The Ruminations and Reflections of an Armchair Philosopher


Not for me 😔

Although you can see the author improving his craft throughout the book, there are only a few poems that were worth reading.


This is not a book of poetry for poets. These poems take a humorous and philosophical view of many familiar topics....wisdom, ridicule, tranquility, jazz, doubt, wild monkeys, respect, speculation and truth.

To order this book from, use “Visit Website” to be redirected to the web page where this book can be ordered.

Out of all the poems in the book, only a few do not feel empty. Most of the poems are well-written. They are not masterpieces, but they are still good pieces. However, most of them are empty. They have no real purpose, or do not share anything new or substantial. Yet, there are a few successful one. Poem 17 touches upon ecological concerns and is truly well-crafted. Poem 54 is also pertinent as it points out a problematic aspect of how mental health is treated. Out of the 61 pages I read, 6 poems really stood out for me as good material. The rest seemed futile and boring.

The thing is, there is one poem that really triggered me. Poem 20 compares a wife to a bike. In essence, the comparison tells the reader that a wife is an object possessed by a man and that you should not touch the bike or the wife of a man. This poem is in the first 30 pages of the book and I almost stopped reading it altogether. It may be an internalized message, but it is still one that promotes the objectification of women's bodies. Something I cannot stand for in any way!

Overall, the poems are not too bad, but they are not too good either. It's a great first attempt, and to be honest, it's shows how brave this author is. I do think that although this review is not all positive, the author should not stop writing. There is something there, it just needs to be worked on.

Reviewed by

We are two young women who love books. I'm Carolane, C on the blog, and I'm a graduate student in English Literature. Laurie, L, is a translation undergraduate student. We've known each other for what seems like forever. We bonded over our love of books.


This is not a book of poetry for poets. These poems take a humorous and philosophical view of many familiar topics....wisdom, ridicule, tranquility, jazz, doubt, wild monkeys, respect, speculation and truth.

To order this book from, use “Visit Website” to be redirected to the web page where this book can be ordered.

Poem number 1                                             

After arriving home with a one-way ticket I found my head swimming with ideas . . . my Dad said “just write it down while you’ve got your ideas”. 7 minutes later I had the first draft of this poem. I presented it to my Dad and he suggested that I change one word to “caprices” (much better alliteration!). . . . and . .. . voila! I found I had the first poem of my adult life. I believe that the last poem I wrote was in grade school. Even more to my surprise my Dad (a well known and respected poet) suggested I read this a few days later at an open mic event that he reads at often. . . . ! . . . and the rest is history.

The “Twins”

Though fraternal and not in any way identical, 

Born, they’d say, at the dawn of time.

One balancing perfectly against the other

Every aspect of one mirroring the caprices and capacities of the other.

One is bold, aggressive, confident,

and dares do what has never been done.

The other quiet, careful . . . . .

a source of calm and stability.

Throughout their seemingly endless life together, each is essential, as fear is to love.

Known throughout their lives by many names, 

We know them

                   Speculation and Truth.

Poem number 2                                             

After reading my first poem at “Word for Word” the challenge for the next open mic at “Word for Word” involved the sequence of numbers 7-7-7-7.


Again my Dad was my sounding board and he pronounced this poem good enough to read at the next open mic that was still a month off!

“Was I just lucky when the 7th book, on the 7th shelf, and the 7th page and the 7th word turned out to be “enough”? I’ll let you decide since that book turned out to be the “The Life and Works of Sigmund Freud.”

Then flash, after toiling for years on an 18th century oboe to find a way to play a cantata by Bach for oboe, Baritone voice and strings, I suddenly remembered the title of that cantata,

which is:

Ich habe genug:

(original: Ich habe genung, English: "I have enough" or "I am content"),

BWV 82, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach.”

Life is short!

peals of laughter, as my father reads his morning paper

memories of my laughs from today's Facebook feed.

betting with my mom on the winner of Project Runway.

my parent’s acceptance of their son's odd attire.

memories of surviving my first open mic,

the sounds of laughter, whistling and applause still ringing in my ears.

life is short,

Ich habe genug!

Poem number 3                                               

I was reading an old article that I wrote back in 1990 when I played the baroque oboe often in an orchestra I helped found. Much of the text for this poem is in that article.

Again my Dad and Jack Callan provided great editorial support . . . . . .


What sort of dynamics does an instrument need

to blend in, 


and match the acrobatic flight of a full string section,

 . . . and then break free, 


      establish itself as a soloist 


        with material of equal fire,


            or sharp contrast?

What sort of dynamics do trumpet fanfares imply?

How could its sound have been mistaken for a human voice,

Painfully searing one moment, 

playful and dance like the next?

What sort of control did it provide

to support the long melodies that hovered over a murmuring string band?

For Handel, Bach and Telemann The oboe had enormous power . . . 

it could go suddenly from transparent softness to a blast,

its range supported by many long beatific melodies,

and then,

at a moment’s notice, 

it could whip off fiery cadenzas.

Could this instrument have predated Jazz?

Poem number 5                                              



We have a snow storm just starting here in Virginia.

I just got back from an "EMERGENCY" trip,

to the grocery store,

(just 2 miles away),

on icy roads,

with my 90 year old Father,

at the wheel of his car. 

We made it back alive!


we managed to buy all the things,

that were specified,

by my 82 year old Mom,

on a small post-it note,

that only my Father could read. 


that list,

produced 8 bags of groceries,

by the time we were done. 

After my Mom did a complete audit of what we brought back,

(and I helped to put some stuff away),

I thought to myself,

. . . . boy

wouldn’t it be nice

to be held by a man again,

and remember,

what it was like,

to be a boy again! 

And then I realized, 

how amazing it was,

that except for a hug,

my experience was,

what it was like,

to be a boy again,

in this house again,

with my parents again!

Poem number 10                                               


This poem has been through many edits due to the influence and advice of Jack Callan, my partner of 20 years, John Dunham and my father. Jack and Judith gave a beautiful reading of it a couple months ago at “Word for Word”. One of my goals with this poem is to take an actual story about a pre-med student and transform it into something very open and more universal.

Star of wonder . . .

Star of wonder,

Star of night,

Star of royal beauty bright,

Westward leading, still proceeding,

Guide us to thy perfect light.

One afternoon an old man pulled out his string of Christmas tree lights and found just 

one light burning,

He was alone, a widower with no kin.

Star of wonder,

Star of night,

That same night, Christmas Eve, a young man waited for his first shift at a local

 emergency room,

Having completed his undergraduate work in pre-med, 

he thought nothing could surprise him,

Star of wonder,

Star of night,

Star of royal beauty bright.

Later that night,

after the old man fell asleep with one light burning, oh so gloriously bright,

woke up with a start,

and dialed 911.

Star of wonder,

Star of night,

Star of royal beauty bright.


badly shaken and badly burned the old man looked solemn, 

despondent and alone in that emergency room,

Star of wonder,

Star of night,

That single light that burned so gloriously bright was now a part of this man’s plight.

The young man was told to ease the old man’s burden,

to keep him company until the burns could be addressed,

for that single bulb

had warmed the old man

in a place that rarely saw true light.

Westward leading, still proceeding,

Guide us to thy perfect light.

Poem number 11                                                


Everyone remembers “the cool kids”. The guy in college that was the quarterback with parallel majors in pre-med and pre-law. The thin blond in chemistry that was fluent in French and was a wiz at Calculus. The stars of the racetrack and the tennis court that also found physics fun. These were the amazing people that did everything with an ease and grace that no one else could match.

Amazing Grace

Where are you?

You seem to be everywhere I look.

Dazzling, scintillating and ever present.

You delight and amaze everyone you meet, 

but not me!

Oh my God, 

why not ME?

I can’t get a glance, 

or see your face, 

but your presence appears to be everywhere I look.

Why won’t you look at me? 

Let me see your face?

Oh My God of amazing grace.


Poem 22                                                  


I had the pleasure in the year 1998 of staying at the Oberoi Hotel in Bangalore India. I was there for two weeks to setup and staff a team of software developers. On the teak credenza in my hotel room I found a card warning about monkeys. This poem begins with the text from that card.

Wild Monkeys

The Oberoi

Bangalore, India

Monkeys are an occasional problem in Bangalore.

For the safety of your belongings, 

Please close the balcony doors and windows,

When you are absent,

From your room.

A thought, an impulse, a mad flash of desire,

Are these the true Monkeys of Bangalore India?

Without a care, they chatter away, all those wild Monkeys of Bangalore India.

Impressive joy and excessive exuberance,

Are these the wild Monkeys of Bangalore India?

The sub-continent is rich in a long tradition,

Of living in harmony with all these wild Monkeys.

A wild Monkey may be a close friend or a relative,

Beware of wild Monkeys for they do not despair!

But what would life be, without the wild and the free?

Beware of wild Monkeys, they are everywhere!

Poem 63                                                   



Knowing what you love to hate,

And those things that one,

May hate to love is a fundamental responsibility.

Sex, Music, Great food and Art,

These are things that one might realize,

That one hates to love.

Violence, Crime, Addiction and intolerance are things that one might,

Given enough time,

Be things that one may,

Love to hate.

“It’s just the way it is,

I was born this way,

My family has always been this way,

Everybody does it, so What’s your excuse!”

Again somethings that one might over time,

Love to hate?

Our society appears to be,

Overly aggressive,

Highly contagious,

And overly competitive.

So any member of our society,

That appears to be,

Too kind,

Too generous,

Too patient,

That believes in unconditional love,


The possibility of universal altruism,

Must clearly be Mentally,


About the author

Peter Kelly grew up in Newport News Virginia. Peter helped establish the Lyra Baroque Orchestra after moving to the Twin Cities in 1985. He was the principal baroque oboist with the Lyra Baroque Orchestra for six years. He recently retired as a Senior Systems Business Analyst. view profile

Published on March 08, 2019

6000 words

Genre: Poetry

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