Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 1 of 27)

Rhymes of all kinds

Retirement is not without Hassles: Mother M #2024

A Happy Mother’s Day to all. I honored my wife with a Cracker Barrel lunch, her favorite, and a poem recapping our 21st Anniversary trip to Singer Island. It may be more of a tribute to Mother Marriott than my loving wife, since she isn’t my mother or the mother of my child. She does have two beautiful daughters of her own that are thousands of miles away, so I wanted to do something for her on this special day. 

I do make a reference to “rings” in this poem because I used to buy her lots of jewelry. Every anniversary occasion I would ask her to “marry me again?” She would always hopefully say “yes, but where’s the ring?” Unfortunately, I no longer have diamonds in the retirement budget, so we settled on this two week long cross-Florida trip. The only rings I could afford this year were Onion Rings at the poolside restaurant. 

Mother M

We drove cross-state,
For time together.
It wasn’t like seeking,
Warmer weather.

Tally couldn’t go,
We met old pals.
Hoosier Neighbors,
And a Pi Phi gal.

Jetty’s Lighthouse,
And Conchy Joe’s.
The rest of the time,
Had sand in our toes.

Netflix and Chill,
Billions and Ozark.
We never saw a gator,
Or even a shark.

Dinner at The Breakers,
For Lobster and steak.
After too much company,
We needed a break.

Live Aid memories,
And other BFF things.
On The Rocks,
For anniversary “rings.”

Unlike the old days,
When a finger it fit.
All you got this year,
Was a beach chair to sit.

A pricy seat,
On Singer Isle.
Two oceanside weeks,
Mother Marriott style.

Twenty-One years,
Since we said, “I Do.”
We didn’t do much,
From our lofty view.

Poolside Bingo,
But we don’t win.
Out of Haagen-Dazs,
Ham Salad again.

After all of these years,
Loving you is still a thrill.
And on our way home,
My Coke didn’t spill.

Happy Mother’s Day 2022
Love, MikeL

Retirement is not without Hassles: Deniseciation #2009

Twenty-one years of marriage on National Pot Day 4/20. We’re making the drive to Singer Island to celebrate this special occasion. Here is the poem I wrote in honor of my wife, a salute to the very first one I gifted her titled “De Feet, De Nose, De Toes” – long before I ever started penning this blog:


Twenty-one Years,
Plus a few more.
You’re the one person,
I absolutely adore.

A fabulous cook,
With little credit.
“No appreciation,”
There, I’ve said it.

I’m not so good,
At compliments.
And even worse,
At common sense.

I don’t appreciate,
What I’ve got.
When it comes to you,
My wife is hot.

Beauty and class,
My silver fox.
I miss the cues,
When opportunity knocks.

I’m well fed,
And greatly loved.
But thanking you,
I’ve badly flubbed.

You’ve built us,
A beautiful nest.
And filled it with,
Only the best.

I’m a lucky man,
With you at my side.
My life’s best move,
Making you my bride.

Yet, I often don’t say,
“I appreciate you.”
And words of love,
Are long overdue.

You’re the Belle,
Of Islandwalk.
As the most desirable,
You’ve defied the clock.

Not just the block,
The whole universe.
All you’ve given me,
I’ve failed to reimburse.

I’m grumpy and gruff,
Not worthy of you.
And I’ve always had,
The better view.

From De Nose to De Toes,
De Best of Sweetie Pies.
I hope that you can see,
De Admiration in my eyes.

Is what I send.
I love you more,
The end.

Copyright 2022

Retirement is not without Hassles: Cousins Unite #1994

Three poems in one day is probably a record but two of them have been in the works for weeks.  I just put the finishing touches on them and submitted them to my blog. I’m not supposed to write about this subject because I was a little vague with my sister about going to meet the cousins or not. At first, I thought that local family matters would interfere with my plans to drive to Bonita Springs. My sister was not included because of health issues and this was disappointing to both of us. We are all connected through my dad’s father, Grandpa J., who passed in 1992, thirty years ago. I am the modern day Grandpa J. 

The restaurant was called Traverna in their Vasari golf club subdivision. The sad and embarrassing moment was when I was shocked to discover that my eldest cousin’s husband passed last year. As a result, I had awkwardly put my foot in my mouth. The visit did inspire me to write the poem, “Dozens of Cousins.” (See Post #1993). They all heard the poems that I wrote for my parents’ funerals and asked if I would do one for our long overdue reunion. I’ve complied in short fashion below. 

Years ago, the family would gather every year at Simonton Lake in Elkhart or at nearby Oxbow Park. We’d have a picnic and play croquet or catch, as was the tradition. The only pleasant get-togethers in recent years have been the girl’s weekend that this year happened to be by our new Florida home. Two men were actually in attendance this year, while my cousin John was not included, and I crashed the party accompanied by my wife. 

By the way, the names may have been changed to protect the innocent – more poetic license. 

Cousins Unite 

Glad we reunited,
At Traverna this year.
The news was mostly good,
Except that one sad tear.

I crashed the “girls” weekend,
And now I must confess.
Glad Al could join us,
Cause I forgot my dress.

Vasari is beautiful,
And we’re not far away.
Maybe we can do it again,
Some other glorious day.

I think of you all often,
As cousins and friends.
Our Grandpa J. connection,
Will thankfully never end.

Though we have many cousins,
You’ll always be our “favs.”
And I refuse to rhyme this,
With the obvious “graves.”

I miss Simonton days,
And even Oxbow Park.
Sadly, our reunions,
Have been left in the dark.

But the Florida sun,
Brought us together.
While John was stuck,
In Hoosier weather.

Copyright 2022

Diary of an Adoptee: Dozens of Cousins #1993

I spend a lot of time on and other DNA sites hoping to find answerers about being a lovable bastard. I’ve built a family tree of nearly 40,000 ancestors, most of whom have unfortunately taken their earthly knowledge to the grave. My initial hope was to find physically-like relatives, thinking this would somehow satisfy my curiosity. I have found and spoken with several understanding half-sisters and now have photographs of my birth father that passed eleven years ago. I am happy to report that there is a common resemblance. The bio-mother and her family remain unresponsive after claims that all this scientific, hospital, and adoption agency evidence that I have is incorrect. Apparently, my birth never happened, so may childhood fantasies of being born to a Queen may still be true. In my poem that I wrote today, this too is an example of poetic license, along with another reference to heaven above:

Dozens of Cousins

We all have a mother,
But I have had two.
One that gave birth,
Another I well knew.

My family adopted,
Without D-N-A..
While others genetic,
Strangers to this day.

Aunts and Uncles,
There were dozens.
And my family tree,
Shows plenty of cousins.

All were related,
But some through genes.
No, not denim,
By scientific means.

I grew up not knowing,
The difference between.
And once fantasized,
I was born to a Queen.

I got plenty of love,
And everything I wanted.
But something was missing,
And so I hunted.

I needed to see,
Physical resemblance.
Thinking that life,
Would then make sense.

But the bio mom,
Now claims who?
And her lover,
Had no clue.

There are pictures,
And siblings, too.
But they won’t replace,
The relatives I knew.

Cousins I grew up with,
And parents full of love.
A sister that I lived with,
And grandparents now above.

Familiarity is everything,
Genes don’t mean a thing.
I’m grateful for my life,
But it started as a fling.

Copyright 2022 


Retirement Is Not Without Hassles: The End #1992

It’s been over a month since I wrote my last poem and that was a recap of our trip to Key West (See Post #1960). I haven’t spoken from the creative heart for some time (See #1934) and that was not of a rhyming nature. Today, I wrote two in an attempt to play catch-up from my goal of one a month. The first will be #258 on this blog under the category of poetry, and it is not to be interpreted as suicidal. In fact, I’m not really convinced their is a heaven, let alone a gate. This is called poetic license. 

“Let’s Get This Over With” is a phrase I too often use jokingly with a mutual friend to show my general impatience or discomfort in an unfamiliar setting. I’m definitely not one to smell the roses and consequently miss the beauty of life. Every year on my resolutions, I promise myself to see the beauty in life, but I sadly live too much in a hurry. 

The End

Let’s get this over,
Is my first thought.
I’m not sure when,
This notion was taught,

There must be a flaw
In my D-N-A.
That makes me rush,
My life away.

I prefer to look back,
Rarely forward.
To fill all the blanks,
On the scoreboard.

I have no patience,
Can’t wait till the end.
I need to see,
Around every bend.

If life was a book,
I’d read ahead.
I’d scan the last page,
To see what was said.

If instead a movie,
I’d cut to the quick.
Skip to the good parts,
And finish the flick.

Forget slow motion,
It takes too long.
Push fast forward.
And speed life along.

I can’t wait to start,
Now, where’s the conclusion?
Showing restraint,
For me, an Illusion.

I eat just as fast,
Always in a rush.
Never a trickle,
Give me a gush.

I like a short-cut,
To the Checkered flag.
To wait for Christmas,
Was always a drag.

No time to smell roses,
Or savor the flavor.
Get to the punch line,
Do me a favor.

Save all the details,
For someone who cares.
Don’t try to embellish,
Or attempt to split hairs.

I’m in a hurry,
Life is too short.
Give me the answers,
Not a boring report.

All that I want,
Is the FINALE.
Let’s get to the end,
No need to dally.

Get it over with,
I just can’t wait.
Show me what’s next,
At Heaven’s Gate.

Copyright 2022

Retirement is not without Hassles: Key West #1960

Here is the wrap-up poem for our adventure to Key West – most of the details are found in the previous four posts (See #1956, #1957, #1958, and #1959):

Key West 

High speed ferry,
Key West and back.
Marriott Beachside,
Bags to pack.

We’d had a better,
View of the sea.
If it weren’t for,
My missing ID.

Then we encountered,
A disagreeable zinger.
And my tongue got caught,
In the washer’s wringer.

Alonzo’s dinner,
Conch fritters.
Everywhere around,
Those Rooster critters.

One eventually,
Went after you.
Jumped on your back,
Cock A Doodle Doo.

Six-toed cats,
A manatee!
So much to see,
On the Key.

Southernmost Point,
Scarlet and Rhett.
Spanish Treasure.
Mallory Square Sunset.

Floating Tiki huts,
Boardwalk Moonlight.
Truman retreat,
Where’s the cockfight?

River taxis,
Shuttle stops.
Conch Express,
Flip flops.

Blue Heaven,
Oysters raw.
Shrimp Fettuccini,

Toes in the sand,
Key Lime Pie.
Papa Hemingway,
What a Guy!

Duval Street.
Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream,
For a late night treat.

Sloppy Joe’s,
More French fries.
Fancy yachts,
Seagull cries.

We’ll go back,
For what we missed.
And as for the argument,
We made up and kissed.

copyright 2022


Retirement is not without Hassles: Love is Immortal #1934

I realize that most of my posts this week have not been necessarily humorous, as is my writing goal every morning. After all, I should be in a good mood after such a brilliant game (or at least first half) that I.U. played in defeating conference foe Penn State, but I’ve been troubled with serious matters like finance, death, family, and neighborhood issues. Life is not always a “Box of Chocolates,” as Forrest Gump’s Mom might remind him. I actually watched a Tom Hank’s movie, Cast Away, this week on Free Form out of boredom. It was his serious side of acting and something I hadn’t watched in a long time. 

I’m actually getting an early start to this blog because we’re picking up friends at the airport this morning. It will be a shortened run on day 4,779 of The Streak. “Run, Forrest, Run.” I’m borrowing my son’s car for the weekend, so we’ll have plenty of room for luggage and guests. We have dinner reservations and games to watch, as one of our guests is a former I.U. basketball player. Blogging my not be as automatic each morning with my home routine gladly disrupted. 

On Matinee Monday, we saw the movie, The King’s Daughter, because that’s how we usually start every week of retirement and since it’s still free! We had seen most everything else, and this one turned out to be a bit of a surprise, with memories of our visit to the Palace of Versailles a few years ago. It was not a historical piece as expected but instead a fantasy about mermaids and their gifts of healing immortality. The phrase, “Love is Immortal,” struck my wife as very romantic and inspired some poetry on my part. It’s not the usual sing-song, humor that I write, but rather a reflection on the word IMMORTALITY and its impact on long-standing relationships like ours:

I Love You, Sweetiepie,
More than words can Express.
Measured through years,
Of Knowing the True you.
Real beauty seen inside and out,
Trusting you always to be Mine,
And part of me Forever.
Love for us will Never end,
Immortality is Ours.
Timeless treasured Twosome,
You and I eternally One.

You never really lose someone that you LOVE!


Copyright 2022


Creature Features: Where’s The Change? #1919

As has been customary in recent posts, I’ve included a historical tidbit as part of my daily thoughts. Back in the year 1919, “the USA needed security. Instead, cities experienced “Red Scare” bombings, race riots, workers striking, vets competing for jobs, May Day demonstrations, armed resistance movements and the deportations of 149 people, including political activist Emma Goldman, to Russia. Historians rate 1919 ‘America’s worst year.'” This all according to Wikipedia that is always an easy resource. A Penny for their thoughts!

With my lifelong fascination of finding abandoned coins on the ground I have posted about “Pennies from Heaven” in my ramblings. (See Post #183). In my daily runs, I’ve only found a couple of quarters and a nickel on these new neighborhood streets. Running in downtown Portland was an entirely different experience. Much more traffic and parked cars as opposed to construction equipment here. I haven’t found a single penny since we moved here 10-months ago. 

I ran across this poem on Facebook the other day from an anonymous source:

“Found a penny today,
Just laying on the ground.
But it’s not just a penny,
This little coin I’ve found.

Found pennies come from heaven
That’s what my grandpa told me.
He said, “Dog-Angels toss them down.”
Oh, how I loved that story.

He said, “When a Dog-Angel misses you,
He tosses a penny down.
Sometimes just to cheer you up,
To make a smile out of your frown.”

So don’t pass by that penny,
When you’re feeling blue.
It may be a penny from heaven,
That your dog has tossed to you.”


I’ve written about this phenomenon, but always attributed it to a wink from my parents or other angels watching over me (See Post #1594), especially when there was a quarter involved. I just never gave the dogs due credit – shame on me – until I read this poetic tribute. I promise to give a future nod to my former pups like Tinker, Roxie, Belle, Gizmo, Smiley and Brittney. I suppose I should also include the cats, but three coins over ten months makes credit hard to divide. Where’s the Change, Florida?

Retirement is not without Hassles: Djali #1914

Back in the late 1990s, when I first bought Limoges porcelain boxes, they were primarily found at exclusive gift shops, typically locked in glass cabinets. Most of these trinkets were priced around $300, but I was drawn to the hidden hinged-compartment that allowed me to include a ring, gem, or poem and make the offering even more special. My marriage proposal was even delivered inside of one. (See Post #146). I quickly learned the the French words “Peint Main” meant hand painted, so each box is a unique piece of art. They became my gift of choice and over the past twenty years I’ve purchased hundreds. Each contains a customized poem.

My wife and I have traveled to the city of Limoges and often search for them in stores or on-line. The internet has certainly made them easier to find since  outlets like Macys, Bloomingdales, and Gumps no longer stock them. The prices have also become more affordable, especially on Ebay. On the internet, my go-to source for many years has been Groundstrike Collectables, based in Austin. I once had lunch with the owner, Sam, whose ex-wife is a competitor in the business. Then there is Phyllis, who owns Gaslight Collectables in San Francisco that we visit on occasion. Anymore, it’s challenging to find unique Limoges Boxes that we don’t already own or have seen many times before without an interest in buying. 

Disney once had licensed their characters to Artoria, one of the French ceramic manufacturers, but that relationship has since discontinued. They still tend to be in high demand and the most valuable in our collection. Some command price tags in the thousands. Nearly twenty years ago while shopping at Disney World we foolishly passed on buying a couple of pieces while browsing and found them gone when we returned, never to be seen again. We did however purchase Djali, Esmerelda’s pet goat in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. To this day we’re convinced that it was mismarked at only $85 (should have been at least $285). We snatched it up and consider that price to be THE bargain standard for any currently available hinged-box on the market.

Our collection features travel souvenirs, holiday themed pieces, garden knick-knacks, and cartoon characters – to include a few broad categories. My wife spotted one last week at an local antique show and paid the Djali price. Then, we found another on Ebay for half a Djali. Both finds have been added to the collection, accompanied by this hidden poem:

Limoges for Less

Back in the day,
Djali was THE  bargain.
A cheap Disney box,
Authentic “Peint Main.”

Now easier to find,
With the internet.
Discount French porcelain,
Without going in debt.

Two such “deals,”
Were found this week.
Without an occasion,
Or reason to seek.

At an antique show,
Bottled scents.
For eighty-five bucks,
The purchase made sense.

A Mixer on-line,
Was then your desire.
For a mere forty-five,
We became buyers.

We got these djollies,
At a third of the price.
They weren’t free,
But should suffice.

Copyright 2022


Retirement is not without Hassles: Not Easy Being Me #1907

I refer back to Post #1905 that somehow triggered this first poem of 2022. It’s not exactly inspirational nor an accurate reflection of my personal ailments, but portrays the challenges of growing old:

Not Easy Being Me

It’s not easy,
To be old like me.
In a few years,
You too will see.

I’m battery powered,
With hearing aids.
Where did I put those,
Blue-blocker shades?

Need shoes that tie,
And support hose.
Because too often,
Can’t feel my toes.

My arches have fallen,
And can’t get up.
And I drink my wine,
From a Sippy Cup.

What hair is left,
Has long turned gray.
Social Security,
My only pay.

My heart’s still beating,
But my breath is foul.
I’m about ready,
To throw in the towel.

A Chiropractor visit,
My big day out.
This darn foot,
Has a touch of gout.

Lines and creases,
Mark my face.
I buy Advil,
By the case.

A scratchy voice,
Makes me hard to hear.
Losing my balance,
A constant fear.

Muscles that sag,
And wrinkled skin.
A beer gut,
And a double chin.

Glasses are a given,
Cataracts a curse.
Not quite ready,
For a full-time nurse.

A heating pad,
Keeps me warm.
Sore joints,
A nagging norm.

Right and left knees,
Are always stiff.
But the wee-knee,
Is a big IF!

What used to flow,
Now just trickles.
My pot of gold,
Nothing but nickels.

I’m like a Mummy,
In braces and wraps.
And in constant need,
Of extra naps.

If I’m a Grump,
This explains why.
But I’m not ready,
To say Good-Bye.

Copyright 2022

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