2011 Golden Pen Award
In Memoriam
Wilbur E. "Bill" Kiene

Wilbur E. Kiene, a native of Iowa who was formerly of Riverside, died in October 2010 in Coralville. Bill had returned to his home state following many years around Springfield, Mo. where he served as president of the Poets & Friends branch of Missouri State Poetry Society. Bill was a founding member of the board of directors of Amy Kitchener's Angels Without Wings Foundation. Bill began his working career in electronics, but eventually started a local newspaper in Iowa, The Riverside Current. In Missouri, Bill helped many poets publish their own chapbooks, but only published one book of his own; "Miracle at Walnut Holler" was set in a mobile home park like the one where he lived and worked. He had four children. Bill's poem "There was a Time" was written to help kick off our foundation's Signature Poem Registry a few years ago.


There was a time, I've been told,
back when I was not very old,
when women wore button shoes,
dresses reaching to their toes.

A time of buggy, wagon and surrey,
back when no one was in a hurry.
Hay took the place of gas, of course,
as everyone then drove a horse.

Back when you looked at the sky
where only birds knew how to fly.
Wilbur and Orville said "'tain't right;
it's time for man to take to flight."

A time when an afternoon's fun
was walking your sweetie in the sun,
a picnic basket of fried chicken and such;
a wonderful day and it didn't cost much.

Back when the newest craze
was the talking motion picture phase,
when popcorn was only a nickel
and true love didn't seem so fickle.

A time that lives now in one's memory,
perhaps jotted into someone's diary.
But, oh, isn't it fun to remember
our time of youth, an undying ember?

There was a time... come travel along
to where we once did belong,
there to again savor good old days
when life was simpler in many ways.