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The pictorial focus is primarily on Schnormeier Gardens in Gambier, Ohio.

Poetical Journal © by Bob Casey


Mission: To provide poetical and thoughtful comments on life


My newest novel, What's Next~An Epic Journey, is available to the general public. The book is a sequel to the The End of Time and Back: An Epic Journey. You can purchase now by clicking here. (Scroll to the correct title.)

If you are in the area on Saturday, June 25, please attend the book signing at ReBOOK in Midway, UT from 6 PM to 8 PM. Free bubbly and hors d'oeuvres.


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To the End of Time and Back: An Epic Journey is available via Amazon and Kindle. It will grab you from the start and carry you to places you have never been. The book contains many diverse ideas and is a great love story filled with adventure and intrigue. Questions? Email me. To read more click here. To go to Amazon, click here.

A number of individuals have sent some wonderful reviews. You can read some of them in the Forum Section below.


This month there are no new geographical destinations to be added to my demographic list.


VOLUME XV – Issue 6: Sunday, June 26, 2016 (178th Issue)

  • Welcome & Online Version
  • Opening Comments from Bob
  • Two Poems: What is Life? and Thoughts on a Birthday Eve
  • Please support my efforts for this publication by donating or purchasing merchandise.
  • Vignette this Month: Schnormeier Gardens
  • Recommendations
  • Quotable Quotes
  • A Bit of Humor
  • PJ Forum
  • PJ Demographics – Subscribers in 20 states and 10 countries
  • PJ Online
  • PJ Policies
  • Subscription information



    I am pleased to have you as a reader. If you enjoy the PJ, please encourage others to subscribe.

    If your country is not listed in the demographic section at the end, please let me know so I can update the list.

    The next Poetical Journal will be out on Sunday, July 31, 2016.

    .......Lotus in the pond at Schnormeier Gardens

    Opening Comments from Bob

What's Next ~ An Epic Journey and Beyond Time and Back: An Epic Journey: Both novels are available on Amazon. What's Next is a sequel to Beyond Time and tackles a topic that impacts us all. Both books are intriguing reads.

This Issue: We flew back to Ohio to celebrate Mom's 93rd and my birthday. I also attended Dr. Paul Lam's week long U.S. Tai Chi Conference in Cincinnati. Our return date also coincided with Ted and Ann's Schnormeier Gardens annual open house. Over the years I have had the privilege to photograph these gardens during all four seasons. Most of the pictures in this issue were taken on the last day of the open house. Ted and Ann are wonderful humanitarians and will leave a magnificent legacy to the people of Knox County and to the world. The two poems, What is Life? and Thoughts on a Birthday Eve, touch on questions I often inwardly discuss.

Subscriber Residence: PLEASE let me know if your state, providence, or country is not listed in the demographic section at the end.

Next Month: The next issue will be out on July 31, 2016.

To follow me on Facebook, click on Poet Bob, and ask to befriend me.

A view looking toward Park City, UT. It is nestled in the mountains. (Obviously, not the gardens)

.Two Poems this Month

What is Life?

Have you ever asked that question?
It’s definitely more than the 8-5
      or the American 8-8.
Always strive to be #1,
      failure a curse.
What a bill of goods
      we’ve been sold!

Isn’t life about friends,
      that touch and warm us?
Instead of yearning for the hereafter,
      should we not yearn to live,
      to savor, and at times devour
      the precious moments
      allocated to our brief time
      on this beautiful planet?

Can one truly define
      the taste of a luscious peach
      or the touch from a lover?
Think of the feelings
      a smile from a beautiful stranger brings,
      or the satisfaction felt
      upon meeting a new challenge.

I cannot define this existence
      I’ve been given.
All I know is that I am grateful.

Comment: I often think about questions such as these as long time readers of my poetry already know.

Thoughts on a Birthday Eve

Sitting, listening
      to a Library of Congress concert
      honoring the life of Willie Nelson,
I reminisce.
Besides, a bit of life assessment
      on the eve of one’s special day
      is always good.
Neither he nor I is young anymore–
      many miles under our belts.
The old adage,
      life passes so quickly
      flashes to mind.

A bit of melancholy
      along with celebration
      fills the spirit.
Like all on this journey,
      much good along with a share of bad
      has flooded life.
Joys and pain
      have been companions–
      dreams fulfilled,
      others not,
      loves shared and lost.

My story is like most.
But as Willie says in Night Life,
      “But it is my life.”
Alas, it is time ". . .to get on the road again.”
Let’s see where we are heading.

Comment: If you are a Willie Nelson fan, you will recognize the lines in the last stanza. If not, you will most likely understand the meaning anyway.

A friend watching over the porch area of the Schnormeier home during the garden open house


Floral bed


Little Mermaid guarding the lake


Ted Schnormeier talking with one of the visitors.

My books and products are purchasable online.

My work currently appears in seven books. Four are offered for sale online. To order any of the four, click here. The newest books, What's Next? (2016)and Beyond Time and Back (2015) are currently available through Amazon.

  • A Respite in Time (2012) This 184 page book consists of vignettes, mostly one or two pages in length, which provide thoughtful comments on life. They have appeared in this newsletter over the years. The costs are $15 (PB) and $24 (HB) plus shipping. To order, click here.
  • Lit Bit (2011) is a small anthology that includes three of my poems and three of my photographs. The cover photo is also mine. The cost is $10 plus shipping. (No longer available.)
  • A Slice from the Apple with the Taste of Poetry (2010) is an anthology of poems written by members of the Apple Valley Poets, a very talented group that formed almost eleven years ago. This book contains a wide variety of poetical genres and will appeal to all lovers of poetry. The cost is $10 plus shipping. (No longer available.)
  • An Oasis in a Cluttered World (2006) is a book that allows you chapter by chapter to immerse yourself in a quiet refuge as you forget the chaos of the world. Through poems, vignettes, and recommendations it beckons you to let go, relax, and savor life’s many riches. The cost is $11 for paperback and $18 for hardcover. To order, click here.
  • Wisdom from the Journey (2004) As stated on the cover leaf, “My wish is that this reading journey will provide you with a bit of respite from everyday life, generate a few laughs, cause good feelings about yourself and humanity, encourage introspection, and at certain times twinge your conscience on critical issues and thoughts. Upon reading the last page, I hope you will smile and say, That felt good! The cost is $10 for paperback and $17 for hardcover. To order, click here.
  • The Wanderer: A Poetical Journey (2002) is my first book. You join me on my around the world trip that I took in 2001. The cost is $5.50 for soft cover. (I have sold out of the hardback version. It still can be ordered through Author House.) To order the soft cover., click here.
  • Enjoy the convenience of shopping online.

Supporting the efforts of the Poetical Journal is greatly appreciated! To support, click here.

To view the product page of other unique gifts, please click here.

The Stream Garden. "The focal point . . . is a four hundred foot long, six hundred gallon per minute roaring mountain stream cascading through densely planted adjacent beds and falling fifty feet in that distance."
The Japanese tea house designed to scale

Vignette this Month: Schnormeier Gardens

Near a small, picturesque college town, Gambier, Ohio, a world class garden exists known as Schnormeier Gardens. They are the creation of philanthropists Ted and Ann Schnormeier. Ted, who originally graduated as an art major, went on to become an industrial CEO and city leader. Later, he put his creative talents along with Ann's support and ideas into the genesis of what was to become internationally award winning gardens.

The couple open the gardens only once annually to the public. The open house usually occurs during the first week in June on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. However, many groups, especially those interested in gardening and botanical projects, schedule visits throughout the year. Some international groups travel from throughout the world to view the flora and grounds that exist in this small environment within Ohio. There are also sculptures strategically placed throughout the grounds, many created by world famous artists. Some come mainly to view and photograph them.

In recent years because of publicity and international recognition by elite journals, the numbers visiting during open house have grown to thousands a day. Ted and Ann told me that this year they had the largest number of Asian groups attend in the gardens' history. Ann told the story of how an old gentleman asked her through a translator whether he could play a song on his flute as a memento of thanks for allowing him to visit. She was extremely moved by this kind gesture.

How did this masterpiece come about? In 1996, following the purchase and clearing of undeveloped land and building their unique, beautifully designed home, the Schnormeiers launched their biggest adventure to date. They envisioned a unique Asian style garden, a love they had developed during their Asian travels. Over the decades the plans continued to evolve. Currently, there are nine gardens with names such as Meadow, Chinese Cup, and Quarry. According to Ann, in the coming year they are going to continue to expand specific areas, especially near the Quarry Garden.

You can click here to learn much more about this magnificent ongoing project, the Schnormeiers' gift to Knox County, the United States, and yes, the world. There is also a gorgeous coffee table style book available that describes the history and development of the gardens along with over a hundred pictures. You can purchase the book, SCHNORMEIER GARDENS - PEACE, HARMONY & SERENITY, through the website. Incidentally, it has also won international book publishing awards.

If you have a guest vignette you would like to submit, please do so. Not only will I enjoy reading it, but if agreeable with you and space permitting, I will print it in a future issue. The vignette should be written in paragraph form and relate a personal story or event. Equally important, it should fit the overall tenor of this newsletter. Ideally, it should not exceed twenty lines. Please send to bob@poeticaljourneys.com.

.............................................This beautiful waterfall feeds into the lake.


Take time to stroll through a garden and enjoy the moment.


Please take a look at the online book and gift pages.

The Quarry Garden – pictured is only part of it (unseen a gently falling waterfall). ". . . The totality of the structure required in excess of one thousand tons of limestone blocks which started arriving on July 15th, 2008."

–..Quotable Quotes

". . .The red arch bridge, Chinese in inspiration, spans thirty-six feet to Swan Island. The bridge was constructed in 1989 prior to the filling of the lake. . ." This picture differs from many that I have taken. Shooting through the branches gives a mystical effect..

"The Cup Garden was constructed in 1996, but the Pavilion was not completed until 1998. . ." Note closely the woman seated in the Pavilion.

A Bit of Humor

A bit of laughter is healthy for the soul

Animal Joke:

A baby turtle was standing at the bottom of a large tree and with a deep sigh, started to climb. About an hour later, he reached a very high branch and walked along to the end. He turned and spread all four flippers and launched himself off the branch. On landing at the bottom in a pile of soft, dead leaves, he shook himself off, walked back to the bottom of the tree and with a sigh started to climb.

About an hour later, he again reached the very high branch, walked along, turned, spread his flippers and flung himself off the branch. Again, he landed on the bottom, shook himself off, went to the bottom of the tree, sighed and started climbing.

Watching these proceedings from the end of the branch were two birds. The Momma bird turned to Daddy bird and said, "Don't you think it's time we told him he was adopted?"

............................................................Courtesy of A Joke A Day


Below is another view of these magnificent gardens. There are many commissioned sculptures throughout. Children frolic near a more recent one.

PJ Forum

If you have comments, recommendations, or suggestions for the PJ, please e-mail them to bob@poeticaljourneys.com. While I often cannot print everyone, I personally respond to all.


"As last Thursday was 'officially' my final retirement day and the weekend was filled with track, graduation and grad parties, thought you might be interested in my first official retirement activity. I got your three books organized for reading . . . Therefore my first activity was reading A - Z. Great book - should not have been surprised by the intertwining of events knowing the mind of the author. For more fun Tuesday, I read The Alchemist. Found it to be an interesting complement to your book. Both deal with the concept of a God unlimited by human thoughts and words. . ." - Doug from Galion, OH (Ed: Many thanks Doug for the feedback. I am pleased it was the first book on your list.)


In last month's issue I inadvertently forgot to put a link to Bob Hinshaw's new poem. Click here to read. (Ed.: Sorry about that Bob!)


"I always enjoy your newsletter Bob! The photos this issue are amazing!" - Sally from Virginia via Facebook (Ed.: Much appreciated, Sally!)


"Shame on me Bob! Totally missed the issue! Was just now going through my emails and here you are!. . . should have stopped to read this month's issue so that my mind would just relax and enjoy your photos, etc. Everything in this issue is so pretty! . . ." - Bobbie from Texas (Ed: As you know from earlier PJs, Bobbie has been dealing with some serious issues. I am always pleased to hear from her. Please continue to support her with prayers, good wishes, and positive thoughts.)


Some Book Reviews

To the End of Time and Back: An Epic Journey Review taken from Amazon

"The new novel, To the End of Time and Back is a skillful account of two lovers on an 'Epic Journey,' racing through time and history to learn life-changing truths. Their spectral mentor, Arundel, sends them through difficult travels, but their relationship endures and remains strong despite physical, and psychological stress. Powerful emotions such as fear, anger and happiness, combine with lust, pain and sexuality to help them learn. Written in verse form, the story is an epic poem, painted to portray the duality of mankind throughout dimensions of human history that is sometimes cruel and horrific. The reader will come to know and understand what is being described and will certainly enjoy the stimulating elegance of the story and the philosophy. A thoroughly enjoyable read that is certain to make you think." - David from Utah

Other Reviews (They have been edited for length. Thank so much to each of you.)

"I finished your book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was much easier to follow by having the whole thing in front of me, and reading as much as I wanted at a time. I felt pretty weary after bouncing around in time for many hundreds of years, but I was relieved to know that at least part of the world survived 'Armageddon'. What a feat you have performed." - Jim

"I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your latest book To the End of Time and Back. When I bought the book I had no idea what to expect. Once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. I had fun reading it from A to Z and everything in between." - Art from Park City, UT

"Your book touched places deep within my soul. I could read it over and over again, Bob. Job Well Done!" - Bobbie from Texas

"Well, Bob! I am rather blown away by your book. Finished it yesterday, and it only took four days, which means I was intrigued and wanted to know how the book ends. I'm a slow, deep reader and since my profession is writing and editing, I edit continuously as I read. Can't help it! But this book was worth dropping everything for and reading to the end. I admit to cynicism about your claim that it would change me, and I don't know that it has just yet but it won't be leaving my heart and head for a long time, and change could happen. I'm impressed that the book actually lived up to your claims for it. . . . I'm intrigued by this book because it rings so true, and I am therefore tempted to believe you actually were given the gift of this dictation. But if not and this is fiction, you have written one hell of a book, masquerading amazingly as non-fiction ... which is indeed one of the goals of fiction." - Kimberly

"WOW! WOW! WOW! I read it in one sitting and found so many things you wrote about 'true' for what I know and feel about past lives I've lived. Actually, the chapter about the Holocaust was something I couldn't bear to read–too sad and painful. (I've always felt that way about that period of history.) . . . it was very well done, Bob. Just beautifully done. I'm looking for the movie. . . I'm sure others will feel connected to this book just as I did. AMAZING. Just AMAZING. I couldn't put it down. There was so much anticipation with each chapter it hooked me from the very beginning. . ." - An Ohio Reader

"I read your book a couple weeks ago. You are lucky we don't live close enough for me to call you to discuss it! It was interesting and easy to read. I liked the format. It reminded me of Many Masters, Many Lives by Brian L. Weiss (which was not that quick to read). Have you read that? . . . Anyway, kudos on the book -- on all your books. . ." - A Reader from Arizona

"Your newest release takes the reader to places deep within. It makes one ponder all things about life itself. Many authors have written about reincarnation, but yours goes deeper. Through an eternal relationship between two souls, you describe all the human emotions one can feel. The book takes you to historical times and places around the globe, making you feel as if you are part of the beautiful relationship of A~ and Z~. After reading, they will become a part of you." - A Reader

PJ Online

To read some of the back issues of the PJ, go to here.

The next issue will go out on July 31, 2016.

Until next time - joy and peace,


PJ Policies

Guest Poetry: Often readers send me a poem stating they would like it included in the PJ. Many of the poems are well written. Although I enjoy reading them, at this time I do not include guest poetry as part of this newsletter. Instead, I suggest that they submit them for inclusion in the Guest Poet section of my web site. A number have chosen to do so. However, time limitations and quality govern the number that will be accepted. I currently am not accepting poetry from minors.
Guest Vignettes: On occasion, I publish guest vignettes submitted by one of my readers. If a guest vignette is submitted and selected, the author understands that there is no remuneration provided; the vignette will be included in the e-mailed and web site versions; and will remain posted until I choose to remove it from the site. In all cases, the guest vignette remains the property of the guest author who has given permission for its usage as described in sentences one and two.
Privacy: I take it very seriously. Your name will never be sold to a third party nor will we disclose at any time your subscription information.
Unsolicited Mailing: The PJ is never sent unless requested. If you believe you received the PJ unsolicited, please notify me. I will unsubscribe you.
Reproduction and Forwarding: While the material is copyrighted, you have permission to forward all or part of this newsletter. You may also quote from it. Out of common courtesy (We will forget all the legal jargon and requirements.), I would appreciate at least a mention or a footnote. -- Much appreciated!
Recommendations: All recommendations are personal ones offered for your information. I receive no remuneration of any kind from the sources or individuals being recommended – other than when I recommend purchasing my books. Actually, many are never aware of their listing. One may ask, "Why do you provide recommendations for specific establishments or locations, especially since many of your readers are worldwide and may never be able to use the information?" The key word is "may." When I travel, I plan much of the itinerary myself. This planning includes reading and listening to recommendations from professional and personal sources. My wish is that any suggestions provided will assist some readers as they make their plans. (Incidentally, I have already received feedback that readers use them.)

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Bob Casey
Poetical Journeys
P.O. Box 319
Midway, UT 84049


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