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!