"There is no such thing as an innocent bystander. If we are bystanders we are not innocent" attributed to Maurice McCrackin
- I was born in Marshall, Minnesota on October 30, 1953 to Ron and Jeri Ullrich. My father passed in 1989 and my mother in 2010. I have five brothers scattered across the country. Steve, in Minnesota, Mark, who divides his time between Texas and Indiana, Dave and Tom, both in the Chicago Metropolitan area, and last but far from least, James in Pittsburgh. I spent the majority of my formative years in Independence, Iowa. My parents moved the family there from Jesup, Iowa in 1960. I attended and graduated from St. John’s Catholic School in 1972 with honors. I was awarded a scholarship from Iowa State University in Architectural Engineering, but my draft lottery number was low enough that there was a possibility I could end up in the Army instead. I chose to enlist in the Air Force and went on Active duty on September 20, 1972, with the intentions of earning a degree in Architecture via the G.I. Bill. However, that would not be the case. By the time I exited active duty, I was married with two children and headed for Corpus Christi, Texas. My first and only duty station with the Air Force was Randolph AFB, Headquarters MPC (Military Personnel Center as a computer operator/analyst. In 1974 I was one of three airman selected to begin working on what was called the “Remote Jobsite Entry” project. As a data-communications specialist I was fortunate enough to be involved in the ground floor set-up of what was destined to become the internet as it exists today. When I arrived in San Antonio in January of 1973, I made my way to the Gulf Coast within a month of being assigned there. I spent my first day (and night, for that matter) at the end of the Mustang Island Jetty that protects the mouth of the Corpus Christ Ship Channel.That is when I fell in love with the sea, the sound of the waves on the rocks, the look of a full moon on the Gulf waters as well as the pelicans and sea birds that fill the air and beaches of the coastal shores. I moved to Corpus Christi in December of 1976. I lived there with my first wife Dolores and our two children, Anthony and Jessica, until October of 1981 when I accepted a position with an oil distributor in Dallas. Writing had taken a back seat. It took me until 2010 and my present wife (who just happens to be my true soul mate, the perfect companion, lover and best friend I could have ever hoped for) Kim, to get back to the Coastal Bend. I brought her to the Gulf Coast in August of 2009 and together, we fell in love with Rockport. Hurricane Harvey, which hit Rockport on August 25, 2017 led to our relocation to Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the city where her father grew up, and many of her relatives remain. I reside here now with my wife Kim, our two dogs - Banx and Cheyenne, and one very bossy Mackerel Tabby by the name of Katsumi. Here is were we plan on spending the rest of our days. WRITING ROOTS image7 My writing evolved from my love of reading. a trait I inherited from my dad. He started me out with Edgar Rice Burroughs, Earl Stanley Gardner and Louis L'amour. In my early teens I discovered THH White and JRR Tolkien and read everything I could by them. Over the years, there were many authors that influenced me from Edgar Allen Poe to Tom Clancy. Among those that had the most influence were James Clavell, Herman Wouk, Stephen King, Anne Rice, James Michener and one author destined to become my favorite, John Sanford. Although, of late, I have become a fan of Greg Gongrain and his "Immortals" series.e I took several writing classes at Del Mar College and eventually at Tarrant County in Fort Worth which enhanced my desire to write. As I said, the author who has had the most influence on me, publishes under the pen-name of John Sanford. It is his “Prey” series, featuring the life of Lucas Davenport that has captivated me through 26 books in the series, and I am currently reading number 27; “Golden Prey”. Not to mention the Virgil Flowers series. I began writing with poetry and essays in the 80's, much of which I posted online as the internet grew. After getting clean and sober in 1992, I wrote several essays and shorts that were published by Narcotics Anonymous in their monthly magazine. I continued to develop as a poet through the 80's and 90's, gathering a collection of works that were not all good, by any stretch of the imagination, but all of them were mine. I found the release in poetry that I had been looking for in alcohol and drugs and it became an integral part of my recovery. in May of 2016 I released a collection of my poetry and musings, as well as photography, titled "Life and Death in a Single Breath". In publishing, I fulfilled a promise made to my mom and daughter Jessica that someday I would share my work.
Why you choose to be a member of Realistic Poetry International
- Realistic Poetry provides me a forum, as well as a place to express myself without judgement. I truly hope this is the case.
Poetry is important to me because
Poetry, others as well as my own, has provided me an outlet without fear, for emotions and feelings, as well as opinions. Through poetry I've soared amongst the gods and danced with demons on the edge of death. I am myself when I am writing, for better or worse. I am, according to a renowned psychologist who wishes to remain anonymous here - "The King of situational ethics." My poetry reflects the ambivalence of my morality.
You can read my poetry by clicking the link below.
Learn more about this poet
1) Publish one more collection before I die. (I'm 66) 2) Translate the personal moral code of my poetry into prose. I.E. Create a character who is as capable of random acts of kindness as he is premeditated violence.
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As far as emotional support, there is nothing more gratifying to me than hearing from a person I've never met, how my words have touched them. You can also support me with reviews of my work on Amazon or through recommendations to others.
Life and Death in a Single Breath
An eclectic collection of poetry, prose and musings. There should be one for everyone, but not everyone will like every one. My poetry runs from whimsical and romantic to dark and dreary, perhaps even fatalistic to some. Regardless, you will smile from time to time. You will perhaps shed a few tears from time to time. You may feel me tugging on your heart, from time to time. Some might find themselves drifting away in their thoughts, while others struggle to find a message, or a hidden meaning somewhere between the lines. You may even get angry from time to time. What I would consider a failure as a poet, would be you did none of those. I hope you will give me a chance to weave my words 'til your spirit begins to dance. Life and Death, in a single breath; it's all there's ever been and all there ever will be. You breathe in and I will breath out. Together we will live as one. Perhaps, some will find peace in my words, or a kindred spirit. Most importantly, perhaps some will find healing and acceptance; that he or she is not alone;
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