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Baseball introduced me to poetry.  At the kitchen table on a rainy Sunday afternoon at age thirteen, I composed a rather lengthy poem in tribute to my favorite baseball player, calling it “The Ballad of Eddie Mathews,” actually a takeoff on a popular song at the time.  Somehow it fell into the hands of my English teacher.  Sensing some faint flicker of promise (or the complete opposite), she became my self-appointed tutor during the noon recess each day, introducing me to a new world of rhymes, beats, and sonnets.

Thereafter, I could only steal furtive glances outside, where the rest of the guys were whacking baseballs and running the bases in my beloved sport, all wrapped in visions of baseball glory--home runs into starry skies, ticker tape parades, the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.  All the while I fidgeted in my one-armed wooden desk reciting the “daDUM, daDUM, daDUMs” of the endless dance of iambic pentameter.  Only years later did I come to appreciate this curious lesson in irony.  How could I not put those lunchtime hours to some use in the future?

After a lengthy detour into a legal career, I’ve come full circle.  I suppose Mrs. Starr would be glad (and possibly astonished) to know that seven times my poems have been ranked as finalists in the Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, and ten poems have been selected on the short list for finalist or semifinalist in the Faulkner and Boulevard competitions.  My poems have been published in Blueline, as an Editor’s Pick in Pooled Ink, and in the anthology Coffee Poems.

Thanks, Ms. Starr!

Periodic Poems

As a welcome to the website and an invitation to return, I would like to share with you an occasional original poem.  These offerings will cover a variety of forms, subjects, emotions, and life events.  I hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, July 02 2019

-Larkin Edwin Greer

-Published as Editor’s Choice in Pooled Ink
-Finalist/Short List, Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition

Thursday, January 31 2019


You walk the high wire.

I guess you always have.

Like a mountain goat

at the peak

of an Alpine ridge,

you see the sunrise first.


There are times

you may quiver

and stretch wide your arms

as all balance

seems to forsake you.


The world gasps

in dismay and quakes

at your fate.


But with a set jaw

you hold to the course,

and the wild pendular


swing with less violence


until the wire’s

mad mutiny

finally subsides

and you skip lightly

to the far platform.


The moment we all

at last settle back

and sigh in relief

you turn and step

onto the wire once more.


It’s your greatest

incredible charm

and your truest asset—

you insist on living

your life with no net.


-Larkin Edwin Greer


Sunday, December 30 2018


When I’m rounding

the final curve

on this spinning planet,

muscles strained and heavy,

the finish looming,

now in sight,


seconds ticking wildly,

watches raised and ready,

noise of the crowd

an ascending roar...

in the blur of it all

my soul will mark its savage tally.


My arms struggle upward,

a weary celebration,

with my final burst

through the waiting string…

for I’ve lived a focused life,

goals forever rare and noble.


I’ve set high my sights,

chasing Mount Olympus rising

into the parting clouds,

a place among the gods,

nameplate of hammered gold

from the fire of falling stars,


perhaps to lift aloft

a gleaming silver goblet

with Apollo, Zeus and Heracles—

a perfected life to present

that final day at heaven’s gate.


And yet…

something deep within

compels me now to ask—

have I ever raised my glass

to a fiery sunset, looked deep

into the patient eyes

of a pure-hearted child?


Have I listened for the music

in the summer wind,

searched for rainbows

through a misting rain?

Did I find love?  Give love?

Bring some joy to my corner

of this twisting globe?


Or was my lofty goal

a mere illusion,

the impossible dream

of one dazzled by the world?


Have I measured life

through approval

in the discerning eyes

of friends and strangers,

in the collected words

of my obituary-to-be

as though it were some

redeeming resume?


In all the years

of sweat, toil and aspiration,

was I really only racing

on a carousel—

atop a carved

and lacquered stallion,

nostrils madly flaring,

drugged by throbbing thunder

from a bleating organ,

rhythm matched by flashing hooves

that never touch the earth?


Have I pounded the flanks

of my imitation sweating steed

to speeds unthinkable

to insure this vital race be won...

yet traveling the same eternal circuit,

charging forever round

                        and round

                                    and round


and going nowhere at all?


-Larkin Edwin Greer

Tuesday, November 13 2018

There are times

when the senses

seem to recede,

when all that is left

for a stark moment in time

is an intense waiting silence.


     A man stands at a counter,

     hooded face hidden in shadow,

     hand gripping

     a pocketed object,

     forefinger pausing on the crescent

     curl of the trigger...


          A girl new to her teens

          shivers in the dark,

          unpersuaded, yet haunted

          by words of false promise.  

          With the low purr of a zipper,

          the word “yes” begins to form

          on trembling lips...


               Muddy water swells

               inch by inch,

               as teeth of the river

               bite into the belly

               of the ancient levee.

               The weakest point strains

               with the first small quiver,

               and pauses there

               as a trumpet declares the blues

               in the distant streets,

               and the future

               begins to destroy itself.


In that instant of silence

the soul straddles

two worlds,

walking on the edges of time,

a choice being made

by man or nature

that will alter

some corner of this life forever.


-Larkin Edwin Greer

Wednesday, October 17 2018

The trumpet 
delivers a river of sound
through the solemn streets 
of the waiting city,
enfolding the assemblage 
of marchers, tambourines 
and slide trombones,
top hats, fringed umbrellas
and timeless balconied shops,
in the smooth embrace of its music.

“Just a closer walk with Thee...”
implore the swaying 
musicians advancing 
in the cradling slow dance 
of reverence and bottomless passion,
each flinging his music
into the flowing current
of unchecked emotion.

I yield to impulse
and jump into the moving
wave, dipping to the rhythm
beside a booming bass drum
and sounding out the lyrics 
to the unhurried tempo.

Passing an old cemetery
I happen to notice 
a phantom presence
slip quickly 
among the small forest
of tombstones, crypts, 
and crosses and slide 
into the swelling cortege.
By now the tempo has changed,
upbeat and triumphant,
“Jesus on the Main Line,”
knees hopping high,
voices loud and jazzy,
bodies moving with the mood.  

I see more apparitions,
ghosts like swirling vapors rising, 
shaking off the years
and stepping briskly
into the passing parade—
soldiers who’d fallen 
on the fields of battle, 
marching ragged and proud, 
statesmen, peasants,
preachers and sinners—

all roused and moving
through the dead leaves swirling,
their shadowed procession 
joining the aggregation,
one long snaking, strutting,
testifying, glorifying,
venerating, celebrating,
pure-hearted dance, 
a joined musical jubilee—
the dead and undead.

And I pause to wonder...which am I?
And does it really matter after all?

-Larkin Edwin Greer