Tomorrow, September 1, marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of my favorite author: Edgar Rice Burroughs, father of Tarzan, chronicler of Barsoom and Pellucidar, and the man whose stories helped teach me to read and made me want to become a writer myself. 

In celebration I thought it might be appropriate to share a poem in tribute to Burroughs that I wrote roughly 20 years ago now…


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.

(Copyright 2015 by John Allen Small)