As we get closer to publishing another book
of original poems
a number of works on this page are being
removed out of copyrite considerations.
Once we get the book completed,
we will resume posting new works.
(February, 2021)

Bard n Friends in Oshkosh

the Live Bard with fans, Oshkosh, WI, 2008

New Poems & Other Tales


On this page, the visitor to this site will find something a little different.  For the most part, the incentive behind the wanderings of the Live Bard is to acquaint those unfamiliar with narrative verse, with works from the acknowledged English speaking luminaries of this style of poetry.


But beyond reading or listening to poetry, I have found that to really understand it, one must actually try to write it.  Unless you endeavor to wrestle with words on a page, the true nature of the beast will remain something of an abstraction.

Below I have included some of my own scribblings.  Some of these may make the cut for the next book, while others may only be “work in process.”  As I take this calling (or curse) seriously, I always love feedback.  If you’re inclined, please click on the contact page and zing off an email to me.  Best wishes and, “thanks.”

Ode to a Senior Drill Instructor
Copyright 2016 by: Peter J. Thomas

Performing At Veterans Park, Milton, FL
Click on the following link:

      Labor Day Distortion


I like pathos,
at least in poetry.

Evocative plots.

Crescendos of drama.

I’ll tell an audience,

“I’m not a ‘dew on the daffodils’ kind a' guy.”

No! Tales of blood and tears
hold the fluids that suckle me.
And so, I seek to stir people's passions.

I desire to extract us all from the mundane.


But you know,

I also love tranquility.
Solitude and the chance to go slow.

Time to listen to the disparate voices within.

And I have known such peace in many places:

The intimidating grandeur of the mountains,

the unforgiving solemnity of the desert,

but especially, in my patch of woods by the river.


There, sensing the breeze on my sunburned face,

hearing the rhythmic chant of the rapids,

and watching the dance of the iridescent demons

who spit and sizzle in the camp fire

until late in the night,

I am reminded that I am a creature of flesh.


And therefore,

because life is so preciously short,

this holiday has got nothing to do

with fighting for a parking space

at a shopping mall.


Copyright © 2013 by: Peter J. Thomas, a.k.a. the Live Bard



A Story of Christmas


Many lives ago, in a city far, far away, I labored diligently as a novice securities broker.  One, otherwise quiet day, I received a phone call from a friend who was also a client.  A local chef, he was excited to tell me about the new restaurant he planned to open.  We spoke for some time.  As the call was ending I said, “Now Jim, if you need any help, just let me know.”


Two days later the phone rang and the first words out of the mouth of the person on the other end simply said, “Were you serious?”  I recognized Jim’s voice and felt a sinking sensation because I deduced, correctly as it turned out, that I was then on the hook.  I had experience as a waiter and, sure enough, Jim wanted me to work nights in his new dining room.  I said, rather grudgingly, that I’d be happy to help for “a couple of weeks,” or at least until he got the crew he needed.


Some few days hence, we had opening night.  There were only three of us on duty: Jim, another veteran waiter named Clyde, and myself.  As expected, the place prospered, and within a very short time, Jim required a Sous Chef, a hostess, a dishwasher, additional wait staff, plus an entire second crew to cover lunches.


I soon came to enjoy my time there because it was different world from my day job and offered its own unique challenges.  It also allowed me to work shoulder-to-shoulder with people of different ages and backgrounds, the most curious of which was Mian.  An immigrant from Bangladesh, he was about thirty years of age.  He worked for multiple employers, often toiling seven days a week.  His earnings helped him support two sisters who had moved to the States with him.


I had great respect for the man because of his work ethic.  He would arrive with his prayer mat at five in the evening and proceed directly to the restroom where he would render the daily obligations of his faith.  Upon emerging, he would don an apron and attack the heap of the afternoon’s accumulation of pots and pans.  Though short in stature and slight in build, Mian undertook his duties with the zeal of a two hundred and fifty pound linebacker blitzing a prima donna quarterback.  Evidently, the strength of The Prophet was strong within him.


Unlike so many of us today who work in subsistence level jobs, there was no dour display of “attitude,” of being put upon, either because of boring duties, or an oppressive boss.  Mian quickly earned my admiration for, on those all too frequent occasions when the wait staff needed cups or glasses washed, Mian would readily accede to our requests. 


Over time, I learned something of his life story.  I confided aspects of myself as well, so it was enjoyable to share a workplace with him.  One of my great amusements was relaying to Mian updates of scores for the Bangladeshi soccer team.  I’d get these from listening to the BBC on Public Radio.  I never told him what my source was, and he was always amazed at how I could possibly know how his team, on the other side of the world, fared against rivals such as India or Pakistan.


The weeks advanced and it came to be holiday season.  By then I had winnowed my restaurant schedule down to only a couple of nights per week.  That year, Christmas Eve fell on my day to work.  I really didn’t mind as this shift can be fun in the restaurant business.  On this special night of the year, customers have completed their shopping and are ready to relax and share in conviviality.


We had gotten through the evening and our last customers had departed.  After finishing the glamour of our usual “side work,” I told Mian I had something for him. Earlier that day, I had stopped at an electronics store where I had purchased an inexpensive radio.  I wrote a note explaining the settings for the appropriate bandwidth and station in order to obtain the soccer scores, and then placed the box in Christmas wrapping with a bow.  I handed the package to Mian who appeared not to know what to do next.  I told him to go ahead and open it.  He tore open the paper and when he saw the radio, I told him that now he could get his own soccer updates.


He stood still, looking at me without speaking.  At that moment, the other two waiters walked up to see what was going on.  I said that I had just given Mian his Christmas present.  With a wink of my eye, I nodded toward Maim.  The first waiter picked up my signal immediately.  He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wad of tip money.  Peeling off a ten-dollar bill, he handed it to Maim and said, “Merry Christmas!”  The second waiter took the hint as well and likewise produced a ten spot which he handed over to our valued dishwasher.


Well, there stood Mian, clutching his new radio with one hand and holding the two ten-dollar bills with the other.  Tears then came to his eyes.  In a soft but clear voice Mian said that his father stilled worked as a laborer in Bangladesh where he earned only thirty dollars a month.  Holding up his gifts, he muttered meekly, “This is a fortune.  Why have you done this?”  I looked at him and responded saying, “You don’t have to be a Christian, to appreciate the meaning of Christmas.”  At this point, as though on cue, the Chef walked up and gave Main a bag of food to take home to his sisters.


Such were the events making up one small tale of Christmas, many years past.