough. We must live here always.

Always now, always present. 

Cooking together in the little bright

kitchens with savory smells

and rich fragrant thyme.

The Poetry of Keith Deshaies

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Keith's Bio:

Keith Raymond Deshaies was born on November 17,1964 in Rochester, New Hampshire to Raymond and Claire Deshaies. Keith grew up in Somersworth, New Hampshire where he developed a lifelong enthusiasm for trains, a gift for wood working, and a love of the written word. He relocated to the Seattle area in 1986, where he spent time in the Japanese Studeies department at the University of Puget Sound. Keith was an avid bicyclist, completing the Seattle to Portland race in 1989. From 1990 to 199 Keith lived in Belling with his first wife, Laurel, and their two children, Becca and Aaron. In 2000, Keith completed the Excellence Series through the Excellence Foundation where he met his wife, Jennifer. In 2005, he returned to the Bellingham area and converted to Buddhism. he actively participated in local and national politics, and became a senior managing editor for Northwest Progressive Institute. Keith died of a massive heart attack on April 4, 2008 in his beloved lakeside home. His love of quirky humor, vast intelligence, and fondness for fountain pens will be remembered and missed by all who love him. 

In a journal entry shortly before his death, he described himself: 

I am a Democratic Socialist Buddhist Technical Writing Novelist wannabe with sleep apnea and migraines with a great family, great house, great life, really, and I don't want to stop until I've changed the world. 

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