Sunday, January 30, 2011


Editor's note: "There are many roads to riches, if you have enough to build on," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "But one sure-fire method doesn't take much capital."

It's really not too difficult
To become a wealthy man;
Once the formula is known,
Almost anybody can!

If you will pay attention
To what I have to say,
With only one lone dollar bill,
You can soon be on your way.

You buy an item wholesale
For your buck, and when you do,
You turn around and sell it
To some other guy for two!

Repeat the same procedure,
Just the way I've told you how,
And, if you're perspicacious,
You have got four dollars now.

The next plateau is eight, you see,
And then you reach sixteen;
Then thirty-two, and sixty-four;
Now you're getting what I mean.

Now, take your calculator,
And multiply some more;
Double your money twenty times,
And a million is your score!

In case you might be wondering why
I'm not a millionaire,
I got too old before I had
A dollar bill to spare!

--Eighty After Eighty (1995)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Editor's note: As I was chowing down a can of Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup at home alone on one of the days my husband Jack was in the hospital after slipping on the ice and fracturing his ankle, this poem came to mind. My love of bean soup, I'm sure, came from Dad! I rarely make it, though, since our son-in-law Jerry is the only member of our family who will touch it (I always said he has good taste)!

Any time I sit and ponder,
My thoughts are sure to wander
To those times away back yonder,
That I call the bean age days;
When I was but a youngster,
And later, in my teens,
I often ate for dinner
Very little more than beans.

Of course, we had a measure
Of happy wiles and pleasure,
And memories to treasure,
In a thousand different ways;
We had our better moments,
And we had our in betweens;
But when the times were hardest,
We sure ate a lot of beans!

It wasn't that our station
Was a state of degradation--
We weren't poor relation
That our kin looked down upon;
But we never were so palmy
As to dine on fine cuisines,
And I remember clearly
When we nearly lived on beans!

I'll use the space remaining
For just a word, explaining
I'm really not complaining
That those bean age days are gone;
I enjoy old fashioned cookin',
And the simple life routines,
But prefer a bit of finer fare
To supplement the beans!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Editor's note: "The most versatile and complicated machines have the most parts to wear, corrode and deteriorate," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. I picked it, though, because it just seemed appropriate: Earlier this week, my husband Jack slipped on the ice in our yard and fractured his ankle in 3 places. After surgery he's back home and doing well, but Dad's poem really hit home (no pun intended) this time!

My foot bone is connected
To my ankle bone, they say,
I couldn't walk so good if it
Were any other way.

My head bone is connected
At my body's other end,
And swivels on my neck bone,
So it can turn and bend.

These joints cause a problem
For some people I have seen,
But my vexation hinges
On some couplings in between.

Time marches on, relentless,
And it changes things a lot;
I've just begun to realize
How many joints I've got!

As age-induced erosion,
And the wear on these increase
They're getting stiff and creaky,
Like they need a little grease!

But yet, I'm really thankful,
From the bottom of my heart;
If I lost all my connections,
I suppose I'd fall apart!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Editor's note: "On winter evenings long ago, two little boys were not very enthusiastic about retiring to their unheated bedroom upstairs," Dad recalled in the introduction to this poem. This time of year here in northeastern Ohio, I sure can feel his pain -- figuratively and literally!

In our old farmhouse, long ago,
When I was five or six, or so,
And January came along,
And Winter set in good and strong,
We hated so to go to bed,
In chilly quarters overhead.
My little brother Frosty, he
Was two years younger yet than me.

We hesitated on the stair,
For it was mighty cold up there;
Both were entertaining dread
Of climbing in our frigid bed;
But Mother countervailed our fear
By gently nudging from the rear.
We were still reluctant, though,
Those winter evenings, long ago.

Finally, in our straw-tick bed,
With rafters creaking overhead,
Covers tucked around us tight,
We snuggled for the winter night;
And when the angry north wind came
To rattle window sash and frame,
Little mounds of drifted snow
Appeared upon the sill below.

After snuffing out the light,
Mother vanished from our sight,
Quietly down the narrow stair,
Leaving us to shiver there.
Wrapped in flannel, at our feet,
Two flat irons provided heat;
No electric blanket, though,
Those winter nights of long ago!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Editor's note: "I suppose every living person was born with a desire to be successful, which is good, except for the fact that there are different definitions for success," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. That seems to me to be food for thought as we start a new year.

I'd like to be successful,
Like some fellows that I know,
And get my name in newsprint,
And on the radio;
And have a lot of money
To spend, or give away,
And just sort of take it easy,
And live from day to day.

I reckon that's wishful thinking,
It's not for the likes of me;
I'll live and die a poor man,
As far as I can see;
But sometimes a fellow's better
Off than what he knows,
There's more to life than money,
And fame, and fancy clothes!

And when I stop and study 'bout
The blessings that I've got,
I feel ashamed to think that I've
Complained about my lot.
I've got a home and family
That money couldn't buy,
And no king, in all his glory
Has had more fun than I.

I've made a lot of friendships
That time will not erase,
And I hope that my departing
Will leave a little empty place.
Oh, it's nice to dream of money,
And the pleasure that it brings,
If we don't forget the value
Of some other precious things.

So when we inventory,
Let us pause, and ponder whether
We have counted all our blessings,
When we add it all together.
When our numbered days are over,
And we're called to meet our fate,
Will we brag about our riches,
To the keeper of the gate?

Will he ask us how much money
We have stored away on earth,
Or will he have some other way
To figure up our worth?
Yes, I'd like to be successful,
So would everyone, I guess,
But let's all be mighty careful
How we define success!

--Acres of Verse (1994)