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Chief Petty Officer Gary D. Boldes has been writing poetry since about 1987, during a previous Sasebo Naval Base tour as a crewmember on the USS Dubuque. After several years, he published a collection online, “Thoughts of a Sailor,” which includes about 50 of his poems.
Chief Petty Officer Gary D. Boldes has been writing poetry since about 1987, during a previous Sasebo Naval Base tour as a crewmember on the USS Dubuque. After several years, he published a collection online, “Thoughts of a Sailor,” which includes about 50 of his poems. (Daniel Bell / U.S. Navy)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — He admits being the recipient of a little razzing in the USS Juneau chiefs’ mess, but Chief Petty Officer Gary D. Boldes has a poet’s heart and says, in truth, they enjoy reading his lyrical musings.

Boldes says he started writing poetry when he was stationed in Sasebo in the 1980s, “as sort of an outlet because when frustrations build, it helps clear my head. It’s very effective.”

Boldes first served in Sasebo in the 1980s on the USS Dubuque.

By 2003, he’d posted dozens of poems on the Web site Lulu.com and decided to include 50 favorites in his book “Thoughts of a Sailor.”

His themes are “a lot about Navy life, under way times, family, love and life in general,” he said Wednesday. Boldes said his writing style and motivation come not from specific poets as much as a love of reading and authors in general.

“I just want it to makes sense to the average reader,” he said. “It’s not free verse and not highly structured.”

Boldes enjoys using rhyme and lines that read smoothly; those are his only rules.

“I do my own thing. It’s more practical poetry, like Robert Frost. It’s not overly symbolic or hard to understand … like poetry I’ve read by T.S. Eliot.”

He’s sold about 70 copies of his books to his friends and family with another 20 purchased by Internet users.

“People tell me they like the poems,” he said. “They say it’s stuff to which they can relate and understand.”

“I want to publish a novel someday,” he said. “The problem is, I’ve started four, written about three chapters each and, now I can’t decide which one I want to finish.”

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