Poet Laureate                                                                                   Dearly Departed    
Last Thursday Book Club

Poet Laureate:
Collected works of rhyming reviews by LTBC Poet Laureate Keith Gilbert
as inspired by a selection of the month:
  Guest Poet:

  Technology Essays by Prof. Robert Woods, ASME Fellow:

Atmospheric RailwayBarrel BoringCotton GinCugnot's FardierDeus ex Machina
Directional DrillingJacquard LoomLensesMarly MachinePipe Organs
Powered GlidersResonatorsRoman AqueductsSteamboatsThomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine
Transatlantic CableTypefoundingUnited States Capitol DomeWheelsWire Drawing and Bridges

The Book of Life:  a special memorial to our departed members:

High Reflections on Lo

Twas nigh on fifty years ago
That Humbert, a pervert he;
Longed for his Lo
So long and deep
And diddled her with lust 'n glee.

Lo - a pubescent lass, pre-teen
He fondled her where she'd never been
Lolita, Light of his Life, Fire in his dong,
Old Hum plucked her deep, he plunked her long,
Twiddled her strings with sonorous dong.

Seems he couldn't get enough of Lo -
Traveled together, to and fro -
Methinks she gave sex for comfort, this little tart
And he swapped comfort for sex ... but gave his heart.

Alas, both went their separate ways
Left ol' Hum in a frightful daze.
He killed Quilty, lost his mind
And Lo ... another Dick did find!

So, in summary, what sin did old Hum do?
Well yes, he twiddled 'n fondled our ingenue -
But in fact Lo was no naive 'n innocent lass -
She knew how to bounce her boobs and gyrate her ass.

So I ask you ... is old Hum a letch?
No, rather a moral leper, a bumbling wretch.
Our dilemma is the man's a jerk
But the story's a gem, a masterwork.
In fact, I myself feel slightly queerer
'Cause I see a bit of me in Nabokov's mirror.

Finally, my grade, a solid "B"
No timeless message, but a great storee!

  (return to top of page)

Morrie Story

Tonight we review "Tuesdays with Morrie"
It's really quite a simple story
Our dying prof can't walk-the-walk
So instead he tries to talk-the-talk.

It's neither deep nor too profound
Though aphorisms do abound
Our book is fueled by pure emotion
Alas, for the mind 'tis a tepid potion.

The great Secrets of Life are not found here
Instead, the secretions of Death I hear:
Bile, phlegm, poop, and snot
Imbue the innards of this plot.

Morrie's message:  Love's the bottom line -
Keep Love, give Love, we'll all be fine.
And as for one's final journey - don't look back
Just load lots of Love in your back pack.

Grades are rendered by Bibliofools like me
And old Mitch gets a "Consumptive C."

29 June 2000
            Führer & The Fog

The fog rolls in
The Führer in his final foxhole
Hunkers in the bunker
A fortnight to finale
Wagner’s GotterDammerüng flows freely
The fulsome, foaming fog of war …

Führer’s orders:  Fight to finish
Starre Verteidigung … Stand Fast!
General Heinrici …  Capitulate, we are finis
Führer’s retort:  Keep Faith!
The eternally ethereal fog of war …

Americans on fast track attack
Reach the Elbe … no turning back!
Ike gets duped … a Russky fondle
Stops his foray … Decides to stay
Flummoxed by the Red Fog of War.

Now Generals Koniev and Zhukov
Whittle down the formerly ferocious Nazis
Zhukov’s ploy:  A Phalanx of 40,000 pieces
And a thousand arcs of light
To pierce the gloaming fog
And Le Femmes finessed these foglights
Defining Ground Zero for the fiery Deutsche weapons
Alas, only a few survived
The fuzzy, feeble, foxy fog of war.

Der Führer falling further, in a funk
Hunkering in the deepest, darkest recesses
Almost “Speered” by fatal gas
Wafting into his FührerBunker
But saved by a new SS flue
The capricious fog of war.

Berlin fortifications … simply wimpy
Siegfried, Maginot  … done with mirrors
Troops ill-prepared, old veterans of the VolkStürm
The flimsy, fleeting, flighty fog of war.

Führer’s Fortress … Gigantic Flak towers
His besotted fetid philosophy
He squints through the enveloping fog:
“Wo ist Steiner?  Wo ist Wenke?”
Alas he cannot see he’s run to empty
The stifling, churning fog of war.

Again Führer forbids surrender … fight on!
The final orgasm a ghastly gruel
Of gruesome gore ‘n guts
He finishes self as a crumpled coward
A bullet followed by a pill for Eva
Folded in rugs and set aflame.
Führer saved face – and jaw,
The rest was char.
The deadly, flaming fog of war.

The battle finally finished – its final hour
Herr Heinrich Schwarz … “Abu, Abu…”
The fluttering stork flies to freedom
And flora flourishes as Berlin’s rebirth ensues.

And so, the Fog rolls in, the Fog rolls out
And reminds us just what war’s about
Tis not to win or lose, I say
But to survive another day …
Until the next fog finds us ….!

The Last Battle -  8/02/2001

(return to top of page)

  Hark From Hebrides / Isle of Skye To the Darkhouse
A Stream of Review ...

Plot is pallid, action is glacial:  a story without beginning or end
Part A
*  Mrs Ramsey:  serene, maternal ... loved by all
*  Mr. Ramsey:  cold curmudgeon
        -  loves wife, but mute
        -  sought sympathy, but misogynist:  "Women can't paint, can't write"
        -  endlessly plans, postpones trip to the lighthouse;  dangles offspring on a string
        -  kids hate him
*  Stream of consciousness describes conflicts, tensions, and endless dinner:  106 words to capture a simple picture
*  Mrs Ramsey dies, drying up the stream of consciousness (60% of the book)

Part B:
Here the writing is more dynamic but discursive
*  House deserted/ decays/ creepy creatures invade
*  Lily Briscoe returns (from where?)
*  House refurbished;  Mr. Ramsey and siblings re-gather (how?  from where? )
*  Lily - Meditation picture:  what she sees and loves
*  Kids again ponder patricide/ but then Mr. Ramsey provides kudos to James
*  Boat goes to the Lighthouse
*  Lily's picture is fuzzy as is her vision

My take:  a fuzzy journey without end ...

31 July 2003
This Bio Gets No Tony
A catharsis, purging, lustration of Soul
Vomits forth from his bowel hole
Yes, a blizzard of chaff
Does yield an occasional laugh
And a few dynamic war vignettes
But, that's all you gets ...  !

Hillerman shows little emotion,
Seems to jus' go through the motion
His stream of consciousness clutters my mind
Rather than cleansing my spirit - that's what I find.

His closing comments on 75 years:
"They've been far better than anyone deserves."
Tony, in reading memoirs for a month just last night
'Tis far more banal than I can recite.

So ...  How do I proffer a grade
To a book that'll rapidly fade -
Yes, to this same book I'd like to evade -
Well, guys, me thinks I'll just color it jade!
- 28 Aug 2003

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Trisha, plucky 9-year old,
Dysfunctional family
Weekend hike with feuding mom 'n Bro

Departs trail ... pees, seeks wrong shortcut back ...
Lost !
Stumble down stream, deeper into darkle ...

Ubiquitous mosquitoes, noseeums, wasps ...
   Buzzing, gnawing...
Tromps thru mud-sucking swamps ...

Waning Walkman wields winning ways
   via Gordon, Boston reliever #36
Inspiration from suds-swilling Dad,
   plus #1 Bud ... Pepsi
Main companions:  soughing wind, squeaking jays, hammering woodpeckers

Hallucinations, poltergeist music, eviscerated deer, fitful sleep
Pitcher Tom's ghostly challenge:
   Bottom ninth, ursine up close
   Scofflaw Herricks' serendipitous entry
Renders win from big ol' bear

Postgame (hospital) pop-bonding
Baseball, luck saved McFarland's tush ... Game over!

[Keith challenges the reader to determine the two unique qualities of the above review].

(return to top of page)

Girl With a Pearl Earring
Five Reasons I offer,
With wink & twirl
These linchpins form my view
  of the "Girl With The Pearl" ...
  • Reason Five: This story's alive ...
              Riveting, touching ... Griet and the Master
              Intrigue, near disaster
              Indeed this literary limo's in overdrive!
  • Reason Four:  I focus on the optics of yore ...
              An obscura camera in hands of the Master
              Yield insightful perceptions, and more !
  • Reason Three:  Griet's a riddle in mystery ...
              Enigmatic, submissive, quietly perspicacious
              Right up to her surprise finale we see !
  • Reason Two:  Contrasts - yes, more than a few ...
              Servant/Master,  Rich/Poor,  Catholic/Protestant,  Light/Dark -
              These serve up to the reader a hearty stew !
  • The Final Raison, and yes, the real one ...
             'Tis Griet's allure, her sexy charm
              Indeed, I'd not dally ... but I'd find an alley
              Lift her skirt, grab her bun and have some fun !

And now friends - my grade - without delay
'Tis a biblio-jewel ... a solid "A" !

    K. Gilbert - 1/29/4

Ode To Maltese Falcon
I love this book, I really do,
      I read it slowly, thru and thru !
Sam Spade is tough, self-serving, greedy,
       He can cuckold his sidekick, then rip the needy.

Both cops 'n thugs Sam seamlessly bluffs -
       This gumshoe radiates all the right stuffs.
Murder, betrayal, cunning and rages,
         Hammettian vintage is a wine for the ages.

We have creepy Cairo, fat Gutman, weasely Wilmer ... what a trio.
         They craft chaotic chemistry, these depraved dynamos ... con brio !
And beautiful Bridgit with her long, lusty loins,
        Alas, her loyalty shifts with each drop of the coins.

Yet, admidst this black bouquet of lollipops,
        Sam loves the fight, he shows he's tops.
Spade plants a plan, both bright and bold,
       And reels in truth, be it calamitous & cold.

Yea, with both falcon & dove in his quiver,
        Sam bags his game, he does deliver!
A final twist - he bombs his Effie's intuition,
        Indeed, the redhead murdered Miles ... end of mission !

Thanks for this rivetting read - it uniquely engages,
        So my grade is an "A," my Last Thursday sages.
                                                          -  K. Gilbert, 4-29-2004

(return to top of page)

Folly Fellacios

As an old soldier
May I be bolder
Barb's 'lil miss folly
'Tis a strumpet dolly

'Cause our approach to war,
Is to dance with a whore
In a slurry of fog
With her pit bull dog
And our balls they hangs
Within reach of it's fangs

Our generals are bright
But focus on yesterday's light
Those wars long past
Are the ones they hold fast
And their bosses spray blight
Spewing bad oversight...

So, alas, our Country's viscerals drain
Into war's mud, shit and rain
And though it's insane
I fear 'twil repeat AGAIN + AGAIN..!

PS: Barb's march
twas flaccid..no starch
And my grade ..it do be..
A "noodly" C...kg..!

White Noise                10/21/06

To plumb this mystic thing - White Noise
I first asked my good ol' "beer-boozin" boys
"When you pop a tab,
The sound you have ... shhhh ... ht
That foamy report is White Noise."

Next I queried a mega sports buff
Is White Noise really cool stuff?
No, he said.  But the dribbling sounds
of Sports Analysts confounds
And this is my anquishing
White Noise.

I sought a physicists insight
What is this
White Noise "bite"?
The same energy is found
In each frequency of sound
Alas, his "
White Noise" shed no light.

I sought Don Delillo's
White Noise
"Tis Technology, not one of my joys
Toxic clouds are oft found
Technology and info abound
So beware, my biblio-boys."

I saw those damn condos arising next door
These are no more than rich man's toys.
Soon I'll be bombarded with tippling and tubbing, carusing and love-ins
Alas, these will be my noxious
White Noise!

Finally I walked down to my River San Juan
A treasure trove of sights and sounds
When I put my ear to the flow
And listened long and slow
I heard Mother Nature whisper, "Keith
This is the true
White Noise that you seek!"
(return to top of page)

  The Things They Carried  by Tim O'Brien

Those Things They Carried,
   O'Brien's Motley crew
Rat, Jimmy, Dobbins,
   And Kiowa the Sioux

They sloughed in Viet Nam ...
   That No Win whore's war
Full of fog, feces, fear
    ... And more

Each humped amulets
   To cope with sheer fear
Lingerie, letters, Bibles, pebbles ...
   Nothing seemed queer

Through murderous muck and mire
   They slogged thru the slime
Some persevered ...
    Some ran out of time

Ted Lavender:  head shot
   After taking a pee
And Curt Lemon got offed,
   Blown up in a tree

And even survivors
   Had much life to lose
So they humped dreams of girlfriends
   And fucking dumb cooze

Even after the war
   Each carried burdens inside
For the horrifics of war
    Do not gently subside

Yes, painful memories linger
    Indelibly writ
Of war's fogs and fears ...
    And fields of shit
                                                                                                   KG               7/26/2007

(return to top of page)

 A Thousand Splendid Suns  by Khaled Hosseini

Kabul:   Then and Now       [inspired by the Poem whose translation provided the title to Hosseini's book]        07/08/08

Ah, Tabrizi's 17th Century Kabul,
Either Paradise Found ... or its Radiant Jewel.

Its dazzling tulips and redolent roses,
are sweet simmering opiates to our noses.

In the gardens of Sharbara I bodaciously blush
From the beauty and fragrance of flora so lush.

And sparking Kabul River, with waters so pristinely pure
It both slakes my thirst and my maladies does cure.

Its countless trees harbor blizzards of birds,
Who throat syrupy songs to accompany Tabrizi's sage words

And every Kabulian styreet is kept clean and trim,
Full of vendors and caravans, vigor and vim.

People biped safely, day and night
They walk in harmony, there is no fright.

And many moons shimmer from her roofs by night
And diurnally 1000 splendid suns climb her walls - what a sight

And Allah's watch over our jewel never does cease
This Paradise Found of Truth, Beauty and Peace!

(Kabul Now)
Now Hosseini's Kabul teeters on doorsteps to Hell
Chaos and carnage from its putrid smell

Its tulips dazzleless, its roses shorn
The garden of Sharbara ... thistles and thorn

The Kabul River runs fetid, in places it ceases
And where there is flow, 'tis much offal and feces.

Its stately trees felled, as by a jaundiced jihad
And its beautiful birds gone, no sweet twittering, oh so sad.

All hours missiles and bullets scream overhead
And determine - Flash! - Boom! - the maimed and the dead

The streets of Kabul are laden with fear
Only essential trips taken ... grief and trauma so near.

In this Paradise Lost, I asked if they'd dare
To bring back Truth, Beauty, and Peace - instead of Despair.

"Taliban Truth," they murmured, "are idiots from Hell,
And Beauty will blossom only if killing we can quell."

"So Allah, pray we, make war soon cease
Please grant us this ... we only want Peace!"
K. Gilbert

(return to top of page)

  The Road  by Cormac McCarthy

The Road to Nowhere

Alas, 'tis The Road to Perdition

Bleak, barren, and dark ... Man's punition

A nameless, hopeless, Father and Son

Breathe despair, and tote one bullet, one gun

And slog along to complete a doomed mission

This Book of Doom, Gloom, and Mire

I now must grade ... and risk your ire

But oh, my friends, I'm "carrying the fire"

Which, indeed, will roar much higher

When with The Road  I make a pyre!

And if my smoke didn't form a "B-" - I be a liar!

   Winesburg, Ohio  by Sherwood Anderson

The Dark Energy of Winesburg

Those calling Winesburg their home
Live in a dim, dark catacomb.

This sullen small town, down in its dives
Forlorn folks just schlepping out their lives.

Two themes dominate – the first: actions unrequited.
The second:  most characters are half-witted.

Grim and gloomy, melancholy too
Quite sunless I fear – all black and blue.

Relationships are sad, indeed morose
This town’s so grim there’s ner a ghost

Only George Willard showed life, sparks and insight
But alas he left Winesburg – so turn out the light.

  the "art" of fielding  by chad harbach

Methinks baseball's a blue collar game,
And that in no way causes it shame.
                               It's spittin', dust kickin', and cussin' the calls,
                               And fartin' and burpin', then pullin' your balls.
Long days on the road, long nites dating boredom,
        Drinkin' booze, chasin' skirts, and dreamin' of stardom

               Now, along from Harvard comes this highfullutin' Harbach,
His blood - quite blue, yet no blue on his back.
           He waxes poetic that baseball's high art,
              Methink this visual's dead from the start...!
         Indeed, his haute descriptions seem rather queer,
Sorta like sewing a silk tie on a pig's ear...!
So Chad, please, let baseball stay blowsy and blue
   With its warts, mud and farts..yet American True !!

K. Gilbert, 10/7/2012

  Wings & Wisdom   (inspired by On Top of Spoon Mountain by John Nichols  [September 2013])

In Callow Youth my fledgling wings
Grew strong, knew no fatique
I flapped and fluttered, soared on high
My only bounds ... earth and sky.
And when o'er Mountains did I fly
Alas, only big gray rocks caught my eye.
So, I sped by ...

In Age I found these same mounts majestic -
Enticing, vertiginous ... indeed, quite fantastic!
But now my wizened body and weary wings
Could no longer lift me up to these utopic things

So today I sit, gazing up, sipping fine red wines
And though my corpus 'tis at Ground Zero
My soul's in those tall, tall pines.

K. Gilbert, 9/26/2013

      Ode to Japhy

Buddha .... can this sinner be saved again?
Said He ... Yes, yes!  the Answer's Zen!

I plumbed the Princess, but didn't find
Enlightenment to clear my mind
So Buddha, says I, Take my Hand
Tell me, So I understand

"The Past is Prologue, the Future:  Fog
You must live in the Now 
To avoid that cog

Life is like a glass of wine
Quaff it deep to reach Zen Divine

The first sip - anticipation, the second:  Joy
The third gives thanks; the fourth... Ecstacy!  Oye, oye!"

A sudden epiphany swept me high
Buddha's clarion call clears mind's eye
By God, Buddha said:  "Chug, chug, chug!"
I'm in the Present - now pass that jug!

KG, 30 November 2017

Ode to A. Loomis

A. Loomis seldom developed a seed
But he knew how to plant ... and grow them indeed!
Via Persistence, Panache ... and a whole lot of cash!

And if little weeds entered his patch
His leadership skills were more than a match
And if external friction entered pell mell
Alfred knew who to call ... and bombard them with hell.

And ironically, though radar was his main drum and fife
Alfred managed to stay under it ... most of his Life.  
KG, 28 June 2018

Guest Poet:
thought you might be interested in a narrative poem I wrote after my trip to New Orleans to help repair a church community center two weeks ago.  A situation that is overwhelming, and remains troublesome.
- don

Reflections on New Orleans Katrina Hurricane

Don Tubesing          April 22, 2006


At a corner bar in the French Quarter I saw a special drink advertised.

They called it, “The Katrina Hurricane.”

It was very expensive.

I began to wonder, “What’s in it?”

But I didn’t need to ask.

I knew in my heart it must be a potent “morning after” drink.

….And here’s how it’s made.


First, you create a large handcrafted cup out of the soggy first page of your last year’s tax return and the ink-smeared back half of the first letter your daughter wrote you from college. You decorate the outside of this cup with a torn family photo and the tangled residue of a broken cassette tape for the ribbon—all of these items you easily find floating in your back yard.


Into this cup you pour


Two cups of water—the elixir of life -- living water,

          ……..Well, yes, it’s river water and a little cloudy, but

                    Hey, it’s still drinkable—

That is if you let the gunk settle to the bottom first.


And you drop in a little sparkle—the joy of finding that your neighbor has returned…. alive, Ah…..

          But you also drop in a nugget of asphalt for spice,

along with an ugly drop of old oil as well.


You mix in the honey of remembered friendships that make you smile,

But into the cup you also wring out a bitter tear or two

from your tattered favorite shirt

          That you found under the upturned chunk of sidewalk.

You pour in a half cup of graded gratefulness for the day’s warm sun,

          And for the knowledge that your sister is now safe in Atlanta,

And for the fact that you have finally found a store

that will fill your dad’s Arthritis prescription.



Then, on top you sprinkle some

you found gathered at the curb     
—just to add a burnt coffee aroma to the brew,

A choking smell that burns into your nose

and stops your breath short.


With a piece of broken board you find in the yard next door,

you stir all this together,

          Until it turns into a pasty thickness—


Finally, you add a gob of soggy, damp, moldy insulation

to supply that whip-cream-topping-cotton-candy effect.


You warm it all with a caring, sweaty-t-shirt-hug
that you are offered—

that you relax into,

because it offers you the fleeting feeling of belonging
and comfort.


Then, you prepare to drink down your daily concoction—

A bittersweet, Maundy-Thursday type mixture, 

Reeking of life on the edge of loss, trauma and uncertainty.


You find yourself wondering where you will sleep tonight.


AND with an unsteady hand

you hold this Cup of Contradiction up to the Sun

and examine it carefully.


Finally ……., satisfied that you cannot see through it

to the light of the day on the other side,

          You exclaim, 





     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


New Orleans, April 2006.

·        Not rational,

·        Not comprehensible,

·        Tough to swallow,

·        Impossible to digest.


New Orleans, April 2006 – a dynamic and disparate community of resiliently-loving and ever-hopeful people hampered for the moment by crushing loss, overwhelming unknowns, and a decade of rebuilding ahead.


     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     (return to top of page)

Dearly Departed Members

In Memory of
Dr. Joel Nash

our beloved colleague and master of factoids.

Dr. Joel Nash

Joel Nash, MD, Professor, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Department of Dermatology, departed this world on 10 October 2012.   Dr. Nash received his MD Degree from the University of Minnesota in 1964.  He completed residency training in Dermatology at the University of Minnesota in 1970.  His Book Club colleagues were consistently amazed at the details and humor he brought to a discussion whether it had to do with the flight feathers of a loon or the cam shaft of a '56 Chevy.  One Book Club member noted, "Joel was an incredibly nice guy with a great sense of humor, unbelievable knowledge of history, politics, literature, etc. and a great source of stories and anecdotes.  I will truly miss his contributions to future book club meetings. "

from the Albuquerque Journal, 20 Oct 2012:

NASH, JOEL DAVID, MD passed away unexpectedly on October 10, 2012 at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was born on August 8, 1939 in Rochester, Minnesota.  His parents were Leo A. Nash, MD, and Helen Marie Arnquist Nash.  He grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and St. Paul, Minnesota.  Joel attended the St. Paul Academy, Harvard College (at age 16), and the University of Minnesota where he received BA, BS, and MD degrees.  He interned at the University of New Mexico Medical School. He served two years in the U.S. Army at McAfee Army Hospital on White Sands Missile Range as a General Medical Officer and as Chief of Professional Services.  He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
   Following active duty, Joel returned to the University of Minnesota for dermatology training and served in the SS01 U.S. Army Reserve Hospital.  On completion of his education, he returned to Albuquerque and joined the Lovelace Clinic Staff, retiring in 2001 after 31 years. He had also been on the clinical faculty of the UNM Dermatology Department since its founding in 1973 and retained a keen interest in education. He is survived by his wife, Lori Nash; and two daughters, Leslie Nash Kilstofte (Mark Kilstofte) of Greenville, South Carolina, and Andrea Nash (Michelle King) of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is also survived by three sisters, Jill Nash of Buffalo, New York, Sally Nash Meyfarth (Philip Meyfarth) of Macedonia, Ohio, and Wendy Nash Keller of Albuquerque, New Mexico; as well as nephew Ethan Mitchell of New York City, New York, nephew Michael Keller of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and niece Abby Keller, also of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
   Joel was beloved by his patients, family and friends.  His contribution to the practice of dermatology was immeasurable; his love of cars, especially Corvairs, was a lifelong passion; his black "This is Not an Abandoned Car" GMC was known throughout the region; and his knowledge and ability to have an in-depth dialogue on almost every subject simply amazed everyone he met.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in Joel's name may be made to the UNM Department of Dermatology, Attn: Dr. Steve Padilla, 1021 Medical Arts Ave., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-5231 or to the charity of your choice.

Thoughts of Joel Nash

You brought great wisdom to our clan
And spread enlightenment on every man.
So, Joel, Why, Why, Why?
We had no time to say goodbye ...

Quick of wit, suave of speech,
On most any subject you could teach.
You waxed poetic on feathers of a loon,
Yet you, yourself, flew away too soon.
Joel, Why, pray tell, Why ...
We had no time to say goodbye ...

Oh, you had a facile mind, from A to Z,
Focusing on Big and Small, with insightful levity.
So, Joel, Why, Why, Why?
We had no time to say goodbye ...

Your quips are legion ... humor on high,
Followed by that signature twinkle of your eye.
Your made us laugh ... yet now we cry.
So, Joel, Why, Why, Why?
We had no time to say goodbye ...

We all must tackle stress and strife,
Some bounce up ... some abandon Life.
Joel, we respect your choice ... but Why, please Why?
We had no time to say goodbye ...

So, Brother Joel, we've been truly blessed,
By your bodacious brilliance ... and now you rest.
But rest assured, your Chair of Honor's here,
So quaff your brew, let's spread some cheer!
K. Gilbert, 10/25/2012

In Memory of
Edgar "Ben" Smith

our beloved colleague and devoted friend.
Ben Smith 2005

2 June 1932 - 12 May 2005
He brought much laughter to our meetings and taught us to love the Red Sox, Flashman, and Cuban cigars.   We will miss him today, tomorrow, and every Last Thursday.
Ode to Ben Smith

                                        [ 6/2/32 to 5/12/05]

To our beloved Book Club buddy, Ben
Alas, we say with angst...Amen.
This man of letters, good ken and books,      
Sterling successes abound in many nooks.

Ben's words, soft and crisp, spoken with sardonic smile,
Gave insights which radiated a "Texas mile."

Ben savored hats, bolos, and sumptuous cigars by the box,
And he'd carved a warm niche for his bodacious Red Sox.

Now that Ben has finished his "Book of Life,"
May we tender thought bouquets to Elaine, his wife.


Hark, I hear dapper Ben rapping gently on that Pearly Gate,
St. Peter surely will not make Ben wait!

"You were a magnificent maestro, Dr. Ben,
Good life, friends, books – you're a Perfect Ten !!

"And guess what, Ben, our spring training starts today,
You'll be team physician and scout ... Play ball I say !!

Adios, Amigo

Memorial Service in Albuquerque: Saturday, 11 June 2005 at 10 am:
Central United Methodist Church:  1615 Copper NE   Albuquerque 87106
Flyer (MS Word)  (PDF)          Life and Times (Dermanities)

"... I shall ever regard as the best and wisest man whom I have ever known."
    -  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Final Problem"

Tribute to our dearly departed member

Don Benoist

21 August 2005.
Don, our long-time Book Club brother, was the consummate gentle-man.

Generally our raucous sessions initially displayed Don's non-verbal communication skills -
featuring his pixie chortles and guffaws!

In reviewing a book, Don always prefaced - 
" I just don't know, but..."
And what followed was a measured, incisive analysis which offered immeasurable insights!

Alas, Don closed his book of life Last Thursday ... but he bequeathed to us bibliophile buddies a marvelous menagerie of radiant memories.

We will not soon forget you, Gentle-Don... 

Memorial Service in Albuquerque:   Monday 22 August 2005 at 10 am:
Central United Methodist Church:  1615 Copper NE   Albuquerque 87106
(return to top of page)  

Tribute to our dearly departed member
Dick Arms    Richard W. Arms, Jr.

  At our Last Thursday Book Club meeting 4/26/2018, following the suggestion of Prof. Easterling, the members present expressed the desire to honor our recently fallen colleague Dick Arms in some fashion - should we send flowers to his Celebration of Life to be held at the Strong Thorne Chapel on Saturday 5 May 2018 at 11 am? The consensus was that a charitable donation would be of more impactful benefit to Dick's memory.

  With that in mind, the members donated toward such a gift. This morning, we transacted a grant in the name of The Last Thursday Book Club in the amount of $110 for our departed colleague. At Bonnie's suggestion, the gift was made to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

  The mission of the Barbara Bush Foundation is to advocate for and establish literacy as a value in every home. In 1989, Mrs. Bush pioneered the national family literacy movement, launching the Foundation that focuses simultaneously on early childhood education for preschoolers and adult literacy for their parents. Barbara Bush Foundation family literacy programs provide low-income parents and their young children, typically birth through age five, the opportunity to attend school together.

  Toddlers and preschoolers enrolled in these programs are better prepared to start school ready for academic success, while their parents improve their own literacy skills. Teen Trendsetters is another family literacy program that pairs middle or high school mentors with 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade students who are six months or more behind in reading. Participating elementary schoolers improve their reading skills and benefit from increased parent engagement, while teen mentors gain valuable leadership skills. 

Obituary:  Journal               Memoir:   Fair Condition, Some Pages Missing 

Tribute to our dearly departed member
Ron Bousek    Ron Bousek

Our beloved Ron has sadly passed
No fond goodbyes...
You slipped away so fast.

A man of depth and incisive insight,
Of love, warmth, and radiant light.

A seminal brother in our LTBC,
Ron fit in with grace...pure harmony.

Book clubs often yield "blather and blahs",
Yet when Ron spoke we all gave pause.
Pithy comments delivered with a twinkle and smile,
Cast wisdom and wit in inimitable style.

Ron, you leave sweet memories,
and tho you depart,
We have beautiful bookmarks
in each member's heart.

 11 April 2021
Tribute to our dearly departed member
Ode to Bob Woods
A man of wisdom, a man of light,
Bob lived a life so rich and bright,

Both art and science were within his span
Indeed, he was a true Renaissance Man.

Sailing, sail planes, cycling too,
Atmosphere, rockets, robots - to name a few,

Archeology and music, too, within Bob's ken,
You clearly see he stood tall among men.

Alas, Bob you've slipped the bonds of Earth,
Yet you leave us with much worthy mirth.

And your intellect, humor, incisive insight,
Would turn deepest darkness to radiant light.

Now, Bob, I close with a mantra you oft repeated,
"Be brief, be brilliant, .. and then be seated!!"

Robert O. Woods

  Dr. Robert O. Woods, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died Sunday October 24, 2021 at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. He was 88.
  Bob is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Judy (Neese) Woods, sister Mary Campbell, children Lisa and Rob, grandsons Jernej Cuderman, Robert Reed and Curtis Woods, and many relatives and friends.
  Born February 17, 1933, in Evanston Illinois, Bob was the son of Anna Welch and Robert Woods.
  Studying independently, Bob passed the New Jersey State Professional Engineer (PE) exam and achieved a top score on the Graduate Record Exam. In 1960, Princeton University admitted him with advanced standing. Ford and National Science Foundation fellowships enabled him to complete his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1966.
  Bob and Judy married in December of 1965, relocating to Sandia Labs where he worked for over 32 years, focused on atmospheric research, rocketry and balloons, robotics, airborne environmental monitoring, nuclear disarmament, renewable energy and control systems.
   In 1991, the American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME) appointed Bob as a Congressional Fellow.   Serving the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs chaired by John Glenn, he advised the United State Congress on national energy policy and strategies to advance engineering education.
   Throughout his life, Bob had a profound curiosity for Art, Aviation, Science and History.  As a member of the American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME) History and Technology Committee, he published numerous journal articles addressing the impact of engineering on history.
   Although dedicated to his family and rigorous in his work, Bob also pursued his hobbies with gusto. An avid private pilot, sailor, cyclist, and lifelong student of archaeology, his true avocation was flying sailplanes with the Albuquerque Soaring Club.
   He assembled a home-built aircraft in his garage and sailed with his family on Cochiti and Elephant Butte reservoirs. Over 30+ years working at Sandia, he commuted to work most days by bicycle. In 1979, he toured the historic sites of ancient Greece by ten-speed bicycle.
   Bob assisted the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in the development of a Remotely Operated Vehicle for the exploration of sunken triremes. He rafted the Grand Canyon, hiked Yosemite, explored the National Parks with his family and made numerous trips up the La Luz Trail. He was an avid amateur radio operator, who worked thousands of Morse code contacts with fellow enthusiasts around the world. Bob and Judy together traveled on many international adventures, from South America to the Pacific, to the Near East. Bob was also a lover of classical music, holding season tickets to the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra for over three decades.
   In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to your charity of choice or to the New Mexico Philharmonic www.nmphil.org. A memorial service is planned for June 2022. Interested friends are invited to contact the family for additional details.

A legacy is Bob's Essays on Mechanical Enginrering innovations and inventions, as published by the ASME.    
Obituary:  Journal               Memoir:   Fair Condition, Some Pages Missing 

This page provides Collected Works of the Poet Laureate:  LTBC
All Material is copyright protected by Keith Gilbert.
 This page last updated: 
  21 December 2021
Return to: 
LTBC Home Page.
Coffee Table

Email the LTBC via  Mike@Blackledge.com