Friday, June 22, 2012


Editor's note: It is fitting that this poem, my personal favorite, brings to a close almost three years of weekly poems published at this blog. It is fitting also in that it marks, to the day, three years since Dad left our world on June 24 (although it still seems like yesterday). To those who have stopped by for a weekly glimpse at his talents, I offer my whole-hearted thanks. I'm sure he'd echo that sentiment; nothing much gave him more pleasure than knowing that one of his poems had elicited a smile, or an outright chuckle, to brighten someone else's day. It's been a wonderful three-year journey for me, and I hope you'll come back once in a while. I know I will.

There's a long, long path a-winding
All along the way I've come,
Tho' I'll never be returning
Back to where I started from;
But others who may follow
Will perhaps discover where
I've gone along before them
And left my foot prints there.

I remember, in the springtime,
My stride was firm and strong;
My foot steps never faltered,
As I hurried right along.
There were places where I tarried,
And where I seemed to stray.
But then I straightened out again,
And proceeded on my way.

My earnest hope is others may
See where I've traveled thru,
And left some marks to follow,
And a few impressions too;
Thru the burning sands of summer,
And across the winter snow,
I'd like to leave behind me
Some foot prints when I go.

The trail is growing narrow--
Where it ends they'll put a stone;
But I hope to be remembered
Not because of that alone.
Descending down the mountainside
Into the vale below,
I'd like to leave behind me
Some foot prints when I go.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Editor's note: "Good humor is habit-forming, but sometimes it takes a little forced practice until you become addicted," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

Smile all the smiles you can today,
Don't save them till tomorrow;
For, any hour along the way,
You may encounter sorrow.

Grin all the grins that you can show
To fellow men this morning;
For tragedy can strike, you know,
Without a minute's warning.

Chuckle all the chuckles you
Can muster, though you're battered,
As if to keep on smiling through
Was the only thing that mattered.

We never know what Fate will bring,
Or what may be impending,
But still, we can't plan everything
As if the world were ending.

The purpose of my little verse
Is not to scare or frighten;
But I suggest you could do worse
Than have your bearing brighten.

Make the most of every day,
And everything that's in it;
Don't let bad humor waste away
A single precious minute!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Some people work together
In accordance, it would seem;
They complement each other,
Like peaches go with cream;
But Lucy has her own way
Of doing things, you see,
And, being fair about it,
You could say the same for me.

So, she is doing her work
And I am doing mine;
That's just the way we like it,
And we get along just fine.
We're raking leaves this morning,
As we do it every year;
She is in the front yard,
While I am in the rear.

We're not inclined to battle,
Not the kind to fight and fuss;
You'll seldom find a couple
More compatible than us;
But we avoided trouble
By learning at the start,
We work together better
When we're half a mile apart!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Editor's note: "I once had an aunt who thought little boys couldn't grow up straight and tall unless they consumed great quantities of vegetables, especially the leafy green type -- and this she endeavored to impress upon me," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "She never succeeded."

I was brought up in the country,
And I learned, when just a boy,
To be thankful for the blessings
I was given to enjoy;
I'm sure not high-falootin',
And I'm not a man of means,
But if you please, don't ever try
To feed me turnip greens!

My mother always taught me
That it was very rude
For little boys to grumble,
Or complain about their food;
We were 'bout as poor as church mice,
And I know what hunger means,
But I never did get quite so low
As to eat no turnip greens!

I enjoy good country cookin'
More than I could ever tell,
And I'll always come a-runnin'
When they ring the dinner bell;
I'm not a fussy eater,
And my fancy always leans
Towards old-fashioned vittles,
But not t'wards turnip greens!

Now, dandelions ain't so bad,
When they're fixed with bacon grease,
But turnip greens, like spinach,
Were made for ducks and geese!
I could live on corn and taters,
And I don't mind navy beans,
But please, dear Lord, deliver me
From eatin' turnip greens!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Editor's note: "The ability to relax is worth a lot in this modern rate race," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Lucy says I'm the best relaxer she ever saw."

A man of simple pleasures,
I'm not very hard to please,
So, without a bit of trouble,
I can put myself at ease
When a day of aggravation
Is a-drawin' to a close,
By lyin' on the davenport
Jist a-wigglin' my toes!

It's a most effective method
To improve your muscle tones,
It relaxes all your tensions,
And it loosens up your bones;
You can minimize your worries,
And forget about your woes,
By lyin' on the davenport,
Jist a-wigglin' your toes!

Some men prefer to go and spend
An evening on the town,
And slop a little alcohol
To help 'em settle down;
It gives a high-strung feller
More enjoyment, I suppose,
Than lyin' on the davenport,
Jist a-wigglin' his toes!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Editor's note: "In relationships between the very young and the very old, generation gaps are often temporarily bridged," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

There's nothing in the world, I guess,
Can bring a Grandpa joy
As much as holding on his knee
A little toddler boy.

Or teaching him his letters,
Also how to count to ten,
And reading favorite stories
To him, time and time again.

Pretending you can't find him,
When he hides behind the door,
And letting him defeat you,
Shooting marbles on the floor.

The little fellow never
Wants to get undressed for bed;
He'd rather play with Grandpa,
Till he falls asleep instead.

But time has made a difference,
And I regret to say
Things are just not quite the same
As they were yesterday.

Scotty doesn't seem to care
For marbles any more;
Our toddler weighs one-eighty-five,
And stands at six-foot-four!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Editor's note: Dad's Slim Acres character got his start as a "Slim Acres Says" series in the local newspaper. Entries usually consisted of one-or two-line quips, his version of limericks (which he called "Slimericks") and short poems. This week, I decided to republish a few of these gems.

Some folks crave attention,
But, me it doesn't bother;
Whenever I feel neglected,
I think of Whistler's father.


Of all the trials and burdens
That confront us in this life,
The hardest to bear are the ones
You can't blame onto your wife!


The saddest of words
Are these below:
I'll think it over
And let you know!


Some people watch
Their diets with care,
Calories here,
Cholesterol there;
But shux, as long
As there's vittles in sight,
I keep right on eatin'
Till my britches get tight!


I'll try to be honest with thee,
But if thee are not honest with me,
There's just this much to it:
To thee I would do it,
To keep thee from doin' it to me!


Whether a man's successful,
I always did allow,
Depends pretty much
On what he does
When the ground's too wet to plow!


Bobby Shafto's gone to sea,
Silver buckles on his knee;
When he comes back he'll marry me,
Or Daddy'll shoot the ittle S.O.B.


Cousin Danny used to claim
To be a judge of women;
But what he took
To be a peach
Turned out to be a lemon!


It's very few letters
That I ever git,
Except for the kind
That say, "Please remit!"

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Editor's note: "Lots of awards are given to the living, but many others are tardy and come after it's too late for the recipient to read the inscription or smell the flowers," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

It's easy to honor a fellow
When the organ is playing his song,
It's easy to ad up his merits
As the mourners go marching along.

Recalling the road he has traveled,
Overlooking where he has strayed,
Remembering what he's accomplished,
Forgiving mistakes he has made.

But why are we always so tardy
With credit, when credit is due?
When the fellow has earned our favor,
Why don't we follow it through?

Why not give him our plaudits
While he's still living, instead
Of sending flowers, and writing
A eulogy after he's dead?

He'll never enjoy his epitaph,
Or the stone it's written upon;
He'd rather have praise while he's living
Than a monument after he's gone.

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Editor's note: "My father trusted everybody," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "That's why we didn't have a pot to boil potatoes in, as the saying goes."

I don't suppose there's anyone
More skeptical than me.
I don't believe a word I hear,
And half of what I see.

I'd like to have the feeling
I could trust my fellow man,
But history's proven different
Ever since the world began.

I realize that maybe
I'm a skeptic to a fault,
But most of what I read or hear,
I take with a grain of salt.

It's not that I think everyone
Can look you in the eye,
With his right hand on the Bible,
And tell a bare-faced lie;

But, from my past experience,
I'd say that quite a few
Would likely do that very thing,
And cheat a little, too.

So, though I try the best I can
To treat all men as brothers,
My motto is, "In God I trust,
But be wary with all others!"
Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Editor's note: Anyone who knew Dad (Slim) back in the day knew how much he loved to build things -- and Mom (Lucy) always had some kind of fix-up project for him to work on. Apparently, Dad got the construction gene from his father. But although I was allowed to help with some tasks like digging fencepost holes and hammering a few nails, that's where the whole thing stopped.

My Dad was very able
And mechanically inclined,
About as good a handy-man
As you could ever find;

And thanks to all the little tricks
He taught me, as a lad,
I really think I'm just about
As handy as my Dad.

If it's busted, I can fix it!
That is, if anybody can,
So I've earned a reputation
As a first-class handy-man!

When I gave up the single state,
My newly-wedded spouse
Was very thrilled that I could fix
Little things around the house.

I started in on what-nots,
In our early married life,
But soon went on to bigger things
Suggested by my wife!

Before I knew what happened,
She had me on the run,
She could think up projects faster
Than I could get 'em done!

I bought the house we live in,
A ranch type bungalow,
Then added on a carport,
And a screened-in patio;

And when I got it painted,
I thought I had it done;
I found I was mistaken --
I'd only just begun!

I made our kitchen cupboards,
The bookshelves on the wall,
The fireplace in the fam'ly room,
The closets in the hall;

Then I built another bathroom,
Not because we needed two--
We had to have the second one
Because the neighbors do!

Little jobs, and big jobs,
So many I recall,
It makes a fellow wonder
How he ever did 'em all!

But at last we reached the summit,
When anyone could see
We had it all completed
To the very Nth degree.

Then I longed for rest and comfort
But that wasn't what I found;
Lucy got it in her head
To change some things around!

Things, not so very long ago,
We just couldn't do without,
Have now become so obsolete
We have to tear 'em out.

I won't attempt to tell you
All the work I have in store;
And anyhow, before I'm done,
She'll dream up plenty more!

But Lucy has assured me
That she will let me be
Whenever I finish up this list
That she's made out for me.

And then, if the Lord is willing,
And lets me stay alive,
I can start to take it easy,
At the age of ninety-five!

Oh, she appreciates it all,
And that is fine and dandy,
But y'know, sometimes I sorta wish
I wasn't quite so handy!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Editor's note: New poems to this blog always come on Sundays, but since today is Friday the 13th, I figured it would be bad luck not to post it on the "right" day!

If you have superstitions,
As many people do,
I don't share your affliction,
But I sympathize with you.

Bad luck will come on Friday
No more often, let me say,
Even on the thirteenth,
Than any other day.

Black cat cross my path?
There may be truth in that;
It might turn out unlucky,
But only for the cat!

Some taboos are founded
On good solid thinking, hence
Not walking under ladders
Shows a bit of common sense.

I never see an omen
When I drop a fork or knife,
And spilling half a ton of salt
Would not mess up my life.

The reason I'm not troubled
By superstitious fears
Is the rabbit foot I've carried
For more than fifty years.

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Editor's note: It's Easter Sunday, but last night I heard the TV weather guru mention the "s" word. Yes, it's possible we'll see more of the white stuff before Spring really settles in. I sure can identify with Dad's point of view in this poem!

There's nothing so crisp as a winter scene,
Created by new-fallen snow,
Nothing so bright as a big full moon
That shines on the picture below.

There's nothing so brisk as a winter stroll
Down a snow-covered village street,
Nothing so sharp as the crackling sound
And the crunching under your feet,

Or a tramp through the woods on a frigid day,
'Mid the stark and frost-laden trees,
Where the branches droop in their hoary garb,
And creak in the bone-chilling breeze.

Icicles garnish the orchard fence,
And gleam in the morning rays,
Nothing is more impressive to see
Than the sparkle of winter days.

Nobody knows just how many snows
The rest of the season will bring,
And no one's so sick of this weather as me--
How I long for the coming of spring!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, April 1, 2012


From dust we have our beginning,
To dust we all shall return;
But in between there's a moment
When all of us live and learn.

All do not remain equal,
For we learn at a different rate;
Some will turn it to profit,
For others, it comes too late.

Experience teaches us all,
But slowly, and it appears
There's no other way to get it,
But through the passing of years.

It doesn't indicate wisdom
Because there's gray in your hair,
But everybody learns something
While Nature is putting it there.

I worked out many a problem
By stumbling through somehow,
When it would have been so easy,
Knowing what I know now.

No question at all about it,
A good many years ago,
I flubbed a legion of ventures
Because I just didn't know.

I'm sure I could have done better
In a hundred different ways,
If I'd been a little bit older
Back in my younger days!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, March 25, 2012


When I look into my mirror,
I am forced to realize
That, in any beauty contest,
I would never win a prize.

My face is not my fortune,
If it were, I'd be in Dutch,
For my financial statement,
It would not amount to much.

I suppose I could be bitter
That I'm not a handsome blade,
And my mug is not real pretty--
But I wouldn't care to trade,

For when I start comparing it
With others, down the line,
I don't see many, really,
That I'd rather have than mine!

My face, no, I don't mind it,
That's why I smile a lot;
I try to treat it kindly--
It's the only one I've got!

--Square Marbles (1978)

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Editor's note: "I guess everyone likes to put on the dog a little bit, but different people do it in different ways," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "While some go for things as modern as next year's hat, others spend their hard-earned shekels for bits of antiquity."

Some folks like to have the latest
Style in everything they own,
While others search the universe
For older things to fill their home.
To have whatever you would like,
I must admit, is very nice;
And it's all right with me, of course,
If you can stand to pay the price.

Ancient things are bringing more
Than if the stuff were made of gold;
With prices high up in the sky,
It's worth a lot because it's old.
My Lucy says she doesn't care
For antique furniture and such,
No early period things for her,
She much prefers the modern touch.

We don't have real expensive things,
Or spend a lot to decorate
Our little home; it's only that
She likes to keep it up to date.
When something starts to show its age,
She goes and trades it in, you see;
I guess the only worn-out thing
She keeps around the house is me!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Editor's note: "When it seems the whole world is about to cave in on you, a teaspoonful of encouragement is worth two quarts of sympathy," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

When the burden you carry is heavy,
And your will is beginning to wane,
And you wonder if ever the sunshine
Will come to conquer the rain;

Wouldn't it be like a rainbow,
And clear the clouds away, too,
If somebody walked up and said,
"I heard something nice about you?"

A smile, a word, or a handshake,
From someone along the way,
Could make your load a lot lighter,
And brighten a dull dreary day.

Wouldn't you find it rewarding,
When you come to a hard day's end,
To feel a hand on your back,
And hear, "Well done, my friend!"

Wouldn't it be a great blessing,
If you knew, in times of despair,
You had a friend you could turn to,
And find encouragement there?

Without a great deal of effort,
Perhaps this all would come true;
If you'd be this kind toward others,
They might be as kind toward you!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Editor's note: "There are many ways to make money, and many ways to spend it," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "But the time will come when you won't need it!"

I've made a bit of money,
In my lifetime here on earth,
But I don't have much to boast of,
When I total up my worth.

I've barely broken even,
And I guess that is fine,
Although there's nothing showing,
When I reach the bottom line.

Some people call it moola,
While others call it jack;
They spend it by the bushel,
And hoard it by the stack.

Spondulics, bread or sugar,
I guess it's all the same;
It really doesn't matter,
For there's nothing in a name.

Though you may call it lucre,
Or to you it's scratch or dough,
You still can't take it with you
When your time has come to go.

For when you seek admission
To the land of milk and honey,
The bottom line will be how much
You're worth without your money!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Editor's note: "There comes a time in every person's life when he begins to wonder how he stands in the Big Book," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

Man is less than perfect,
And, as far as I can see,
With all his warts and foibles,
He was never meant to be.

We all have had our moments,
And we all have seen a day
When scruples were forgotten,
And we went a bit astray.

Temptations come so often
To the restless and the young;
They listen to the Devil,
And a little fling is flung.

I know it's human nature,
When our years begin to fade,
To think about our failings,
And the record we have made.

There'll be a day to settle,
And it comes to everyone;
We'll have to pay the fiddler
For the dancing we have done!

I'm tempted very seldom now,
My errant ways are few;
I walk the straight and narrow,
Like a person ought to do.

I guess I'm not so different
From any other sinner;
We skate with less abandon
Where we know the ice is thinner!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Editor's note: Grandpa used to predict the upcoming weather by his rheumatism, and he was no slouch at it," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

In this age of specializing,
Titles take a high-flown twist;
Every weather prophet now
Is a meteorologist!

With all their fancy gadgets,
And computerized technique,
They figure out a schedule
Of our weather for a week.

It often doesn't happen
Very close to how they list it,
But they won't say a single word
Admitting how they missed it!

If they can't guess correctly
For tomorrow, tell me how
We can take and trust their word
It will rain a week from now!

And, even more no-brainy,
Every now and then we hear
Some silly nut forecasting
For the entire coming year.

Sure, I could do no better,
But I hope you realize
A Monday morning quarterback
Has a right to criticize!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Editor's note: "The family that can remain on good terms after settling up an estate is a flock of rare birds," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "I'm not going to worry very much about how my estate is divided. The way it looks now, what I leave behind won't be enough to cause much of a fuss."

Some people pinch their nickels hard,
And it seems that they intend
To accumulate the most they can
For somebody else to spend.

They do their very best to gain
Another buck for adding on
The pile they aim to leave behind
After they are dead and gone.

I, too, had dreams of gaining wealth,
And building up a great estate,
But, in the way of getting rich,
I haven't done so well to date.

I gave up trying, long ago,
To keep my bank account replete,
Sometimes it's more than I can chew
Just in making both ends meet.

I've never worried very much
About the money I'll be leavin'
In fact, the way it looks right now,
I'll be lucky if I come out even!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, February 5, 2012


"Where there's a will, there's a way"
Is a maxim I learned long ago;
And it has inspired many mortals,
Down through the ages, I know.

This adage has brought motivation
And success to many a man;
No matter how great the challenge,
If you think you can do it, you can!

Robert, the Bruce was defeated
Time after time, as you know,
But he never gave up the struggle,
And finally bested his foe.

I'll not belittle the power
Of will, but to tell you the truth,
I'm not so quickly inspired
As back in the days of my youth.

Sometimes it's not so easy
To do as philosophers say;
I still have plenty of will, but
I'm a little bit short on the way!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Like a little ray of sunshine,
On a dark and gloomy day,
Just a little bit of cheeriness
Will go a long, long way;
When things are going backward,
And a body's feelin' blue,
It's a most amazing wonder
What a friendly smile can do.

When the blahs have really got you,
Just remember that a frown
Is a most unpleasant picture
Of a smile that's upside down;
So, turn it up the other way,
You'll feel better if you do;
What's more, a lot of other folks
May take a cue from you.

So when I'm socializing,
Or just walking down the street,
I try to smile a greeting
To 'most everyone I meet;
While some may think I'm silly,
To be grinning all the while,
I may give a lift to others
With a warm and friendly smile!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


"Most of us feel the effects of the passing years and often use time-worn phrases to remind our associates that we're not quite as young as we used to be," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Sometimes it's a cop-out."

I'm not the man I used to be,
And I'll admit it's true
I can't kick up my heels and all
Like younger fellers do.

Youth is not eternal,
And it's very plain to see
The one we call Old Father Time
Has left his mark on me.

I don't complain, you understand,
Or feel my race is run,
I'm not in such a sorry shape
That I'm not having fun.

I guess it's just a custom
For older folks to say
They cannot cut the mustard,
As compared to yesterday.

"I'm not the man I used to be,"
I've often said before,
I said it once to Lucy,
But won't do it any more.

I might have known I wouldn't get
Any sympathy from her,
She looked at me and shook her head,
And said, "You never were!"

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, January 15, 2012


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."

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 to 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, January 8, 2012


Editor's note: "Some folks don't believe in making resolutions, but I think overcoming my shortcomings begins with recognizing them," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. All I know is that there's no doubt I inherited the same gene.

We mortals have got
To suffer a lot
Of worry, hassle and strife;
We cannot attain
Exemption from pain,
For that is the essence of life.
Now, generally I
Am a good humor guy,
Hard knocks, I handle them fine;
But I must admit
I fester a bit
Any time that I stand in a line!

A checkout may go
In an orderly flow,
With nary a hitch or a fault;
But I'll guarantee,
With the entrance of me,
Everything will screech to a halt!
At times, I take heart,
As I chauffeur my cart,
And think I'm in excellent shape;
But then, up ahead,
Somebody drops dead,
Or a register runs out of tape!

I may carefully choose
The best line to use,
But the one I pick is a dud;
For reasons unknown,
My selection is prone
To move like a cow in the mud.
I surely agree
And acknowledge, to be
Considered a leader is fine;
But I caution you,
Whatever you do,
Never follow me in a line!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Editor's note: "The custom of making New Year's resolutions undoubtedly originated with the ancient Chinese, like most everything else," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "History does not record how successful they were in keeping them."

Self improvement ought to be
A goal for everyone,
And New Year's resolutions
Point the way to get it done.

It's a practice I have followed
Some fifty years, I'd say,
I make my resolutions
Never fail, come New Year's Day.

I'm glad I had the fortitude
To look inside of me,
And try to straighten out my life,
The way it ought to be.

I saw that I was falling short,
And therefore, I began
To search my soul for ways that I
Could be a better man.

It doesn't take a lot of thought
When once you've seen the light,
You realize that wrong is wrong,
And the only way is right.

My resolutions, this New Year,
Are very fine, I know,
For they're the very ones I made
Some fifty years ago!

--Autumn Acres (1982)