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Apollo's Lyre

Poetry from Dr. Piatt
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Sidewalks hopelessly cracked and buckled

From pernicious roots of ancient dead trees

Reflect afar like a string of jaded memories

Relics from a severe and unforgiving time


Thin ribbons of gray and black asphalt

With ruts and potholes bordered by dark

Weeds like eerie ebony nightmares of long

Dead people no longer even a faded memory


Dirty ashen whitewashed fences twisted

Sagging and falling down covered with scars

Of neglect like the forlorn dreams of those

Lost in the darkness of their unfulfilled lives


Broken steps leaning crumbling attached to

A rotting stooped porch slanting to the south

Like abandoned dreams of those once lost now

Forever forgotten and never to be realized


An old cottage soiled and neglected with torn

Moldy green shutters partially covering broken

Glass and rotted wood a ghostly reminder of a sadder

Time of lost opportunities and sudden decisions



               Now and Then


                Old woman wrapped

In wrinkled years and

            Yesterday’s memories

Traipses besides

A young girl wearing

Youthful rebellion and amorality

            Their steps out of synchrony

 Lives too

             The old one lives

 In bygone times

 The youthful one lives

 In future fantasies

             They ramble out of pace

 With time and each other

 Faltering at significant intervals

 In their mutual non-awareness

 Of their exclusive

 And separate existences

 The old woman living

 Unsuccessfully in the past

 The young girl living

 Unsuccessfully in the future

 Neither of them existing

 In the beautiful potential

 Of the ever present now



Two of Dr. Piatt's relatives were prolific poets who wrote their poetry in the mid-1800s: John James Piatt and Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt. Three of Dr. Piatt’s poems were published in the September issue of Word Catalyst Magazine. His poem “September Morn” was the featured poem. Three more poems and “The Uncommon Man” (a short story) were published in November, and three more of his poems will be published in December. His poem “Figueroa Mountain Graves” was published in the Shadow Poetry Anthology in November. He has had eight nonfiction essays published.


He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University. One of his MA concentrations was in Existential Literature. He earned a doctorate from Brigham Young University. He taught philosophy, psychology and engineering mathematics at Allan Hancock College and was professor of education at California State Polytechnic University and Chapman University. He is retired now and spends a lot of his time during the summer sitting along the Santa Ynez River reading, writing and playing his Indian flute.

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