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)