My life has been in free-fall since the day that I was born.
__Through clouds and sunshine, I have flown and soared.
The trip has been exhilarating since that birth-day morn.
__There hasn’t been a day that I’ve been bored.

The longer I keep falling all the more comes into view;
__I see things clearer than I did before.
Each time I search for what’s ahead I see things that are new.
__And as the ground draws closer, I see more.

Thus far I have enjoyed my life between the earth and sky.
__The fact that I’ll soon land is absolute.
But as the ground draws closer, I’ve begun to wonder why
__They never issued me a parachute.



Truth Be Told

Like many others, back when I was young
I never doubted truth was on my side.
With noble thoughts and wisdom on my tongue,
My point of view was always justified.

It’s not that I was arrogant or vain,
Audacious, haughty, smug or erudite;
I never treated others with disdain,
I simply knew that I was always right.

But since, I’ve found when truth does not agree
With what my egocentric thoughts presume,
It’s often made an “ass” of “u” and “me.”
Which is, of course, the meaning of “assume.”

To bend and twist myself towards truth, I’ve found,
Works better than the other way around.



Too Much of a Good Thing

Whenever someone asks me to opine
I try my best to keep my comments terse.
For if my grand oration is too fine,
The verbal pyrotechnics make things worse.

Far better is to get straight to the point
And speak as true and honest as can be
Lest both my thoughts and time get out of joint,
And prove to be embarrassing to me.

I try to speak from one, not many angles
For wordiness obscures a well-meant thought
And obfuscates in convoluted tangles
While tying good intentions in a knot.

So when I speak I stand and say my bit,
And then, as soon as possible, I sit.



James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse.

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19 Responses

  1. jd

    Enjoyed all three, Mr. Tweedie. Eminently relatable,
    I wouldn’t know which one to choose as a favorite. I love
    the surprise of the final line of the first, the clever
    use of “assume” in the second and the good advice of the

    • James A. Tweedie


      It’s always wise to take good advice . . . Especially if it’s your own! Thanks for the shout.

  2. Russel Winick

    I too liked all three. “Too Much…” particularly resonates as a lesson I’ve tried to learn. Fine work!

  3. Julian D. Woodruff

    Good work, Mr. Tweedie–all 3. The 2nd reminds me of Lerner’s fine lyric “C’EST moi,” from Camelot, although with its turn it reaches an awareness that escapes Lancelot completely in the song.

    • James A. Tweedie


      I am tickled to be compared with the great Lerner. While in Adelaide Australia back in 1984 I saw the show with Richard Harris. It was not the same without Goulet as Launcelot. One arrogant man or woman often seems to build a kingdom on sand before bringing it to ruin as with Launcelot/Camelot, Hitler/Germany, Putin/Russia, and Xi/China. Collective arrogance can do the same to a republic. Our nation’s founders were passionate, brash, full of competing convictions but (with the possible exceptions of Burr and Hamilton) displayed a remarkable lack of arrogance or pursuit of power. Which is one reason they were so successful. Collective humility leads to greater and longer-lasting triumph and prosperity for all—qualities of character that are sadly lacking in our nation’s leadership these days.

  4. Cheryl Corey

    “They never issued me a parachute.” is a strong ending to “Free-Fall”. I like the word play on “assume” in “Truth…”. All three are full of wisdom and advice. Great reading at any age.

  5. Margaret Coats

    Good ponderings, and especially good use of long lines (first and third of each quatrain) in “Free-Fall” to suggest the soaring stretches.

  6. Jeff Eardley

    Mr Tweedie, thanks for a well-needed blast of fun with these ponderings. As a fellow member of the, “Three Score and Ten” club, I find myself looking down the long tunnel of time with the thought that a light at the end of a tunnel usually means a train coming the other way. I hope the parachute deploys successfully, and full marks to Evan for the artwork.

  7. C.B. Anderson

    These three pithy poems, James, are just the kind of thing I like to read (and write). It’s better to have the best word than to have the last word, and you have given us some of the best words in the world, which, I am sure, will not be your last words.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Ty CB, your clever poetic twists have, over the past few years, opened my eyes to possibilities I had not considered before—in a sense, “giving me permission” to point my versified fun in new directions!

  8. Paul Freeman

    It’s all been said above, James.

    ‘I never treated others with disdain,
    I simply knew that I was always right.’

    And there I was thinking I was always right.

    Thanks for the reads.

  9. James A. Tweedie

    When everything’s been said and done
    The course of history’s been run.

  10. David Watt

    James, your combination of thoughts formed through life experience, and sage advice make for fine reading. I particularly enjoyed the active imagery in “Free-Fall”, and the satisfyingly humorous conclusion.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Ty, David. I’m glad the humor and the point of the poems came through.

  11. Norma Pain

    “And as the ground draws closer”, in Freefall, was the line that hit me and made me shudder while at the same time, it made me laugh. Being claustrophobic, I wrote the following:

    Here lies a most unhappy little lady,
    Claustrophobia had filled her life with dread.
    Her request was for cremation to avoid horrification
    But they buried her alive and now she’s dead!!

  12. Norma Pain

    And I meant to say thank you for all three poems. I also enjoyed them very much.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Thank you, Norma. I like the closing line of your poem. It’s a real kicker! lol

  13. Adam Wasem

    James, I pray someday to have the serenity of heart and soul to read the end of “Free-Fall” as humorous–which you seem to have intended–rather than terrifying. On the other hand, “Too Much of a Good Thing,” is as fine an elucidation of the aphorism “Brevity is the Soul of Wit,” that I’ve read. Beautifully crafted, as always.


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