Despite being a computer instructor, Brian Wayne Maki believes that technology has its place and should not intrude into all areas of our lives. In One Innocent and Ordinary Life, he recalls special moments from his childhood and young adult years—from playing basketball to building forts and moments with his parents—none of which refer to computers or the digital life.
Maki highlights a certain innocence that has been lost in the last twenty years which coincides with his own loss of childhood, the loss of his father, and the intrusion of technology. But while many of Maki’s poems are nostalgic, they are never really sad. Many are very hopeful and they focus on happy experiences, moments of insight, and lessons learned.
The book alternates between non-fiction short stories and poems. The stories recall lessons learned in childhood and as a basketball player or referee, while the poems, which make up the majority of the book, focus on a wide range of themes, including growing up, Nature, death, pets, and love.
An example of how Maki looks at the world can be found in “The Two Trees of Meadow Grove” where he watches two trees growing up beside one another over the years until:
Each set of branches entwined with the other
Sharing in a bond few shall ever live
Until time parts them with a gentle breeze.
Maki is also one who believes in the need to be the best we can be. He demonstrates that personal desire in his basketball stories as well as his daring to become an entrepreneur, stating in “While No One Watches Me”:
For it is in the giving of one’s self
That I think makes the difference
Between a winner and a loser
Someone who never stops trying
While no one watches me.