My Number One Daughter

Who likes to take the dog for long walks?
Who lifts up the rug to insert flower stalks?
Who likes to put cute dresses on?
Who wakes me up at half past dawn?

Who likes to put her whole hand in my mouth?
Who is it who’s just now learned how to pout?
Who loves to swing, and swing, and swing?
Who likes to sit upon the ceiling?

Who likes to spill beans everywhere?
Who likes to climb up into her chair?
Who likes to sit at the keyboard and type?
Who likes to eat avocados ripe?

Who’d rather spend the whole day outside?
Who likes to push herself down the slide?
Who likes to dig her toes in the ground?
Who likes to read books up-side-down?

Who laughs and laughs when her brother says, “Boo!”?
My number one daughter, that is who!

Copyright © Paul Guernsey Player, 2001/10/23

Listen to me read it on SoundCloud


On a day such as this

My daughter was born on a day such as this

with rain drops everywhere,

A day wet with wind that would unseat your hat

and blow leaves and twigs in your hair.

A girl that is born on a day such as this

could take up the World like the grass in her fist

and scatter the blades without care,

Or illume tired faces with dimples and laughter

like lightning bolts strewn through the air.


March 4, 2001 © paulGuernseyPlayer

Somewhere beneath a clear blue sky

Somewhere beneath a clear blue sky
we sit and watch the world go by,
from sandy beach along the shore
or from a bench before a store.

The passing faces, frames and gaits
remind us of our own mean fates.
Familiar footfalls, crags and sighs
pass before our wandering eyes.

At last, we lift our gaze to see
the sky we thought so clear to be
relinquish its weak hold on light
and unveil twinkling points of white.

We float through silent empty seas
and contemplate infinities.

© Paul Guernsey Player

Always in My Thoughts

Soft and green and fresh as winter wheat
on undulating fields
in springtime’s early thaw,
you’re always in my thoughts.

The breeze that blows when young boys play:
the ball, aloft, as all eyes wait
for its return to Earth.

The River flowing green and deep
beyond all sounding.

A perfect stone found lying
in an open field
that draws you in and holds you
safe and warm and lovely.

by Paul Guernsey, Copyright © 1982/08/30, revised 2002/01/28, 2018/06/30

Question [from Susan, Wife, Lovely Assistant, and Biggest Blog Fan (based on number of facebook comments)]:

Which area inspired this?


The thumb of Michigan, specifically, M-81 between Cass City, Michigan and Caro. There is nothing more beautiful than that color green and the delicate softness of the young grasses growing skyward all the winter long, but not revealed till now,  completely hidden until the spring, when melting snows reveal their presence. Farmer magic.

I also see a tractor turning over the rich dark Earth of a gently sloping field as snow has begun to fall. On one side of the tractor lies the pure white virgin snow, on the other side is his rich black fertile dirt. I think I have a poem for that image, as well, but have not re-discovered it yet.