Editor: I believe we all did. Walter had simple directness, a humility of spirit and a Missouri accent as broad as the river of the same name. He will be missed.
He was a frequent contributor to Writers of the Rio Grande. Click the link for some of his submissions over the years.
Here is replay of a poem from September 2017. One of my favorites.
Where Is My Spirit
Is my spirit in the land I love?
Is it with the people I have loved?
Is it with the people who love me?
I am in the mountains of Mexico
In the month of the Corn Moon.
The area and people are kind.
My spirit rides the waterfalls
It lives in the Casco de la Hacienda
It very often visits the Poets’ Corner
I came here as a young adventurous man.
Now I am very old and a whole lot weaker.
I will not ever lose my sense of adventure.
My spirit belongs here
As much as anywhere
This I know for certain.
August 8, 2017
Author: Walter Birdwell
Born in Missouri in 1942, Walter Birdwell graduated from the University of Missouri in 1964 with a BA in creative writing. Immediately enlisted in the US army to avoid the draft and was in the US army from 1964 to 1967. Married Yolanda Garza a month after discharge from the Army and have been married forty-five years. Walter is a progressive political activist and has been for about fifty years and a follower of Pagan religious tradition for about twenty years. Have previously published newspaper articles in The Southern Patriot and the New York City Guardian newspapers (both defunct progressive newspapers) in the 1970s and have recently published articles in The Missouri Chigger, an Ozark area magazine, and the Brownsville Herald. Enjoys writing, sculpture, hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, reading, traveling, and all outdoor activities.