(Thanks to my old friend Julian Frye for sharing this photo; please note no copyright infringement is intended.)

Since this Saturday (September 1) is the 135th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Rice Burroughs, I thought I'd share this poem I wrote a number of years ago in honor of my favorite storyteller. It's not great but it came from the heart:


A Poem By John Allen Small

With simple words on paper

He drew a map that led me

On a pathway to adventure:

From Africa and Hell's Bend

Past the moon, Mars and Venus

To Beyond the Farthest Star

And a Land that Time Forgot

And back again.

Along the way

He introduced me to friends

Who helped teach me about

Bravery and honor;

And although they exist

Only in imagination,

Their spirits walk beside me

As I travel through this life.

It's a long, long way

From Opar to Barsoom...

But not so far

As from Kankakee to Tishomingo,

I think.