From Here–An Ambrotype by Gary Thomas

Background photo: Frank Thomas Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Background photo: Frank Thomas
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Gary Thomas grew up on a peach farm outside Empire, California, and still remembers how to drive a Caterpillar tractor.  Prior to retirement, he taught eighth grade language arts for thirty-one years, and junior college English for seven—sharing, reading aloud, and discussing at least one poem every day with his students.  Over the years he’s presented poetry workshops for a number of statewide organizations, festivals, and conferences. He has had poems published in California English, In the Grove, Time of Singing, The Comstock Review, and in the anthology More Than Soil, More Than Sky:  The Modesto Poets.  He will have his poems included in the anthology The Biggest Valley: Poems from California’s Heartland, forthcoming in Winter 2016.  He is the vice president of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center, an actor in community theater, a fair-to-middlin’ gardener, and a firm believer in what Mary Oliver has said:  “This is the first, wildest, and wisest thing I know:  that the soul exists, and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness.”

Gary and Mr. Herrera.

Gary and Mr. Herrera.

Gary at Pecos Kiva.

Gary at Pecos Kiva.

ABQ Sky.

ABQ Sky.

Halloween Gary, 1986.

Halloween Gary, 1986.

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4 thoughts on “From Here–An Ambrotype by Gary Thomas

  1. I love your interpretation of the photo and your imagining of the lives of these people outside of it. Very well done.

  2. Reblogged this on This Is Us and commented:
    I just love this poem by Gary Thomas about imagining the lives behind the faces of an old photograph! I like to think that when I do this, in some small way I’m reaching out and touching someone’s spirit.

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