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Poetry by Veronica Michalowski: "Givers" and "Keith"

Copyright, Veronica Michalowski

November 7, 2016

Written about her father, Peter Paul Michalowski

July 24, 1917 – November 26, 2000

Photo taken in the yard of his mother’s home,

Oxford, New Jersey, c.1942, age 25


New Jersey mountain so huge

it’s named Montana.

He knows it well—

with his brothers,

spends his youth here

exploring, playing.

Hemlock, oak, dogwood,

birch, what’s left of chestnut.

Drinks from natural springs

hikes endless trails

of this feral cathedral.

Mindful of hunting seasons

when fauna are vulnerable,

Montana equips him for work

in the CCC camps,

a lifetime of skills.

He is at home here;

mountain gives

he learns

entrusts lessons

to his children.

Today, no birds sing

deer are still

wild turkey mute

as wet tread

on the wheels of the hearse

slowly rides the familiar road,

it gathers DNA—soil, seeds,

spores, end-of-autumn leaves—

to place at his gravesite.


you left us today

soared to another


free to be you

to explore

heavens, universes

touch the face

of God

to fly

visit those you know

who left a while ago

we may not meet

for some time—

we will be here

on our own sunbeam

this little blue dot of Earth

the only home

we’ve ever known—

thinking of you

the love you gave

to your wife, children

family, friends

we miss you

stay close

rest in paradise

don’t forget us

Keith Allen Doncheski, Senior

October 12, 1966—April 26, 2017

Copyright, Veronica Michalowski, written May 4, 2017

Reference: Carl Sagan’s PALE BLUE DOT


Veronica Michalowski

A graduate of California State University, Fullerton, I received my B.A. and M.A. in Fine Arts, Design and Photography.

My career focused in the fields of ideation, branding, marketing, merchandising, packaging and display design, having created for such firms as Microsoft, Epson, Canon USA, Neutrogena, Crayola, Calaway Golf, Geoffrey Beane, Sunkist, Mattel, as well as many California wineries. I have built and worked with outstanding design teams and received both national and international recognition, many awards and acclaim for exceptional design, including two CLIOs.

Interspersed with this creative work has been a contribution to the educational field, having taught fine arts at California State University, Fullerton as well as Riverside City College, Mount San Antonio College, Laguna College of Art and Design.

I continue to design and paint, travel, read everything and write often, especially poetry, do crossword puzzles daily, love to cook, savor fine wine, collect fine art and antiques.

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