Review: Once In A Lifetime

by Dick Thomas


The biggest challenge at Beatlick Press is getting reviews. Beatlick Joe was

the master and I pale in his shadow. Going through the earliest issues of 

Beatlick News I notice at my  most ignorant I was more than ready to review

people when I had no base of knowledge to judge with. So seemingly I can

do a  better job today. I encounter books of poetry all along  the way. The

newest one is “Once in a Lifetime” by F. Richard Thomas of Las Cruces.


Once In a Lifetime

poetry by F. Richard Thomas

ISBN: 978-0-9608802-0-1

published by Years Press

6x9 97pgs

cover design: Helen Stork


Beginning with the cover I felt the personality and humanity of Dick Thomas,

him standing by his young wife, a baby slung on his hip, her arms wrapped

around a second child, we see them young, burly and confident standing in

front of a log cabin they have built themselves. In the poem Brown County,

Indiana, Thomas makes his most poignant point considering how unfamiliar

these shining young people would be with the frailties and complications of

aging that the poet and his wife, Sherry, now face well into the second half

century of their lives and marriage. And we learn what these optimistic

youth  managed to hold on to all these years later as they shore up the

autumn of their existence. It is mature writing, a mature subject, told with

poignancy, humor and self-awareness - a good example of how we all can

face our own futures.


I Walked the Dog Today


but this time   

we took a new route

and met a new dog


It was a

            once in a lifetime



Told in six parts:


You’ve Become the Words


The poet dances around with his words - changing partners

How to, how do

how does, how ran

to ask all the eternal questions.


Dick Thomas calls himself a student of the alchemy of words and I see it so

clearly with  a Beatlick Joe enjoyment in the poem Logophilia: My calli-

pygian septuagenarian. And elsehere such enjoyable words as beef-witted,

gargonized, slubberdegullion.


The reader learns who the poet is as an indivicual in personal poems:

Chemistry, Naming the Trees in New Mexico, My Desk, in clever ways, with

a knack. You can’t accuse the writer of being hackneyed.


Bring to Mind the Body

Guitar, Place, Travel: Vignettes of the past, great travels: Charing Cross,

Paris, Copenhagen, Indiana. It’s a frontal blow of aging, health, loss

of friends, told from the other side of youth.


Flimsy Bone of Rod

I like the way Thomas turns a phrase: My slippers lisped over linoleum - so

much said with so little. After Fifty Years Together, 70th Spring, Fragile, the

sequence of these poems is almost like going through the seven stages of

grief, ending with a surrender to his own frailty, with acceptance and

gratitude for what is left as in First Light, Brown County, Indiana; tributes to

the comfort of marriage, tenderness after losing a friend as The Day Robert

Creeley Died. Evening Alone, facing an empty bed one night, lots of weigh-

ing and measuring of emotion told with such clarity and without a maudlin



Under All That Blue Sky

Thomas gives such a great sense of place with poems Credit Union,

Athletes at the Post  Office and phrases such as:

evening star sinks to

the hip of the roof


A broken attic window…

mirrors the moon


hidden rooms where the

abandoned bones of your life

are buried


Something Trembled

Nothing Happened Today:

Much tension is expressed in this segment:

…when I upended my empty beer glass

into the vacant mouth of the sink,


            trembled under

the overhead light…


Foreboding expressed with a ghost ship, cancer, chemo, head trauma.

Chimera: a conflicted poem regarding his 98-year-old mother and the tension between needing to forgive and hang-

ing on to resentments of the past. He honestly confesses to the personal struggles we all

share and wrangle with, trying to reach the higher ground.


It Is After All a Road

Here is an esoteric poem Road, about choices we make; What I Know and

Winter acknowledging loss of more friends, the twists of fate, and still

second guessing himself in Enough.


This is a great book to read in the bed, on the deck, someplace quiet, be-

cause these poems  will elicit your own memories and truths, struggles. It is

told as the author says in his own final poem: A Language that falls in a

lovely curve from the lip of creation.


Beatlick Pamela Hirst

May 2016







Publish the deserving!





Click on underlined names to find more info.

Writers published
by Beatlick Press:

GL Brower


John Knoll


Jules Nyquist


John Roche


Beatlick Joe Speer


Paul A. Speer


Teresa Speer

Mia Kirsi Stageberg


Jerry Zimmerman 


*    *   *

Writers published

Terry Alvarez

Reed Adair Bobroff

Joanne Bodin

Gary L. Brower

Wendy       Brown-Báez

Pamela C. Drapala

David Coy

Deborah Coy

Hanna Coy

Mary Dudley

Catherine Ferguson

Olivia Gatwood

Jennifer Givhan

Larry Goodell

Taylor Graham

Kenneth P. Gurney

Dale Harris

Brian Hendrickson


Jennifer Lynn Krohn

Maria L. Leyba

Adrian C. Louis

Anne MacNaughton

Amalio Madueño

Alissa Magorian

E. A. “Tony” Mares’

Robert Masterson

Les Merton

Merimée Moffitt

Carol Moscrip

Jules Nyquist

Suzanne Ondrus

Susan I. Paquet

Margaret Randall

John Roche

    Georgia       Santa Maria

Marilyn Stablein

Richard Vargas

Binah Waite-Williams

Stewart S. Warren

Neal Wilgus

Richard Wolfson

Writers published in Mo' Joe Anthology

Sam Abrams

Francisco X. Alarcón

John Ashbaugh

Steve Aushermann

Hakim Bellamy

Larry Belle

"Laughing Larry” Berger

Julie Blue

Joe Bottone

Rich Boucher

Sarah Brinklow

Richard Broderick

Julie SuZaNNe BroKKeN

Michele Brown

Monty Campbell, Jr.

Alan Casline

Teresa Mei Chuc

Norm Davis

Susan Deer Cloud

Steve Coffman

Timothy J. Cook

Anne C. Coon

Deborah Coy

Craig Czury

Carolyn Czarnecki

Michael Czarnecki

Jim Daniels

Martha Deed

Steven Deridder

Lori Desrosiers

Sean Thomas Dougherty

George Drew

Nicolas Eckerson

Jesse Ehrenberg

Michael C. Ford

Philip Frisk

Teresa E. Gallion

Brian Garrison

Geoffrey Gatza

Lisa Gill

Kimberly Glemboski

Vincent F. A. Golphin

Larry Goodell

Dane R. Gordon

Steve Greene

Kenneth P. Gurney

Vijali Hamilton

William Heyen

Pamela Adams Hirst, a.k.a Beatlick Pamela

Patrick Houlihan

Doug Holder

Tom Holmes

Amy Jackson

Mary Strong Jackson

Kitty Jospé


Herb Kauderer

Danny Kerwick

Michael Ketchek

Mary Elizabeth Lang

Gayle Lauradunn

Alice Lee

Wayne Lee

Stephen Lewandowski

Lyn Lifshin

Gerald McCarthy

Robert E. McDonough

Karla Linn Merrifield

Les Merton

Michael Meyerhofer

Basia Miller

Merimée Moffitt

Carol Moscrip

Bill Nevins

Simone Nikkole

Lori Nolasco

Bruce Noll

Maril Nowak

Jules Nyquist

Mark W. O'Brien, aka: obeedúid~

Sarai Oviedo

Chad Parenteau

Don Paul

Teresa Peipins

Pat Pendleton

Carla Perry

Rick Petrie

Colleen Powderly

Randy Prus

Margaret Randall

     Lynette         Reini-Grandell

John Roche

Charlie Rossiter

Helen Ruggieri

Jane Sadowsky

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Joe St. Martin

Wanda Schubmehl

Gretchen A. Schulz

G. E. (Gerald) Schwartz

Peggy Seely

Adam Sinesiou

Diane Smith

Jack Bradigan Spula

Eugene Stelzig

Eleanor Grogg Stewart

Paulette Swartzfager

Steve Tills

Martha Treichler

George Wallace

Stewart S. Warren

Judy Wells

Bart White

David White

Fred Whitehead

Dwain Wilder

A.D. Winans

Patricia Youngs

Leah Zazulyer

Ryki Zuckerman


Writers published in VALUE Anthology

 Mikki Aronoff

Meg Baldrige

Joanne Bodin

Dee Cohen

Deborah Woodside Coy

Sylvia Ramos Cruz

Mary Dezember

Mary Dudley

Teresa A. Gallion

Thelma A. Giomi

Dale Harris

Pamela Adams Hirst

Gayle Lauradunn

Merimee Moffett

Carol Moscrip

Susan Paquet

Sharon Pines

Denise Weaver Ross

Janet Ruth

Barbara Shaffer

Mia Kirsi Stageberg

Betty Lou Williams

Judy Wells

Holly Wilson

Emma Wisdom



Dorothy Alexander

Megan Baldrige

Shirley Blackwell

Joanne S. Bodin, Ph.D.

Rich Boucher

Lauren Camp

Gregory L. Candela

Dr. Maria Chavez

Gracie Conway Panousis

Star Coulbrooke

Barbara Cowles

David Lavar Coy

Deborah Coy

Susy Crandall

Victoria Crawford

Casey Derengowski

Karen Downs-Barton

Mary Dudley, Ph.D.

Janet Eigner

Joseph A. Farina

Jeanne M. Favret

Rina Ferrarelli

Linda Flaherty Haltmaier

Teresa E. Gallion

Iris Gersh

Thelma Giomi, Ph.D.

Curtis Hayes

John Hicks

Steven Hendrix

Juleigh Howard-Hobson

Faith Kaltenbach


Mary Ellen Kelly

Sally Kimball

Sreekanth Kopuri, Ph.D.

Jennifer Lagier

Mary Elizabeth Lang

Gayle Lauradunn

Wayne Lee

Elaine Leith

Lennart Lundh

Kathy Lundy Derengowski

Jennifer Maloney

John Macker

Catfish McDaris

Daniel McGinn

Mary McGinnis

Caryl McHarney

Kelly Morgan

Valarie Morris

Carol Moscrip

Joseph Murray

Bill Nevins

Suzanne Niedzielska, Ph.D.

Jim Nye

Jules Nyquist

Mary Oertel-Kirschner

Marilyn C. O’Leary

Marmika Paskiewicz

Andi Penner

Bernadette Perez

Karen Petersen

Sylvia Ramos Cruz

Wendy Rainey

Jim Ransom

Janet Ruth

Miriam Sagan

Georgia Santa-Maria

Anne Shaughnessy

Larry Schulte

Janet Simon

Mary Strong Jackson

Richard Vargas

Scott Wiggerman

Martin Willitts, Jr.

Holly Wilson

Andrena Zawinski