Sunday, May 30, 2010

A MILE OF SMILES

Editor's note: "When I was a lad, my grandfather called me "Grinny Britches." But as I recall, when I grinned at someone, they usually responded in kind," Dad wrote in the introduction to this poem.

The other morning I chanced to meet
A neighbor of mine from down the street,
And he hollered, "Good morning, Slim!"
With a vibrant voice, chock full of cheer,
And a great big grin from ear to ear,
And I couldn't help smiling at him.

Now, I'd been feeling a little blue,
As, once in a while, most people do,
When they've been taking their lumps;
But after I met this cheerful guy,
I felt a little ashamed that I
Had been so down in the dumps.

I felt rather sheepish because I knew
The trials this chap had just been through
Were greater than any I'd known;
So, straightening up, with a quicker stride,
I felt a whole lot better inside,
From the spirit this fellow had shown.

A little further on down the street,
Another acquaintance I chanced to meet,
And I hollored, "Good morning, Jim!"
He looked my way, and nodded his head,
And I grinned as wide as my face would spread,
And I got a big smile out of him!

So, I resolved, the rest of the day,
I'd foster good will in a similar way,
With folks wherever I went;
I found the idea to be worthwhile,
I got a great life from every smile,
And it didn't cost me a cent!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

THE COMMON MAN

Editor's Note: If anyone could personify the Golden Rule, it was Dad; wealth, "station" in life and possessions didn't matter a whit when it came to how he treated other folks. In fact, the only times I recall him ever saying anything negative about another human being happened when that person failed to do what the Good Book tells us we should. My Aunt Mary, Dad's "baby" sister, says that comes from Dad's Quaker "first, do no harm" philosophy. Not a bad concept when you think about it, huh!

Prestige doesn't concern me much,
Neither does money or fame;
I'm not impressed by titles and such,
Nor awed by a famous name.

And furthermore, I care not a whit
To be told of your family tree;
Not concerned the least little bit
With your royal blue pedigree.

I've always been for the common man,
Who has to work for his dough;
The fellow who does the best he can,
While having a tough row to hoe.

I've been for him who doesn't have much
In the way of material things;
Who's used to battling life in a clutch,
And accepting whatever it brings.

I've been for the man who's had to cope,
And knows how it is to be poor;
Who's tied a knot in the end of his rope,
And defied the wolf at the door.

I'll favor the right of these little guys,
The reason is easy to see.
I really couldn't feel otherwise,
Because one of them is me!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

GUNG HO

Editor's Note: "Sometimes it seems our luck has run out and we might as well toss in the sponge -- but that's not the way to win a ball game," Dad wrote as the introduction to this insightful poem.

What in the world can a poor man do,
When his losses are many and his gains are few?
How can a fellow continue to hope,
When he's just about to the end of his rope?

How can the poor guy carry his load,
While pushing uphill on a rocky road,
Fighting ahead, to gain no more
Than what he already had before?

How can he hold his chin up high,
And keep a determined gleam in his eye,
While trying harder, only to find
He keeps on getting further behind?

It's easy to falter, and a great many will,
But a few press on to the top of the hill;
For this is the method that life employs
While separating the men from the boys!

Records of history will demonstrate well
The proof of the story I'm trying to tell;
The ones who win all the marbles and stuff
Are those who hang on when the going is tough.

So don't knuckle under, no matter what,
Give it the very best you have got;
Set your sights on a distant star --
You're never licked till you think you are!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

SLOW POKE

I'm not the sort of feller who
Is always in a stew,
I seldom get all lathered up
Like lots of people do;

Some folks think they have to go
In high gear all the time,
They say that resting is a sin,
And loafing is a crime.

That hurry, scurry kind of life
Was never meant for me,
The slow and easy-going type
I much prefer to be.

I've never had the least desire
To gallop through the day,
But like to take the time to smell
The flowers along the way.

I can't see any use in bein'
Forever on the run,
And maybe that's the reason why
I don't get nothin' done!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

THE NON-VOTER

"A double-jointed mule can kick in any direction. So can a guy who doesn't vote on Election Day," Dad wrote in the introduction to this poem.

My neighbor never takes the time
To vote on election day;
I think he'd rather stay at home,
So he can always say
He didn't vote for so-and-so,
And then he'll rant and shout,
"It's time for all of us to rise,
And throw the rascals out!"

If Democrats are faring well,
And winning good and strong,
Then he's a hot Republican
And hollers loud and long.
But if the wheel of fortune brings
A turn-around from that,
And the G.O.P. should sweep the state,
He becomes a Democrat!

Like my neighbor, lots of folks
Are never satisfied;
No matter who's in office,
They're on the other side.
Election day, they won't assist
Any candidate to win,
So they can say they didn't help
To put the rascals in!

--Acres of Verse (1994)