Sunday, December 25, 2011


Editor's note: "Some people celebrate Christmas," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Others celebrate at Christmas and don't really know the difference."

The bells ring out, and music resounds
In ten thousand cities and country towns;
New York to Podunk, and in between,
The glitter and flare of the Yuletide scene.

Rivers of people meander and flow,
Into and out of the markets they go,
Spending their money in huge amounts,
And going the limit on charge accounts.

"Come all ye faithful," these words we hear,
Through the clangor and din that falls on our ear;
"Come all ye faithful, spend all your dough,
It comes only once each year, you know."

Cash registers whirring and buzzing away,
They gobble up money like horses eat hay!
Oh, how the merchants rejoice to hear it!
Their cups runneth over with Christmas Spirit!

All these gaudy activities stem
From a peaceful village called Bethlehem,
Where a star shown down on a placid sight,
And a baby was born on a silent night.

Come all ye faithful! Join in the throng!
But let's not forget, as we scurry along,
We should be rejoicing at Christmas because
It's the birthday of Jesus, not Santa Claus!

--Hominy Grits 1986

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Editor's note: "If Christmas came only once in ten years, still, most of us wouldn't do our shopping till the last minute," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

The Christmas game is on again,
All my money's gone again,
And yet, I'm only halfway down my list;
I'll have to figure out a way
By hook or crook, so I can pay
For something like a dozen I have missed.

I'll re-avow, come New Years Day,
That, ere the summer slips away,
I'll pick up little items, one by one;
Once again, I'll swear that I
Won't let another year go by,
To find me at the end with nothing done!

But this is what I've said before,
I guess, for thirty years or more,
And somehow seem to never carry through;
December twenty-third is when
I'm sure to find myself again
With all my Christmas shopping yet to do.

I guess what really bothers me
Is all the many folks I see
Doing the same, because I realize
when I'm among this frantic crew,
I'm being just as dumb as you
And fifty million other stupid guys!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Editor's note: Some people never expect anything for Christmas, and they are never disappointed," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Anything added to nothing equals something."

Most people look forward to Christmas morn,
And wonder what Santa will bring,
But Lucy has said she doesn't expect
The old fellow to fetch her a thing.

She says, with the clothes she already has,
She's been getting along very well,
And though her things are all out of style,
She'll try to make do for a spell.

Her kitchen ain't fixed as fancy as some,
With up-to-date gadgets, it's true,
I've never believed in throwing around
My money, like some people do.

I buy all the stuff that we really need,
And manage to pay all our bills,
But I'm not a guy to squander his dough
On presents and trinkets and frills.

So, on Christmas morn, I don't think she'll look
For a present under the tree,
And anyway, what in the world could she want
When she's already got me?

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Editor's note: "Some folks worry so much about getting old that they promote the process by trying to hold it back," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

Some people fret and worry,
As the years go rushing on,
Missing joys of the present,
While lamenting what is gone.

This fact of life is certain,
Very sad, but true,
You can't stay young forever,
No matter what you do.

When this becomes apparent,
And the wrinkles start to show,
Some measures can be taken
That will minimize the blow.

Perhaps it won't be noticed,
If only you will stay
In dark and shady places,
And avoid the light of day.

When your hair starts getting thinner,
And your jowls begin to sag,
You might conceal your features
In a supermarket bag!

So you won't be reminded
That the bloom of youth is gone,
When you look into a mirror,
Never have your glasses on!

But better yet, old timer,
Be contented with your lot;
Think the least of what you're losing,
And the most of what you've got!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, November 27, 2011


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. I figure that in this hectic season of cooking, shopping and rushing thither and yon, we all could use a reminder to smile now and then!

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 hollered, "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 lift from every smile,
And it didn't cost me a cent!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Editor's note: It's that time of year again: One big bird gets a Presidential "pardon" and thousands of others make their way to the cooking pot to satisfy the cravings of Thanksgiving celebrants. I'm sure I speak for most of us when I say I always eat too much - and Dad's poem for this week sums the whole thing up rather well!

Thanksgiving time is on us,
And we've cause to celebrate,
But I've been doing, maybe
More than what I should, of late.

For almost every evening
Finds me occupied somewhere,
At a banquet table loaded
With that good Thanksgiving fare!

Heaping mounds of turkey,
And the dressing piled up high!
Cranberry sauce and salad
And delicious pumpkin pie!

I'm thankful for the bounty
Of this gala festive board,
But my middle section shows it,
Which I cannot well afford.

I've been a turkey lover
For many, many years,
But I'm so full of turkey now
It's running out my ears!

When I came home last evening,
And the same the night before,
Lucy came and let me in
When I gobbled at the door!

--Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Editor's note: "It's usually commendable to strive for improvement, but sometimes it's better to quit while you're ahead," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "The trick is in knowing when to settle for what you've got."

One time, my Uncle John perceived
His well was going dry,
And so he drilled another one
To get a good supply.

At forty feet he had a flow
That, near as he could tell,
Would give sufficient water
And serve him very well.

Now Uncle John was well aware
A shallow well is cheaper,
But still, he felt it might be well
To drill a little deeper.

He reasoned well, but after they
Had drilled a hundred more,
His well did not produce as well
As it had done before!

I have no doubt my uncle feared
The worst, as well he must,
When, at a hundred eighty feet,
His well was full of dust.

Two hundred feet below the ground
And still dry as a bone;
He should have stopped at forty feet
And let well enough alone!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Editor's note: "When we dream about the good old days, we tend to embellish our memories and sort of gloss over some of the rough spots," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

When old friends get together,
There is never any doubt
That happenings of yesteryears
Is what they'll talk about;
Many are the joyful hours,
In memories they raise,
Recalling all the happy times
They call the good old days.
But when I think it over,
You know, it seems to me
A lot of things are better now
Than what they used to be!

I'm sitting, right this minute,
Where the old "Heatrola" stood,
And yonder, in the corner's
Where we stacked the kindling wood.
But now I dream about it,
Sitting in my easy chair;
We have automatic heating,
And we've got conditioned air;
Outside, it may be zero,
Or in summer, ninety-three--
A lot of things are better now
Than what they used to be.

In the evenings, I remember
How we listened, long ago,
To the Lum and Abner program
On the batt'ry radio;
And now, we watch a ball game
Or the picture of the week;
Or maybe see the president
And listen to him speak.
We enjoy it all in color,
On our spankin' new TV--
A lot of things are better now
Than what they used to be!

How clearly I remember
When they put the 'lectric in;
'Twas a great emancipation,
Most like being born again;
Then we added modern plumbing,
To provide the final touch,
And replace the old "two-holer"
Down the path we used so much.
If this was your experience,
I'm certain you'll agree
A lot of things are better now
Than what they used to be!

There are many precious mem'ries,
As I dream of yesterday,
My eyes get kind of droopy,
And I just sort of drift away.
Then, a touch upon my shoulder,
And I feel a little shake,
And Lucy's saying, "Slim,
Are you asleep, for goodness sake?"
An' I look up at Lucy,
And she smiles down at me--
A lot of things are better now
Than what they used to be!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Editor's note: "On winter evenings many years ago, basking in the warmth of the old base-burner in the "sitting room," two little boys were not very enthusiastic about retiring to their unheated bedroom," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. January isn't here yet, but since I'm seeing reports of heavy snowfall in other parts of the country, I figured this is a good time to remind ourselves of what it was like in the "good old days."

In our old farm house, long ago,
When I was five or six, or so,
And January came along,
And winter set in good and strong,
We hated so to go to bed,
In chilly quarters overhead;
My younger brother Frosty, he
Was two years younger yet than me.

We hesitated on the stair,
For it was mighty cold up there;
Both were entertaining dread
Of climbing in our frigid bed,
But Mother countervailed our fear
By gently nudging from the rear;
We were still reluctant, though,
Those winter evenings, long ago.

Finally, in our straw-tick bed,
With rafters creaking overhead,
Covers tucked around us tight,
We snuggled for the winter night;
And when the angry north wind came,
To rattle window sash and frame,
Little mounds of drifted snow
Appeared upon the sill below.

After snuffing out the light,
Mother vanished from our sight,
Quietly down the narrow stair,
Leaving us to shiver there;
Wrapped in flannel, at our feet,
Two flat irons provided heat;
No electric blanket, though,
Those winter nights of long ago!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Editor's note: "I guess there's nothing wrong in acting like a simple-minded idiot, if that's what you're being paid to do," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

A little nonsense, now and then,
Is relished by the best of men;
And very rare indeed is one
Who can't enjoy a bit of fun.

Through the ages, fools have known
A favored place before the throne;
For even monarchs like to smile,
And be amused once in a while.

Ancient peoples tried to bring
Some entertainment to their king;
And sought to add a lighter touch
By hiring jokers, fools and such.

History tells us George the Third
Was quite a crusty, sad old bird;
But had a jester on his staff,
To horse around, and make him laugh.

Queen Victoria, even she
Had not one royal fool, but three!
It took some doing to erase
That sour expression from her face.

Modern leaders hesitate
At hiring Jokers Designate;
But that's okay, for quite a few
Are in the House -- and Senate, too!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Editor's note: Given the economic woes of the world (and the folks who occupy it), this poem seems appropriate for this week. And given that it was written some 25 years ago, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same!

Financial experts tell us
We should have a savings plan,
And get the thing established
Just as quickly as we can.

For, fiscal independence
Is the goal to keep in sight,
And saving on a schedule
Is the way to do it right.

You can't expect perfection,
And you'll have to understand
That things won't always happen
In the order you have planned.

I've had a little trouble,
As I realized I would,
In sticking to my schedule,
But I've done the best I could

In looking down the road a bit,
It's pretty plain to see
How my financial planning
Has been working out for me.

If I continue saving
At about my present rate,
I'll owe a million dollars
At the age of ninety-eight!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Some years ago, when I was just
A bit a-helpin' Pa,
He used to say, "Son, measure twice
Before you start to saw."

Measure twice before you start
To saw a board in two,
It's a pretty good rule, no matter
What the job you have to do.

I've thrown away a board or two,
And, some I've had to splice;
And all because I didn't take
The time to measure twice!

It always pays to double check,
Before you carry on,
For once you've cut a board too short,
The time you saved is gone.

And so, in life, at work or play,
Remember Pa's advice,
And always, before you start to saw,
Be sure to measure twice!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Editor's note: "Every bard since Homer has composed a verse or two about autumn," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Surely one or two more won't hurt much."

I love the Autumn season,
When a nip is in the air;
And silver patches glisten
On the rooftops, here and there.

The frost is on the pumpkin,
And the beans are in the bin;
A bumper crop of yellow corn
Is being gathered in.

Overhead, in vee formation,
Flocks of geese are flying high,
Winging on to warmer quarters,
Underneath a southern sky.

This bright October weather
Really suits me to a T;
If it stayed like this forever,
It would be okay with me!

But I know a change is coming
'Round the corner just ahead,
And I always face the Winter
With a little bit of dread.

We can't control the weather,
But I'd give 'most anything
If we could skip a season,
And go straightway into Spring!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Editor's note: "A good many country folks look forward to the time when they can tear themselves away from the land and retire to an easier life in the city," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Giving up the old home place, however, is sometimes easier said than done. A good many strings have to be cut." Take it from someone who's been "downsizing" to a new home after close to 50 years in the old one, he's right!

So you saw my ad in the Times Gazette
Where I wanted to sell my farm? You bet!
I've had enough of this work and toil,
A-wringin' a livin' from out of the soil,
I'm a-gonna git me a place in town
Where me and Ma can settle down.

Is it good land, you ask me now,
My friend, you never will sink a plow
Into better dirt than this right here,
I've farmed it for better'n forty year,
And I ain't never had a failure yet,
When the season was dry, or when she was wet.

And you can see that them buildings ain't
A-needin' nothin' but a little paint,
And that there house, let me tell you,
Is hardwood timber through and through,
She's sound and solid in every way--
They sure don't build 'em like that today!

An' there's a good deep well that never goes dry,
An' that water's cold as ice in July,
And under the shade of them cottonwood trees,
On the hottest day there's always a breeze.
When we move to town, I do declare
I'm sure gonna miss this clean fresh air!

And yonder's the woods, where we used to roam
And pick wild flowers, when the kids was home,
And hickory nuts, and blackberries, too,
And the biggest mush-a-rooms that ever grew!
I tell you, mister, if Ma was well,
And could git around good, I wouldn't sell.

Me and Ma started housekeepin' here,
And we've worked together, year after year,
To pay off the mortgage, and to lay away
A little nest egg fer a rainy day--
If we was both still hearty and hale --
Aw shucks, mister, she ain't fer sale!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


"Fortune comes to everyone who waits," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "This old saying may be true, if you don't run out of time."

I don't care how far you've gone
Toward acquiring fame;
It doesn't bother me at all
That people hail your name.

And I don't give a hoot because
Your house is bigger'n mine,
And you've got such a fancy place,
And all fixed up so fine.

You're welcome to your Cadillac,
You drive with such delight;
I don't begrudge you all of this,
As a jealous fellow might.

But, if we're even, all of us,
And equal at the start,
It's hard to see how we can get
So many bucks apart!

For your good fortune to arrive,
You hadn't long to wait;
But it appears that mine will come
Too little and too late.

With all the riches you have gained,
I say hooray for you!
Though I'd be better satisfied
If I could have some, too!

This is another of those "I don't know which book it's from" poems. It was submitted to the Brethren's Retirement Community newsletter by my Aunt Olive (Dad's sister) -- she's been doing that in his honor ever since he passed away.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Editor's note: "A sincere offer to help is sometimes, in itself, the best kind of help you can give or receive," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. Not bad advice, Dad - methinks you're on to something!

If you are in the doldrums,
In the mood to fret and pout,
And you have a little problem
As to getting straightened out;
Maybe just a little boost
Will make it all okay,
So, what can I do for you,
To brighten up your day?

All clouds are superficial,
That are drawn across the sky,
So both of us together,
If we buckle down and try,
Might liberate the sunbeams
That hide behind the gray;
So, what can I do for you,
To brighten up your day?

When all is well with you again,
And like it ought to be,
Perhaps a bit of sunshine
Will also fall on me;
So I'll do everything I can
To drive those clouds away;
So, what can I do for you,
To brighten up our day?

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Editor's note: "There are lots of remedies for the flu, and some of them will work if you give them enough time -- say about ten days," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. I'm not sure which book this one comes from, but it's one his sister Olive picked for the Brethren Retirement Community newsletter. I picked it because we just got notices that it's time for our annual flu shots once again so figured it's appropriate for the season!

If you've got the flu,
About all you can do
Is rest your carcass in bed,
With shivers and shakes,
While everything aches,
From your toes to the top of your head.

The skin on your nose
Is red like a rose,
Excruciating to touch;
Your voice, when you speak,
Is husky and weak,
And so you don't talk very much.

You feel like you're beat,
And all you can eat
Is chicken soup, three times a day;
You swallow enough
Of the doggone stuff,
You feel like you're floating away!

Steaming hot tubs,
And vigorous rubs,
Won't get you well any quicker;
Whatever you have,
Inhalants and salve
Only make you smell a lot sicker!

Just rest in the sack,
Lie flat on your back,
No matter how sore it may grieve you;
You may as well stay
And wait for the day
That bug takes a notion to leave you!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Editor's note: When I was a youngster, time never passed quickly enough. Now that I'm at an age when each day is a precious gift, it seems to fly. Interestingly, Dad was about my age when he published this, so maybe that's a sign that the time is right for posting it here.

O, September,
What's your hurry?
I haven't said goodbye to August; still
Along you come without my bidding;
Your dewy days portend of autumn's chill!

O, September,
Will tomorrow
Bring us showers, frost, or blazing sun?
Your varied weather
Sounds a warning
That summer's gone, and fall has now begun!

O, September,
What's your hurry?
You needn't be in such a rush to go!
On so quickly
You have scurried,
It seems you only stayed a week or so!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Editor's note: "Many worthwhile programs don't get off the ground simply because their time has not come," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. Or maybe, I'd suggest, government leaders just can't agree on what to do next.

The notion for meals on wheels began
Centuries ago, with primitive man.
The truth of the legend, nobody knows,
But this is the way the story goes:
With home-made spears, a Neanderthal pair
Went out in the woods and killed a bear.

After their hirsute tummies were tight,
One remarked, "A deplorable sight!
There's more bear here than we can eat,
What'll we do with this leftover meat?
It's a shame to let it spoil and decay--
Can't we dispose of it some other way?"

The other replied, "How true, how true,
And here's what I would suggest we do:
There must be many people out there,
Who'd love to have the rest of this bear;
We'll load these leftovers into our car,
And feed these folks, wherever they are!"

A kind and considerate thought, as it were,
A great idea, but premature;
They couldn't use their automobile,
For nobody yet had invented the wheel!
And that's why nothing was done back there,
And vultures consumed the rest of the bear!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Editor's note: "The stuff they're calling country music in these moving times lacks a lot of being the real thing," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "If rock is music, horse droppings are vegetables!"

I don't know which book this poem is from -- Dad's sister Olive chose it for publication in the August/September 2011 issue of the Fanfare newsletter from the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio, where he lived for several years. As I read it, I couldn't help recalling the many times he and I sat next to our old floor-model radio listening to the Grand Old Opry when I was a kid. Truth is, though, I have a cheatin' heart; I like the "new" country music too. That said, I certainly understand what he means (are you listening, Hank)?

Nearly fifty years ago,
We still had only radio,
And country music was my cup of tea;
There wasn't anything around
Could beat that Grand Ol' Opry sound,
Those rustic tunes were good enough for me!

Then television came along,
With country music going strong
We took it all in stride, with unconcern;
But then, the sordid sixties came,
For rural rhythm took a hippie turn.

Now we see them on the screen,
Mouthing phrases near obscene,
Interspersed with wail and caterwaul;
The amplifiers boom-de-boom,
As earthquake tremors shake the room;
To call it music takes a lot of gall!

All decked out in costume weird,
Unkempt hair and scraggly beard,
Each one tries to be the most bizarre;
Whether one knows how to sing
Doesn't seem to mean a thing,
A garbage-head can be a superstar!

There's no longer any doubt,
Rock has crowded music out;
The Opry isn't like it was before;
There's nothing I can do about it,
But I can darn well do without it,
For Country isn't country anymore!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Editor's note: "Most banks are safe enough," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "But once in a while, we hear about one going belly-up."

I held my bank in high esteem,
Never dreamed that it would falter;
Because, to me, it always seemed
As solid as Gibraltar.
I felt secure in every way,
With unhesitating trust;
Never thought I'd see the day
My bank would bite the dust.

Humble thoughts, I always try
To hold, but, being frank,
It made me feel secure when I
Had money in the bank.
I felt a little bit of pride
That I had laid away
That modest nest egg, put aside
Toward a rainy day.

Entertaining not a doubt,
Not even for a minute,
I thought I took the proper route,
To put my money in it.
I trusted it with all my cash,
But that was back before
I caused my piggy bank to smash,
When I dropped it on the floor!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Saint Peter and Satan, they say,
Had a big disagreement one day,
And their tempers soon escalated;
Each thought the other should fix
The gate by the River Styx,
Which kept their domains separated.

As he spoke in the red telephone,
Saint Peter, in menacing tone,
Told the Devil his patience was waning;
He said, "I guess you're the sort
That has to be taken to court,
That's my only recourse remaining."

The Devil cackled with glee,
He said, "You're gonna sue me?
Just how do you think you can do it?
Consider a minute or two,
Because, I think, if you do,
You'll find there's a little more to it!

"If you threaten invasion of Hell
By force, I know very well
You might raise a great army of warriors;
But when you say you will sue,
That's a horse of a different hue.
Old boy, you don't have any lawyers!"

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Editor's note: "Nobody is happy about the weather all the time," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Some complain about it more than others, and everybody comments on it when they can't think of anything else to say."

Whatever the kind of weather
You'll seldom hear me complain;
It makes no difference whether
It's a blizzard or mid-summer rain.

Or when the north wind is blowing,
Cold enough to tingle your spine,
Or sleeting or hailing or snowing,
With me, the weather is fine!

If the mercury goes above ninety,
And it's muggy and humid today,
No matter how droopy I'm feeling,
I'll declare the weather's okay!

I don't prefer lousy weather,
Could do very well without it;
But since I can't have my druthers,
There's no use to holler about it.

Snowing, blazing or blowing,
In Summer, Winter or Fall,
Whatever kind we are having,
It's better than nothing at all!

To the Man who creates the weather,
I say, "You're doing just fine,
And I won't complain about your work
If you don't complain about mine!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Editor's note: "Positive thinking is a powerful weapon against the encroachment of senior debilitations," Dad wrote as the introduction of this poem. Amen to that, but I'll be the first one to add that the older I get the harder it is to do!

The bitter pill of growing old,
I'm sure you've heard it said,
Is really just a state of mind,
It's only in your head.

Father Time exacts from all
A toll, but it appears
Some maintain the glow of youth
Into their senior years.

I understand this premise,
And I'm willing to concede
A youthful way of thinking
Helps to keep you young indeed.

Observing different ways of life
Would lead us to conclude
How well you handle growing old
Is in your attitude.

Your friends may all assure you
There is little cause for dread
Of growing old, because it's
Altogether in your head.

But when they put it that way,
Somebody's kidding you;
Take it from your Uncle Slim,
It's other places, too!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Editor's note: "Your assets are listed on one side of the sheet, and your liabilities on the other," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "I guess you're not supposed to add them together."

My banker said he'd like to have
A statement, up to date,
So he could see, in black and white,
My true financial state.

The numbers didn't seem to make
A bit of sense to me;
I didn't have a bottom line,
As far as I could see.

To solve the whole dilemma,
It was clear the only way
Was to give the whole kaboodle
To the local CPA.

How that fellow pawed the dust
Was something else to see;
At handling figures, he could make
A monkey out of me!

He noted what my income was,
And showed how much I spent;
He spelled it out, precise and clear,
Where every nickel went.

He showed a right substantial sum,
There on the bottom line;
But then, he went and spoiled it
With that ugly minus sign!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Editor's note: Since many folks are enjoying picnics and cook-outs in honor of Independence Day this weekend, I thought this poem would be appropriate. Nothing, I hasten to add, has ever tasted better than fresh-from-the-coop chicken fried up in a pan by my mother -- dad's "Lucy" -- even though most times I had to help her scrape off all the pinfeathers first (dunking the bird in a bucket of boiling water and then adding a little elbow grease usually did the trick)!

They call it Southern recipe,
They call it finger-lickin';
I guess there's fifty-seven ways
For fixin' frying chicken!

Some brown it on a griddle,
After they stew or bake it;
But no one fixes chicken
Like my mother used to make it!

Half a dozen spices,
Or eleven -- doesn't matter;
Mom used salt and pepper
In a milk and cornmeal batter.

The bony parts are useless,
Mom never even fried 'em;
Now they sell 'em anyhow,
But try their best to hide 'em.

The wishbone's non-existent,
And the thighs are abrogated;
The breast is subdivided,
With the ribs incorporated.

That chicken used to have a tail,
Protruding out behind it;
And I suspect it's there somewhere,
If only I could find it!

You can use a pressure cooker,
Or you can broil or grill it;
But don't tell me you fried it
If it never saw a skillet!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Editor's note: "Written and spoken language separates us humans from lower animals, but the inability to use words sometimes gives animals the edge," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

Words are tools
Of kings, philosophers and fools;
Tools that mold the mortal clay,
Or bend the twig, or lead the way;
Tools that move the common herd,
The written and the spoken word.

Some words are kind,
Bringing comfort, peace of mind;
Words of care, and words of praise,
That help to brighten gloomy days;
These words of kindness, I have learned,
Are seldom lost - they'll be returned.

Some words are keen,
harp and cutting, vile and mean;
Use of evil words, we find,
Will indicate an evil mind,
For they are now, have always been
The implements of little men.

Words we say
We may regret another day;
From lessons gathered long ago,
And painful still, how well I know
Words we've spoken soft and sweet
Are never the ones we have to eat!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Editor's note: Today is Father's Day, and later this week -- June 24 -- will mark the second year since Dad passed away.

The sands, we know,
Relentless, flow,
And, as the seasons pass,
Each golden grain
Will surely drain
Into the lower glass.

We cannot slack,
Nor hold it back,
Nor is it in our power
To take away
A single day,
Or add a single hour.

We'll never see
It come to be
That Time will turn in flight
Thereby to give
Us to relive
A numbered day or night.

We can't command
The trickling sand,
But its passing we may ease,
If, in its place
We've filled the space
With golden memories!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Editor's note: "My grandfather was a remarkable gentleman," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "He's been gone for forty years, but every now and then, I'm convinced, I get a message from him."

My easy-going grandpa
Had a manner most serene,
I'd say, a more contented person
I have never seen;
But grandpa seemed to think he ought
To do a little more,
And perhaps a little better than
Was ever done before.
I'd say that he succeeded
In most everything he tried,
But though he was contented,
He was never satisfied.

He had a sense of humor,
And he had a lot of fun,
But never took the attitude
That all his work was done;
He showed, by his example,
How a person ought to live,
Never thought about receiving,
But was always quick to give.
A little prayer he quoted,
May it always be my guide:
"Lord, let me be contented,
But not ever satisfied."

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Editor's note: "The sands of time eventually all run out for every mortal, but we shouldn't schedule our activities in anticipation of that event," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

When I look around and see buddies of mine
Witherin' up, like gourds on a vine,
I cannot ignore the years that have gone,
And I realize well that time marches on;
But before my race on this planet is run,
There's a few more things I aim to get done!

There's a few more trips I'd like to take,
And a few more friends I'd like to make,
A mountain or two I'd like to move,
And a few ideas I'd like to prove;
A few more challenges under the sun,
A few more things I'd like to get done!

Some will give up and say, "What's the use?"
"It's too late to start" is a flimsy excuse;
Well, I've other problems to worry about,
Than to dwell on the thought that time's
Running out;
I'd sure like to finish what I have begun,
And a whole lot more I'd like to get done!

I don't know how long it will take,
But Old Father Time can go jump in the lake!
For I don't figure I'm over the hill,
And I'm not so sure that I ever will;
I've always been a stubborn son-of-a-gun,
And there's still a Lot I aim to get done!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Editor's note: Since this is class reunion time, I thought this poem would be appropriate. I don't know about you, but the older I get, the more this happens to me)!

Your face is real familiar,
But I can't recall your name,
My mem'ry's kinda foggy,
But I know you, just the same!

In fact, it's right remarkable
That we should meet this way,
For I've been thinkin' 'bout you,
It was only yesterday.

I said to Lucy, "Honey,
it's a doggone dirty shame
I haven't kept in touch with
My old buddy, what's 'is name!"

It sure is nice to see you,
After all these years again;
Let's have a cup of coffee,
And tell me, how've you been?

Father Time has been real kind
To you, it's plain to see;
It seems you haven't changed a bit
From what you used to be!

I'd know you anywhere, because
You still look just the same;
Your face is sure familiar,
But I can't recall your name!

--Square Marbles (1978)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Editor's note: "My hat's off to graduating seniors," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "I can even forgive them for being a little bit cocky. History repeats."

Looking back from later life,
On my emerging phase,
I marvel now, how bright I was,
In my adolescent days.

When just a toad-head youngster,
Hardly dry behind the ears,
I felt I'd grown in wisdom,
Far beyond my tender years.

Before I'd finished high school,
I was sure I had it made;
There couldn't be much more to learn,
Beyond eleventh grade!

And, after graduation,
For at least a year or so,
There wasn't any question,
I knew all there was to know.

I haven't suffered memory loss,
To any great extent;
But yet, I wonder, now and then
Where all that wisdom went!

I'd be the shrewdest pundit
Anyone has ever seen,
If I were half as smart today
As I was at seventeen!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Editor's note: "Any way you look at it, happiness is a stopping place between having too little of something and having too much," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

Happiness has been defined
A thousand ways, I guess,
And just as many given how
To find it, more or less.

Happiness is how it is
When everything's okay;
Not how it was a week ago,
But how it is today.

It may be only fleeting,
Or it may go on and on;
It's often-times elusive --
Now you have it, now it's gone!

It's not a destination,
Or a goal that you can set;
The more you try to gather in,
The less you're apt to get.

It isn't something you can see
Inside a crystal ball;
It may be late in coming,
Or it may not come at all!

Happiness is better shared
With others, for it's known
That hardly ever anyone
Enjoys it all alone.

Sow little seeds of happiness,
And that is what you'll reap;
The more you try to spread around,
The more you get to keep!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, May 8, 2011


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 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
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 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

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

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Editor's note: "Everyone knows the dollar has been shrinking at an alarming rate, so it's not surprising to see a new dollar coin resembling a quarter," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Since it will buy about twenty-five cents worth of stuff, maybe its size is fitting. If it's going to act like a quarter, it might as well look like one."

Our economy's surely
A matter of great
Concern all over the nation;
Most folks are having
Trouble today
Keeping up with inflation.

My Lucy contends
We're falling behind,
No reason have I to dispute her;
So I took all my figures
Down to the bank,
And ran 'em thru their computer.

The monster came up
With an answer of sorts,
So quickly it ain't even funny:
We could pay fifty
Percent of our bills
With ninety percent of our money!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Editor's note: "Sometimes our faith is shaken because our prayers aren't answered," Dad wrote in the introduction to this poem. "Sometimes, our prayers aren't answered because we're not asking for the right things!"

Four hundred and fifty feet long,
The ark stood three stories high;
The seams well-coated with pitch,
To keep all the occupants dry.

Two of every known creature,
Down to the tiniest bug,
Noah took them on board,
And made them cozy and snug.

He and all of his kinfolks
Were finally quartered inside;
His sons were Shem, Ham and Japheth,
Whose wives went along for the ride.

Then all the fury of Nature
Cut loose the very next day;
It rained from the first week in April,
Almost to the middle of May.

The gates of the heavens were opened,
And the water spilled and it poured,
But Noah was never affrighted,
He'd been assured by the Lord.

And so his faith never faltered,
Tho it went on week after week;
He didn't pray for the rain to stop --
He prayed his boat wouldn't leak!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Editor's note: "We really should have two houses," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "One to live in, and one to store our junk in!"

My Lucy makes a practice
Not to throw away a thing,
From paper bags and boxes
To rubber bands and string.

Now, I've the inclination
To toss away our trash;
Anything that cannot be
Converted into cash!

Old mail order catalogs,
And moldy magazines,
By me are not considered
To be worth a hill of beans!

Now, I could put my foot down,
And demand she change her ways,
But from my past experience,
I've found discretion pays.

For oftentimes it's better
To let well enough alone,
Even though her frugal ways
Are different from my own.

So when I think it over,
I hush up, and let it be,
Lest she might get the notion
She could do away with me!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Editor's note: "With all living beings, hunger is a powerful urge; but in spring, it ranks in second place," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

In the spring a young man's fancy
Lightly turns to thoughts of love;
His mind is filled with romance,
And the gal he's dreaming of.

He can't resist the arrows
Flung by Cupid, though he tries,
When all Nature waxes greener,
And the sap begins to rise.

His eyes are clouded over,
With a sort of misty haze,
As he goes about his business
Like a Zombie, in a daze.

With her, in blissful union,
He envisions joy untold,
Living happy ever after,
Like in fairy tales of old.

He is absolutely certain
Only sweet and loving words
Will ever pass between 'em,
Like the cooing of the birds.

He thinks he entered Heaven
On the lucky day he met her,
But when he gets as old as me
He'll know a dang sight better!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Editor's note: "The fresh air in the country is exhilarating as a tonic, never tainted by foul odors or pollutants," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Well, almost never!"

It's time for Nature's reveille call,
And we know that winter is done,
When birds and bees, and flowers and trees,
Awake to the springtime sun.

Along with the coming of Spring are some
Of the signs of the changing scene;
Pleasing scents of the season will come
With the turning of brown to green.

I love the clean fresh smell in the air,
That comes with the April showers;
No store perfume will ever compare
With the fragrance of blossoming flowers.

I love the scent of the new-turned loam,
The gentle zephyrs will bring,
From the fields around our suburban home,
When the farmers plow in the Spring.

I love the aroma of newmown hay,
As it cures in the summer sun;
I love the smell as they stow it away
In the barn, when the haying is done.

If country odors were all like these,
Everything would be Heavenly there;
But now and then, borne on the breeze,
Is a smell that would curl your hair!

When one of these rare odors assail
A veteran born to the range,
He holds his breath, and he doesn't inhale,
As he waits for the wind to change!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, March 27, 2011


As dawn comes up like thunder
On the road to Mandalay,
So Spring will burst upon us,
Now just almost any day.
As Old Man Winter falters,
In this second week of Lent,
His grip's begun to weaken,
And his force is nearly spent.

I often make predictions,
And it's true I sometimes miss;
But I have never been so sure
Of anything as this.
In fact, I've made a wager
There'll be no more heavy snows,
Or I will roll a peanut
Up to Rossburg with my nose!

I'm absolutely certain
We'll have no more zero days
From now until December,
Or this weather prophet pays.
I'll stand behind my wager,
For I'm not the welching kind,
But if April brings a blizzard,
I may be hard to find!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Editor's note: "Spring is when things get green," Dad wrote in the introduction to this poem. "Little boys roll hoops and fly kites. Big boys ride around with their windows rolled down and their elbows sticking out, and whistling that anything that flutters. The little girls are playing hop-scotch, and the big girls flutter."

Spring's in the air,
So the poets declare,
And winter has left us again;
But whether you're gay,
Or the opposite way,
Depends on the tilt of your chin!

The optimist sees
All the birds and the bees,
And the blossoms beginning to bud;
While the pessimist pouts
At the weeds and the sprouts,
And cusses the rain and the mud.

The difference, you see,
Is plain as can be, --
The scene can be cheery or glum;
The picture you view
Depends upon you,
And the slant that you look at it from!

You can look down your nose,
And lament all your woes,
If that's how you'd like it to be;
Or lift up your chin,
And put on a grin,
And enjoy spring fever, like me!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Editor's note: "Nobody is happy about the weather all the time," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Some complain about it more than others, and everybody comments on it when they can't think of anything else to say."

Whatever the kind of weather
You'll seldom hear me complain;
It makes no difference whether
It's a blizzard or mid-summer rain.

Or when the north wind is blowing,
Cold enough to tingle your spine,
Or sleeting or hailing or snowing,
With me, the weather is fine!

If the mercury goes above ninety,
And it's muggy and humid today,
No matter how droopy I'm feeling,
I'll declare the weather's okay!

I don't prefer lousy weather,
Could do very well without it;
But since I can't have my druthers,
There's no use to holler about it.

Snowing, blazing or blowing,
In Summer, Winter or Fall,
Whatever kind we are having,
It's better than nothing at all!

To the Man who creates the weather,
I say, "You're doing just fine,
And I won't complain about your work
If you don't complain about mine!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Editor's note: "Just because an adage has been around for a long time is no reason it can't be challenged," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. As for me, special thanks goes to a wonderful young man from "back home" who found and sent me a copy of Hominy Grits, the only one of Dad's books I didn't have. It's chock full of wonderful poems, so Chris, I can't thank you enough!

Old dogs never learn new tricks
As quickly as younger ones do;
This saying leaves the assumption
It applies to old people, too.

But let me tarry a moment
To put a bug in your ear --
Old dogs are oftentimes better
At learning than they may appear.

Maybe the trouble is really
The tricks you're trying to teach,
Like a preacher on Sunday morning
With a lousy sermon to preach.

Maybe the old dog is slower
Accepting newfangled ways
Because he has better judgment
Than back in his earlier days.

Don't ever take it for granted
That he's unable to learn;
Maybe you haven't impressed him,
And he just isn't giving a durn!

And let me add a reminder,
By way of summing it up:
Many an old dog remembers
The tricks he learned as a pup!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, February 27, 2011


"Get out of this house!"
She shouted one day,
"I'm tired of you sittin'
Around, in the way."

Now I'm not made of granite,
And my feeling were hurt;
Nobody likes to be
Treated like dirt!

So I got in my car,
And I drove into town;
Went nowhere special,
Just wandered around.

For more than an hour,
I continued to roam,
Till I figured it might
Be safe to go home.

The first thing I heard
When I tippy-toed in--
Her melodious voice,

--Square Marbles (1978)

Sunday, February 20, 2011


We're taught to love our neighbor,
Which is really well and good;
All of us could live in peace
If everybody would.

No doubt our home on earth would be
More like the one above
If we could chase away the hate,
And fill the world with love.

There isn't any question,
That's the way it ought to be,
And I have come to realize
It has to start with me!

If I can do my little bit
To give this cause a shove,
My neighbor may reciprocate,
And show a little love.

So I made a resolution:
I would try, no matter what,
And, with firm determination,
I would give it all I've got.

But up to now, my program
Isn't getting any place,
The blonde informed her husband,
And the redhead slapped my face!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, February 13, 2011


One way to avoid the dissension and strife
That often crops up in marital life,
Is for the pair to agree on a way
Where one or the other will have final say.

In spite of true love, disagreement will come,
And it might lead up to a crisis for some,
Unless you've agreed beforehand, like us,
Which one will prevail in case of a fuss.

Before any serious squabbles began,
My Lucy and I arrived at a plan:
We decided to take a nickel, and toss
To see which one was to be the boss.

I'm not so sure that I'd recommend
This same identical plan to a friend;
Fifty percent is the chance you will take,
And that's assuming you get a fair shake.

If I had it all to do over again,
We might do it different than we did then;
I never did see that nickel she tossed,
But whichever way it landed, I lost!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Editor's note: When Jack fractured his ankle by falling on some ice in our front yard last month, our friends Michele and James delivered a big, and much appreciated, pot of chicken soup. Hey, maybe they're on to something!

When one of her offspring, in Grandmother's day,
Came down with stomach-ache, measles or croup,
The very first thing that Grandma would say,
"Let me fix you a bowl of hot chicken soup!"

Grandma never would take any stock
In drugstore medicine, tonics or pills,
The broth of a big old fat Plymouth Rock
Was a sure cure for anyone's ills.

Nine healthy children, husky and strong,
Grew up under Grandma's benevolent eye;
Her treatment was surely not very far wrong,
As nine examples would all signify.

My Grandpa lived for many a moon,
But took to his bed at age ninety-five;
Grandma stood by his side with a spoon,
And for more than a week kept him alive.

But Grandpa was called by the angels one day,
And went up to sing with that Heavenly group,
And down at the courthouse, the record books say,
"Death caused by drowning in hot chicken soup."

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Editor's note: "There are many roads to riches, if you have enough to build on," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "But one sure-fire method doesn't take much capital."

It's really not too difficult
To become a wealthy man;
Once the formula is known,
Almost anybody can!

If you will pay attention
To what I have to say,
With only one lone dollar bill,
You can soon be on your way.

You buy an item wholesale
For your buck, and when you do,
You turn around and sell it
To some other guy for two!

Repeat the same procedure,
Just the way I've told you how,
And, if you're perspicacious,
You have got four dollars now.

The next plateau is eight, you see,
And then you reach sixteen;
Then thirty-two, and sixty-four;
Now you're getting what I mean.

Now, take your calculator,
And multiply some more;
Double your money twenty times,
And a million is your score!

In case you might be wondering why
I'm not a millionaire,
I got too old before I had
A dollar bill to spare!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Editor's note: As I was chowing down a can of Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup at home alone on one of the days my husband Jack was in the hospital after slipping on the ice and fracturing his ankle, this poem came to mind. My love of bean soup, I'm sure, came from Dad! I rarely make it, though, since our son-in-law Jerry is the only member of our family who will touch it (I always said he has good taste)!

Any time I sit and ponder,
My thoughts are sure to wander
To those times away back yonder,
That I call the bean age days;
When I was but a youngster,
And later, in my teens,
I often ate for dinner
Very little more than beans.

Of course, we had a measure
Of happy wiles and pleasure,
And memories to treasure,
In a thousand different ways;
We had our better moments,
And we had our in betweens;
But when the times were hardest,
We sure ate a lot of beans!

It wasn't that our station
Was a state of degradation--
We weren't poor relation
That our kin looked down upon;
But we never were so palmy
As to dine on fine cuisines,
And I remember clearly
When we nearly lived on beans!

I'll use the space remaining
For just a word, explaining
I'm really not complaining
That those bean age days are gone;
I enjoy old fashioned cookin',
And the simple life routines,
But prefer a bit of finer fare
To supplement the beans!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Editor's note: "The most versatile and complicated machines have the most parts to wear, corrode and deteriorate," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. I picked it, though, because it just seemed appropriate: Earlier this week, my husband Jack slipped on the ice in our yard and fractured his ankle in 3 places. After surgery he's back home and doing well, but Dad's poem really hit home (no pun intended) this time!

My foot bone is connected
To my ankle bone, they say,
I couldn't walk so good if it
Were any other way.

My head bone is connected
At my body's other end,
And swivels on my neck bone,
So it can turn and bend.

These joints cause a problem
For some people I have seen,
But my vexation hinges
On some couplings in between.

Time marches on, relentless,
And it changes things a lot;
I've just begun to realize
How many joints I've got!

As age-induced erosion,
And the wear on these increase
They're getting stiff and creaky,
Like they need a little grease!

But yet, I'm really thankful,
From the bottom of my heart;
If I lost all my connections,
I suppose I'd fall apart!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Editor's note: "On winter evenings long ago, two little boys were not very enthusiastic about retiring to their unheated bedroom upstairs," Dad recalled in the introduction to this poem. This time of year here in northeastern Ohio, I sure can feel his pain -- figuratively and literally!

In our old farmhouse, long ago,
When I was five or six, or so,
And January came along,
And Winter set in good and strong,
We hated so to go to bed,
In chilly quarters overhead.
My little brother Frosty, he
Was two years younger yet than me.

We hesitated on the stair,
For it was mighty cold up there;
Both were entertaining dread
Of climbing in our frigid bed;
But Mother countervailed our fear
By gently nudging from the rear.
We were still reluctant, though,
Those winter evenings, long ago.

Finally, in our straw-tick bed,
With rafters creaking overhead,
Covers tucked around us tight,
We snuggled for the winter night;
And when the angry north wind came
To rattle window sash and frame,
Little mounds of drifted snow
Appeared upon the sill below.

After snuffing out the light,
Mother vanished from our sight,
Quietly down the narrow stair,
Leaving us to shiver there.
Wrapped in flannel, at our feet,
Two flat irons provided heat;
No electric blanket, though,
Those winter nights of long ago!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Editor's note: "I suppose every living person was born with a desire to be successful, which is good, except for the fact that there are different definitions for success," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. That seems to me to be food for thought as we start a new year.

I'd like to be successful,
Like some fellows that I know,
And get my name in newsprint,
And on the radio;
And have a lot of money
To spend, or give away,
And just sort of take it easy,
And live from day to day.

I reckon that's wishful thinking,
It's not for the likes of me;
I'll live and die a poor man,
As far as I can see;
But sometimes a fellow's better
Off than what he knows,
There's more to life than money,
And fame, and fancy clothes!

And when I stop and study 'bout
The blessings that I've got,
I feel ashamed to think that I've
Complained about my lot.
I've got a home and family
That money couldn't buy,
And no king, in all his glory
Has had more fun than I.

I've made a lot of friendships
That time will not erase,
And I hope that my departing
Will leave a little empty place.
Oh, it's nice to dream of money,
And the pleasure that it brings,
If we don't forget the value
Of some other precious things.

So when we inventory,
Let us pause, and ponder whether
We have counted all our blessings,
When we add it all together.
When our numbered days are over,
And we're called to meet our fate,
Will we brag about our riches,
To the keeper of the gate?

Will he ask us how much money
We have stored away on earth,
Or will he have some other way
To figure up our worth?
Yes, I'd like to be successful,
So would everyone, I guess,
But let's all be mighty careful
How we define success!

--Acres of Verse (1994)