Sunday, December 26, 2010


Editor's note: "There are many things about winter that are beautiful and fascinating, but of course it depends on your vantage point!" Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

I like snow;
I love to hear
The north wind blow;
Not just a cold December breeze,
But really howling through the trees,
Like screaming, wailing
wild banshees.

I like the frost,
On door and window
Pane embossed;
And hung like garlands, clean and bright,
On fence and shrub, reflecting white;
Or ghostly in
The pale moonlight.

I like to see
The drooping branches
On a tree,
Bent down, to touch the ground below,
Each one transfixed into a bow,
By weight of heavy
Sodden snow.

I like the season,
For each above
Related reason;
Oh, yes, I love it, every minute
Have no complaints at all ag'in it,
If I don't have
To go out in it!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Editor's note: "Some folks dread to see winter arrive' others hate to see it go," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "I guess it depends on your appetite for weather." I don't know which book this is from -- it's one my Aunt Olive, Dad's sister, chose for publication in the December/January issue of "Fanfare," the Brethren Retirement Community's newsletter. Looking outside and seeing half a dozen or so inches of white stuff on the ground, it seemed appropriate for posting here as well.

The northern wind is howling
Like a banshee in the night,
Overcoating lawn and garden
With a coverlet of white.

Wires along the highway,
Whining in the cruel cold,
Cry that winter's got us
In its bitter strangle hold.

The hoary frost has settled
O'er the garden corner post;
In the pale moonlight it shimmers
Like an eerie sheeted ghost.

I appreciate the beauty
Of the snowy winter scene;
With the world in fleecy garments,
It appears so white and clean.

But let me clear the record,
So as not to be amiss,
It doesn't take me long to get
My belly full of this!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Editor's note: Dad never was one to get excited about holidays, most likely thinking for the most part they're a waste of time and money that could be better spent elsewhere. And for the most part, he had a good point -- perhaps never more accurate than this time of year.

'Tis the season to be jolly
Time for mistletoe and holly;
Merry hearts are full of cheer,
Christmas Day is almost here!

Joybells ringing all around,
From every side, the carols sound;
Christmas music fills the air,
Yuletide spirit everywhere.

Toddlers, thrilled as they can be,
Climb and sit on Santa's knee;
Whisper in his ear what they
Would have him bring on Christmas Day.

Nearly hidden, under all
This hoopla, din and fol-de-rol,
A manger scene that seems to shout,
"Hey, here is what it's all about!"

No question, Christmas has become
Commercialized too much for some;
But no one dares to advocate
We lose our right to celebrate.

And though I deem that well and good,
And wouldn't change it if I could,
I've had enough of Christmas cheer
To do me for another year!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, December 5, 2010


"Our Christmas card list is a little shorter this year," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "We've crossed out the names of those folks we haven't seen for ten years, people who owe us money, and all relatives no closer than third cousins."

From friends and kinfolks everywhere,
We're getting Christmas cards;
Some with little notes inside,
To give us their regards.

Up to now, we've seventeen,
But expect that many more
Before the season ends, because
We sent out thirty-four.

Some are cheap, some are not,
And Lucy's keeping track;
You can tell how much they cost
By the numbers in the back.

Here and there, we find where we
Can cut our card expense,
If one we sent cost half a buck,
And theirs was twenty cents.

Perhaps the difference ain't enough
To be concerned about,
But they never seem to total up
To as much as we paid out.

I'm sure we won't break even,
No chance of coming near it;
But anyhow, I'm happy we
Have got the Christmas spirit!

--Acres of Verse (1994)