Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Seventh Day of Christmas

To write a poem about swans is an impossible task for me
For Yeats has proffered his work.  To call it good would be a travesty.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Sixth Day of Christmas (The Generosity of Geese)

On every golf course that I've ever seen
Six geese a-laying, and many more,
Have deposited gifts both brown and green.
Generosities laid down by the score.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Fifth Day of Christmas (Every kiss begins with blech)

The feeling of jewelry on my skin
Evokes skeletons in dank prison
With manacles on wrists, holding them in,
An uncomfortable feeling, a frisson
That turns sideways into a knot
And makes me not want what I've not got.
One ring only, the promise from my wife;
Not one band more for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Fourth Day of Christmas (4 Name Calling Birds)

#1-"Robins are worm-eaters, simple as that."
#2-"You corpulent goose!  At least I'm not fat!"
#3-"Stop it you warblers, enough with the snit."
#1&2-"Can it yourself, you old white-bellied tit!"

#0-"Why do you name call with such hateful glee?"

#1,2,3&4-"Why don't YOU stuff it?  You dumb chickadee!"

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Third Day of Christmas (Tough Economic Times)

Poultry in France isn't nearly so bad
As beef cattle living in Deutschland.
Hens lay their eggs and they sell them for cash
But these days the beef's all been canned.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Second Day of Christmas

When God created things
Some animals turned out strange.
Turtles?  Normal.  Doves?  Just fine.
But turtle doves are deranged.
Is it that they fly slowly?
Or, in their shells, coo softly?
Who knows?  Not I!
But turtles don't fly.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


On Christmas Eve,
"The Day Before,"
We gather in
To sing your praise.
Our carols old
And well-adored
We sing to you,
Our voices raised.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Brown Christmas

At all points of my yard
The earth is brown and hard.
The snow is somewhere north,
But here it's not come forth.
It soon is Christmas day
Perhaps I'd better pray?


Actually, it would be a good idea.  We've had very little moisture in the past six months.  Aesthetics aside, we need the precipitation.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fruitcake (A Husband's Bad Idea)

Fruitcake for Christmas
Yum, yum, yum!
Gonna have to get her some.
Get me a chainsaw
Or Ginsu knife.
Cut a divine dessert
For my wife.

Ho, Ho, Ho!
She will just glow!
Ho, Ho, Ho!
She will just glow!

Fruitcake for Christmas
Scarf, scarf, scarf.
Hope my dear angel
Will not barf.

(Is it my imagination or is this particularly awful?  Don't say anything; I already know.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


A scone without tea is a shame.
Fall without football is lame.
So when Christmas comes 'round
With no snow on the ground???
It's okay because Jesus still came.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just a Pondering

As a boy I wanted to travel time:
Live in medieval monasteries,
See the Sahara before it grew huge,
Catch a glimpse of what was there before.

I was skeptical that today was best.
It wasn't really cynicism, but
Some sense that the world was much bigger
And that I only knew the half of it.

Only half!  Ha.  But I wanted to know.
I still labor under the dual thoughts
That I know a great deal and not much.
Not sure that I'm wiser.  But still curious.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Green Bay lost.
Alas.  Alack.
I deeply weep
For the one loss Pack.
I'm hearing lots
Of snidely flack
From nasty folk
I'd like to whack.
Well, not really.
I take that back.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Cracking twelve eggs,
Beating them all together,
Unity by force.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mr. Entitlement

There once was a van on the road
Which due to the traffic was slowed.
The driver cried out
And started to pout
As if, being special, he was owed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

War In the Air

Old Glory pulled taut
Iowan winds are whipping
It's war on the plains.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Secret Lives of Cows (a plot)

The night was foggy, dark and cool,
With folks ensconced behind their walls.
The cows, meanwhile, as cows are wont,
Were sending signals with moo-calls.
"At half past three in deepest night,
When all is still we'll leave our stalls
And gather out there in the fields
Aside the pool, above the falls."

And so they did, those sneaky beasts,
They skulked and crawled and lurked and crept.
They gathered there beneath the fog
And planned rebellion while we slept.
They planned to take our homes and kids;
They planned to take our big TVs;
They planned to order magazines
And cruelly leave us with the fees.
There never was in all of time
A plot so dastardly and low.
Thank God that there, amidst the gloom,
Was spying the most noble crow.

This stately bird, he took to wing
And raised a warning on the wind.
"Ca-CAW!" he called with all his force
"Beware the cow and all beefkind."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Wolves of Ellis

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses,
Yearning to breathe free.

I will put these fine folks
In dark morasses,
In captivity.

Here, let me help you.
Your kids need free passes,
Some compassion, see?

     A Land of the Free
     With victim peddlers
     And grievance mongers
     Salivating openly.
     Oh the woe of it all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Secret Lives of Trees

Pure unremitting boredom.
That is my life, I'm afraid.
I stand here, unmoving, dumb.
Only sound I ever made
Was a bit of rustling once.
Made me feel like a dunce.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Battle of Winter (a sonnet of sorts)

In the battle of snow and sun
The latter always seems to win.
Little flakes their courses run,
Wreak havoc, making Jack Frost grin.
Like Russian soldiers of old days,
Merely fodder for the cause,
Falling there on paths and ways,
Eliciting hushed oohs and aaaaahs.
The sun will catch with deadly ray
And end the mischief of that day;
The flakes will surely melt away.
But one more time Jack Frost will laugh
At this, the sun's presumptuous gaffe.
For he has "ice" who works on staff.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Diamonds are sparkly
And rainfall is wet.
Chocolate is tempting
And easy to get.
Icicles hang
Till they tumble and fall.
Babies don't run
Till they first learn to crawl.
Sardines are fishy
And crammed in a tin.
Offing your neighbor
Is surely a sin.
Life is sure easy,
I'm sure you'll agree.
Simple as Latin
And trigonometry.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On the Nature of Poetry

A popular poem
Is better than milk.
It's better than butter
Or things of that ilk.
It's better than cheese,
Either cheddar or mozz.
"What's with the dairy?"
"I like it a lots."

A popular poem
Cheers all the masses
It tastes kind of sweet,
"Like icky molasses?"

A popular poem
Is real hard to find.
It hides up in fruit trees
All covered in rind.
"So, then it's a fruit?
Like an orange or lime?"
"Oh goodness, just stop.
You're wasting my time."

A popular poem
Is often unsung,
Even regarded
As something like dung.
Til, lo and behold,
The verse strikes a chord
And then that dear poem's
No longer abhorred.
"So what are you saying
With all of these words?"
"That hopefully something
Will come of these turds."

A Thought on Prepositions

A preposition means nothing by itself,
Though it might possibly hint.
A mysterious word that tells nothing.
But there's a relational tint.
Or maybe not at all:
The hermit wore a splint.

Words can mean very little,
But only because they can mean so much.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Secret to Marital Bliss

Big toe goes wonky.
Doggone!  Another bunion.
At least wife has work.

The Moral Battle of the Early Morning

Pine trees try to keep sunshine out,
Corrupt old denizens that they are
Of the cemetery o'er yonder.
They think bones are better buried.

The sunshine is less interested
In playing this game of the ages.
Every surface is of interest.
"Stand aside and I shall reveal."

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's In a Name?

Ol' Augustine of Hippo,
He wasn't really large.
Joan of Ark liked horses, sure,
But not stuck on a barge.
And Rick the Lionhearted,
Not even once in jest,
Asked to have a kitty's ticker
Stuck into his chest.
Names are oft misnomers,
Clues that lead astray.
Just inquire of that old mage
Cause Gandalf wasn't grey.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Talkative Ninja

My baby's dressed in ninja black,
But stealthy he is not.
He's always talking, forth and back,
A right loquacious tot.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I'm waiting for a good Advent movie.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gimme Just a Sec...

When walking in mid-Tennessee
A doppelganger of me
Walked up and said, "Hi!
Am I you or you I?"
I said, "Well, I'd have to agree."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Secret Lives of Cats

A cat, all alone,
When he knows none are watching,
Will talk on the phone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Secret Medical Lives of Celebrities

There was nothing to be done.
Big Bird just endured.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I went when I was called
To duty, sacred, well enthralled.
I thought the best of what was known;
Cast doubt away like worthless stone.
I went when I was called.

He went when he was called
To follow blindly, conscience-mauled.
He didn't see the facts quite plain;
He shut his eyes, turned off his brain.
He went when he was called.

I was thinking of how easy it is not to see and, likewise, how easy it is to judge another for not seeing.  As Paul wrote, "We see through a glass darkly."  We humans, even in doing our best, can miss so much, not least the opportunity the show some charity (v2).

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Mysteries of Words

Pronunciation's rather odd;
It's often left me kind of awed.
The spelling's meant to cause me pain
Like punching out a window pane.
I'm scared to think, if I were foreign,
What I'd do to keep from roarin'.
Oh well, I guess I'll do my best
And thank the Lord that I am blessed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Dangerous Pill

An older man, whom I'll call Bill,
While swallowing his nightly pill,
Threw water in right past his tongue
Directly into his own lung!
This caused, of course, some consternation,
A wracking cough from medication!
Bill was peeved, without a doubt.
For taking meds was worse than gout.

Friday, November 25, 2011

All Year Through

O Lord our God, through all this year,
In Winter's chill and darkness drear,
In Springtime's rain and windy blow,
In Summer's heat as crops did grow,
In Autumn when the harvest came,
You are our God.  You stay the same.

The Winter wind, it froze our face;
     Icy roads made our hearts race.
     Soil laid dormant under snow
     And darkened days drug on so slow.

     Yet you cheered us every morn.
     On Christmas day your son was born.
     With joyful alleluia greeting,
     In this season our God meeting.

Springtime wind, the constant blowing,
     Muddy fields and then seeds sowing,
     Rivers rising, then the flood,
     Newborn cattle chewing cud.

     In this life and chaos swelling,
     You, our Lord, were always dwelling.
     Raised victorious Easter morn,
     Thus your children are reborn.

Summer heat and dry conditions
     Aphids on destructive missions,
     Straight line winds that bent the crop,
     Cloudless skies without a drop,

     Yet through these you brought us through.
     Lacking rain, the corn still grew.
     Ever faithful you were there
     In pardoned sins and answered prayer.

Autumn came with combines churning
     Wayward sparks and fires burning.
     Yet we brought the harvest in
     And put it safely in the bin.

     Likewise, God, you gather us,
     Though we can be an ornery cuss.
     So hallelujah, praises sing!
     Lift thanksgiving to our king!

O Lord our God, through all this year
You've been our hope and strength and cheer.
Your mercies given new each morn,
Baptismal pardon for newborns,
Assurance for our loved ones dying,
Comfort for us in our crying,
Lord your goodness has abounded.
Let Thanksgiving praise be sounded!


This was delivered as a Thanksgiving Eve sermon and is based on events in our countryside this year.  All except for the newborn cattle chewing cud.  Apparently they drink milk.  ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Expectations

The poor, lonesome turkey was walking that day
Back in the woods 'midst the fog from the frost.
Ruffling his feathers, then starting to say,
"Looks like another Thanksgiving is lost!"
You see, the poor turkey was orphaned at birth
And hadn't a friend in the whole of the wood.
Thus was it daily he longed for some mirth,
Longed for companionship he could call, "good."

Then parting the mist with a gun and a smile
A puritan man, looking bony and gaunt.
He invited ol' Tom to his house for awhile,
Precisely the thing that the turkey did want.
And so they walked off through the fog shrouded wood,
The both of them happy for what lay in store.
The man for the meat that would soon be his food,
The turkey for friendship ne'er tasted before.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Corpus of Beverly Cleary as It Relates to Monkey Typists

A barrel full of monkeys,
When they're not feeling bleary,
Can type the works of Shakespeare
Or better yet, Bev Cleary.

Baboons writing "Ribsey"
And chimps "Ramona Quimby"
Mind you just for paperback
So they're liable to be flimsy.

"A Tale of a Fourth Grade Nothing"
Alas, is just too much.
Luckily, with ample time,
They'll type out "Superfudge."

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Wonderful Handful

'Twas the morning called Monday when all through the house
A poop-bottomed baby was starting to grouse.
The diapers were ranged 'neath the table with care
Next to the wipes, the giraffe and the bear.

"Wipe off my buns for they're starting to hurt
And why don't you give me new pants and a shirt?
I've peed through these last and they're getting quite smelly.
Look at this button that's stuck to my belly!"

The father induced him to lie on his back.
He opened the diaper and let out a "Gack!"
Then working with purpose he started to wipe;
Left bun and right bun, they each got a swipe.

With wriggling legs and an outflow of babble
The baby broke free from the fatherly rabble.
He fled 'round the house singing liberty's song,
A melody sweet as a dad's day is long.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011


Cars are fine feats of art,
Modern sculptures,
At least in part.

Curvy lines that flow...
And pounce!
Far be it for me to denounce them.

But, (and the existence of but is curiously secure)
There is something amiss.

Cars, in all their finery,
Are drab creatures,
Lacking an important feature.
Color.  Color!!

Moving sculptures should growl and purr
And capture your eyes in a flurry of wow.
But they've all been washed together
And have come out uniformly drab.

Our roads are a Soviet rainbow.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Where does the dust come from?
Does it ooze up from any stationary surface?

Or is it some kind of airborne crumb?
A molecular secessionist?

Maybe it's the gnomes who bring it?
Though how they don't leave footprints stumps me.

Or maybe it's an amalgamation of small creatures that flit
And then rest and rest and rest, eternally?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leaves Are Not Bitter

As I look out the window,
The last tree, the holdout,
Has nary a leaf to show;
The wind won in a rout.
And so the leaves skitter,
Skipping across gravel,
Not seeming too bitter,
Happy to travel.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Cups of tea,
Joy for all
These are things
That rate quite high,
Right up there with
Fresh baked pie.

Warty toes,
TV shows,
These are things
That rate much worse,
Less like blessing
More like curse.

Monday, November 14, 2011

In Praise of My Babe (a limerick)

There once was a baby so cute
The bards sang his praise on the lute.
     "His chub and his grin
       Both add up to 'Win!'"
Such truth would be hard to refute.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanks to Those Men

Liberty is a painstaking business
Earned by some and enjoyed by others.
It doesn't depend on one man's fitness,
But hangs on the thread of some men's druthers.

And yet, to endure, more men must do battle
Against their dull boredom and sad apathy,
Raising bright colors for everyday freedom,
Striking a blow for the present to be.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Escaping Death According to the Law (2 Limericks)

Your life is a bad thing to waste.
So why live with excessive haste?
Better be slow
And on the down low
Lest all of your years be erased.

Trying to hold onto years
Will leave you enslaved to your fears.
Then, death will say, "Hey!"
And then you'll away.
Life's maxim?  This all ends in tears!

That's a rather dim view, isn't it?  Certainly. You will die and so will I.  And there is no hope to avoid that fate.  Such is the Law.  Such is life lived before the gospel arrives.

I imagine the first limerick to be the human desire to cheat death and the second to be Psalm 90, written by Moses, the great bringer of the Law.  Come, Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness

The tusks that clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.
The sword of Charlemagne the Just
Is ferric oxide, known as rust.
The grizzly bear whose potent hug
Was feared by all, is now a rug.
Great Caesar's dead and on the shelf,
And I don't feel so well myself.
It's not too often that I pass along a gem of a poem, preferring to regale you with my own, er, candardlies;  But I read this diamond by Arthur Guiterman this morning, pointed my finger at it and said, "That's what I want to do!"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Three Short Poems on a Missing Word

In Western England, old and fair,
There lies a town of Roman times.
It bears a name to make boys laugh
(One hopes the least of boyhood crimes).


A bird, feeling the need to loiter a spell,
Can alight in myriad places, do tell.
On branch or statue, (beware his wrath!)
Or even there, right in a .....


Epsom salts, when used in water
Good for son and good for daughter.
Great for every living being.
Gives sensations that are freeing.

The Requirements of Polite Company

When just a little milk gets left
To dry there on the bottom of the glass
It creates a predicament
Or rather, a crust.  It's nas-ty
And difficult to reach and remove.
In polite company it would behoove
One to rinse it.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

'The Calling' or 'The Boy and the Book'

Stretching up for the book on the table,
Caught in something more than curiosity,
The young boy paused.  .... . Then,...  picked up the book, slowly,
Touched it as gently as he was able.
He didn't yet know how to decipher
The drawings on the spine and on the cover
And upon opening the book, with due wonder,
He saw more.  Symbols from here to forever.
The boy wanted to know what it all meant
Longed for mysteries.  Thirsted for clues
With which to know he knew not what, To lose
Himself in a world to which he knew, somehow, he was sent.

Aphorisms #4

  • When scaring your child, don't try too hard.
  • Don't trust a light and fluffy pancake farther than you can throw it (against the wind.)
  • Waffles and Pancakes are different.  Technically.
  • When your wife is difficult, blame it on your mother in law.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Aphorism #3 (Or really just a factually preposterous statement that is aphoristic only in comparison to this needlessly long title.)

Upon reflection, a country mile is actually shorter than a city one.  Believe me, I've experienced both and there's really no contest.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Consumer Report (Terse and Metaphysical)

Take a piece of plywood
Lean it 'gainst a tree.
There, you've made a lean-to.
What ability!
Making crud is easy;
Quality is tough.
Best to know the difference
When you're buying stuff.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just One of those Things

A solitary shoe
Doesn't get you very far.
And a planet doesn't do much
If it hasn't got a star.
Leaves without trees
Are the bee without his knees.
And that's just one of those things.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Contemplation on a Windless Night

The flagpole is a beam of light
Proudly straight and standing strong.
It breaks the dark of autumn night
Immobile for however long.
It seems to watch the graves below
And without comment stands its guard
A pious sentry of the dead,
A light, a beam, a holy rod.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dancing With Daddy (and Peer Gynt)

The little guy, while hearing Grieg,
Did ably dance and happ'ly swing
While fleeing tickling daddy trolls
In Halls of dreadful Mountain King.
The trolls they shouted for his blood
But up I scooped him and away
We ran both laughing 'round the room
And held the murd'rous trolls at bay.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Apologies to Billy Joel

In the middle of the night
I go scrounging in the fridge
Through containers of food
For a tasty little smidge
I must be lookin' for something
Something tasty I lost
But the fridge is bare
And I've already flossed
In the middle of the night.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home Life and Chips

I am the one,
The committer of crimes
And the writer of rhymes.
I have the fun.

I ate the chips.
In vinegar and salt
And crunch I exult.
Spare me the dips.

My dear wife was peeved.
She'd hoped for a bite,
But the previous night
My magic I weaved.  [That's a euphemism for gittin' all piggy with the chips.]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


There's something just a bit off about everything.
Can a man take seriously the products of today?
Googling can't possibly be an adult occupation
But apparently it is, and holds deep fascination.
Apples all start with eyes! aies! ayes!  lower case all
Even if they are at the beginning of sentences.
Apparently Miller Lite is manly - and has flavor.
But one can be forgiven when trust begins to waver
In the face of just brute crass dumbness, no, stupidity.
Something dumb would at least be silent, not woodpeckerish.
I don't want any of it.  I don't want to be a slave.
Throw it all in the firepit and burn it right quick to save
A great many wasted hours and dollars and your soul.
It's all made to draw you in, suck you dry, exact its toll.
Good grief and by golly, though, I'm as enticed as anyone
Seeing too much of the world through the prism of fun.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Random

Candle offspring:
Drippings &
Smoke &

Coffee offspring:
Grounds &
Stain &

From everything comes something more
Which makes you rich or makes you poor.
It's best to choose those things so true
That you'll be constantly renewed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't Touch!!

The boy in the jammers was walking one morning
And looking for trouble.  So he got a warning.
"My baby, don't touch that; Hey sonny, watch out!
Touching that warthog will cause him to shout.
And touching rhinocerii leads to some hurt;
They may be thick-skinned, but also quite curt.
And touching a lion?  Dear boy, that just foolish.
(Though thinking of outcomes might get a bit ghoulish.)
Suffice it to say, oh dear firstborn of mine,
That touching the things?  No, that isn't just fine!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Minnesota Gophers Football Limerick

When Huskers from Lincoln go forth
And meet the poor Gophs from the North
The latter will lose
And destruction ensues.
For Gophs, very little are worth.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Verbosity That Hasn't Run Amok

The End.


I think it's funny how artists say "profound" things with art.  Like I could say that this poem means that the end is really a beginning or some such nonsense.  But that would be a big, fat lie.  I just got nuthin'.  My wife and baby are home and poems are somewhere else.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

That Darn Cat

Once upon a time, there was a cat.
This cat was scoping out a deck
In some other cat's yard.
No worries.
For the other cat was small.
Oh yeah, a dish full of kibble.

[didn't eecummings say something about fog
and little cat feet
and creeping owner's of small kittens

Run!! oh my,
Head for the cornfield!! oh my,
Please no shotguns!!! oh my,

[for out of the door, screaming and bellowing,
came not a fog, nor e.e. cummings,
But W.B. Picklesworth.]

Take that you thieving cat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Almost There

Her absence is soon to be done
And with her I'll then see my son
     Our young family
     In felicity
Will hug and will kiss just a ton.


And the boy will say, "Hey there, enough with the kissy stuff.  Chase me around or throw me up in the air."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Dearest wife,
When you're away
I feel the sky
Has turned to gray
The grassy lawn
Has gotten brown
And all the birdies
Seem to frown.
The gophers cry
And raise lament;
My heart is heavy
Like cement.


I hope my wife won't mind me posting this here.  On a side note, it bugs me when people bad mouth marriage or, more specifically, their spouse.  I hear that kind of thing at wedding receptions when people are trying to be funny.  Words matter.  Talk about your spouse with love and respect, no matter what.  Could someone give me a hand off of this soapbox?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Where's That Darn Wife? (For She Must Save Me From Myself!)

My wife is pregnant, that is sure,
But still has the look of a pixie.
And bless her heart, she's gone away,
To go to the land of Dixie.

It seems there was a wedding there
For this m'dear was required.

And so I sit in Ioway,
Ensconced (and maybe mired)
In Oreos and tater chips.
Good golly, I'm inspired.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Law

The thin and bony fingers
Of trees outside my window
Naked now for autumn
Naked 'gainst the wind
Will tremble for what's coming
Shiver in the breezes
Take the frigid punishment
As if the tree had sinned.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Alarm Clocks

There are all kinds of alarm clocks:
Little things that tinkle, great bells,
Cubes that wake you with music
Buzzing contraptions straight from hell.
Personally, I use a baby.
He's pretty regular, so to speak,
But now I'm left in the lurch
Because my boy is gone for the week.
What am I supposed to do
To return from the Land of Nod?
Maybe I'll just sleep in, leaving
Those early morning hours to God.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gene Kelly, Feel Free to Roll Over In Your Grave

I'm gleaning in the fields
Just gleaning in the fields
What a glorious feeling
With 165 bushels an acre yields....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ode to Wisconsin?

If I didn't have oatmeal
     My life would be fine.
The lack of the mush
     Would not leave me cryin'.

If I didn't have walnuts
     I'd handle that chore
By eating more almonds;
     That's what they're for.

But life without bratwurst?
     Now there's a bleak thought.
What would I do then?
     What could I plot?
Perhaps I'd be forced
      To sit there and rot?
Oh perish, oh perish
     Oh perish the thought!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Good Grief This Is Bad

What a fearful image there
Atop the water tower.
Seems an artist got a thrill
From painting someone dour.
There he was, in black and white,
Clint Eastwood looking sour.
Least it wasn't Sonny Bono
Decked in flower power.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Reply

"Jesus was a socialist" I heard a hippie say.
"Yes he was" I quick replied, "And rainbows oft are gray.
Snowy fields are burning hot and horses love to fly
Babies all play basketball and snoops don't love to pry.
Jesus was a socialist if words mean other things.
But Lenin's not an astronaut
And pigs still don't have wings."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Preparing for Baby

Abigail, our little girl,
Who's coming this Noel,
Is having clothes picked by her mom
(They're pink, oh can't you tell?)
And then there's bibs, and books, and hats
So much to give our dear.
But love's the thing and kisses too
(But very little beer.)

Friday, October 7, 2011


This harvest time
The wind blows strong,
And earth lies hard
And sun shines cold.

A man is dead
For whom we long,
And though it's true
That he was old,

Yet death is never
Welcome here
With its dread gifts
Of hurt and fear

Death is still
Our enemy,
Fruit of wickedness
You see.

And so we mourn,
And so we cry
That our dear friend
Has had to die.


It seems to me that we rush past death and fling ourselves at comfort.  Or worse, those who mourn have tawdry bits of comfort flung at them.  What is wrong with mourning?  What is wrong with living through a rare moment when everything isn't going to be okay and the world's foundations quiver?  We live life half in a dream, hiding and escaping from so much that is true.  We put lipstick on death and pretty dresses, pretending that we are choosing it because of its salutary qualities.  Steve Jobs said that death was the best invention because it cleared out the old and brought in the new.  Which is all well and good if death is taking anonymous lives to renew abstract life.  But it is not so.  Death tracks down those whom we love, one by one.  The wretched fruit of Eden tracks them down and taunts us, "Put a pretty bow on this if you like.  I am devouring the one you love.  And one day I will come for you too.  Just you wait."

But what about the comfort and hope of the resurrection?  What about death as servant of eternal life?  To this I say that Jesus didn't leap from the grave on Saturday.  The miserable weight of wickedness and judgment hung heavily around their necks for a time.  They felt the reality of what is true: death steals and destroys and punches you in the gut so hard you don't know whether or not you'll be able to breath again.  When Jesus rose, the message was not, "See, death isn't so bad."  He did not tell us to make our peace with the age old enemy.  No, he brought the fight down into the depths of hell and he killed death.  And only then, after death's defeat, was he raised.  Death, therefore, has no power over those who have been joined to Christ's death.

So what do we do on days like this?  What do we do when death has claimed another?  We certainly do not pretend that it is okay, as if death might be endured.  No, we mourn as if death has stolen all that is good and right in this world.  We mourn because our father or mother or sister or brother or husband or wife has been taken from us forever.  And then, we go and we hear the promise.  And then we listen to the promise death has been swallowed up in victory.  This promise makes no sense when we have hidden death in lipstick and dresses; it makes no sense when we have told ourselves that death is a good thing; it makes no sense when we lie to ourselves saying that grandpa is playing cards in heaven and watching us with a smile.  To those who have neutered death to avoid feeling the horrible weight of it, this promise of Jesus Christ makes no sense.

And so this is why we shouldn't leap towards comfort.  No, let dreadful death and its effects have their say.  Let death speak to you about how all life ends in death.  Let this wickedness speak its name.  And in the midst of this awful reality Jesus Christ arrives.  And with him, and in his name, rebuke death itself.  Don't dress it up and make it your friend.  Rebuke it.  "You have no power over Earl.  For he has died with Christ and he will surely be raised with him according to the promise.  You will have no power over him.  Go back to Hell."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Absolute Gibberish" or "The Darn Room Was Hot and I Like Fun Words"

When one is ensconced in a room with some others,
These others some dozens, all tightly packed in,
One wonders what wont would want heat to continue
Not cool the room down so that comfort might win.
Perversity surely, if not a malfunction
Of freon based systems intended to cool,
Perhaps it is better I speak with compunction
Lest HVAC professionals think me a fool?


I like mine twisty
With dollops of horseradish.
But golden aren't bad.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What Would a Bogey Be?

When driving along in the car,
With places to go that are far,
     The crux of the matter
     Is Benjamin's chatter.
Enduring is more or less par.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bear Thoughts

If I were a grizzly bear, nasty and mean,
Growling and snapping and venting my spleen,
Ulcers would probably plague all my days
Making me cranky and even more crazed.
Were this the truth I would hate to be me,
Hate the unhappiness, yearn for some glee.
Thankfully I'm not a bear of that kind!
I'm just a Kodiak; pay me no mind.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Favorite Things

Hot cappuncinos and whipped cream on mochas;
Chilled Dr. Pepper and iced Cola Cocas;
Corvette convertibles, red without dings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Packers from Green Bay and books without pictures;
Lawful inhabitants, days without strictures;
Steak that is rare with a side of some wings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the Dow drops,
When the Prez talks,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Jimminy Cricket!

When you wish upon a star,
Which is very, very far,
Best to send that wish with speed
Like a rocket-powered steed!
If it fails to reach its goal,
Like a hobbled, gimpy foal,
Don't give up.  Just send one more!
Watch it fall flat on the floor.


Astronomical oddities aren't worthy objects of faith.  Not that wishing is faith.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Seasons Crashing In

When broccoli heads abandon their leaves
And let them fall down to the ground
You know Autumn's coming and not long thereafter
That whistling wintery sound.
So gird up your loins and retreat to your couch
Envelop yourself in a quilt.
Winter is coming and with it the cold
Gone is the time for the kilt.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amos -The First Week

Amos the kitten was yowling one evening
Even before he was named.
W.B. was ignoring the pleading
Wishing the wildun' was tamed.
Next day brought clarity unto his thinking
When thin little kitty he saw.
"My!  He's a cute one and maybe worth feeding.
Look at the stripes on his paw."
Now's been a week and the kitten's been eating
'Nough so his ribs are less clear.
Wouldn't you know it?  The sweet little feline
Has started becoming quite dear.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Flies Beware

Here's the deal:
There's a fly
In my home.

My baby?
He just hates
When flies roam.

Baby swats
And he swings.
He get mad
And he brings
The hurt.

So beware
Little fly.
My baby
Ain't shy.

Seriously.  The baby swats at flies, slamming the table with his hand and yelling.  And he goes around practicing.  It's only a matter of time before he kills a fly.  We just hope he doesn't eat the carcass.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cookin' from the Garden

With twelve jalapenos
And sugar galore
Some salt and some pectin
Then sugar some more
I made up some jelly
To brighten my bread
A spicy concoction
To get this guy fed.
With great expectation
I swallowed a bite
And found that this jelly
Was full of the fight!
Zippy and skippy
And kickin' some butt
These jars fully of jelly
Will add to my gut.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Cellos on tiptoes
And flutes on the wing
Trumpets a-tapdancing
Oboes that sting
Put them together
And what do you get?
Glorious earfuls
I'm willing to bet.

Friday, September 23, 2011


"I like butter"
The man muttered.

Butter on the plate?
Life is great!

Corn on the cob?
Better have butter!

"You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is butter, butter at all costs, butter in spite of all terror, butter, however long and hard the road may be." 
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Communication (prose cleverly masquerading as poetry)

The woman on the phone
     made her point
   abundantly clear
And then
     she reiterated
For the first five iterations
    had, no doubt,
  fallen short
What was the point?
I don't know.
I stopped listening
     and started counting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stray Cat Aria

There's a feline on my stoop
Who is yowling to beat heck.
If he doesn't stop his singing
In the morning I'll be wrecked.
What he's after I don't know
There's no tuna in this house,
Though perhaps the wretched feline
Thinks he sees a tasty mouse?
That's absurd on every level,
Both the basement and the main,
All my house has got is spiders,
And some beetles when it rains.
So begone you yowling creature
Lest I shake my fist in vain.
That'll show you what I'm made of!
(Mainly tired and addled brain.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Grassy knoll and inside job,
Right wing crazies and the Mob,
Live for free inside his head
His name's "Paranoia Bob."

Elvis isn't really dead;
Literatti at the Fed,
What's an average man to do?
Wear some tinfoil on his head!

Here's the thing (which isn't new)
Sometimes paranoia's true!
But it must not wreck your day
Nor your life, which you would rue.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Old Guy Playing With Teenagers Limerick

Last night I played football with teens.
My skills were worth more than mere beans.
     In spite of my score,
     I'm feeling quite sore
And grass stains the butt of my jeans.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Boy of the Morning Hullabaloo

My boy plays with blocks when the morning is young,
Banging those babies together.
He seems unaware that his mother, unsung,
Slumbers, but she's not very far.
What would he say if she came roaring out,
Saying, "My baby, be dumb!"
I'm thinking he'd smile and then even imply,
"Dear Mommie, I'm glad that you've come!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Psychoanalyzing Clouds

Why do dark clouds brood?
Did land just West say something mean?
Were the Great Plains being rude?
Perhaps the mountains were obscene?
I don't know why this is.
I only wonder why
And cast a wish for happiness
For clouds up in the sky.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Small, furry creatures are gophers,
Cuddly varmints and so on.
I find it rather surprising
That they are digging holes for fun
In my parking lot!  Bemusing.
Doesn't much matter, I suppose.
When winter comes along
Everything'll be done froze.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Car Repairs Got You Down?

The big, black, blot
Lumbered and fumbled
Finally finding
Its cozy spot.
Not red yet,
Our savings rumbled
In response; minding
That the flabby blob
Had settled so.
"Get off!  Just go!"
Wiggling, the clod
Sighed and sank.
"No," he said.  "No."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eight Words: One New World

It's unfurled
World's been whirled
It's a Girl

She's due in January.
Possible New Year's resolution: Change some diapers.

A Good Surprise (a true fiction)

The man was quite dim;
The woman lacked vim;
Taken together
Their prospects were grim.
But whaddya know,
I'll have to eat crow,
Their love all these years
Has continued to grow.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Steel Waters

Are all still waters "smooth as glass"?
Don't some seem more like burnished steel?
I wondered this there on the shore,
While on my skin I couldn't feel
A hint of breeze, nor touch of air,
But in that moment rod and reel
Flashed from the corner of my eye
And rippled liquid metal shined,
A glory sure, howe'er defined.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Aphorism #2

A church with noisy kids...

     ...has got kids.

Count your blessings.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"A Wedding Limerick" or "Those Were Also the 'Words'"

I married a couple today.
They had very little to say.
     "I do" was the word
     And that word was heard.
"Zip a dee doo dah and day!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

Beware the Tinker

When wandering journeymen knock on your door
It's best to be nice to them lest they be dour.
These fellows who wander are known to have knives
And keeping them happy just might save some lives,
At least till you reach to the gun in your drawer
And drive them away, "Don't come back here no more!"

(A thought based on Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Advice For Young Parents" or "A Truism" - a haiku

When stumbling babies
Wander in a house with stairs
You better watch out

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Birch bark cigarillos
     burning in the fire...
"How is it you smell so good?"
     I'm dying to inquire.
Crackling up in puff of smoke
     Incense of the North.
Burn yourself into hot coals
     and let your smoke go forth.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Aphorisms #1

No one without a tattoo
     or a clue

     Should be making coffee for a living.

Monday, September 5, 2011

An Ode to the Non-Working... "Man"

On Labor Day he don't do much
But rise and make himself some joe.
It isn't really work, as such,
But merely that which makes him go.
But go to where, wherefore and why?
These questions beckon him with care
And so he sits with one closed eye,
A lazy cyclops in his lair.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ned the Man Who Knows Not Silence

I know a fellow, Ned's his name.
He's just a little less than tame;
He's louder than a hurricane
One wonders, "Is he really sane?"

He blurts out things like vomit flying,
Hollers loud like monkeys crying.
When the silence comes, it's true,
The moment's done, already through.

Then the sounds again resound
And ringings ring and then rebound,
Shouts and whampums held up high;
Triumphantly he gives his cry!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Limerick on Discretion

A town with two stoplights is small.
It's hardly a real town at all.
     "Don't say that son
     'Less yer fittin' to run.
I'll done give you a funeral pall."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Silence of the Lake

The shore of Superior,
  for length of the day,
  is continual clamor,
  an ongoing bray,
    a distant crowd singing
    in words that are muddled
      a beating of drums
      from the waves closely huddled,
        crashing, receding
        and rushing back in
        one on another,
        perpetual din.

Silence becomes, not
  the absence of sound,
  but aural consistency
  heard all around,
    so much a part
    of each second and hour
    that sound becomes silence,
    its absence...  a roar.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Boy this Morning (at 13 months)

I took my boy out in the rain.
He sat on rocks and let them fly
Or rather dropped them from his hand;
It doesn't mean he didn't try.
A droplet hit his blondish hair
And made a splat that gave him pause
"What's this that's cool and... oh what's that?"
A question's worth more than 'because.'

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Cheer

My wife hates football.
Yes it's true.
She's in a fantasy league.
How 'bout you?


Perhaps even lamer than usual, but I wanted to mark the occasion of my wife entering a fantasy football league with a cheer because I love football.  My question, "How will hatred and participation co-exist?"  We'll see.  Ultimately it's not important because neither depends on the Packers winning the Super Bowl again.

Monday, August 29, 2011


While up north in Ely
My dear wife and I
Went looking through windows
And sometimes passed by,
But other times went we
On into the stores
And stayed past the point
When started my snores.

I love my wife dearly
And so want to help,
But shopping's so boring.
I'd rather snort kelp.
So many sizes and colors and styles
The bothersome choices go on for five miles!
(Not so with my patience,
It goes without saying.)
This store's got two levels,
I'm sure we'll be staying.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Nirvana Limerick

I hear grungy singing is waning.
The younsters are flat out complaining.
    "That music is old;
      It leaves us quite cold."
This marks the clear end of Cobaining.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Death: The Ultimate Writer's Block

Flannery O'Connor's already a goner
And F. Scott Fitzgerald is dead.
If E. Hemmingway were alive today
I wonder what he would have said?
But just like the others he's lost all his druthers
And hasn't a new word to throw.
That is the trouble; we all turn to rubble.
Just ask ol' Henry Thoreau.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fall Lake in August

The fall in the river,
     there in the twilight,
     as aspen leaves danced
          in the last light of day,
Conjured a magic
     by virtue of beauty
     and sonorous laughter
          so playful and gay.

While there with my dearest
     we scrambled on pathways
     and crawled upon boulders
          with little to say,
But just our enchantment
     at being together
     and watching the sunset
          while lost in our play.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I went on vacation with my wife.  We were up on Lake Superior with the baby boy and two of my in-laws.  As a side note, saying that someone is an in-law sounds so cold.  I don't mean it that way; I'm just being descriptive.  At any rate, they went home, taking the boy, and my wife and I continued to a little town up by the Boundary Waters.  We walked and shopped and ate and hiked and slept in.  And we read books.  And I bought a swanky book and wrote poetry.  And we also went to a concert.  That's what yesterday's poem is about.  This fellow was pretty good, but there were only 8 of us there in the audience.  Later, a few more people came, but I felt bad for him.  We decided to come home a day early because we missed our baby.  On the way back we stopped for a doughnut and accidentally bought a walnut credenza.  True story.  It was a steal.  Alrighty then, that's enough prose for this year.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Performer

Is it silly
     to feel sorry
          for the fellow
               on the stage?

There he's playing
     -while we're looking-
          like a monkey
               in a cage.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Boy and Father by the Lake

I took the boy upon the rocks
Not far from chilly waves.
He squirmed like larva to get free;
I prepped to make some saves.
He walked and crawled with clear delight
My boy, he loves to potter.
And frequently I lunged to save
My boy from cruel, cold water.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Superior Poem? (or just a pun)

On the cusp of vacation or already in?
I'm not sure exactly when this thing begins.
The work is all over, of that I am sure,
But I'm not yet relaxing, stretched out on the shore.
Clarity's coming and sloth in its wake
Out on a chaise-lounge aside of the lake.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Excerpt from an EPIC Poem about our new van (if we buy it)

Soaring through the night air on eagle's wings,
Shooting with missiles all evil things,
Decked out like a gangsta with various blings,
Oh mini-van, you are The Very Thing.

If I weren't married, I'd give you a ring.
C'mon everyone, lift your voice and sing!
Oh mini-van, you are The Very Thing.


I asked my wife what I should write a poem about this morning and she said, "the van."  You see, my wife and I are hoping to buy a pretty snazzy mini-van to fit our family needs and make our lives happier and more fulfilled.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Truism (Garfield nothwithstanding)

Cat ladies have cats;
This goes without saying.
But very few rats,
'Cause cats are dismaying.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Two ninety six
Plus seven eleven
Equals one thousand
And also a seven.
Try as you might
To argue against,
The laws of mathematics
Have sure got you fenced.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Recollection

I remember buying a rubber band gun,
One trip, when we went out West.
Shapely, like a Colt 45,  just the thing
To occupy a boy's interest.
The two barrels didn't get pointed too much
At my sister, not as I recall.
Which is a wonder, in a way!
Because I was sometimes awful,
Teasing her to get a squawk.
Instead I pointed at the unmoving:
Trees, signs and the odd rock,
Off which there were plenty
Along those highways going up
Stretching towards the Rockies,
And on over the top.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I play in the garden.
I pull out a weed.
Then I go away
For to buy what I need.
Then when I return
I find that some seed
Has grown up again
Into a great weed.
Alas and alack!
I'm not driven by greed!
I just want a garden
That is missing a weed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Limerick on the Importance of Not Getting Playing Cards Greasy (a hypothetical poem)

If Pringles were sold in a bag
And came with a stylish rag,
I'd eat all the shards,
But before playing cards,
Wipe my hands on that rag that were swag.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Angry Shoulder

The angry shoulder twists me 'round
And hits me in the gut.
It's like a man who sees a dog
And kicks that mangy mutt.

"Your pretty pills, they make me laugh,"
My angry shoulder growls.
Punching harder with a scowl
While I let slip some howls.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thoughts on My Young Son Finding a Lady (in the wake of a bad case of bed face.)

My baby has just come to me
The marks of bed on face,
And I'm not talkin' just a hint
Or just a little trace.
Indentations, deeply grooved,
Impermanent I hope!
Or getting girls will be a chore,
He'd prob'ly need a rope.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Poem About Food (starring the letter W)

When waffles kill and maim and steal
The whole world wonders what to do.
Whether better just to wail
Or whack the waffles into goo?
While wayward food will often test,
By forcing on us witch's brew,
We needn't roll to its request,
Lest we make choices we will rue.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Low Jump

I do have standards,
Though they're low.
Somewhere south
Of Mexico.
Verses made
That smell like toe.
Smelly bad!
I know, I know.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Honey Badger

We had friends who came to visit us the other weekend and they shared with us a Youtube video about the Honey Badger (as narrated by a fellow named Randall.)  The language was foul, but we laughed because the Honey Badger was such a character.  And so here is an ode based on the video.

Honey Badger, you're so soft,
Warm and cuddly all around.
When you see a snake aloft
You climb up and throw him down.
Then you eat him for your lunch,
Though he bite and make you nap.
Lovingly (well, that's my hunch)
You don't really give a crap.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Fatherhood Limerick

There is a young baby named B
Who's always lookin' at me.
"Dad, can we play?
Or read stories today?"
If you said that I'm blessed, I'd agree!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Changing Color

The color of the rolling hills
Is changing as the seasons pass.
The stalks of corn which once were green
Are joined by gold;
Emerging tassels all throughout
Are dappling vistas with their hue.
With wonder giv'n by God above
I soak it in.
What wondrous love it is to give
Such beauty to his sons below.
How glorious to make such art
Provision's field.
A glorious yield.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

4 Verses on UGs

If I had a cattle prod
I would leave cattle alone
And go after bugs.

If I had a jar of salt
I would flavor my eggs
And go after slugs.

If I were a dirty hippie
I'd laugh nervously
And go back to my drugs.

But, better than these,
I'll wait for my wife to return
And give her hugs.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Dodge Stratus

The Strat is flying low these days
Caught up in rusty, cracked malaise,
Stumbling blindly through a haze
And all the while I'm hoping,...

Hoping that the tires hold,
Looking past the carpet mold
Praying, "Please, I know its old,
But maybe it's a phase?"

Debit cards and dollar bills
Can cure the aches and fix the ills.
"Pay up Bub, for auto pills."
Alas, alack, oh heck.

"Here's the money, take it all
While you fix it I'll just crawl.
I should buy an auto pall!
Alas, alack, oh heck."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


On hearing the news
That his death was upon him
The man grinned a grin
And his eyes told a tale.
"This life's gotten hard,
In its myriad facets
I find myself fumbling
And ready to fail.
I love my wife dearly;
I'm happy to visit; 
My Lord is a-comin';
I hope you don't mind
But soon I'll be boarding
The train bound for glory.
Thanks much for your visits
You've really been kind."
Next week he was napping
And soon after sleeping
And then he was lying;
The twinkle was gone.
And so was dear Alvin;
His lifetime was ended.
His future beginning,
Eternity won.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beware the Cat (A Fake Tale of Feline Brutality)

I saw a sleeping cat once
Back when I was a child.
My limbs all started tremblin'
For kitty cat was wild.
When given the occasion
He'd grab his pound of flesh
In slashy little increments
And make my skin like mesh.
It paid to show some caution
And tread with feather care
Or better yet, to stay quite still
In hopes that I'd be spared.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sleeping Dogs

When doggies lie,
Their eyelids closed,
It's best to keep
Yourself composed
And treading lightly
Lest you cause
The waking dog
To use his claws!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Two Paintings

Over my bed at home there are two paintings,
Both of churches in the old country.

One sits on a bluff, guarded by a wall
It has an onion top and one belfry.
Obviously Orthodox, maybe monastic.
The subject tugs at me, but is no expert's pick
For it is rudely done.  In a hurry?
For sale in new Russia, after the fall?

The other is all whimsy and fun,
Lovers kissing by the Seine.
Pont de Neuf stands guard nearby,
With Notre Dame back by the sky.

I love them both; they stir my mind,
Framed dreaming of a different time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just Outside My Window

Have you ever heard an ill wind blow?
Or seen a field of firefly glow?
Last night I did, those very two
The latter glowed, the first then blew.
I count it good that in between
The glowing insects went to bed
And while the bluster raged and stormed
Were sleeping quietly instead.

Monday, July 11, 2011

For Want of Breakfast

Hopping birds
Diving beaks
Tater soup
With tasty leeks
Battered eggs
Oh so meek
These are things
That creatures seek

Friday, July 8, 2011


In the wee and small hour,
Lights more or less dampened,
I sit and I wonder
On all that has happened.
Crescendos and codas
And turning of pages,
Rebuking of demons,
And chit chat with sages;
A whirlwind of meaning
Surpassing all wonder
In lover and baby
And lightning and thunder,
Two churches with people
With hopes for the 'morrow,
Weddings and funerals,
Joy... and sorrow.
Good God, you're amazing
I'd never have dreamed this
The things you've accomplished
Beyond all my wishes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Explicit Unpoem #1

Lousy poets take thoughts and hit the "enter" key at opportune moments to create the illusion of a poem where no poem exists.  It's actually just rambling thought with neither rhyme nor discernible structure, nor even words chosen to complement each other and express something further than the sum of them.  It's just a cheap imitation that deserves your scorn!  And so I give you an Unpoem:

In the wee hours
I find the time
To let my mind wander
Over things that have passed,
Things that I've spurned
And put in their places!

But they don't threaten
Like they used to do.
They seem rather silly
And toothless.

I don't know that we should allow ourselves foolishness
As some kind of birthright.
After all, foolishness maims, kills and destroys.
But some of us survive.
And as the carnage recedes
It all seems such a spectacle.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Shine On...

The Crazy Diamond fell down dead,
Acid got him, though he fled.
No one's shining in his stead.
What a wretched waste.

Poetic noodling, siren songs
Selling meaning to the throngs,
Skewing right things into wrongs.
What a wretched waste.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

I am an Iowawegian poet,
Iowegian poet do or die.
A real life rhymer from the state of corn,
Lousy(!) I'm not gonna lie.
I like to hear disapprobation,
Helps me know the world is sane.
Lousy poets step right up and pen a verse for freedom
"Hey y'all, Happy 4th of July!"

A verse for freedom?  What kind of cockamamie thing is that?  And why would "Happy 4th of July" qualify?  Well, you're not going to get an essay out of me either, so I'll just say, "Here's to our founding ideals, may God help us pursue them, and may we show a bit of mercy to each other as we go along.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gettin' Bossy with the Garden

In the garden, dry and dusty,
Weed infested, blown by gusty
Winds from western prairie state,
There I stepped, demeanor: "crusty."

"Take this hose to change your fate;
Drink the water.  Thirst, abate!
Never mind if it be rusty.
Drink!  You dirt field.  Drink!  Don't wait.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three Cantankerous Couplets for Consideration

Confronted by potholes and litter
My father in law became bitter.
The station was hopelessly dirty,
Th' attendants were both far from purty.
This tale has no moral or ending
Nor odor that might be offending.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Ode

Potato chip,

You're lovely beyond words:
Soft, undulating ridges,
Beautiful gold skin,
Delicate as a china doll.
Will you be mine?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


One crawling spider
One sink defended by me
One flattened spider

Monday, June 27, 2011

Three Related Thoughts

Corn rustles.
It really does, I've heard it.
But I've never heard of corn rustlers.

The long, tall grass waves.
I look out the window and see it.
But it never comes crashing into anything.

Those clouds over there float.
But I can assure you, in all seriousness,
That there isn't even a scoop of ice cream up there.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

To Have Grown and Shaved Is Better Than Never to Have Grown At All

I shaved my rockin' Amish beard;
I shaved it for my wife.
I'd hate for any facial hair
To cause domestic strife.
My love for her reigns high above
Such trivialities,
But surely I will try again
My beard festivities!

Friday, June 24, 2011


I grew a rockin' Amish beard
To impress my wife,
Who now, alas, thinks I'm weird.
She jeered
And said she feared 
I'd keep it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Free Kitten!

Anybody wanna kitten?
Something feline for your house?
Little girls would all be smitten!
Maybe less, the family mouse.
Take one home and feed her tuna.
Give her love and make her purr.
Soon she'll be the big kahuna;
You, the stroker of her fur.

Talk to John.  He's got kittens!


No salsa, no chips?
Apocalypse Now!
Almost as bad
As world without cow.
Much must be done
To restore the wow.
Like finding more chips.
And salsa.  And how!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Gentle, soaking rain
Falling on the swollen fields
Puddles on the grain
Washing, drowning, future yields
Filled up riverbeds
Flowing down to wreck and steal
Slow disaster creeps
Curs-ed rain with no appeal.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Run On Sentence

At the service today
Because we wanted to
Confide in friends -
During the announcements and with great
For the topic at hand (for we are
Greatly taken by it!),
Having hardly thought of the exact words,
I told the congregation,
Jesus followers all, that
Kris Kringle would be
Leaving a present for us,
Making me,
Newly a father, a father again!
Oh my!
Praise God!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Fields

On verdant fields in Ioway
The brown of seasons past has gone,
Or, rather, covered by the corn,
A swath of green has now been born.
The seeds were scattered in the soil
By tractor's path and farmer's toil
And rising up to catch my eye
Have captured me as I passed by.

Friday, June 17, 2011

(message for John of the Curtain)

Chez vous, at this moment
I can't seem to comment
It seems something's broken;
I leave you this token.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Post Facto Advice For Those Driving Near the Missouri River

There's a river floodin'
(Oh my my)
To the west, to the west
(Ain't nuthin' dry)
You had better beware
(Watch the troublin' sky)
'Cause you won't be winnin'
(Don't even try)
Just run away, child
(Turn and fly)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Strange Moment

It's just the boy, the dogs, the cat
And me.
Nobody else is home, no one,
You see.
And every last one of us looking
At the door.
People are missing, gone somewhere.
What for?
And why is that so doggone strange?

Is a presence, heavy and thick.
Considerably more than you'd think.
All of us
Feeling what isn't even here.
Not knowing
Why the moment is queer.

On Being a Dad

Daaden Aaden is my name.
I'm a father; that's my game.
I've a Hun I'm tryin' to tame.
Daaden Aaden is my name.

He crawls round and touches things,
Grabs at glasses and earrings,
Gives a shout and then he sings
He crawls round and collects bling.

He sees pups and gives a cry!
"Save me from the monster guys!"
Touching them would not be wise.
Least that's what I would surmise.

Daaden Aaden is my name.
I've a son I'm tryin' to tame.
Teaching Right, that is my game.
Daaden Aaden is my name.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bacon Is Pretty Much the Crux of It

Drivin' through Macon,
But I've got no bacon!
If I were a bandit,
I sure would be takin'
The aforementioned bacon
From stores found in Macon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Might Have Been

Juan, Pablo, Ringo,
If they were Spaniards
With Jorge a-strummin'
Would have been great!
Ed Sullivan madness!
Can't buy me fiction
E'en though it'd be great.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Day

Going to the chapel
And I'm officiating.

Going to the chapel
And I'm officiating.
Gee I'm really happy
Cause they're gonna get married.
Going to the chapel of love.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fine Whiner

In reaction to a previous poem my wife called me a whiner.  This hurt my feelings greatly and so, after complaining a bit, I wrote this supposedly autobiographical poem in the third person singular.  Take take, wife. 
If you like, he can whine for hours,
Casting a critical glance on every last thing,
And summoning Midas-like powers,
Disparage them all exhaustively.  He's the king
Of turning upstanding milk sour.
Give him some random meteorological thing...
And moping shall result!  All dour
He will say, "This darn warm/cold/wet/dry/windy fling!"
Oy, what a whiny, windy bore.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Like a large, flat Tic Tac
With an apple on top,
Once bitten,  and a cord
Out the side like a tendril.
Cracked open, it glows
Like a pregnant woman.
And on the other half
Square seeds in a row?
With runes or some such.
Surely magical,
Weaving tempting spells.
And my eyes, transfixed
Tapping lightly on the seeds.


GRAHHHT-zee, MAre-sea,
Breezy days
Are quite the boon.
Blows the skeeters
Far away.
Keeps the stinkin'
Heat at bay.
Giving thanks
Is what I do
For nice comments.
There.  Thank you.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Carpet on carpet,
Like frosting on frosting,
Is just too excessive
For my feet to bear.
Not that my feetsies
Have e'er eaten frosting
I'm just writing blindly;
I really don't care.

The baby is pushing
A chair that's much bigger
Than his little bottom,
But he's keen to dare.

I haven't made coffee
And now I'm just rambling,
Oh goodness, please stop me.
Please, don't grin and stare!

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Printer

The light blinks sometimes and little noises
Peep, pop, and burble; the ink well gurgles,
But nothing ever comes of it.  Ruses
By a dusty old printer.  Impotent.
Like some swingin' guy in a sports car,
"Hey babe," but having no horsepower.
My printer sits and can only hint.
Enough.  This is ridiculous.  Get bent.
That's right.  Let go of the cords and get out.
Your fizzling, tittering plastic's been sent.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Write About Things You Don't Know (Possibilities)

How does one write a fine wedding sermon?
What do you do when you're beset by vermin?
When storm clouds are brooding like doom on the land
Is it better to charge or better to stand?
Where can one go to get sleds in the Spring?
What kind of salad do you think I should bring?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Write About Things You Know

Wafting odors on the air,
Hitting me from everywhere,
From the pig farm down the road
From the baby's rear end load.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Once upon a time,
I was spending time with my nephew.
We were hangin', as it were.
And there was this little girl who walked up,
And grabbed my wallet!
She ran away with all haste.
Given my advanced age,
I cried out for my nephew's help.
"Chris, stop her!!


My nephew is a boarder
He rides around on wheels.
And when he does a trick on it
The little chiquas squeal.
Then he blushes reddish
And falls flat on his face.
Better not to skate for girls
If y' wanna keep some grace.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Dark Side of the Lawn

When squirrels run rampant
All over the lawn,
Those gray mafiosi
All under the don
Who tells them to kneecap
The chipmunks and birds,
Directs them to fill up
Their nests with cow turds;
Then goodness is dormant
And sunshine is gone,
Cursed by the greed
Of the mafia don,
That nasty old squirrel
Who rules over the lawn.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On the Nature of Attaining to Poetic Excellence

To write a good poem is magic.
To craft a fine verse is a joy.
Well chosen rhymes in a meter that flows
Are... dagnabbit... like low fat soy?
I'll always be glad for my wisdom
In setting the bar on the ground.
For very poor poems 'bout nuthin' at all
Are the only ones, bless 'em, I've found.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

After Dinner Poetry (an idea whose time has come)

I cooked you dinner.
It won't make you thinner.
I think it's a winner.
Give me props or I'll kick you in the shinner.

writer and cook: Tiger Lily
last line written by WBP


There's a curtain of rough, tan fabric,
Just beyond the screen, shielding the sun,
Shot through with darker thread for texture,
Two pieces, but drawn together as one.
No one could ever make a dress
Of such a thing as this.  Too rough,
No delicacy. No floral print. 
Just rugged, brown, sun-cutting stuff.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Classics of Poetry

I think that it would be nice to feature some classic poems here every once in awhile.  It should help all us appreciate some of the finer aspects of verse to which I just can't attain.  We'll start with a modern classic by my wife.  It is a snappy couplet, strong on brevity and unvarnished honesty.
Holy crap.
I need a nap.
Join us next time on Classics of Poetry when we will savor the beauty of Wordsworth.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Upon Reflection

I was going through old CDs and they sure can bring back memories.  The one that I'm listening to right now (and which inspires this poem) is Green Day's American Idiot.  One of the things that I remember is how much I identified with it all, thinking it authentic, if not exactly wise.  I think you'll find it terrible.  The  poem, the lifestyle, the worldview.  Just utter crap.  (The music is still enticing, though.)

A thumping drum,
A sucking thumb,
A coke and rum.
There.  You're a bum.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Noodlings on Sight and Necessity

What a foolish bird it is
Who flies into the window pane!
He breaks his neck for want of care
He ends his life for lack of brain.

Or is really quite so neat?
Is 'foolish' really 'lack of sight'?
The thing that killed him wasn't there
Until the bruise brought on the night.

He was winging as his wont
Bound to fly within his ease
Hurtling t'wards an end of ends
As surely's from a dread disease.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thoughts on a Funeral Day

In the grave we lay her down
Beside her husband and her child;
It's been so many years since last
This earth was turned for welcoming.

The child went first at just one day,
A boy who knew not dad nor mom.
His dad came first and now today
His mother comes at last to say,
"I've missed you all these years and cry
Never having seen your smile.
But tears today are full of joy
For finally I meet my child."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just a Thought

I wanna have a baby
Wanna name her Jack,
Take that baby all around
Both yonder and back,
Dress her up in pigtails
And a pair of bibs,
Teach her all 'bout honor,
Not to tell no fibs.
We'll both shoot some squirrels
With our BB gun
And then we'll eat fried chicken
Til we weigh a ton.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jungle Wine

The fruit of the vine is the grape.
The beast of the jungle, the ape.
Thus, jungle wine
Is served in a stein
And throws you about by the nape.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Graveyard Next Door

Just east there's a bunch of the dead
Quietly lying in bed.
The dirt is quite firm,
With complimentary worm,
A veritable graveyard Club Med.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Coffee Cup

A coffee cup
With a stained interior
And dribbles down the side,
With some advertisement or image
Stamped on the side like a tattoo,
This is the substance of the morning hours.
Well, that and the coffee itself, of course.

Elegance never seems a part of it,
Would seem out of place somehow.
The graceful curve of a china cup
Would meet too many clumsy bulls
In those morning hours.
Chips and cracks wouldn't delay.
The fog of it all would cause an accident.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Tractor

As a little boy
I had a tractor. 
I "thppppppddd" that tractor
'Round the floor
And planted the carpet with seed.

Now in my thirties
I rode in a tractor.
It churned along
And lo and behold
The field was planted with seed.

One day, maybe,
I'll drive a tractor.
I'll steer it with both arms
And keep to the middle of the field
Strewing seed hither and yon
(And not crashing!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Supper for the Babe and by the Babe

Take a carrot, cut 'er up
Add an apple, "Hey wassup?"
Add some celery and see
You've made dinner handsomely!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Why are ceilings textured?
Who is it that cares?
I'd like to see a smooth one
If anybody dares.
Smooth and painted orange
With yellow polka dots.
Or royal blue with pinstripes?
Depends who calls the shots.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Bin Laden is dead.
To Allah he's fled.
I'm going to bed.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Let Us Call this Poem, Bacon.

On the eve of the morning all people proclaim,
"Bacon!  All laud the bacon!"
When morning has come and it's time for the game,
"Bacon!  Gimme the bacon!"
When the breakfast is over and the morning chugs on,
"Bacon!  Must needs more bacon!"
If you need some salt meat over which you must fawn,
"Bacon!  You need the bacon!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Dark and Gloomy Days of mid-Spring

When the sun plays coy and stays away,
When the clouds are all you get today,
When the misty air and sodden ground,
The all pervasive damp and gray,
When all this mournful litany
Of Weather Channelicity
Starts to wear and grind you down
It's best to just stop.  Drink some tea.
Sing a song about felicity.
Pound your pillow with your knee.
Growl so deep you lose your frown.
And wait for sunshine to be found.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's a Good Thing This Place Is For Lousy Poems

I am in a funk.
The poems are all junk.
Whaddya think, punk?
"Yer reputation's sunk."

That's not too keen,
But I'm not green.
Don't care if you're mean
Or the poems obscene.

I'll soldier on
Like ol' Ghengis Khan
Destroying verses, man.
That be the plan.

Monday, April 25, 2011


The baby farts.  "What?"
Babies know no shame.
Little animals
For us to tame.
Farting is fine
As far as it goes,
But it leaves the baby
With smelly clothes.


The gears of the car go ka-chunk, ka-chunk,
ka-chunk, ka-chunk,
ka-chunk, ka-chunk.
The gears of the car go ka-chunk, ka-chunk
Every time I drive.

We're taking it to the mechanic.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monday Thursday?

Confusion reigns at Eastertime
Or just some days before.
The Christians call that Thursday Monday.
I'd call that logic poor.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Earth Day Celebration Extravaganza!

Earth Day is coming
I've got to prepare!
Never mind fire.
Never mind air.
Never mind water.
I want to be clear.
They just don't matter;
It's earth that is dear!
So burn down the forests;
Dump crap in the sea;
Fill in the wetlands
With dirt, you see!
Gravel is lovely
And worthy of praise.
I'll roll on the ground
For the rest of my days.

(Just for the record, environmental degradation is bad.  I don't actually support destroying the earth.  I do, however, support poking fun at environmentalists.  Also, this post is not meant to a nuanced argument of any sort.  It is a lousy poem based on two meanings of the word "earth."  Also, the earth doesn't need a special day.  Unless you want to celebrate its birthday.  Would that be creationist?  It's all very confusing.  This is why I just write lousy poems.  They are easier than trying to explain yourself to people with wide-ranging assumptions.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Marriage Traditions (with grammatical hitch in its giddyup)

Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue,
With a shotgun,
By and by,
Lets get married,
You and I.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Absolute Gibberish

Carpet or linoleum?
Synthesis or pure?
Would you rather be John Glenn
Or that old guy John Muir?
Gravel roads or black top?
Well done steak or rare?
What is better for your heart
Love or the state fair?
All these silly questions
Posed without a thought.
Sometimes wonder slaps my head
And says, "What have you wrought?

Friday, April 15, 2011


The wet and the wind
Are like Scotland these days;
I'm hoping the chill
Is but a short phase.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Electric Toothbrush

It turns; oh it whirls!
It attracts all the girls
'Cause my teeth get so white;
I'm forced to take flight!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


What sweet songs enliven
The air out my window
When only I open
And let that air in.

My window's a lever
That calls forth by magic
A soundtrack of nature
By medium of wind.

Dulcet and friendly,
A soft invitation,
A kindly reminder
To let loose and grin.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Will Durant

Will Durant was talking one day
Bout ancient folk who have gone away,
Propounding his philosophay
Dearest Will, I don't buy what you say.
Will Durant wrote the epic "Story of Civilization in eleven volumes.  I first saw it at my grandparents home and was taken in by it.  Having no hope to inherit, I pieced together the volumes over a few years and now enjoy it in my own home.  I once thought history was simply recorded fact.  In reading Durant again I am reminded of how much of it is simply opinion.  Very interesting in any event.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Good books grow on trees,
In a manner of speaking.
I shall buy them all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

...At Least I Hope Not

There's a man on a tractor
Who's out in the field
Spreading some odor
To increase his yield.
The smell in the wind
Is approaching eleven.
It ain't quite the smell
We'll be smelling in heaven.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The baby got a stick today
Right there above his knees,
Purportedly to keep him safe
From sickness and disease.
He cried out loud with clear disgust,
"Et tu Brute? You slug!"
But he's just fine and later on
No doubt he'll eat a bug.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Challenge of the Day

When I have a cup of coffee in the morning
Just as rays begin to make their way
Through the slats of my venetian kitchen,
Or at least the blinds are I-Tie anyway,
I ponder things that I will soon be doing
And hope that they will turn out for the best.
I'll make my way through every bloomin' challenge
And collapse in bed by midnight to get rest.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pining for Summer

The county fair isn't for ages, but something has me in a mind for it.
Are you going to the county fair?
Ice cream, corn, some piggies and sheep?
Remember cash with which to get fat.
Vittles are a true love of mine.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The rolling hills of Ioway
Are likely for awhile to stay
Til soil erosion wipes away
The rolling hills of Ioway.

The corn in fields of Ioway
Is never ever going to stay
'Cause pigs and folks will eat one day
The corn in fields of Ioway.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fly Tape (a reflection in brief prose)

We once visited a farm. 
The farm had flies. 
Many, many flies. 
I blame the cows. 
And their... you know. 
We had had enough. 
We bought fly tape. 
And hung it. 
The flies were curious. 
"What is this hanging thing? 
Sure smells good!" 
And they landed. 
Big mistake. 
"We are stuck!"
Yes, they were stuck.
Tape is sticky.
My cousin was there.
He and I counted the flies.
Their misfortune was fun.
It's okay.
They were only flies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh Susanna (take two)

I've been out of Dodge for the past eight days, leaving just a few poems to pop up from time to time.  I'm glad to be back.  Here's my explanation:

I come from Minnesota
With my baby on my knee
I'm going to Arizona,
My grandma for to see

It snowed all night
The day I left
The weather it was dry
The clouds so thick,
I saw so clear
Susanna, don't you cry

Oh, Susanna,
Oh don't you cry for me
For I come from Minnesota
With my baby on my knee

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Baby Smells

When changing the butt of my baby
I noticed an odor so foul.
In spite of myself, my belly did hurt
And distress ruled the roost in my bowel.
Good gracious, what has he been eating?
Old cabbages stuffed in a fish?
We'd better give him some pleasanter things
Like pot pourri out of a dish.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


What makes a hard man
Humble?  One night in Bangkok.
Quick humility.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Man's Best Friend?

I had a dog named Fido
He wasn't very nice.
Maybe 'cuz of flatulence
Or maybe 'cuz of lice.
Every day he'd growl,
Menacing and low.
Then he'd scratch his flea-bit ears
And pass some wind below.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gravel (A poem that is brutally lousy... on purpose.)

What is gravel
But some rock bits
Tossed about like...
Uh... bits of rock?

What is beach sand
But some teeny
Weeny Little
Tiny, uh... rock?

Friday, March 18, 2011


What would a waist curtain be?
But a skirt that goes down past your knee!
And a sweater that hangs on your wrist?
Is a mitten that warms up your fist!
A head sock, it is quite clear to most,
Is worn to make craniums toast.
And windows that sit on your nose?
With blinds that restrict where light goes?
And protection from UV ray blows?
Are sunglasses, as everyone knows!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Scandinavian Limerick

There once was a poem from Sweden
Which had all the rhymes it was needin'.
Except at the end
For when it did wend
To the end it had nothing to rhyme with.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Morning

Fog in the morning
Covering the gravestones
Frosting up the pine trees
Bringing down the sky.

Wind, somewhat later
Mixing with the sunshine
Burning off the low clouds;
Blowing them away.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Temptation to Choose

Pleasure or certainty, darkness or light,
Apples or oranges, safety or fright,
These are the things that will tempt us at night.

Caring for others and wanting the right,
Shrinking from others, the lonely one's plight,
Tempting to stand fast and tempting to flight.

Make some decisions; they're all black and white.
Grasp indecision; the choices are blight.
Choose to set free?  Or choose to indict?  

"Life is but choices," the thinking one might
Start to conclude, in his thoughts, erudite,
But that would be hopelessly, foolishly trite.

Temptation would have us believe that we choose,
Sifting our options to win or to lose,
Autonomous selves lost in Kantian muse. 

What self-absorbed twaddle!  What bile! What hell!
Hopeless Pavlovians, slaves to the bell. 
Bound to decide, and choose poorly as well.

"Who will rescue me from this body of death?"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Crush some garlic; crush a bug
Crush the tyrant; he's a thug.
Crush the grapes to make some wine
"Crush", a soda that's just fine.
Crush, the shallow love of youth.
Crush, a job assigned your tooth.
Crush a beetle, though it stinks;
Crush a cockroach if it winks;
Crush the bugs that eat the crop;
Crush a union; make it pop!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Do You Get When You Go There?

I went to the store to get some milk,
But instead I got a cow.
I went to the Left to get some peace,
But instead I got a row.
I went down south for to get some heat,
But I ended up with stroke.
I went to the bank to get some cash
Then I ended up quite broke.
I half expect if I go to church
That I'll end up all abased.
I'd rather go to receive my Lord
And to get well and truly graced.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Seeming Non Sequiturs (Rhymeless and Proud)

There's carpet under my feet.
Not quite shag, but plenty comfy
And less orange.

There's a ladybug flying about
Off in the other room.
Seems to like the light.

And that's what passes
For my self-reflection these days.
Thank God.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


John, from A View from Behind the Curtain, writes a poem about streaks today.  Naughty man that I am, I couldn't help but think of "streaking."  Here is my offering on the matter.

The suddenly nude man
Galloped across the turf
Like a wee, tiny horse.

That poets wrote poems
Besmirching his manhood
Goes without saying, of course.

Stand Back. I'm Going to Try Science!

He looks out the window and what does he see?
Five thousand molecules begging to be
Free from electrons or protons or... what?
Science confuses and makes ill his gut.
Better to live in impeccable dark
Than talk about science and jump some dumb shark quark.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Be Nice to Stray Monkeys

When monkeys are romping
All over your rooftop
It's better to ponder
Than flip out and yell.
I know this for certain
Cause one of my buddies
Just busted a gasket
Then a poor monkey fell.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Belly button rings.
Safety-belt legislation.
Rosie O'Donnell.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Birds

The collegial birds are determined.
By the side of the road they shall meet.
Shoulder side chit chats are better by far
Than any mid-field meet and greet.
What they're discussing I'm not certain
It might be the snow in the West.
But when I draw near, they fly off in fear.
It appears I'm a pest not a guest!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Fairytale

Once upon a time, in a land far away...

There lived a baby who cried when it was nap time.  It could not be said that the baby was a generally ill-tempered thing incapable of sleep for, come evening time, he resembled a log which had been hit over the head with a soporific stick with lead inlay.  That is to say, at the right time he could sleep just fine.  But in the afternoon he mounted resolutely on his soap box and preached hellfire and brimstone to the ones who had put him in such a predicament.  "You'll all be made to suffer!" he cried out with such force that his throat grew ragged, lending yet more pathos to the whole presentation.  Nevertheless, his parents ignored his dire threats, not moved by "decibel" blackmail and unwilling to negotiate with terrorists.  And then the cute little brute fell asleep.

The End.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Conversation

"That's one fine dining table" the man said,
"'Though it might be nice with a coat of red
Paint to really make 'er pop and warm up."
"Why thank you kindly old codger.  A pup
Like me needs some winsome words of wisdom
To counteract all that prattling pablum
One hears these days.  And advice on paint?  Why
That's just perfect for someone who can't spy
The difference between brown and green.  Or so
Says my wife at any rate!  Say hello
To your own, by the way.  She is a fine
Woman, your wife.  Her radiance makes you shine!"
"Duly noted, Pastor.  And you are quite
Right.  Surely she's a right beautiful light."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cancellation Due to Freezing Rain

Slick and slippery
Rain on the road,
Calling off church,
Staying in our abode.
None to happy
But it's better than "Crash!
Dust to dust
And ash to ash."

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Ugliness of the Inward Gaze

To look inward
Is to slowly rot.
Bathes in nasal snot.
Thoughts of grandeur
Large, when entertained,
Shrink to littleness
On the main.


People sometimes talk 
'Bout the ravages of time,
Leading one to think
That time tears things apart.
But then they turn around 
And say another thing,
That time will heal all wounds
And bind up every heart.
It seems to me that time
Is hopelessly confused
Grinding up the weak
While loving on the meek.
What's a man to do
Who's subject to this whim?
Just trust that time is null,
Thank God that it is void.
For he will bear my wounds
And heal my broken heart
When one day I'm beset
And tempted to cry, "Fate!"
Time will fade away;
Law will rue the day.
Mercy will prevail.
And God is all in all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Aged Steak

When you age a steak,
Just how old are we talkin?
'Cause past a certain time
And I just might be balkin'.
Don't want my steak a teenager
Or pushing fifty-one.
I'd rather have some fresher meat.
Less rancid is more fun!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Picture Framing These Days

I want to get a picture framed
To put it on my wall.
But when I look for framing shops
There's not one here at all!
I'll have to drive for miles on end
Or put it in the mail.
Maybe I'll just tack it up
And write the caption, "Fail?"

Saturday, February 12, 2011


It's cold in the morning
When Faith's not around.
I'd rather keep sleeping
Until she was found.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'm all alone
My wife has left
To Minnesota
I'm bereft
I'll soldier on
Til Saturday
When she comes home
Then I'll say, "Yay!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Ice Weasels

The ice weasels come when it's cold outside
And the wind begins to blow.
They scratch their claws on your windowpanes
So the fear in you starts to grow.
They howl little songs that are out of tune
Til your ears begin to whine,
"Save us, we beg, from these wrathful thugs
Or we'll surely end up dyin'."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I went to see old Esther
Today at half past one.
So pleased was she to see me,
We talked past setting sun.
She shared some cake, some coffee too,
Regaled me tale by tale,
Til finally at midnight
I finally had to bail.
The visit was quite a hoot.  It turned out that it was her birthday and guests kept arriving.  She was just so pleased she could hardly contain herself.  The elderly need more visitors, more often.  I felt very privileged to be a part of it all today and especially privileged to give her the Lord's Supper.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


When the Packers win
I start to grin
As laughter bubbles
From within.
I dance a happy
Jig and then
I dance that happy
Jig again!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Horse

I once had a horse with a toothy grin
And Jo Bob was his name-o.
And Jo Bob was his name-o.

This cheery horse he told good jokes
Not like David Lame-o.
And Lame-o was his name-o.