One of the first poems that Gary Jones wrote when he was a boy told of watering the roses with hoses. While the lines rhymed beautifully, the subject matter was disingenuous: the only roses growing in their rural lawn were in a wild clump that had never been watered in the history of the farm, and the only hoses were connected to milking machines.
His poetry has improved.
Jones will be the featured poet at the Unitarian Fellowship of Door County’s Dickinson Poetry series on July 10 at 7 pm.
As a poet he sees his work as verbal snapshots of life around him, a record of the ironies and idiosyncrasies that make him and his fellow bipeds human. He enjoys toying with words, images, and sounds the way he played with Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys as a child.
His work is often inspired by what he sees on his morning runs along Waters End Road toward Lake Michigan, or on the bank of the Rountree Branch in Platteville. Sometimes tending his Sister Bay gardens or working on his 1860-era cottage on the edge of the UW-Platteville campus, poems come to him unbidden.
An obsessive writer, Jones is not only a poet, but freelances for the Pulse and Door County Living. Occasionally his plays are performed and his short fiction published.
After many years teaching English at Gibraltar High School, Jones is now a composition instructor at UW-Platteville. He and his wife of many years spend winters in Platteville (going “south,” just not as far south as most people in Door County!) and summers in Sister Bay.
On the second Wednesday of every month the Dickinson Poetry Series features a reading by a local or regional poet followed by an open mic and reception. The public is welcome and admission is free. The UUF is located at 10341 Highway 42 in Ephraim. For more information, call 920.854.7559.