Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 1 of 28)

Rhymes of all kinds

Retirement is not without Hassles: Trip of a Lifetime #2335

On the 5.5-hour flight from Amman to London, I tried to make poetry of this trip of a lifetime experience. In the process, I used a couple of Arabic expressions like “Habibi” (sweetheart), “Yell-a, Yell-a” (hurry), and “tuf-tufs” (golfcarts).  Ten flights, five countries, and fifty new friends is the only way to sum up this plane, boat, and bus experience, that included a ride on a camel. We went through so many security checkpoints at airports, museums, and historical sites that we were probably overly exposed to harmful x-rays. Tipping was expected to even go to the toilet and aggressive vendors chased us down the street to the boat wherever we went. All this hassle was worth it in seeing these unbelievable wonders of the world. 

Among the surprising guests on the Viking riverboat cruise was a couple from my wife’s small Indiana hometown of Rochester. I thought the pyramids would be the highlight but instead it was Petra. We brought home souvenirs from the Cairo Marketplace, a Carpet Weaving School, a Papyrus painting outlet, and a Mosaic craft center, after observing the workmanship that goes into these unique items. Our last stop will be in London, so expect an encore poem, as well. 

Trip of a Lifetime 

Trip of a lifetime,                                                                                    Relics galore.                                                                                        With my “Habibi,”                                                                                  The wife I adore.

Seeing the pyramids,                                                                        A bucket check mark.                                                                  Ending with my return,                                                                  To London’s Hyde Park. 

“Yell-a, Yell-a,”                                                                          Always on the go.                                                                          The X-Ray exposure,                                                                Gave us a glow. 

Early Mornings,                                                                      Shorter slogs.                                                                              Sights to see,                                                                                       No time for blogs.                                                                           

Cairo’s Marketplace,                                                                  And times to pray.                                                                        Museums of yesterday,                                                             And Dead Sea mud play.

Tombs and Temples,                                                                  Pesky flies.                                                                                          But not as aggressive,                                                                    As the vendor guys. 

Pay to pee,                                                                                Another tip.                                                                               Planes, Boats, and Bus,                                                               An epic trip. 

Tuf-tufs, carriages,                                                                       And even a hump.                                                                   Modes of transportation,                                                           Hard on the rump. 

From the scriptures,                                                                        To the throne.                                                                                      So much ancient history,                                                     Carved in stone. 

Nubians, Bedouins,                                                                   Gods and Kings.                                                                      Crusaders, Romans,                                                                   Murders And Flings. 

Obelisks, Cartouches,                                                   Hieroglyphics and Caves.                                                     Mosaics, Mummies,                                                            Mosques and graves. 

Columns, Sculptures,                                                                 Carpet School Mart.                                                                  Egyptian cotton.                                                                   Papyrus art.   

Abu Simbel,                                                                                            A Dam good save.                                                                                  On Mount Nebo,                                                                    Seeking Moses’ grave. 

Luxor Temple treasures,                                                            Camels, goats, and crocodile.                                          Navigating the locks,                                                                     All while dining on the Nile.

The Wonders of Egypt,                                                             And Jordan’s Petra jewel.                                             Lectured along the way,                                                           And even attended school.         

The Avenue of the Sphinxes,                                                          And the Mother of them all.                                                          Viking friends we made,                                                          Fond memories to recall. 

We saw how big the world can be,                                            And how Rochester small.                                                Structures dating back to B.C.,                                              And a modern, seven-story mall. 

The time passed quickly,                                                        With Stonehenge ahead.                                                          Like Egypt’s Great mysteries,                                          “Aliens,” it could be said.

Copyright 2023


Retirement is not without Hassles: Marc’s Party (not at my house) #2302

Many years ago, when I was a boss and Marc was one of my salespeople, I let him throw a party at my home pool. If questioned by management, it was his party – not mine – but just happened to be at my house. It became an annual tradition. Marc and I had a special connection dating back to his teenage years, while I was working for his dad at a Ft. Wayne, Indiana radio station. His old man was one of the toughest and most demanding managers I ever worked for, so I figured that Marc would be a good first hire for me in the Indianapolis television market. Thirty-four years later, Marc is finally leaving the business, and I wanted to contribute something for his retirement party. 

When I write these personalized poems, I realize that there are many inside references, so you may not understand everything about the content. He’s a guy that has followed in my footsteps, replacing me in Lafayette as General Manager and raising his family in Zionsville, a location between the station and Indianapolis. We did business in both places. Like me, Marc also married someone he worked with and left the company (LIN-TV) once they sold the stations where we worked. Regardless, our paths kept crossing through the years, and although he knew and worked with my wife and I knew his, most of our joint interactions were at company retreats, conventions, and promotions where our kids were not present. Plus, he remained in Indiana, while we moved to Illinois, Texas, Oregon, and Florida,

His wife’s name is Lynn, while our company research director was Lynne. I hired her, as well, but he took over where I left off. She is organizing the party and I therefor refer to the three LIN Lynn(e)s in his life. As you can see, we have all be closely interconnected throughout our careers. One one occasion, we all traveled together to Stowe, Vermont for a ski promotion and ended up doing shot-skis (shot glasses attached to a snow ski). After over-doing-it, we selected costumes from the lost-and-found and took some silly photos. The photos were later laminated and used as place mats at our favorite Indy hangout, The Great Divide.


Marc’s Party (not at my house)

April Fool’s Day,

One of my first hires.

And 34-years later.

Marc finally retires.


Your dad was my boss,

And I was once yours.

Following each other,

Forever endures.


One poem per person,

Was my initial vow.

But our paths kept crossing,

As I re-honor you now.


You took my place,


Then back to THR,

Without the LIN tie.


We both chose Zionsville,

For a home to own.

Sam and Peyton,

I’ve barely known.


We’ve “Dickled” together,

Skied coast-to-coast.

Wish I was there,

For this retirement roast.


We both fished off,

The company pier.

Found the loves of our lives,

Co-working so near.


I’ve tried to ignore,

Your history of pranks.

For not picking on me,

I offer my thanks.


Our work intertwined,

With promotional free-bees.

One such great adventure,

Involved multiple “shot-skis.”


We then dressed up,

In silly lost-and-found hats.

The laminated photos,

Were Great Divide placemats.


The retirement party organizer,

Along with your LIN-TV wife.

There just weren’t enough,

LIN Lynn(e)’s in your life.


I’ll regret not attending,

And feel like a louse.

But this wild party,

Is not at my house.

Copyright 2023




Retirement is not without Hassles: Wallet Woes #2290

I bought an Alice in Wonderland Limoges on E-Bay to celebrate our 25th anniversary of collecting these unique, porcelain boxes. It ties in nicely with our recent trip to Las Vegas and Disney World. I wrote this poem to recap our adventure, the only downside was a lost wallet. 

Wallet Woes 

Two Adult Playgrounds,

A plane ride apart. 

Night in Orlando,

Is where we start. 


Grand Chateau

Decaturites reunite. 

Bellagio memories, 

Eataly for a bite. 


A bunch of dummies,

At the Fator show. 

Blackjack and slots, 

Stealing our dough. 


Smith and Wollensky

For martinis and scotch. 

Chicago performance, 

No need for a watch. 


Mon Ami Gabi

Then Mott 32

For more nourishment, 

As our appetites grew. 


National Geographic

Mobster foes. 

Neon Boneyard, 

A Hugo’s rose. 


Disney is calling, 

Ratatouille ride. 

Laser finale,

But sleep, we cried.


Where’s Alice?

Time for Tea. 

Buzz and Peter, 

None for free. 


Until Tiger’s hug, 

Nora unimpressed.

The Castle fireworks, 

By far the best. 


It’s a retirement trip,

We won’t soon forget. 

We kept our shirts, 

But lost a wallet.

Copyright 2023





















Old Sport Shorts: Roll Tide #2255

I am a hardcore sports fan, but it’s rare when I don’t write about my favorite teams. There are too many times when I’ve wished I’d picked winners to support. I shunned Notre Dame growing up because their fans were obnoxious, spoiled winners. I was fortunate that Indiana University had so many good teams in numerous sports throughout the years.

On last year’s road trip, I stopped by Tuscaloosa, Alabama to see my half-sister, and she graciously took us on a tour of the campus where she works. The University of Alabama is far enough away that I don’t have to put up with their undoubtedly ugly fans. The campus is apparently haunted as the former site of an experimental psychiatric hospital. Plus, I’m sure the ghost of Paul “Bear” Bryant still has a presence, especially on game day. As a fan, my half-sister always ends her notes to me with, “Roll Tide,” so I wrote this poem for her:

Rock, and Roll Tide

In Tuscaloosa,

They’re on a roll.

And hope to rock you,

With the winning goal.


Their mascot,

Has a trunk.

Why is that?

I’ve often “thunk.”


Does it have,

A Red Neck?

Or say Y’ALL?

With due respect.


“Big AL” roams the sidelines,

And leads some cheers.

But he’s got wrinkles,

And Elephant ears.


The campus ghosts,

Come out to play.

And join Bear Bryant,

For each game day.


The fans are pumped,

The stands are packed.

Soon Twenty titles,

Could be a fact.


But Tigers and Bulldogs,

Get in the way.

Gators and Razorbacks,

Think they can play.


They’re led by a man,

Known as Saint Nick.

He’s won seven trophies,

With a temper that’s quick.


Volunteers and Rebels,

Try to compete.

Aggies and Wildcats,

Can’t take the heat.


The red wave is coming,

That will strike them all down.

And all these imposters,

Will be run out of town.


What’s a War Eagle?

Or a Commodore?

Gamecocks extinct,

And Rebels no more.



A special place.

A hundred thousand,

Party space.


Script “A” and Circle,

The logo to wear.

“Dixie’s Football Pride,”

Where losses are rare.


When you go into battle,

Be on the right side.

‘Bama forever,

Rock, and Roll Tide!

Copyright 2023

Retirement is not without Hassles: Nicest Trailer #2246

For the first time since our Alaska and Hawaii travels, I got back in the pool today for a short swim.  I had turned the heater temperature down to save a few bucks back in late November and just cranked it up a few days ago. I could begin to tell the difference in my arms from not following up on my run each morning with a few laps of the breaststroke. At my age, muscle mass begins to deteriorate, and the underarms become flabbier. 88 pushups every morning are not enough anymore to keep my upper body firm. I was inspired at an early age to do push-ups every day, a lesson taught by an elderly gentleman, who was probably younger than me at the time and a friend of my grandfather’s. He lived in the same Englewood, Florida mobile home park as my grandparents, Ross and Grace Hancher. I’ve done this exercise nearly every day since I can remember, following Mr. Kaufman’s wise advice. 

My routine every morning includes a quick dog outing, stretching, sit-ups, pushups, and a 3.1-mile run, followed by the swim that I’ve added since buying our Florida home nearly two-years ago. I somehow settled on 88-pushups as my daily goal, but I’m not sure why I stopped short of 100. It would not be difficult to do 12 more, but like any day-after-day task, you simply get into a routine. I used to be able to do hundreds at a time and once drove my Sigma Chi fraternity brothers nuts by relishing what they thought was pledge punishment. “Thank you, sir, may I do another?” I would smile and effortlessly meet their challenge to the point where it would no longer be satisfying to administer. 

Every morning I now do the Mr. Kaufman challenge, long after he has been gone from this earth. I ran across his obituary years ago but failed to find it again at the time of this writing.  He lived in what I always thought was the “nicest trailer in the park,” with a view of Lemon Bay. Most importantly, he was the kindest man who treated my sister and I like his grandkids when we visited. He took us fishing, on boat rides, and to the park. 

I like to write silly poetry, and although the following is not in any way a reflection of Mr. Kaufman or the Bay Palms Trailer Park where he and my grandparents lived in the winter months, it was inspired by how many people too often stereotype mobile home living. Although it no longer exists today, the beautiful property where these folks once inhabited is now a public park. Their homes were immaculately kept, and they were the nicest people you could ever meet, not the crude portrayal that I present:

The Nicest Trailer in the Park

I own the nicest trailer,
In the whole damn Park.
Though it looks better,
After it gets dark.

Cause then you can’t see,
All the rust and dents.
But a newer model,
Just makes no sense.

There’s an elderly couple,
That lives down the way.
They own the lot,
That sits on the Bay.

Nice landscaping,
A new doublewide.
But unlike mine,
No bar inside.

A big satellite dish,
Doesn’t sit in their yard.
And they don’t have,
A junk yard dog.

No car on blocks,
No stray cat.
No bird droppings,
On the welcome mat.

These are the things,
That make it mine.
Home Sweet Home,
As it says on the sign.

It keeps the rain out,
Though the roof may sag,
The frig keeps the beer cold,
And the carpet’s shag.

The floor’s not level,
Cause one tire’s flat.
And underneath,
Lives a big old rat.

The lock is broken,
And my neighbor is a jerk.
Gray tape fixed one,
And the other doesn’t work.

The bugs can’t get out,
I’ve patched the screens.
As you can see,
I live over my means.

It’s a prime lot,
With the best view.
She’s a sight to see,
But a mother of two.

Indoor plumbing.
Is one of my goals.
Right after I repair,
Those bullet holes.

The maid hasn’t been here,
Since I can remember.
The lights are still up,
But it’s not December.

It’s paid for you know,
Though the propane is low.
And when I want to move,
I’ll just get a tow.

There are curtains to hang.
And bed bugs to kill.
For the lucky person,
Who’s in my will.

So, bill collectors,
Don’t come a knockin’.
Especially when,
My trailer’s rockin’

Copyright 2011

Also See Post #124





Retirement is not without Hassles: Cupcake #2232

The evidence of Christmas Day is gone. Wrapping paper, empty boxes, bottles, cans, and cards have been recycled. The duck bones and remnants of the meal are on their way to the dump, with a few leftovers in the refrigerator. It’s so nice to once again have a working fridge in the kitchen. We no longer have to go to the garage now that it has finally been repaired – all the modern conveniences of home.

Gift giving was at a minimum this year after our trip to Kauai. I got a pair of socks and a new Kindle. Traditionally, I get my wife a Limoges Box each year and write a poem that’s stored inside. A porcelain cupcake was under the tree with a personal tribute to the pet-name I gave her many years ago – “Sweetie Pie”:


Tis the Season,

For candied scents,

Sugar Plums,

And Peppermints.


Pumpkin Bars,

Christmas cheer.

Gooey treats,

From the Chocolatier.


Slice of Key Lime,

Jamocha shake.

Recipes shared,

Goodies to bake.


Schweddy Balls,

Gum drops.

Peanut Brittle,

Lolly pops.


Cookie Monster’s,

Resistance weak.

Means dental care,

Early next week.


Let’s ice the cake,

And make Nazook.

Lick the bowl,

And kiss the cook.


These are a few,

Of my favorite things.

Outside of pizza,

And Wild Wings.


But the best of all,

Is Sweetie Pie.

Cupcake goodness,

Only mine to try.

Copyright 2022






Retirement is not without Hassles: Island Christmas #2224

I bought a new/used computer, so most of my editing and posting issues are now behind me as I get back into the daily blog routine. I’ll start with this poem that summarizes our trip to Kauai where we dealt with some plumbing problems in our on-the-surface luxury resort:

Island Christmas 

A plunger by the toilet, 

And buckets to flush. 

Cheap toilet paper, 

But the condo was plush. 


Dancing Santa, 

There to greet us. 

No sign of Dinosaurs, 

That might eat us. 


A beautiful view, 

But screaming brats. 

Mother and daughter 

Poolside chats. 


Grumpy old man, 

And “broken face.” 

The tooth can be fixed, 

The first-not the case. 


A catamaran tour, 

With a puke nuke. 

Trampoline fun, 

Dinner with Duke. 


Looking to find, 

A Dive Bar clue. 

Nature abounds, 



Dolphins jumping, 

SEA Turtles to SEE. 

Food and gas costly, 

But the Hula Pie free. 


World Cup Soccer, 

Chess to play. 

Waterfalls and rainbows, 

Though too much grey. 


“Wettest Spot on Earth,” 

The sign read. 

Gallons of wine, 

Early to bed. 


Spam for lunch, 

Too many hot dogs. 

Mini Van chariot,  

Flattened frogs. 


A wad of wasabi, 

By mistake one night. 

Hanalei Bay, 

A “magical” sight. 


Puka Dogs, 

Tiki torches. 

Folding glass panels, 

To ocean-side porches. 



Too many vowels. 

Code Name teams, 

Feathered Fowls. 


Secret beach, 

And elevator. 

We finally got here, 

Two Years later. 


Pipes third-world, 

At our first-rate resort. 

Family Christmas, 

But Time was too short. 


“Mele Kalikimaka” 

copyright 2022

Retirement is not without Hassles: Shot Crazy #2214

With my wife sick on the couch as a reaction to her third booster, I couldn’t help but think about the notion of whether or not these shots are really worth it? She was sicker from the reaction than she was from when we both came down with Covid. My only aftereffects from this shot was a sore arm.

After yesterday’s Turkey and Tequila poem, I apparently had Tequila on the mind and wrote another to pass away the time on a quiet afternoon:

Shot Crazy

A shot for this,
A pill for that.
We’re nothing more,
Than a lab rat.

A prick here,
A Band-Aid there.
The flu bug,
The Covid scare.

How about shingles?
Pneumonia yet?
How about your dog,
Have you seen the vet?

The common cold,
Can’t help you there.
And we don’t have a cure,
For losing your hair.

May I have another?
Are they two-for-one?
After this next booster,
Am I finally done?

Did you have a reaction?
We’ve got nothing for that,
And we don’t have a remedy,
For fighting fat.

Has swept our nation.
We’re all hooked,
On Vaccination!

Don’t make me bend over,
Not in the butt.
The need for a needle,
Has us all in a rut!

If there’s a shot,
To heal ya.
Forget the others,
Make mine Tequila.

Copyright 2022


Retirement is not without Hassles: Turkey & Tequila #2213

I got my third Covid booster yesterday. It follows last month’s flu shot while the pharmacist also asked about pneumonia and shingles shots. All I ever wanted was a shot of Tequila. Years ago, a group of friends would get together around Thanksgiving for what we called “Turkey & Tequila.” One of them recently commented that “it sounded like a potential  Kenny Chesney song.” I don’t write songs but I do dabble with poetry, so I responded with this:

Turkey & Tequila

When Thanksgiving comes,
Guests don’t want Sangria.
Nothing’s better with turkey,
Than a bottle of tequila.

The turkey’s meant,
To fill ya’.
While Tequila’s buzz,
Will thrill ya’.

Turkey and Tequila,
A combo like no other.
But never served,
By my mother.

So, pass the gravy,
Salt and limes.
And get ready,
For good times.

Give me a leg,
You prefer the thigh.
How does Anejo,
Go with pumpkin’ pie?

But don’t go choke,
On that turkey bone.
Wash it on down,
With a shot of Patron.

Have no regrets,
Now will ya’?
Don’t drink so much,
It kills ya’.

Blue Agave’s,
Known to heal ya’.
And when distilled,
You have Tequila!

If the alcohol don’t,
The worm will keel ya’.
That’s the reason,
It’s called “Te-kill-YA.”

I’ll have seconds,
What a meal (yum)!
Let’s give thanks,
For Turkey & Tequila.

Copyright 2022


Retirement is not without Hassles: Cruisin’ & Boozin’ #2176

The much anticipated poem to summarize our recent lengthy excursion to Alaska and Hawaii:

Cruisin’ & Boozin’

First Class to Portland,
Are we set to sail the seas?
Already second thoughts,
Do we really want to freeze?

Time with Family,
Falco and Ham.
Lunch with buddies,
Suitcases to cram.

Nike campus tour,
Former haunts to rove.
Mitch has in-law-itis,
Megan with no stove.

Vancouver Sheraton,
For a pre-cruise rest.
But Wanted in Canada,
For evading a Covid test.

First stop for Totem poles,
Mendenhall Glacial ice.
Berg bits float by,
Scenery meant to entice.

Outdoor kitchen taking shape,
But mighty Ian on the way.
Helpful neighbors chipping in,
While out cruisin’ Glacier Bay.

Suddenly no power,
As hurricane winds blow.
But we’re got full stomachs,
At another onboard Show.

Taking in Munch Moments,
Seeing a Brown Bear live.
Sea Lions and otters,
As flooding rains arrive.

More Manfredi’s pasta,
Or a Chef’s Table treat.
When we get home,
There’s nothing to eat.

We still have a pool cage,
As we tour Valdez.
Another glass of wine?
Just find Tally please!

Cooking classes,
Champs at Bridge..
But spoiling food,
In our bad fridge.

Alaska is so beautiful,
From our comfy deck.
But our resort community.
Is an awful wreck.

Russian churches,
Grey Whale bones.
Mountain views,
No web or phones.

Puffins and eagles,
So much beauty to see.
Even some blue skies.
Where’s your ID?

The whales are jumping,
The ship badly rocking.
Hold on tight,
Seven days without docking.

Once we left Alaska,
The wildlife took passes.
The only Big Fish spied,
Were thru 3-D glasses.

Fake ABBA and Beatles,
Films on the BIG screen.
Surrounded by water,
Nothing green.

Land ahoy,
Kauai catamaran.
Surfing Dog,
Still fading tan.

Vacation Club scout,
Movie scenes.
Frig out at home,
Shorts not jeans.

Fleetwood memories.
Tender to Oahu,
Calm seas, Palm trees.

Last Stop,
Aloha Clock.
Red Eye home,
Jet Lag Shock.

But with our credits,
We Booked another.
Using Father Viking,
And Marriott Mother.

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