A Positive Energy by Lynn C. Bilton

One of the beneficial aspects of an organization such as Northumberland Festival of the Arts, or Spirit of the Hills, is the ongoing support the members offer one another. That reinforcement in turn motivates and inspires others to participate and share their creative energy.  

If you look up “encouragement” in your Funk and Wagnall’s, it will state, “See Jessica Outram” who is Cobourg’s Poet Laureate. Check out her website www.sunshineinajar.com plus the online courses she offers and sign up to receive a weekly poem submitted by her followers.

Jessica recently published Cobourg Present 2021 – An Evolving eChapbook. I was honoured when she chose to include my poem “Wally.” Several folks suggested I submit that poem to the NFOTA blog. With permission from Jessica, here it is.

I hope you enjoy it, and Spread the Word!

Wally Keeler


‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
Few creatures were stirring, just a sprinkling downtown.
And that’s where I saw him, the poet we love
Outside of the drugstore, clasping his gloves.
As always he smiled, not a regular grin
For his smile offers rainbows, a light from within.
He’s the kind of person you want to seek out
If you’re feeling down, for without a doubt
He’ll make you smile and offer some hope
This is a fellow who always will cope.
From an obstacle offered, he never will shy
Just “get on with it,” he’s that kind of guy.
I offered my thanks ‘cause he’d made my day
He smiled even wider, in his bright twinkly way
And I left feeling stronger, for I hadn’t before
Wally, our angel, the poet we adore.

--Lynn C. Bilton

Author’s Note – This is a true story. I did have the good fortune to cross paths with Wally Keeler outside the Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Cobourg on Christmas Eve. My week had been challenging, but with a smile and a cup of conversation, Wally offered hope and encouragement.

Wally has been a creator and promoter of poetry in Cobourg since the 1960s. He is an ever positive ray of sunshine over the Cobourg landscape.

God bless you, my friend!

About Lynn

Lynn has always lived in Ontario, moving numerous times throughout the province. Each change of address has created an opportunity to meet a wonderful cast of new friends.

Her occupations have included every aspect of the florist industry, as well as farming and social worker, and she has served as a church organist and a librarian. In the past few years, Lynn added writer to that list.

She has short stories published in three anthologies, plus several articles (featuring her own photography) have appeared in Our Canada magazine. Lynn’s story “Grand Skating” was voted winner in the fiction category of the “Winning Words” literary competition. The contest was offered by Spirit of the Hills Arts Association, located in Northumberland County where she resides.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Diane Taylor says:

    What a fine tribute to Wally! Love that photo of him sitting beside his brick sonnets. Thank you, Lynn.

  2. ronaldmackay says:

    Lynn, you have captured the essence of what brings people together and what we value in our fellow human beings. Thank you for this little insight into what makes life worth living. And thank you, Wally, for being the scintillating, warm, and creative person that you are.

  3. Is it cliché of me to say no truer words were ever spoken of as fine a person as Wally Keeler? Beautifully stated, Lynn. Thank you. Wally is indeed a ray of sunshine and a boon and blessing to our poetry community. He is so deserving of much wider recognition. Love the “cover,” by the way, that features Cobourg’s one and only poet-mason-gardener proudly sitting by his sonnet standing firmly on its couplet.

  4. I second all that was said, above! What a wonderful community of creative people we have here in Northumberland.

  5. kimaubrey says:

    Thanks, Lynn, for this poem celebrating the marvellous Wally Keeler!

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