Sunday, October 31, 2010


Editor's note: "Envy is one of the inherent traits of human nature and causes more troubles than ragweed or mumps," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "The grass is always greener in somebody else's pasture, our troubles are greater than the other fellow's, and why couldn't we have been born rich and talented like that guy over there?"

I used to ponder quite a lot,
And think perhaps I should have got
A better deal from Nature when she passed the talents out;
But when I try to pick a guy
I think is better off than I,
I come to this conclusion: There's a lot to think about.

Comparing talents, more or less,
Is like comparing kids, I guess.
When taken all together, your own are not so bad;
If we could trade for others, just
To try a little while, I trust
We'd all decide we much prefer to keep the ones we had.

Of all the people I have met,
I've never known a person yet
Exactly like the man I think I'd like to be;
All things considered well, I find
I'm satisfied, with peace of mind,
It's just as well I can't be anyone else but me!

--Down Country Roads (1970)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Editor's note: "It's nice to have someone to blame all our troubles onto, even if we have to go a long way back to find a whipping boy," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

In the Garden of Eden,
A long time ago,
No evil existed,
No sin did they know;
Till the Devil slipped in,
And soon after that,
Adam and Eve
Began to begat!

No longer allowed
In the garden to remain,
They promptly went out
To raise a little Cain;
And that was the start
Of the whole human race;
Their descendants begatted
All over the place!

This chain reproduction
Which they set in motion,
Led up to the present
Population explosion;
So, let us remember,
Not that it matters,
The whole thing began
With those first two begatters!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I had a dream the other night,
While deep in peaceful slumber--
I dreamed I died and traveled on,
For Fate had called my number;
And as I crossed the Great Divide,
And hurried on alone,
With eager step I made my way
Into the Land Unknown.

And there, before my very eyes,
Was a grand sight to behold--
I saw a sportsman's paradise
Instead of streets of gold;
For dancing down the mountainside,
In the sunset afterglow,
A brook was singing on its way
To meet the lake below.

The mossy bank was smooth and green,
'Neath the overhanging trees,
While flowers on the mountain top
Added perfume to the breeze.
The stream was full of finny folk--
I saw them flash and shine;
O, such a spot I'd never seen
To wet a casting line!

And as I stood enraptured there,
I heard a footstep fall,
And coming down the path I saw
An old man, gaunt and tall.
"Please tell me, sir," I cried to him,
"Please tell me, if you will,
Where I can find a rod and reel,
So I may try my skill!"

"I need some tackle right away,
No matter what the price;
I never dreamed, when down on earth,
That Heaven would be so nice!"
The old man slowly shook his head,
Quoth he, "It can't be done.
I'm afraid that you're just out of luck--
You ain't in Heaven, son!"

--Down Country Roads (1970)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

TV and B-O

Editor's note: "The latest census figures lead to some startling disclosures," Dad wrote in the introduction to this poem. "I can't vouch for their accuracy, but some are very interesting!"

Figures show we have today,
From census tabulations,
Twice as many TV sets
As bathtubs in our nation.

Now this is most amazing,
And it isn't true, I hope,
That people watch soap operas,
But neglect to use the soap!

There are many TV watchers
With bright and shiny faces,
But one begins to wondeer,
Are they clean in other places?

And what about the ratings,
That tell who's watching shows?
Would the sponsor care how many
Need a bath, do you suppose?

One thing helps a little,
For this is also known
That most who skip the bathing
Do use twice as much cologne!

Everything considered,
I have come to this decision:
A lot of dirty people
Have been watching television!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Editor's note: "We tend to consider the life span of man in decimal units," Dad wrote in the introduction to this poem. "Nobody, for example, looks at thirty-six or fifty-two as turning points."

At twenty, no longer in your teens,
You've become a grown-up at last;
Your future's a shining beacon ahead,
And darkness swallows your past.
You reach your peak of vigor and vim
At the age of thirty or so;
Now, you're smack in the prime of ife,
And full of the old gung-ho!

At forty, they tell us life begins,
For some people maybe it will;
But others now are fighting the fear
They're almost over the hill.
At fifty, you've come to the awkward age,
And are losing some of your fire,
Feeling the wear and tear of life,
But still too young to retire!

The next decade goes galloping by,
Faster than ever, it seems;
You find that you're beginning to have
More memories now than dreams.
Seventy falls in the golden years,
But also, let me remind you,
Three-score and ten decidedly means
Your future is mostly behind you!

I hate to end on a negative note,
But there's another thing to it,--
If you haven't made your pile by now,
You probably ain't gonna do it.
If I had any precept in mind,
Or moral, in writing this rhyme,
It's give it your best, at whatever age,
And to heck with Old Father Time!

--Acres of Verse (1994)