Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 1 of 23)

Rhymes of all kinds

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 johnstonwrites.com

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 johnstonwrites.com

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 johnstonwrites.com 

 

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 johnstonwrites.com

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 johnstonwrites.com

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 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Magic Carpet #1379

With news of our trip cancellation to Egypt, I tried my best to keep a positive perspective. This is always tough for a pessimist like  myself. I had a porcelain box hiding in the Limoges closet and composed a short poem for it. Writing was much more constructive than moping about another three weeks of stay-at-home boredom when we should be going to the Valley of the Kings. My wife collects Disney boxes, so Aladdin on his magic carpet made the day memorable rather than disappointing. 

Magic Carpet Ride

The Corona bug,
Has taken a toll.
Delaying another,
Bucket goal.

The Pyramids,
Will have to wait.
We’ll settle on,
A future date.

No Canada,
Or Bali Hai,
Travel dreams,
Have been denied.

To sit at home,
Most every day.
Builds an urge
To get away.

“See the U.S.A,”
Goes the song.
But going by car,
Takes too long.

We need a way,
To move with speed
A Magic Carpet,
Is what we need.

Aladdin’s ready,
If Viking’s not.
Until we visit,
It’s all you’ve got.

So, come with me,
On a Magic ride.
Open the hinge,
There’s a lamp inside.

Despite the fact,
This bug has bit.
Maybe an extra,
WISH we’ll get?

Copyright 2020 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Apple #1372

Every once in a while I try to surprise my wife with a gift. She collects hand-painted Limoges boxes, so I ordered one that looks like a sliced apple and hid it in her fruit bowl. At one time, she would make me an egg every morning before she went to work. Once she retired, the daily routine changed to a sliced apple for lunch. My tradition has always been to tuck a poem inside the hinged box:

Apple

You’re the apple.
Of my eye.
‘Cause I Love You,
Sweetie pie.

“I Love You,”
To the core.
You say back,
“Love you, more.”

You’re my slice,
So much Ap-peel.
Awesome Sauce,
The Real Deal.

As your daddy said,
“You didn’t fall far.”
He made you,
Who you now are.

It stems from love,
And blossoms pink.
Oranges can’t compare,
Most people think.

The first bite happened,
In The Garden of Eden.
The Forbidden Fruit,
Was it worth eatin’?

Sleeping Beauty,
Ate a bad one.
If a witch offers,
It’s best to run.

An Apple a day,
Keeps Microsoft away.
If Stephen Jobs,
Has his way.

What is that,
On your head?
William Tell,
Might have said?

“Something rotten,
Has fallen on me.”
How Isaac Newton,
Found gravity.

A Golden Apple,
For the teacher.
Was that wormhole,
Made by a creature?

Why does Bob,
Have to work for his?
If you don’t like cider,
Try Apple Fizz.

If you don’t
At first succeed.
Johnny on the spot,
Was Appleseed.

Dip mine in caramel,
Put it on a stick.
Is Green Apple candy,
Worth a lick?

“How do you like em?”
The expression teases.
A shiny red apple,
Always pleases.

Copyright 2020 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Yes, You’re Sixty-Four #1358

Thanks to Lennon and McCartney for making everyone’s sixty-fourth birthday less painful. “When I’m 64” has finally arrived for my wife. For me, it’s a distant memory nearly five years ago. “They say it’s your birthday, well it’s my birthday too, yeah!”

No one looks more forward to their birthday than my wife and I try to make every one special. It’s a little tough this year with stores closed, travel restricted, and restaurants shut down. I was not responsible for her 40th celebration. On her 50th, we went to San Diego, but I ruined that with a kidney stone attack. I did manage to make it up for her 60th with a ocean hut in Bora-Bora. Birthday breakfast was served by canoe. Tonight, dinner will be to-go. Her daughter and husband will join us, along with their dog, our Tally’s playmate. My gift was delayed in shipment and hasn’t arrived yet. The poem that goes with it will be read anyway. 

“We’re gonna have a good time.”

Yes, You’re 64

For a memorable Birthday,
In this time of Isolation
You just might need,
Some Imagination

The jewelry stores,
Are still shut down.
And we won’t be wearing,
A suit and gown.

There probably won’t.
Be fireworks.
Or a hotel,
With special perks.

With theaters closed,
There’s not a show.
And we’ll have,
Our dinner to-go.

We won’t be going,
To the beach.
With warmer ones,
Soon within reach.

No Bora-Bora,
Or Kidney stone.
But you won’t,
Celebrate alone

There’s a Limoges,
And lots of flowers.
But your sunny day,
Might bring showers.

Wish for a rainbow,
And peace on earth.
On this anniversary,
Of your birth.

At least each dog,
Has hat in place.
With dreams of cake,
On tongue and face.

Sing the birthday song,
While washing your hands.
And hope that fans,
Soon fill the stands.

Next year,
We’ll be in a house.
Not too far,
From Mickey Mouse.

The greatest gift,
You didn’t get.
There’s still no need,
For a testing kit.

Despite we’re on,
A weight loss diet.
This year’s birthday,
Might be a riot.

Will you still need me?
I love you, more.
And still feed me?
Yes, you’re Sixty-four.

Copyright 2020 johnstonwrites.com

Creature Features: Shaggy #1331

Everyone in our household is getting a little shaggy. At least, Tally our fuzzy schnauzer gets groomed today. She’s been growing her mustache for three months now in these pandemic times. The spa that we took he to for years, Urban Fauna, has sadly closed its doors for good. We’re taking her this afternoon to Coats and Tails, just down the block. Provided they do a good job, we’ll at least have convenience on our side. Hopefully, Supercuts will reopen soon and I can get rid of my shaggy appearance. 

One of our favorite neighborhood taverns is the Blue Moon. My wife is drawn by their mini-corn dogs called Scooby-Snacks. They’ve been a welcome to-go choice over the past month, after they were closed during the initial stages of the virus. I’ve written about Scooby-Doo recently (See Post #1310), but failed to mention his lazy cartoon companion, Shaggy. As described by Wikipedia, “Shaggy Rogers has a characteristic speech pattern, marked by his frequent use of the filler word “like” and, when startled, his exclamations of “Zoinks!”. His nickname derives from the shaggy style of his sandy-blond hair. He also sports a rough goatee. His signature attire consists of a green v-neck T-shirt and maroon bell-bottom pants, both of which fit loosely.”

Both Scooby and Shaggy are readily bribed with Scooby Snacks due to their mutual large appetites, insisting that ‘being in a constant state of terror makes us constantly hungry!'” I guess they have a lot in common with our family, hoping the Blue Moon Scooby-Snacks can ease our terror of Coronavirus. Casey Kasem, of American Top 40 fame, was the original voice of Shaggy, while Don Messick was Scooby, while also voicing The Jetson’s Dog, Astro. “Ruh-Roh!”

Tally, of course, is a fan of snacks, too! She’s not particular, having enjoyed fortune cookies last night from our Chinese take-out order. They always throw in extras for her! It reminds me of one of my favorite poems that I wrote years ago and have adapted for today’s Creature Feature post:

 

Tally

We have a dog named Tally,

Eats everything in sight.

She wants a treat each morning,

Gets ham most every night.

.

She’s at my feet when dining,

Just waiting for her share.

I simply can’t ignore,

Her impatient stare.

.

When we take her on a walk,

Her nose is on the ground.

Searching every crack,

For a morsel to be found.

.

Ice cream is a favorite,

She licks it off the stick.

And if you want some for yourself,

You better eat it quick.

.

When we order Chinese,

Her tail begins to wag.

And she starts to whimper,

When she sees the bag.

.

She wants her Fortune cookie,

In no mood to chase her ball.

She’s been known to eat them,

Plastic wrapper and all.

.

On the morning after,

When I went to scoop.

You’ll never guess what I found?

A fortune in her poop.

Copyright 2009 johnstonwrites.com

The original was written for Tally’s sister, Tinker, that we lost five months ago at age 15. She was “The Poopingest Pup on the Planet.” (See Post #33). Tinker, although a schnauzer, reminded me of Disney’s Shaggy Dog. Tally, on the other hand, will no longer be shaggy after this afternoon.

 

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