Featured Poem: I Wonder

Scottie E. McDaniell


Today as I walked through a parking lot
    I gazed at the people I passed, but not
one fixed his or her eyes upon me
    for each looked from hand-held technology
only to juggle some keys or a child,
    and I wondered if it’s like this in the wild.
Do bears and tigers and lions socialize
    with their own kind, do they bid “hello” and “good-bye”?
Do lizards and ants and squirrels stop to say
    as they pass hills and trees, “How are you today?”
Do roaches, in all their quick hurry-scurry
    take time to greet, and do all things furry
pause to show interest in one another,
    and do those in flight stop to hover?
Do swinging apes and crawling snakes
    give something equal to our handshakes?
Do those of the underworld and the fish of the sea
    burrow toward, wiggle over, or just let each other be?
Do they act neighborly, friendly if passing by chance
    or divert their attentions without even a glance?
I wanted to share a kind word and a smile
    even hesitate to talk for a while.
But people have times when not open to others,
    forgetting that we’re all sisters and brothers.
We may be annoyed when our thoughts are disturbed
    and our routes or our plans have to be deferred.
Maybe sometimes to be indifferent is human,
    absorbed, oblivious, now and then with no room in
days that are so full of things to do.
    I wonder if all God’s creatures are like that, too.




  1. Scottie, Always good to find a poet and a poem by a fellow Member-at-large in the NLAPW . I enjoyed the thoughts you stimulated for this poem and it actually was something that had never occurred to me to really think about. Poetry should make its reader think as yours did. I was reminded of a brevity poem of mine that I had written when I read your 4th line: “for each looked from hand-held technology.” I’ll share my version: It’s titled “Free Hand – New Definition”
    Freehand – “the only hand that people use to do everything else with … the other one’s busy holding their I- phone.”

    congrats on being promoted here, Joy

    • I like your take on the situation. Maybe even one hand DOES know what the other hand’s doing! Thank you for reading my poem and commenting. Scottie

  2. Scottie, I love your musings about the rest of the animal kingdom and that your interest and curiosity extend beyond all the humans that barely acknowledge each other. There is a sculpture, that has moved me, which I saw at the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands a number of years ago. It is a fluorescent spiral made up of words that say “The True Artist Reveals to the World Mystic Truths”. And I
    have thought many times through the years that this is indeed the truth about our best artistic endeavors in all fields. Thank you for your part in this!

    • Gail,
      Thank you so much for your kind – and interesting – words. You made me go look up this museum! I’ve been to the Netherlands several times and visited many museums, but never this one. If I ever get back, it will be first on my list. I am flattered you would think of that sculpture after reading my poem.

  3. Scottie McDaniell says

    I thank all of you for your wonderful comments about my poem. Scottie

  4. SUE NEWMAN says

    Congrats SCOTTIE! I love this for so many reasons! It’s so cleverly true; it’s sentiments are shared by so many in our generation; and it makes me appreciate you even more. I’m honored to be your friend. Keep ‘em comin’.

  5. Carolynn J Scully says

    Good job, Scottie! So glad it gets to be shared!

  6. Dottie Holtgrefe says

    Scottie must have read my mind when she wrote this piece—my thoughts exactly. Our difference, however, lies in the presentation of those thoughts.
    Scottie is a talented writer who brings the ideas to life. Even those among us who have not given much thought to this social deviation will recognize the condition she describes so well.
    Thank you, Scottie. Excellent!!

  7. Carol Douglas says

    Scottie, your poems have made me laugh and probably cry too over the many years of our friendship. This poem is wonderful but alas so sadly true. My husband and I are not addicted to our cellphones and actually have conversations when we eat out but have looked around and remarked on number of heads bent over their devices. Our young people have lost the art of conversation, so very sad. Congrats, your poem very much deserving the honor of being published.

  8. Dorothy Kamm says

    Wonderful poem! I like the rhythm, rhyme, and message.

  9. Barb Whitmarsh NLAPW says


  10. That’s a perfect reflection of today’s society. Very sad but so true. Perhaps in 100 years there will be no speech between people and the animals will be running the world. 🤔😻🐶🐒🐴

  11. Scottie has made a good point. At a restaurant, watch other tables where adults and children are looking down. Looking down at their cell phones. Not having conversation with each other. Is this what animals do? Pass by each other and not nose up or speak to the other? No. And we didn’t either; at least, my generation didn’t. Conversations led to insight, friendships, responsibilities, understanding…and so much more. Thank you for the poem Scottie!

    • Bunny Gaines says

      Scottie, so glad you shared your poem with me. I Just ran off a copy to read again later. You are so talented and up to date at the same time. Dick and I often wonder as we sit in a nicer restaurant and look around at couples who each have their phones on looking at whatever is more important than the person they are with. It’s a sad thing when when we trade personal conversation for a mechanical device. You really hit the nail on the head