As his first collection of Poetry is released the same year he turned fifty, Keith laughs at the thought that the sequel will be available on his 100th birthday! “Now that will be something to write about.” The poems of Fluidus span thirty plus years of writing and come together as personal experience and unique observations of the events we share in this life. Keith draws from his childhood days growing up as the son of a Pentecostal preacher, and his passion that is rooted in that upbringing. After graduating from Lee College in 1989, Keith attended Regent University where he earned his M.A. Degree in Biblical Studies and Church History.
It was at Regent where he experienced a broader view of the world, faith, and a God that crosses man-made lines. “We all have questions,” notes Keith, “questions about existence, our fallen nature, and why we have been placed here and given the lives we live, without a choice in the matter. “ He states, “There are many, many things we cannot explain, and if we focus on those we are always questioning and strengthening our doubt. Questions, we will always have with us, but on the other hand, there are so many things we cannot explain away, all the intricate details of our existence that will not allow us to simply dismiss this mystery to chance. These “Beacons of Gondor”, if you will, help us understand in a broader scope, our immortality and eternal significance.”
It is from these questions and from a faith that is “our handle on what we can’t see” (Hebrews 11:1, MSG) that Keith draws his motivation to write about both the wonder and the wandering in this life. “I love a good riddle, a great plot found in literature, in stories of antiquity, where there are clues but also shadows, hints, but then cloudy second thoughts,” states Keith. “I believe our existence has proven to be a riddle, with many clues given, but plenty of room left dark and shadowy, filled with the unknown. It is here, in the dark, where a flicker of light can be so powerful, as to show one’s way if only for a second, and in that second, that flicker, one can see the truth of an exit, and it is to that truth we can cling no matter the darkness around us. I believe a light has shone in the darkness, and our souls are drawn to that which darkness cannot comprehend (John 1:5).
So why a book of poems? “Maybe its because I couldn’t get enough sentences together to write a paragraph, I’m not sure!” states, Keith. “But I have always loved poetry, and there are so many great thoughts, stories and lessons from memorable poems through the ages. From Mother Goose Rhymes to Dante’s Divine Comedy, poetry has been used to teach the lessons of life and to wander the realms of existence and meaning. In particular, the work of T.S. Eliot stands out to me personally and has been a main source of inspiration over the years.” Keith notes, “I decided to share the poems of Fluidus as one man’s thoughts about existence, brokenness, redemption and ultimately, meaningfulness. There is a broad spectrum of life experiences for us all, and my hope is that in reading Fluidus you will find familiarity, honesty and some flicker of light on the truth we innately desire.”
Keith lives in Virginia Beach, Va with Letha Holland-Deel, who he has been married to for 28 years. They have four children, Keeley, Bayla, Charis and Keenan. Letha is the Director of Worship at Spring Branch Community Church and the lead singer of Guava Jam Band and Shoes Required. “With parents in the ministry, a wife in the ministry, two brothers and a sister with ministries,” Keith points out, “someone has to be the black sheep and be in used cars! Maybe the duality is the reason for the poetry.”