Sunday, June 26, 2011


Editor's note: "Written and spoken language separates us humans from lower animals, but the inability to use words sometimes gives animals the edge," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

Words are tools
Of kings, philosophers and fools;
Tools that mold the mortal clay,
Or bend the twig, or lead the way;
Tools that move the common herd,
The written and the spoken word.

Some words are kind,
Bringing comfort, peace of mind;
Words of care, and words of praise,
That help to brighten gloomy days;
These words of kindness, I have learned,
Are seldom lost - they'll be returned.

Some words are keen,
harp and cutting, vile and mean;
Use of evil words, we find,
Will indicate an evil mind,
For they are now, have always been
The implements of little men.

Words we say
We may regret another day;
From lessons gathered long ago,
And painful still, how well I know
Words we've spoken soft and sweet
Are never the ones we have to eat!

Hominy Grits (1986)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Editor's note: Today is Father's Day, and later this week -- June 24 -- will mark the second year since Dad passed away.

The sands, we know,
Relentless, flow,
And, as the seasons pass,
Each golden grain
Will surely drain
Into the lower glass.

We cannot slack,
Nor hold it back,
Nor is it in our power
To take away
A single day,
Or add a single hour.

We'll never see
It come to be
That Time will turn in flight
Thereby to give
Us to relive
A numbered day or night.

We can't command
The trickling sand,
But its passing we may ease,
If, in its place
We've filled the space
With golden memories!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Editor's note: "My grandfather was a remarkable gentleman," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "He's been gone for forty years, but every now and then, I'm convinced, I get a message from him."

My easy-going grandpa
Had a manner most serene,
I'd say, a more contented person
I have never seen;
But grandpa seemed to think he ought
To do a little more,
And perhaps a little better than
Was ever done before.
I'd say that he succeeded
In most everything he tried,
But though he was contented,
He was never satisfied.

He had a sense of humor,
And he had a lot of fun,
But never took the attitude
That all his work was done;
He showed, by his example,
How a person ought to live,
Never thought about receiving,
But was always quick to give.
A little prayer he quoted,
May it always be my guide:
"Lord, let me be contented,
But not ever satisfied."

--Autumn Acres (1982)

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Editor's note: "The sands of time eventually all run out for every mortal, but we shouldn't schedule our activities in anticipation of that event," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

When I look around and see buddies of mine
Witherin' up, like gourds on a vine,
I cannot ignore the years that have gone,
And I realize well that time marches on;
But before my race on this planet is run,
There's a few more things I aim to get done!

There's a few more trips I'd like to take,
And a few more friends I'd like to make,
A mountain or two I'd like to move,
And a few ideas I'd like to prove;
A few more challenges under the sun,
A few more things I'd like to get done!

Some will give up and say, "What's the use?"
"It's too late to start" is a flimsy excuse;
Well, I've other problems to worry about,
Than to dwell on the thought that time's
Running out;
I'd sure like to finish what I have begun,
And a whole lot more I'd like to get done!

I don't know how long it will take,
But Old Father Time can go jump in the lake!
For I don't figure I'm over the hill,
And I'm not so sure that I ever will;
I've always been a stubborn son-of-a-gun,
And there's still a Lot I aim to get done!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)