Thank you for visiting my website — Dave Baldwin

I invite you to bookmark this page. Each time I write a new poem, I will post it here as a preview, and it will stay here until I write something new. Typically, I post once a week. Feel free to contact me any time.

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The theme for the December meeting of the EPIC Writers Group in Edmonds is “family.”

Family Pictures


From the seventh grade
until I left for Idaho,
I never heard him once raise his voice.
She lacked finesse;
aggression was all she knew.
When she attacked,
he tracked rhetorical flaws.
His counter-punching style
would fake retreat,
if not defeat.
He set such subtle traps.
She flailed away
until her strength was sapped,
until she dropped her guard
and showed the chin.
With viper quickness,
he decked her with a mot
and hid a smirk behind Jim Beam on ice.
Then bouncing back,
she poured another drink,
each drink another round,
each fight a draw.


The things you say and do
to each of us,
your children first
and now our children, too,
are always said and done
with good intent.
You never learn how good intentions hurt
or why the hurt
is twice as hard on you.
When we were small,
your happiness was full.
A disciplined house fulfilled a need for you;
for us, we could not wait
for self-reliance.
How much has really changed in fifty years?
You give advice;
we choose what might be useful
and file the rest away.
Approval will not make or break the child.
Our children rise and shine
and come of age without your help.
If you are pleased or not,
our lives go on.
To bring us back,
you need to let us go.


Our matriarchy is like a prairie church.
The pastor died;
the pulpit gathers dust.
White clapboard siding is shedding paint
and gothic windows are bleared
by prairie rains.
She rings the bell,
but no one comes for prayers.
The city took her once-obedient son
and daughters followed husbands
far from home.
As children, they only knew
the cult of motherhood.
As adults, they turned to other gods.
Her faith is long remembered,
but not believed.
When she is gone,
grass will eat the church.

Anthem Lyrics

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Published Poetry

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Author Bio

Dave Baldwin recently retired as senior technical writer from the Walt Disney Company (Technology Division) after 40+ years as a technical writer and editor. In his career, he also worked for Boeing, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Amazon. He has been a naval officer, college teacher, real estate broker, and masters track and field athlete (high jump and middle-distance races).

Dave is the author of a book about the history of track and field. A poet for many years, he is the former national secretary for the Haiku Society of America. He is a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Snohomish, Washington, and lives in nearby Lake Stevens.

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