The poetry of James G. Piatt

The Old Chief

The old Indian Chief walks noiselessly
on bark-laden paths through the forest,
the ravens, woodpeckers, blue jays, and
hawks his chaperons, and the deer,
squirrels, and birds his friends. He
drinks of the pure water in a cold pond
below a rocky waterfall, and tastes the
sweetness of wild berries along the
sides. He listens to the oboe, violin, and
flute in the voices of downy birds hidden
high in trees. Then in the sudden
stillness of evening time, as the earth
spins slowly, silently, into night,
forgotten visions appear in his fading
mind, and he hears the sound of ancient
hoof beats of phantom warriors… and

James G. Piatt, a retired professor and octogenarian has published, 3 collections of poetry, “The Silent Pond,” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), and “Light” (2016), 4 novels, over 1,050 poems, and 35 short stories. His poems have been nominated for pushcart and best of web awards, and many were published in the “The 100 Best Poems Anthologies” of the past 4 years. His fourth collection of poetry, “Memories and Musings,” is scheduled for release in 2018. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

One comment

  1. It enters my thinking that there may be quite a bit of the Old Chief in the poet, James Piatt. The last line of this poem brought to mind a scene from the movie, The Straight Story, in which the aged hero tells a group of young men what it’s like to grow old (and I’m paraphrasing here). “As far as getting on in years goes, it’s not the aches and pains of living day to day that’s hard. It’s the remembering of what I did when I was your age, that’s what’s hurts the most.”


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