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)