I’m going back to my hometown, Bismarck, North Dakota to hear the premiere of a piece I put together for the dedication of the G Ron Gilbreath Auditorium. This holds special meaning for me because it will be housed in Bismarck High School.

The work was composed together with my friends Daniel Bondaczuk and Amber Maxwell, and is a tribute to my dear friend, mentor and band director during the years I conducted the orchestra program at Bismarck High. His name is Gordon Knaak, and he and his family are held warmly in my heart.

In July, I go back once again to Bismarck to remember the life of a girl, who apart from my wife Pam, was my closest friend in high school. Her name is Greta Weisser and we played cello together growing up and never lost touch through the years.

This season of remembering fostered a poetic chord in me. I thought i would share it with my friends. It’s what i feel.


Silver strands

wrinkled hands

a patch of thinning mane

in the mirror

a vision peers

at tracks

the years have framed

Warm moments spawn

fond reminisce

captured through the years

They temper well

the youthful scars

and adolescent fears

The world was what it was for me

I never thought to ask

or question in those carefree days

I thought would always last

But now the residue of grief

and emptiness I feel

aches for all whose damaged hearts

no human spackle heals

Blossom falls

on colored leaf

Ages payment comes

Once vibrant days

of living finds

a body soon undone.

Dreams and leaves then wind away

Lo soon they disappear

For now is not

what thought would be

in these ensuing years

Life has stamped it’s cruel mark

on all my childhood friends

But in the day

we had it made

We all were different then

It all was different then

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