Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 1 of 23)

Rhymes of all kinds

Creature Features: Dog and Frog #1511

This is a children’s poem based on our schnauzer, Tally, and a recent encounter with a tiny, harmless thumbnail frog. She actually bit it in half, but this would not have been an appropriate story to tell to an impressionable kid. As a result, I made up a less controversial ending. The dog and the frog are having a conversation in rhyme with the dog speaking in red

Leap of Friendship

This is the story,
Of the dawdling dog,
Who came nose-to-nose,
With a flirtatious frog.

“I like to pause,”
And smell the roses,
And tell me this:
Do frogs have noses?”

“I got a whiff,
Of you, my friend.”
“And with that breath,
You might offend.”

“You stink good, too,
A lot like a fish.
Finding a pal,
Fulfills my wish.”

“A dog and frog,
It makes some sense.
Based on scents.”

“You fear my bark,
Stay out of reach.
I can’t get much closer,
I’m on a leash.”

“You’ve got no Master,
To pull your chain.”
But your croak is a joke,
And my teeth cause pain.”

“You’ve always been,
A puppy dog,
But I was once,
A polliwog.”

“And once had a tail,
Just like you.
Then out of nowhere,
These legs grew.”

“I couldn’t hop,
Once had to swim.
I’m a she,
Are you a him?”

“Well, I can shake,
And even fetch.
I also learned,
To play some catch.”

“But there’s something,
Tickling my nose.
It’s a nuisance,
I suppose.

“I can quickly,
Snatch that fly.
My tongue is quick,
So Say goodbye.”

“You can run fast,
Since you’re a dog.
But you can’t out-swim,
Or out-leap a frog.”

“I’m amphibious,
While you’re grounded.
Why you’re attracted,
Leaves me astounded.”

“Frogs are cool,
Despite no hair.
Your eyes bug out,
When you stare.”

Do you have lips?
Or should we just shake?
Then you can leap,
Back in the lake.

“Though we’re different,
We’ll still be friends.
This story Ends.

copyright 2020



Diary of an Adoptee: Gingko #1491

Fourteen years ago, when my parents were both still alive, the family gathered at a neighborhood park and planted two small trees, including a red maple and a ginkgo. Appropriately, the ginkgo was one of my dad’s favorites, plus he grew up on Maple Street. My sister and I were both adopted by them and had families of our own when the ceremonial planting took place. Since that time the maple has been replaced several times, but the gingko continues to survive. It turns a golden color this time of year. At it’s base, we buried a time capsule that included this poem: 

The Family Tree

May it grow tall,
Roots big and strong.
Branches of love,
Sprout many years long.

Shade in the summer,
Color each fall.
New leaves come spring,
For enjoyment by all.

Where birds will nest,
And squirrels will play.
This truly is,
A magical day.

Only we know it’s special,
For you Mom and Dad.
For all you have given us,
For the good lives we’ve had.

We stand here together,
With the love we all share.
And planting this Ginkgo,
Is a family affair.

The root of our being,
Your marriage has sewn.
From your guidance and love,
Our families have grown.

October 28, 2006
Ginkgo Tree planted especially for Burt
And Cathy Johnston

Copyright 2006

I spoke with my sister yesterday and reminded her of the time capsule and the anniversary of the planting. Her kids were there when we added the contents, but neither of us can remember what was included. She doesn’t live too far from the park, so I’m hoping she can get her kids together and dig it up, maybe add more things before replacing it in its rightful spot. Our parents, Burt and Cathy, both died in 2014, eight years after the tree was planted. There’s a photo that I will dig out for next year’s anniversary. 

I’ve since discovered the identity of my birth parents, so I spend a lot of time with my Ancestry family tree, searching for clues about my existence and genetic ties. However, it’s not nearly as meaningful as this living monument to the people that loved and raised me. I honor them today with this memory of our lives together. Miss you, Mom and Dad!


Retirement is not without Hassles: Insanity #1471

We’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s famous line: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Well, apparently he never said it! However, it doesn’t really matter who said it because the words ring true, as day after day I tend to live in a rut of repetition. Here is a poem to express my recent feelings of boredom:


Day after day,
Of doing the same.
I’m tired of playing,
The Covid game.

Stuck at home,
In a room by myself.
With travel plans,
Sitting on a shelf.

Little to do,
Not much to say.
Wanna get away,
But forced to stay.

A mask on my face,
And sanitized hands.
I miss the crowds,
And seeing live bands.

I’m glad there’s T.V.,
But I’ve seen too much.
I want the comfort,
Of human touch.

I’ve had enough,
Of this isolation.
When can I go,
On a needed vacation?

I haven’t bought a ticket,
For a game or show.
Restaurants closing,
My spirits low.

Schools are shuttered,
We work from home.
Rarely go out,
Don’t need a comb.

Each day a risk,
Of getting sick.
We want a vaccine,
And need it quick.

Unemployment rises,
Income falls.
All we see,
Are the same four walls.

Have another drink,
Take a nap.
Ways to escape,
This pandemic crap.

Everyone’s patience,
Is running so thin.
Doesn’t it feel like,
It’s yesterday again?

Going through the motions,
Growing insane.
Today and tomorrow,
Seem exactly the same.

Copyright 2020

Retirement is not without Hassles: Vampire #1465

It’s time for some Halloween fun, while combating the Covid Curse. I’ve seen some cleaver candy delivering systems to maintain social distancing protocols for brave Trick-or-Treaters. I doubt we will see many this year. We’ll just all eat our own candy, adding to all those pounds we’ve gained these past six months.

It’s been an October tradition over the last twenty-years to gift my wife with a porcelain Limoges Box in celebration of the holiday. However, not all of them have been Halloween themed, so her shelf display only numbers sixteen, as some overlap with Thanksgiving that are still in storage. With the pending move, we’re also not bringing out the other decorations. As a result, Halloween this year for us will be nothing but a  token gift of Dracula with this silly poem hidden inside:


This Limoges coffin,
Your Halloween desire.
A shiny black box,
With a scary vampire.

It sleeps all day,
Sucks blood at night.
Just watch out!
It could well bite.

Big white fangs,
Coat of gray.
Keep the lid closed,
Or it might stray.

A garlic clove,
Or wooden stake.
Keep him at rest,
For everyone’s sake.

Count Dracula,
Long overdue.
October’s gift,
From me to you.

copyright 2020

Retirement is not without Hassles: Ghost of Halloween Past #1449

It’s that time of year when my wife’s Limoges Box display changes from a summer to a Halloween theme. It’s an annual tradition to bring out all the porcelain trinkets that celebrate the season. I hauled the special container out of our apartment storage cage that sadly led to a lot of sneezing on her part after once they were all unwrapped and organized. It was also a reminder that I need to buy a new one for this year. Last year, I purchased a haunted house that was already part of her growing collection. In fact, after twenty years of collecting, it’s hard to keep track of the inventory. I do have a list of over 325 pieces, but obviously I missed the boat last year and ordered a duplicate. 

By the time I sent the original piece back and replaced it with a ghost, Halloween had come to an end. The ghost did not get much shelf time before Thanksgiving and Christmas were upon us. I also failed to write the customary poem that goes inside each hinged box. As a result, the cute little ghost with a Trick-or-Treat bag, was back in storage without a poem in its belly. I put this together quickly to remedy the situation:


Ghost of Halloween Past

This poor ghost,
Hasn’t been fed.
It’s gone a full year,
Without a poem read.

This porcelain spook,
From Halloween Past.
Wants words that rhyme,
And needs them fast.

It’s hungry and lonely,
Been trapped in a cage.
It’s probably haunted,
At least filled with rage.

All the other Limoges,
Have a poem inside.
But this one sadly,
Has been denied.

It arrived late October,
Too tardy to display.
Packed up for a year,
And hidden away.

To make matters worse,
It was an afterthought.
The first one I gifted,
Had already been bought.

It now gets its chance,
To shine on the shelf.
Until it’s replaced,
With a turkey or elf.

Twenty-twenty has been,
A very strange year.
Halloween’s cancelled,
Due to pandemic fear.

We wear a mask every day,
And smoke fills the air.
We venture outside,
Only if we dare.

Trick or Treat Time,
Has come at a cost.
There’s been some bad breaks,
And jobs have been lost.

But many good things,
Have also transpired.
Both of us now,
Are officially retired.

And this ghost moves next,
To our new Florida home.
And maybe by then,
We can travel to Nome.

Copyright 2020

The poem references a broken leg, virus concerns, travel restrictions, job changes, wild fire smoke, and cancelled Trick-or-Treating. We were not able to get into Canada or Alaska as planned this year and our Hawaii trip is questionable. Egypt and Bali were not to be, despite the fact that my wife and I are now both retired and we’re building a new home in Florida. Regardless, Happy Halloween to all!

Retirement is not without Hassles: Write A Poem #1442

I’m not sure where this one came from? I was sitting in the Dallas airport for hours, finishing up some partially written haikus from years past. It evolved into a personal protest against those who will argue with anything. 

Write A Poem 

Doesn’t go my way,
I guess I’ll show ’em.
When I get upset,
I write a poem.

To put my thoughts,
Down on the page.
Clears my mind,
Of anger, even rage.

Words that rhyme,
Calm my soul.
They keep my world,
In firm control.

I try to be funny,
But life’s often not.
Sometimes my words,
Don’t mean a lot.

The power of expression,
Is a wonderful right.
You can make your point,
Without a fist fight.

I choose the pen,
As my weapon.
But have to be careful,
Where I’m steppin.’

Too far to the left,
Or way to the right.
Sometimes the vise,
Can turn too tight.

Sparks can fly,
And tempers can flare.
When everyone agrees,
It’s extremely rare.

In troubled times,
Phrases get twisted.
Battles break out,
Grievances listed.

Some get offended,
When no offense is meant.
Too many times,
A mixed message is sent.

I wish we could all,
Just get along.
But someone would say,
That this is just wrong.

Copyright 2020

Creature Features: Black Bandit #1441

Our little black schnauzer named Tally must have top-of-mind presence. Yesterday’s poem has led to another. I dutifully let her out to do her business first thing every morning and twice in the evening. It seems she should be grateful, but instead she definitely prefers my wife. She’s even reluctant to sleep in good bed on my side of the bedroom. She’s definitely a Mama’s Girl with many nicknames like “Talligator,” “Gator,” “Tally Monster,” and “Tallster.” It suddenly struck me that she’s more like a “Black Bandit,” lurking around our apartment in anticipation of a treat or meal.

Black Bandit

This Black Bandit,
Doesn’t wear a mask.
When it comes to theft,
She’s up to the task.

She’ll steal your heart,
Take your breath away.
“Would you like a treat?”
Is all you have to say.

She’ll expose her tummy,
Like an open book.
Flash the cutest smile,
Give a welcome look.

She would very much like,
To take you for a walk.
Sometimes you suspect,
She can actually talk.

She’ll bite the leash,
To pull you along.
Like you’re doing it,
Totally wrong.

You try to keep up,
While she leads the way.
Then slowly dawdles,
Until spotting a stray.

Smells are codes,
From canine confidants.
To be doggedly deciphered,
Seeking sense from scents.

With jaws like a gator,
She tears up her toys.
And barks for attention,
From the doggie boys.

She lounges in good bed,
Until supper is served.
Awarding her behavior,
That’s much deserved.

When it comes to bedtime,
Ham Time’s the tradition.
And getting extra servings,
Is Tally’s daily mission.

She’s the Black Bandit,
And sneaky like a crow.
The pink tongue an exception,
In color head to toe.

She’s really not a thief,
Just very persuasive.
But when it comes to me,
She tends to be evasive.

Copyright 2020 


Creature Features: Yummy Tummy #1440

When our schnauzer Tinker was alive, she always seemed to inspire a poem. Her younger sister Tally all too often got upstaged. Now that she’s an only dog, I thought it only fair to write some words to describe our all-black pup who is often just a dark shadow in photos (unless she poses on a white rug). Tally rarely pays attention to me, but every once in a while she rolls on her back expecting a Tummy Attack!

Yummy Tummy  

We have a pup,
Who likes attention.
All you have to do,
Is subtly mention.

Would you like,
A Tummy Attack?
She’ll roll over,
On her back.

Her paws in the air,
To urge your hand.
Exposing her belly,
To something grand.

“Please don’t stop,”
You can hear her plea.
The smile on her lips,
Expressing glee.

“A little lower,
And to the right.
You can keep rubbing,
All through the night.”

And when she’s hungry,
There’s more magic rhyme.
“Yummy Tummy,”
It’s dinner time.

Backwards, Upside down,
Then comes the look.
She’s got you,
On the Hook.

She’s a black bandit,                                                                        For scraps or Ham Time.                                                              But stealing your heart,                                                                Is her biggest crime.

Those eyes meet yours,
It’s clearly Pet-nosis.
Tally gets what she wants,
She’s Puppy Precocious.

Copyright 2020

Retirement is not without Hassles: Coast-to-Coast Recap #1438

I like to recap all our trips with a poem to keep the travel memories alive. We drove the 4,000 miles in my wife’s treasured 2005 Lexus SC 430 convertible that she’s nicknamed “Lexie.” It’s now parked in my son’s garage, awaiting our future return. Along the way, we got to visit family in San Francisco, friends in Cambria, and a half-sister in Foley, Alabama. She’s of course, a huge fan of “The Tide.” 

After nearly three-weeks on the “Long Road” I’m back in my home office, poised to be a homebody for a few weeks. I got a new leather desk pad as part of my birthday gifts that also included a questionable pink dress shirt with a shark pattern. My run this morning was refreshingly cooler with little humidity but smoke in the air from the tragic area forest fires. I’m also still drinking water – not Diet Coke, still hoping to reduce my visits to the men’s room – the curse of old age. 

The Long Road

The first few nights,
We stayed at the Ritz.
A big step up from,
A room at the Schitt’s.

The Pacific fog,
Was really smoke.
Was our A/C,
Really broke?

Miranda and Ben,
Dining by the Bay.
Where no one can see,
The Giants play.

Moonstone Landing,
Hearst for wine.
Cambria friends,
And an “Antiques” sign.

Desert highs,
And Birthday dessert.
“Why don’t you like,
Your pink shark shirt?”

Through fires, heat,
and a hurricane.
Determined to retrieve,
The Weathervane.

Mother Marriott,
And swimming pools.
Friday Night Lights,
With local high schools.

Roadrunner sighting,
Cars are rare.
Prada Store,
Middle of nowhere.

Marfa Lights,
Giant James Dean.
Border Blimp,
Paisano scene.

Austin reunions,
Congress Street.
Ranch Six-One-Six,
Our favorite to eat.

Favorite Sister,
Throwed Rolls,
Paula Deen,
Florida tolls.

Island Walk Venice,
Site of our build.
The Long Road ends,
We’re very thrilled.

Not one Diet Coke,
Along the way.
Golf and swimming,
Grandchild play.

Model homes,
Pool design,
Interior options,
Seven to dine.

Coast-to-coast drive,
Full Flight back.
One last time,
To unpack.

Lexie will wait,
Until we return.
Four-Thousand miles,
A rest you earn.

copyright 2020

Retirement is not without Hassles: Our Daily Bread #1416

All my days do seem to feel the same in these pandemic times, but I’m always up for another one. Too many times I’ve failed to smell the roses and appreciate what I’ve accomplished. I somehow got the creative juices flowing and composed this poem to reflect my feelings.

Another Day 

None of us are happy,
About what’s going on.
Most of us are anxious,
For this year to be gone.

But no one wants to sacrifice,
A portion of their life.
There must be a way,
To lessen all this strife.

While we’re looking forward,
We’re also missing out.
On what mindful living,
Is really all about.

There’s always tomorrow,
Hoping for a better day.
But what if another sunrise,
Doesn’t come our way?

We need to live,
Like today’s our last.
And cherish memories,
From the past.

Treasure each moment,
Don’t look ahead.
Enjoy each breath,
Our daily bread.

Never wish a day away,
As bad as it may be.
Tomorrow’s never certain,
I think we’d all agree.

And when your head,
Hits the pillowcase.
Put a contented smile,
On your sleepy face.

Just be thankful,
And graciously say:
“I made it through,
Another day.”

Copyright 2020

« Older posts

© 2020

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑