Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 1 of 27)

Rhymes of all kinds

Diary of an Adoptee: Never Knew #2163

I sent a note to my half-sister telling her how often  we referred to her humorous quip after checking on our condition during hurricane Ian. When I told her we were in Alaska, she responded with: “Boy, you really know how to evacuate!!!” She must have been on my mind this morning as I composed this poem about the newly found sibling relationship with her and four sisters.  The brother died years ago in a car accident and the mother was not aware until 65-years later that her soon to be husband, now deceased, had fathered a child – me. Surprise! In all fairness, he probably didn’t know either. An Ancestry DNA test confirmed the bond and I’ve slowly gotten to know the family, starting with the “favorite.” Since our initial meetings, one of the sisters has sadly passed, and I got to meet “Fav’s” son, Gabe, who’s wife apparently initiated the test as a gift for his mother.

I Never Knew

I Never knew of you,
Didn’t have a clue.
But glad we finally met,
Now that I do.

If it weren’t for Gabe,
I might never have found.
My five secret sisters,
Scattered all around.

To meet you all,
My ultimate quest.
But “Fav’s” become,
The one I know best.

We were a match,
On the Ancestry test.
It was like opening,
A treasure chest.

Even Cecil,
Would be surprised.
Of this bond,
That he devised.

At the heart of the matter,
Is your mother so strong.
She’s lost three loves,
Then, I come along.

You’ve all stuck together,
As Bannister’s should.
In the eight-sided cabin,
Made of Scipio wood.

I’ll never be your favorite,
To your brother I concede.
But you can have another,
Should you feel the need.

Our twisted family tree,
With its hidden roots.
As I continue to search,
For yet revealed shoots.

This man I never met
Is in our hearts today.
He’s clearly in our eyes,
And in our DNA.

Copyright 2022 johnstonwrites.com

 

 

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: We’re Back! #2121

It took 23-days of driving over 4,000 miles, but we’re finally home. 10 different Marriott properties, thirteen different beds, beaches on the Gulf and Atlantic, The Great Lakes, and four Cracker Barrels took us full circle. I’ve summed it all up in a poem:

Four thousand miles,
Twenty-three days.
What could’ve gone wrong?
Let me count the ways!

Mother Marriott sheltered us,
Most of the way.
But there were three nights,
Where we had to pay.

Panama City first stop,
Selma Bridge walk.
Tuscaloosa BBQ,
“Roll Tide” talk.

Bannisters for dinner,
In Huntsville for Lunch.
You didn’t complain adding, 
A Cracker Barrel brunch.

It was one of four,
At your favorite travel stop.
You liked the dancing broom,
In the Georgia gift shop.

The Creeper struck,
And made you itch.
Highway construction,
Was our only bitch.

Adam’s Traverse,
Kept us going.
But your rash,
Kept on growing.

Clothes to consign,                                                          Vegetable Art.                                                                                Food and Drink,                                                                            Cross-Country to cart. 

The Hall of Fame tour,
Started in Nashville.
Grand Ole’ Opry,
A special thrill.

“Safe” travels,
Took a little twist.
We left for Bowling Green,
Your jewels suddenly missed.

Peter to the rescue,
His daughter’s home nearby.
We had stopped by,
Just to say “hi.”

Indy time with Debsie,
Another Banister lunch.
The highlight at The Mousetrap,
Reuniting our media bunch.

Morse Reservoir boating,
Eddy’s tenderloin.
Detour to Decatur,
More friends to join.

Night in Muskegon,
But Covid hits Ludington.
Drive-by wave,
After another short run.

Pizza in Petoskey,
Mackinac Bridge.
Crossing by ferry,
Where’s my fridge?

Grand Hotel porch,
True elegance.
Five-course dinner,
Despite no pants.

Ester Williams pool,
Sweeping Lake views.
Cupola for drinks,
A “deal” we couldn’t refuse.

More Fame in Cleveland,
Canton not as much Glory
Biltmore for more magnets,
And your fav -The Conservatory.

Hilton Head for some rest,
But the Concierge was rude.
He tried to spoil,
Our vacation mood.

The SERG card worth the fight,
All Y’Alls would have gotten old.
Packing and unpacking,
Finally put on hold.

Sun tans restored,
Test comes up clean. 
An extra night,
In St. Augustine.

Road Trip Limoges,                                                                          One of Each.                                                                                            Rock n’ Roll Drums,                                                                    Plus, a bag for the beach.

Thirteen different beds,
Now we’re finally home.
Just a few more weeks,
Until again we roam.

Copyright 2022 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Butterfly #2062

I spent the year of my 66th birthday in photos behind Route 66 signs and landmarks. We’ll pass by a few more this year in honor of my wife’s 66th, now nearly 5 years later. When we were deciding on a celebratory Limoges box, she suggested a colorful caterpillar. I put this poem inside it’s hinged box, calling the birthday her Florida metamorphosis. I wish I could do more for this year’s occasion, but a service call on our AC system resulted in a totally unexpected $850 charge to install a UV bulb to thwart the growth of algae that was plugging up our cooling system. After last night’s restless sleep in a muggy bedroom, it’s well worth the investment. Plus, it extends our maintenance plan another two years. Oh, the joys of home ownership!

We are headed to Cassariano Italian Eatery, one of our local Venice favorites, tomorrow night for a Birthday dinner. The restaurant was founded by Luca Cassani & Antonio Pariano, and named as a combination of their two surnames.  The planting of the red crepe myrtle tree is on hold until we can find one after recently striking out at a couple area nurseries. The Birthday Bulb will have to do, for now! It sparkles and glows more than most diamonds….right?

Birthday Butterfly 

A caterpillar, you decided,
Would be the right one.
A butterfly to be,
Once a cocoon is spun.

4000 muscles,
Sixteen legs.
Twelve tiny eyes,
Hatched from an egg.

Red beanie on its head,
And a smiling face.
Blue stars painted,
On its hinged base.

A birthday candle,
Sits on its back.
Shoes on its feet,
Prepared to run track.

A match inside,
To light the wicks.
On Route 66,
You’ll get your “kick.”

Sixty-Six years,
We celebrate.
With this Limoges,
And a dinner date.

Even Superwoman,
Has nothing on you.
Curvy shape,
And silver doo.

You’ve made your Florida,
Metamorphosis.
And now enjoying,
Retirement Bliss.

We’ll also plant,
A red crepe tree.
And watch the sunset,
From the Key

Birthday Rainbows,
To you, my love.
Wishes granted,
From the stars above.

Eat some cake,
Sip Sancerre.
And commemorate,
With Birthday Bear!

Copyright 2022 johnstonwrites.com

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:

Deniseciation 

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.

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

Copyright 2022 johnstonwrites.com

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 johnstonwrites.com

Diary of an Adoptee: Dozens of Cousins #1993

I spend a lot of time on Ancestry.com 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 johnstonwrites.com 

 

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 johnstonwrites.com

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,
La-Te-Da!

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

Margaritaville,
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 johnstonwrites.com

 

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 johnstonwrites.com

 

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