“In the introduction, the stage is set and you will be hooked. The boy, the pebble, and the lane interact. You will not come away from this book unmoved. … a touching volume”
Jim Bennett Kindle Book Review Team member
Read his full 4-star review here:

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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 is an adult myth – a novel told in verse. It would appeal to adults who dream of a simpler time. Young adults and teens would also 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

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


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