My wife, Phyllis

Bought this machine for me in 1970 or ‘71

It turned me from an amateur

Onto the long road as a professional

Writing all the poems, plays and stories

People tell me they like

It gives them something to enjoy

I love the clicking and clacking

That I first heard at the Courier-Gazette office

Where they set the type

With hot lead machines

Now I have a view across the Head of the Bay

Much better than any screen saver

Today, snow and wind

Yesterday, the glamour of sunlight

Sometimes moon or stars

Sometimes brilliant dry lightning

Over the Mussel Ridges

Sometimes I think I have no control

Over the keys

They tell me which one to push

I just take the cover off, put in the paper

And turn on the music

Write the title, write the muse

And type down to the bottom of the page

If I don’t make too many mistakes

It takes about a half an hour

Some poems are personal, some public

The latter are copied

At Huston-Tuttle where for the 10 cent miracle

I can deliver them down Main Street on my poetry route

So, Phyllis’s $l25.00 investment

Those many years ago, has given me meaning in my life

And perhaps new knowledge about heart and mind


Kendall Merriam lives in Rockland where he is the city’s poet laureate.