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)