Sunday, November 18, 2012


for Ginny

When you
with the crows
I loved you so;

now that you're gone  
(I don't know where)
they ask me about you.

(18 NOV 12, Santa Clara CA)    


Phillip Mannion said...

In 1987 I knew a man called Bill Costley. He lived in Boston and I only ever met him online. He was a poet, broadcaster, book lover. Dumpster diver! He used to send me books across the Atlantic and I didn't say thanks for any of them.

But I am extremely grateful for one. When my wife was pregnant with our first child he sent me a book called "Good Morning, Merry Sunshine". It was by Bob Greene who had written about his new born son every day for the first year of his life. Of course, because I'm so difficult to please with books, I hated the writing and I hated the idea that he had made money out of it. But it made me think what I could do for mine. I decided I would write to her, when she was little, as if she was grown up. And I did it for the second daughter too. My wife also did stuff in their books but it was all fairly factual. Mine was rambling and meant to be funny and frank - a bit like my emails. I didn't do it every day and as as they got older and we talked more, and then emails themselves came along after matriculation, and texts and all the many cards I send them... the writing in the books became less frequent.

We never knew when to hand them over. Eighteen? University? Twenty one? Graduation? Marriage? Birth of first child? Well as I stood and looked at the wall of stuff I have no space for anymore, and my children being together in this house for the last time yesterday I decided that "I'm going to let you in on a secret..." One was in floods of tears and that set me off too. The other was just delighted by the prospect of reading it - if they can plough through the illegibility.

Bill Costley is still about on the internet. I'm going to post to his blog. Understandably, justifiably, he seemed to be hurt by me for being so ungrateful and so we lost contact.

But he did something great for me.

Phillip Mannion

Bill Costley said...

I wasn't hurt, Philip, I've suffered losses, been depressed.

My e-mail addresses are: