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Phone poems are concise, precise, and often humorous 4 line verses that were originally written for the telephone answering machine. Volume 2, Simple Gifts,continues that tradition in the first part of the book with 333 such poems, mostly inspired by recent events in the author’s life, especially his adventures with his dachshund, Simon, his love of nature, its creatures, the flowers and elements in his wife’s garden (a new-to-the-garden old white door), the advent of winter and spring, angels, demons, the movements of planets and stars, some current events,etc. The second part of the book contains a different order of humorous verse based on events that occurred during the author’s past as he and his wife attempted to rear their 3 children and live together as a loving family. These longer poems, organized around the theme, Simple Gifts, are from varying points of view: father (My Son the Ninja), mother (My Flaw), but especially the children, as in the delightful Eyeball Soup, the poignant Clip-Clop the Wonder Horse, Nightmare,Pierced Ears, Daddy’s Nose, The Snicker-Snack Man, and more. The second volume of Phone Poems also contains another new (to these works) literary form,the parable, wherein the reader is invited to participate in discovering the meaning of a brief story. The most unusual of the 4 parables is The Text, told from the third person limited point of view of an angel who is given a difficult task by his ultimate superior.

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