1936 -- 2008

Don Holmes, 72, 2007 Ohio Senior Poet Laureate, died quietly of cancer in spring 2008, but news confirming his passing reached us in March 2009. Yvonne Nunn, Dean of the Bardlets College of Online Poetry, fondly recalls Don as one of the first Bardlets in her online class known as Bards of a Feather. "Don was a gentleman in every sense of the word. The Bards loved him...."
         According to Nunn, Bardlets are poets in progress. They study and create poems in traditional poetic form via her international electronic e-mail online classrooms. They make their own hours and exchange critiques via the internet, communicating in a round-robin style that‘s convenient for everyone. The purpose of each class is to help student-members write traditional-form poems of contest-award-winning quality.
         Even though Don Holmes’ cancer recurred, after a period of remission during which he actively pursued poetry writing and served on the panel of judges of our Meeting the Muse section, he continued writing as long as he could. Yvonne Nunn says Don told fellow Bardlet and Senior Poet Laureate of New Mexico, Carol Dee Meeks, that winning the Ohio Senior Poet Laureate Award was his "greatest honor."
         Yvonne Nunn says the other Bardlets basked in Don's humor. He was a retired munitions engineer. She says, "They respected him. He loved electronics. His poems often reflected his giant mechanical mind. He fought for life with the dignity of a Christian, always aware so many people were worse off than he. I miss his poems. I miss his friendship. I will look for him in eternity."
         Condolences and/or other messages may be sent to his wife, Lynn Holmes, at
2007 Ohio Senior Laureate Poem

Where fairies fly and never leave,
and crystal streams yet twinkle slow
before a wispy, misty bow.

The elves and pixies join in song,
a harpist plays and trails along,
and sets the woodland green aglow
below a wispy, misty bow.

Delight pervades the forest fair
as silken wingspans flirt in air
to stage a minute elfin show
below a wispy, misty bow.

We know the woods of Make Believe
below a wispy, misty bow.

Don Holmes
Greenville, Ohio

While on his bed, his dread for kindred folks,
concern for those whose candle flickers, glows
less bright, as binds of woes give way to prose
and strength with pen and ink competes with oaks.
He spreads his mantle on these souls, evokes
the Gods with words and slows the flow of foes
to show the world, the gardens of the rose
where yokes bind buds to thorns in floral strokes.
Yet as death's angel slips into the room
he leaves his card where once there slept this bard
and takes away the gloom from souls in bloom.
Here in this grave his body is entombed.
A granite marker chronicles unscarred
his life, a poem, penned in poet's plume.

(C) 2008 by Yvonne Nunn*
in memory of        
Don Holmes, Greenville, Ohio
2007 Ohio Senior Poet Laureate

*Pissonneteer of the Year 2005
*Senior Poet Laureate of Texas 2006