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It’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me – we’ve had some health challenges here over the winter.

I’m delighted to be sending out this news today – Peter’s poem “Lost in Plain Sight” is the poem on Ted Kooser’s “Poetry in America” today!

This is a big deal! Newspapers carrying the column download it as a PDF and run it on their usual print schedules; subscribers will receive it electronically. Current readership is about 4.6 million people.

People in 71 countries now receive the column: Nepal, Indonesia, Uganda, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Egypt, Tunisia, most of Europe, Mexico, India, The Philippines, Turkey, China, Canada, Viet Nam, South Korea, Myanmar, the Tarawa atoll, Argentina and the U.K., as well as U.S. readers from Maine to Hawaii.

Also recently a friend of ours created this lovely video where Peter and I are both interviewed, recite some of our work, and recall how we first met; it includes Peter reading this poem.

Pat & Peter from Steveg1000 on Vimeo.

And here is Peter’s beautiful poem:

LOST IN PLAIN SIGHT
by Peter Schneider

Somewhere recently
I lost my short term memory.
It was there and then it moved
like the flash of a red fox
along a line fence.

My short term memory
has no address but here
no time but now.
It is a straight-man, waiting to speak
to fill in empty space
with name, date, trivia, punch line.
And then it fails to show.

It is lost, hiding somewhere out back,
a dried ragweed stalk on the Kansas prairie
holding the shadow of its life
against a January wind.

How am I to go on?
I wake up a hundred times a day.
Who am I waiting for,
what am I looking for
why do I have this empty cup
on the porch or in the yard?

I greet my neighbor, who smiles.
I turn a slow, lazy Susan
in my mind, looking for
some clue, anything to break the spell
of being lost in plain sight.

31 Responses to Peter’s poem “Lost in Plain Sight” on “Poetry in America” today

  • Sam Butterfield says:

    Good day, Peter & Pat! Remember me? It’s Sam, as in Butterfield. (Hold that thought.) What a wonderful poem, ringing home for all of us of a certain age. I’ll be sharing it with many friends. Your cheerfulness and good humor are certainly not lost, my friend, and thank our loving God for that!

    Fondly,
    Sam & Linda

  • Beautiful! Such love and poetry from two hearts. Thank you.

  • Diane Bader says:

    Beautiful. It brings me to tears.

  • Bisi says:

    Dear Pat and Peter,

    This is an amazing piece. Peter is wonderful and the poem is touching as I lost short term memory all over the place. It’s so relatable to anyone of a certain age. But it’s deeper than that, more thoughtful than that and comforting. Knowing Peter, I can only say he is doing just fine.

    The meeting love story is touching. Seeing you speak brings warmth to my heart. Peter is always the man with wit. Love you both.

    Then you read a moving poem too. Wowee. Love you guys. You may not believe this, but I was thinking of you today and how I wanted to speak with you but not disturb you. I love you Pat.

  • Grace Farrell says:

    Beautiful and moving! Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for this exquisite poetry. Peter’s insight into memory loss stirs so much empathy in my heart. Pat, your poem For This makes tears in my eyes. Such deep expression in so few lines. Thank you.

  • ann hunt says:

    thank you for sharing! blessings!

  • Tracy Johnson says:

    Thank you for sharing you life’s. With me, love you always

  • Nancy Solak says:

    Wowzer! Slippage rendered precisely.

  • Pat,

    Thank you so much for sharing both “Pat and Peter” and the “Ageless Women” interview with us. Both are beautiful and in places brought me to tears. I lost my husband to dementia some time back. What a hard time that is, and how hard it is to maneuver through with grace. My heart goes out to you.

  • NANCY SMITH says:

    My mother has, at this point in time, moderate dementia. Peter’s poem, in totality, but particularly the line, “I wake up a hundred times a day,..” gave words to what I witness each time I visit with my mom. Thank you!

  • Beverly Dale says:

    How lovely to have this beautiful video of you both. The poetry is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Nancy says:

    Dear Pat,

    I so love this poem–and you and Peter.
    I’ll be responding soon to your welcome, welcome letter.

  • MARJORY E STJOHN says:

    You are both such wonderful poets and move me so much. Thank you for sharing this good news and the lovely video! Congratulations! πŸŽˆπŸŽŠπŸΎπŸŽ‰

  • Gloria says:

    Absolutely heart-string pulling~ Thank you for sharing your gifts with us mere mortals

  • Elizabeth Terp says:

    Peter- Your poem says it all, stuns me with its complete accuracy, comforts with the comradery of another’s knowing, nourishment for today.
    Heartfelt thanks!
    Elizabeth Terp

  • Andy May says:

    This is wonderful!!!!!!!!! Thank you for being in touch with me. Both poems are gems. A great interview as well.
    Love to you both,
    Andy May

  • Julie de Sherbinin says:

    What amazing “presence of mind” to create something so beautiful out of a fragility that moves in on all of us, sooner or later, as we age. Thank you, Peter!

  • Anne Lorda says:

    Pat, Peter…the fullness of the moment wells up in my eyes. This mind that we were led to believe… was so strong, was 0urselves, was a pathway to God… This determined mind, as ineradicable, tough and dependable as dandelions in spring, now fragile, white, diaphenous, scattered by an invisible breath from the very God we had hoped to see. May we be carried, blind as seeds on the current of that love.
    Peter, your poem is remarkable! It swells my heart. Thank you for being the Being that you are.

  • M. Wayne Clark says:

    Peter, I appreciate your poem very much. I believe it can be written only by someone, like yourself, who has come this far on the journey and still holds treasurer to a creative mind and the ability to put pen in hand ( or fingers on a keyboard)and bring to life words that have been waiting since once upon a time to be brought to life. thank you. wayne

  • Diane Hira Rose says:

    Turning a slow, lazy Susan in my mind, lost inn plain sight … what a marvelous bite of an not so delicious moment of everyday life of the aging for the warriors of the withering process. Keep it coming Peter. It’s wonderful,wonderful and wonderful.”Love, to you and Pat,
    Diane Hira Rose (dianehirarose@gmail.com)

  • JUNE FOX says:

    Oh, this makes me so sad and yet it is also beautiful as he goes about in his twilight days. I too am having these same sad things happening to me. I forget constantly, always leaving something back, undone, forgotten and then sad when I notice it. Every day something moves out of sight, out of mind. I see it happening and can’t stop it. Creating may be the only thing possible now, living in the moment. We too have had health issues this past year and also lost our daughter and so the downward spiral has gone fasterd I think.
    Thanks for sending this.
    Your film brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful, so true, so sad.

  • Augusta Fox Vesecky says:

    My dear sister-in-law just sent me this link. I can only commend you both–as excellent poets and lifelong loves. Thank you.

  • Catherine Rees says:

    Oh Peter! Your poem, “Lost in Plain Sight” is so tender and beautiful as is yours Pat. What a precious little testimony to your creativity and love. It is good to hear from you both. You will be pleased to know, I’m sure, that since I’ve moved to Bell Island,Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, I have germinated 2 AWA groups, one composed of 4 members on Bell Island, the other 5 members in St. John’s and the interest is growing. I’m eternally grateful for Amherst Writers and Artists changing my life and for you two, who planted the seed and nurtured it along. I have no doubt it will continue to flourish because the principles are so inclusive and inclusivity is a human need. With Love and Respect ~ Catherine

  • elaine koerner says:

    So very poignant, powerful.

  • Hannah Carrier Morgan says:

    Beautiful and so poignantly sad. How frightening, too. Since I have reached a certain age I feel invisible so much of the time that I feel β€œlost in plain sight.”

  • Marybeth Toomey says:

    How true and how moving! And how blessed that Peter is still mentoring and engaging and offering us wisdom!
    With love and Blessings, Marybeth

  • Amazing, honest, first-hand look at what aging can do to vital minds. How I hope I am not already on that journey. Thank you for letting me know that if I am, I will not be alone.

  • Michael Childs says:

    I had some quiet time today and came across your email from May and sat down and watched the video. Time flies! I am glad to see you both have kept your spirit all these years and continued to work on your craft. I’d like you both to know that I very much enjoyed the time we worked together on our writing, and I wish you both the very best!

  • NGAIRE GEE says:

    love your poem with all my heart, Peter

  • Wow! I love both the poems. My mother at 96 has short term memory loss and my husband and I have been together 38 years, so both poems really resonate with me. What a lovely tribute video! I am a poet, so I really appreciate the perfect succinctness of these poems and their message.

    I actually arrived here by searching for Bee Ridgway and wondering what became of her. I loved both her books but since there has been no activity since 2016, I was wondering if she was ok. I realize it’s a pseudonym. I think River of No Return had one of the best descriptions of time travel I have ever read, and I’ve read many, as I’ve been reading science fiction since I was 10.

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