The Bee Keeper


A fine poet and wonderful man passed away a few days ago, just a few days before the private launch party for his newest book of poetry, The Alphabet of Longing and Other Poems. Today, I attended the memorial and celebration of life for Jim Tipton that took the place of festivities meant to be his book launch. In all, there were two hours of tributes and readings from Jim’s work. For my tribute, I wrote this brief poem in which I try to wed a number of the loves of his life: bee keeping, poetry and his appreciation of women.


The Bee Keeper

A keeper of words,
he was a tender man with fine vision
and a honeyed tongue adept at sharing it.

A man who loved women,
but not a ladies man,
his heart could stretch to fit everyone.

He was the one among us who knew how to see the other side.
A champion of the beleaguered,
when most found fault, he always had a kind word to say.

Words lived with him. He set them free and always grew more.
Poetry buzzed around him like bees.
He was a man who knew both bees and how to be.



Because Jim missed this party, I wanted to include these photos of him enjoying the last party I saw him at—last September’s awards luncheon for El Ojo del Lago. As you can see, he was a man who knew how to enjoy life to its fullest. Those of us who knew him through the poetry or music world, his neighbors and his family will feel the huge space left by his exit from our lives. Fly free, lovely man.

Jim’s earlier book of poetry Letters from a Stranger (with an introduction by Isabel Allende) may be purchased here:

His newest book, The Alphabet of Longing, will be available on Amazon in June.  It is presently available at Diane Pearl’s Colecciones  and Yves Restaurant in Ajijic. 

15 thoughts on “The Bee Keeper

  1. okcforgottenman

    I really loved watching and listening to Jim read. He always seemed to belly up to the bar/lectern, claiming it, and the moment. I seem to remember that he’d cast a long glance over the audience first, then plunge into his words. Ah, gusto! I always leaned into him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gc

    I heartily invite you to you to visit my new site “Weekly Prompts”. It will provide a forum for you to continue to present your works with a new viewing audience. I hope you will visit the site frequently. Have a wonderful day. – gc



    Great tribute, makes me wish I could have known him, but they his thoughts remain in prose, so I can at least visit him this way. Thanks Judy for the introduction~!


  4. Pingback: The Bee Keeper | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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