Larry Tilander's Amusing Autobiography
I was born on October 9th, 1957 in Toronto, a city
in Canada and although my folks worked hard they didn't seem to be getting anywhere. In 1964 they decided that they would
move out to the country, to a place called Marlbank and take the pension my Dad was entitled to because of his blindness.
Country-living was to prove hard, as the place we moved to was pretty primitive and Dad's pension didn't go too far. We cut
our own firewood, carried water from a hand pumped well, and used an outhouse to go to the bathroom in. On the mornings when
the stove hadn't been banked well enough the night before the pail of water on the counter would have ice on it and I would
dress as close as I could get to the stove pipe so I could absorb the heat of the fire Pop had just built. We all worked at
a lot of jobs to improve things. About the only thing that carried over from the modern school I had been attending in Toronto
to the two room schoolhouse that was Marlbank's answer to it was a respect for poetry. In Toronto it was done in fun and was
more like singing while the teacher played the piano. In Marlbank it was all "rote memorization" and we had to learn to recite.
Not only was this a sound device in teaching, it also kept the three other grades occupied while the teacher concentrated
Since my Dad is blind, my Mom used to read to him
a lot. Dad is particularly fond of poetry, and of all the poets, he loves best Robert Service. I abruptly dropped out of high
school in 1975 for reasons of sanity, and ended up with a job at a gas station near Napanee, where I think I accomplished
some of my best writing. I soon realized that Napanee was no place to linger in.
So about a year later I went back to school to get
my high school equivalency and go to college to become a print journalist. I don't know what exactly was going on there, but
the classes somehow didn't seem quite "right" for print journalism and when I asked what was going on, I was told I was enrolled
in an offset printing course! I eventually learned that, according to the school records I was not even likely capable of
learning even offset printing, and that I was certainly unable to write anything that anyone would want to read.
So I walked out the door and went to work as a pizza
maker. I've had a lot of jobs over the years; disc jockey, forest fire fighter, water/waste water treatment plant operator,
military driver, and masons' assistant to name a few. I've lived in Kitchener, Kingston, North Bay, a few places in Toronto,
Deseronto, and now Belleville. I've been in Belleville since 1983 and it's 2002 now. I must like it here.
In 1982, while living in Toronto I became a security
guard. I must like that also. I am still doing it. Moreover, while I was living in Toronto I was having a lot of fun writing
poetry, reading some on a radio station there, and bringing a lot back to Marlbank. Several of these poems were published
in local newspapers in Tweed and Napanee. I had been sending some stuff out to magazines too; just started really, when an
editor named Rocco from a rag called Descant was so rude to me over his interpretation of one of my poems that I gave up on
poetry for almost twenty years, turning to song writing instead, a field in which I have had some success.
If it hadn't been for the coaxing of a few writers
on the internet, most notably C.J. Heck, herself a very versatile poet who has written some really good children's poetry,
and Mary Sullivan who is another wacky traditionalist poet, my poetry would likely all be in the trash by now and I never
would have begun writing stories. And yes, I finally did finish high school in a real high school full of smelly little kids
in 1998. I have my diploma to prove it.
Featuring Canadian sonneteers..... I'm sure I encountered
a few when the Rhyme and Meter, now the partners In Rhyme webring was going strong. If their stuff is still archived you may
dig a few more out of the permafrost yet. Also, if I dig there are likely a few I have done nothing with but post on one site
or another. If you're going to put a few of mine in you might put in a couple of my favourites. Thanks for the appreciation.
by Larry Tilander 2004
Click here to visit Larry Tilander and His Traditional Poetry
Take the kids to Larry's Children's Site: Kids' Stuff
Playground Of The Mind
We're children in the playground of the gods.
Mere time? Illusion made with flashing suns.
Eternity, the mind forever runs
Although the drooling body sits and nods.
What cares the mind for crass corporal things?
While souls go echoing through time and space.
Look past the lines that etch this Earthly face
To where the child's laughter ever rings.
there you find me now, will ever find.
from drudgery, this is more real
bones the bites arthritic constant feel.
Join me in this playground of the mind.
We'll play forever in this park we've made.
While bones and other fleshly bothers fade.
by Larry Tilander 2004
Come Death Rolled bones
Gods' plans or simple twists of fate,
By fire, age, or poison from a friend
Each term of life will some day come to end.
Come now untimely death; you're much too late.
These eyes, they've seen so much of life go by.
The cruelties I've witnessed, senseless war.
Come death, be kind and close at last the door
That lets these memories flood my poor mind's eye.
"How lucky." people say, "To live so long."
And hope that they may reach this bitter age,
But should they, just like I they too will rage
And curse the heart within them beating strong.
Had I the strength I'd rip away these wires
And reach the nothingness this heart desires.
© by Larry Tilander 2004
They met in London, nineteen forty four.
She said, "I race tomorrow; watch me run?"
He said, "That sure sounds like a lot of fun.
Tomorrow I must sail off to the war."
They met again in nineteen forty six.
She'd never walk again, the doctors said.
A miracle she hadn't been crushed dead,
And him with gassed out eyes they couldn't fix.
Now sixty years along, both on death's bed,
They're dying as they lived, still hand in hand,
I, list'ning close could barely understand
The final words my dying parents said.
She said, "I race tomorrow, watch me run?"
He said, That sure sounds like a lot of fun."
© by Larry Tilander 2004