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)