My story begins in Dime Box…

About Me

It was over twenty years ago when I came across the Japanese aesthetic concept, “Shibui” (also called “Shibusa”).  To Japanese writers and artists, Shibui combines simplicity and complexity.  Simplicity, modesty, and imperfection are three of its seven elements.   Included is the idea of beauty arising out of imperfection through mending.  Such a concept for writing and art seemed appropriate when your creations are intended for “the salt of the earth.” rather than for the literati or the art critic.   I know this sounds kind of weird, but it works for me to express my ideas to a wide assortment of people.  So when I first started writing a newspaper column about thirty years ago, and applied these concepts, I felt they worked well for my purposes.  When I wrote a column on carrot cakes, people said they thought it ironic they could be entertained by such a nothingness topic.  That’s where I come from, but who knows where I am going!  I still don’t after all these years!

My “Images” Columns

My Books

Tanka Schön

Tanka Schön is my first book of poems made up exclusively of tanka and kyoka. My previous book of poetry, Open Prairies, includes a variety of different poetry forms, traditional and contemporary. I have a great love for Japanese poetry forms and am indebted to those American tanka and kyoka poets who paved the way for wide acceptance of Japanese poetry forms written in English. I am also proud of his ethnicity as a Texas Wend, a factor that adds a new twist to his tanka and kyoka.

Open Prairies

Open Prairies is a poetry collection about the simple things in life—growing up in rural Texas, a yard full of birds, kittens playing, the laughter of grandchildren, Christmas lights, and getting older. In four accessible chapters, Ray Spitzenberger uses the music of words to create moments in time that suggest more than is explicitly stated. From trips down memory lane to reflections on love and family to lighthearted chuckles, these poems capture the essence of life on the prairie and offer something for everyone.

It Must Be the Noodles

It Must Be the Noodles is a whimsical recollection of my memories of growing up Wendish in rural Central Texas, centered around the food and stories dished up on my mother’s kitchen table. From Mama facing off against her pugnacious rooster, Smarty Pants, to her homemade wine’s hot air balloon ride across the kitchen, these heartwarming and humorous tales take you on a journey through the major food groups of a Wendish kitchen (pickles, noodles, cheese, pecans, and, of course, firewater). Many of the recollections were first published in my beloved newspaper column, Images, paired here with lively new introductions and 11 family recipes from Mama’s recipe box.

Times Remembered

This book is not my own, but I contributed two poems to this collection.

The Perky Poets Society meets monthly at The Bellville Perk (thus the name “Perky Poets.” Bellville is a town in central Texas. Each month members gather to share poems they have written; eleven of the members contributed poems; also included are four poets who wrote in the early 1900’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s, including some translated from the original German.

TIMES REMEMBERED includes reminiscenses of Bellville’s 175 year history, of holidays, times spent in nature, special places, meditations and reflections, and reflections on faith.

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