In Her Blue Eyes: Jessica Poems

Randy & Shirley Brooks


Published by Brooks Books
Decatur, Illinois

© 1998 Randy & Shirley Brooks

Preface: Loves of My Life

Being a lifelong poet, writer, editor, publisher and English professor, it is not difficult for me to admit that my life's work has been a work of love, the love of books. I love writing books, editing books, publishing books, making books and sharing that love of books with others including family, friends, other writers and my students.

Now I have been accused of lacking discrimination in my love of books, with too many laying around unread in piles and heaps (all brought home with the best intentions but ultimately neglected for a passing fancy or a more recent long-sought acquisition). But if you look closely at my library, you will find that most have well thumbed pages and broken spines despite their tender handling.

So I say you can never have too many books (whether online or on the printed page), and we should all continue to turn our lives, our researches, our dreams into books as much as possible, for in books we share the human heart, the human mind and the human will (often revealed in such an ordered fashion which we could never find in the chaos of life). It is in this spirit of the love of books that I have created In Her Blue Eyes: Jessica Poems.

Of course, taking priority over my love of books, is my wife, Shirley, and family (Alan, Arik and Jessica) also loves of my life. Shirley and I have kept parenting journals off and on for most of our adult lives from 1975 until the present. My journal takes the form of short poetry--tanka, haiku, senryu and meditational verse. Shirley writes prose, poetry and folksong.

With each of our children, we have written and published a small chapbook of poems. Our first born, Alan, was chronicled in The Rosebud Bursts published in 1979, the year of his birth. The second, Arik, was the focus of our collection called Me Too! which was published in 1985, four years after he was born. Several years later, we were blessed with our third child, our daughter, Jessica, born on September 24, 1994. Her book includes pregnancy through toddlehood.

This book of poems is the third in our parenting series, and we are pleased to share this latest treasure in our family, In Her Blue Eyes: Jessica Poems, both online and in print.

One morning Jessica and I were looking at family pictures from the 1980s. She enjoyed seeing photographs of her brothers when they were little. When she asked me where she was back then, I told her she was just a wink in her mother's eyes. She bent over a glossy photograph to get a better look and announced that she could see herself there. I agreed.

baby on her back--
the spring sky
in her blue eyes

          --Randy M. Brooks
          May 18, 1998

In Her Blue Eyes
Table of Contents

The Pregnant Pause
The Newborn Between Us
The Baby's Reach
The Wobbly Toddler
The Toddler's Fish
The Beach Toddler
The Little Girl

In Her Blue Eyes: Jessica Poems © 1998 Randy M. Brooks
e-mail comments to the author at:

Publication & Award Credits:
Heron Quarterly, Kusamakura Haiku Contest (Third Place), Modern Haiku, School's Out: Selected Haiku of Randy Brooks (Press Here, 1998).

Special thanks to Todd Lauer, a good friend of Jessica's and a graphic arts student at University of Illinois, who created the title photograph with colorized eyes of Jessica.

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