WOW! Look at the snazzy new artist-designed cover for my book “Shaker Lane”

This is the front cover for the digital version of Shaker Lane.

And this is the front and back cover for the paperback which will be out soon:

Both were created by Jeanine Henning from Capetown, South Africa.

Read Four-Star Review of my book “Shaker Lane” by Jim Bennett Kindle Book Review Team member

The boy walked on the lane
And looked beneath his feet
Picked a pebble from it
Thought it pretty neat
Put it in his pocket
Always there to hold
Strolled a little further
Now becoming bold
Thought he heard soft whisper
Tho he was alone
‘I’ve waited many years,
Hello boy, welcome home.’

The poems in this collection are woven into a unified story, an odyssey, which develops as you progress. The book was crafted to have a magical, inspirational feel to it – a range from joy to sorrow. It would appeal to adults who dream of a simpler time. Older children, who know the truth behind Santa Claus, realize where babies come from and understand death and dying would enjoy it.

My boyhood home on Shaker Lane in western Massachusetts was a converted saw mill associated with the Shaker religious community. This one-lane unpaved road was surfaced in stone over a dirt base. There were only five homes along its stretch deep into the Berkshire Hills. As a result, what little traffic existed was slow, and we could walk it without fear – at least as long as our mothers didn’t catch us.

Other than school and summer vacations, all of my childhood took place within one hundred yards skirting the sides of the lane. For my playmates and me, it was the focal point of our youth. Our Shaker Lane playground covered hundreds of acres of lawns, fields and woods.

I treat the lane as a living entity, with senses, feelings, memories and a ‘voice’– a friend – which it was for me as a boy. While many of these poems are wholly or partially anecdotal, others are more allegorical. Family and friends might argue, “That isn’t how I remember it.” I plead generous poetic license. Consider it to be a metaphor of some imaginary child’s life, not necessarily my own.

Does the lane actually converse with me? Am I only hearing other people speak, and believe it to be the lane? Is it merely my own thoughts? Or is it a child’s overactive imagination? What power does the pebble I find there hold over me? What does the old woman in the green-shingled house know? What mystery awaits me when I finally reach the end of Shaker Lane?

So come back in time to post World War II – the time of Howdy Doody – of stick horses – of the transition from radio to television – of Superman – of hula hoops – a time when parents had to repeatedly shout at the top of their lungs to get their children to stop playing and come back in the house for meals or bedtime.

Surrender yourself to the lure. Explore all the joy and magic that a young boy can discover along the way. Come with me and listen closely as we walk Shaker Lane, the friend beneath my feet.

And tho I watch them flicker
   every damp summer’s eve,
   I always let the fireflies
      fly free

Kindle Edition:


About lenxbob

I was born in 1946 - the first year of the Baby Boomers. For most of my life, I lived in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts - Pittsfield, Richmond and Lenox. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1968 with a BS in Mathematics. From 1968-1970, I did a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in the Philippines teaching high school modern mathematics. I later taught for eleven years and then became a computer programmer/analyst and eventually an MIS Director. I currently winter in Florida and summer in upstate NY - with my 37-year-old African Gray Parrot, Little Pete. I enjoy playing piano and guitar as well as painting watercolors. I started writing poetry when I was in my early teens. It has always brought me joy to express my emotions in writing. My poems tend to be quite straightforward. You won't need a dictionary or an encyclopedia to comprehend them. I like my poems to flow easily, and have the reader flow with my thoughts.
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