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Jerry EckertI first met Jerry Eckert at a breakfast meeting shortly after he won the 2011 NCW personal essay contest, which was the first writing contest I entered. Curious to find out more about this writer judged to be superior to myself, I sat across the room and observed.

First impression: Gruff but lovable  Certainly opinionated (all writers are,) knowledgeable and at times, stubbornly holding his ground.

Meeting two took place in a more interactive setting. Same man, same exterior polish. After five minutes of discussion, he opened the door to his world, one that has spanned several countries, rich and poor. (Click HERE for a brief bio.) I am honored to call him my friend. (And a tough, but honest critique buddy!)

Jerry is an award winning writer (see links below) with an incredible flair for the dramatic, hidden in undertones and settings that captivate the reader. After reading and commenting on this blog post at “The Writing Bug” he sent me the resulting poem, which I now share with you:

Beaver Pond in Autumn

Its gathering Fall
a leaf plops onto languid water
laden down with gold
from summer’s sun
so long in harvest.

 Its gathering Fall
a breeze so faint
it leaves no trace
yet, slowly, with a swirl
the leaf begins to follow
its own expanding rings
until it docks against a granite wharf
and quivers there

 Its gathering Fall,
a lowering sun,
last warmth of early eve,
seeks out the leaf,
and passing through,
leaves luminescence,
a final kiss goodnight

 Its gathering Fall,
across the pond,
beyond the leaf,
splay legged, thick necked arrogance.
A moose calls out his challenge,
luring all his harem
to plant the seeds that will ensure
another moose tomorrow.

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Jerry is currently shopping his memoir, working title “Weeping Kings and Wild Boars” to agents.  He is working on a novel set in South Africa during the transition out of apartheid and into a just multiracial society.  Having lived through that and working for both whites and blacks on the process, it is a transition he knows intimately.

His essay, “Mahlapane’s Story,” in which a teenage village girl in Africa explains the real meaning of poverty and human worth to a foreign expert, won the NCW 2011 nonfiction contest. It appeared first in The Superstition Review (Spring 2010) and can be read at:

http://superstitionreview.asu.edu/issue5/nonfiction/jerryeckert

“Requiem for the Night Sky,” which won the 2012 O. Marvin Lewis Essay Award, appeared in Weber – The Contemporary West, (Fall 2012) –.  lamenting what our culture loses as light pollution blots out the stars.  It can be read starting on page 109 of that journal at:

http://www.weber.edu/WSUImages/weberjournal/JournalPDF%27s/Fall%202012%20bookmod.pdf

You can keep up with Jerry every other Wednesday at The Writing Bug.

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