Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 1 of 24)

Rhymes of all kinds

Retirement is not without Hassles: Venice Smiles #1671

Limoges Box giving this year has been limited to Valentine’s Day, with all of them now packed up in a Portland warehouse. In the twenty-two years since my wife and I have been together they have always had a place in our home, It only seemed appropriate that I splurge on another, a fitting tribute to our Venice home. Travel has also been restricted this past year, with three years having passed since our memorable visit to Venice, Italy and the famous Rialto Bridge. We then went on to tour the Greek Islands and the city of Greece, our last Viking Cruise. Plans for Bali, Egypt, Barcelona, Kauai, and Russia have all been since cancelled due to the pandemic. 

Most of these lost travel adventures have been invested in our new home in Venice, Florida, where we have daily reminders of the Venice, Italy adventure. We actually often talked of moving to Italy for a year in retirement, so this housing addition of Venice-like bridges near the Gulf of Mexico is likely the closest we’ll probably ever get. The turn-around point of my daily runs is at the crest of one of these neighborhood bridges. They reflect in the numerous canals that give most of the homes in our new neighborhood a water view. 

It occurred to me that the curve of these structures form the shape of a frown, but the reflection on the water’s surface is a happy smile. Perhaps the architects knew this when they designed the famous Italian city, six-thousand miles on the other side of the Atlantic. It’s Florida namesake is now our home town, and a porcelain replica of the Rialto Bridge now sits on our mantle, signifying happy times ahead. I wrote this poetic tribute to the newest addition of our Limoges collection:

Venice Smiles

After thousands of miles,
We’re finally here.
Twenty-two years,
Of lovin’ you dear.

Our forever home,
Is now complete.
Even though,
We’re without a seat.

From Venice to Venice,
Six thousand miles.
Crossing that bridge,
Brings memorable smiles.

I bought for you,
Rialto Bridge.
And a brand new home,
With an extra fridge.

Though empty now,
Yet filled with love.
And blessings from,
The heavens above.

Though North American,
Has let us down.
And bridges can form,
A gloomy frown.

But the water reflects,
A sunny smile.
And gives our addition,
Italian style.

The waterway canal,
Takes that frown.
And turns the curve,
Upside down.

The magic of Venice,
In our neighborhood.
Where love is strong,
And life is good.

copyright 2021 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Stints and Stones #1659

Some might celebrate today as national Pot Day, but for us it’s twenty years of marriage. 20 years on the 20th – the only time this will ever happen – another reason to mark the occasion. The last month, however, has not been easy with packing, loading, closing  on a new house, kidney stone pain, driving 3,500 miles, and the most recent stress of not having our possessions.  The chandelier that we bought to honor our china anniversary is somewhere in a warehouse. The purchase was a far cry from our original plan of traveling to China. Only domestic excursions have been possible during this year-long pandemic. 

Here we are in Venice, Florida with a new bed after six restless nights of sleeping on the inflatable. My back feels better already. At least we’re done with hauling our bulky, heavy luggage and boxes in and out of hotel obstacle courses consisting of stairways, elevators, and parking valets. Portland, Ogden, Burlington and St. Louis were all overnight hotel stays, followed by five nights in Indy with my wife’s sister and her family from Indianapolis to Atlanta. This provided the opportunity to rest from out-patient surgery and the insertion of a stint. We also got a little more time to visit with friends since we weren’t rushing to beat the moving company. They have yet to find a plan to get our things to us – and we’re getting nervous. 

Tally watched me swim this morning. Hopefully, the drier, sunny weather will keep her feet from smelling like Frito’s Corn Chips (scientifically known as Brevibacterium) thanks to the dampness of seven years in Portland. All of us are done with long car rides and fast food stops, with plans to stay home as much as possible, despite the relatively empty living space. I wrote this poem as a tribute to our cross-country journey and twenty years of marriage that started with an impromptu date at Eddy’s restaurant. There were no sticks, stones, or broken bones – just stints and kidney stones. 

Stints and Stones

Twenty-years of marriage,
Went by in a snap.
But these last few weeks,
Have been full of crap.

Paperwork to sign,
Notary to hire.
The woman I love,
To further admire.

Boxing and loading,
Took its toll.
Venice, Florida,
Our retirement goal.

I got new shoes,
Packed by mistake.
And ear buds once lost.
As your back began to ache.

A chandelier not China,
Our anniversary treat.
Anxious to leave rain,
For sunshine and heat.

Little did we know,
That all that we own.
Would sit in Portland,
For how long? – unknown.

From kidney stones,
To our missing stuff.
Crossing the country,
Was more than rough.

Though not like the Donners,
We had Freddy’s to eat.
McDonald’s and Arby’s,
Tally’s Frito Feet.

She was a trooper,
Bored with the ride.
Anxious for stops,
And to go outside.

First night Ogden,
Second Burlington.
Where hospital visits
Had just begun.

Closing by mail,
But no close Chase.
Six-hour drive,
Open Kansas space.

St. Louis stairs,
Atlanta even more.
Cumbersome carryalls,
And baggage galore.

Missed out on Amanda,
But found some “green.”
As we checked out,
The Hot-lanta scene.

In-between surgery,
Debsie’s to heal.
Meeting with Susan,
MZD gals meal.

Cole’s 3rd birthday,
He meets his GUM.
Murphy’s tenderloin,
Tom gets me numb.

French Lick puzzle,
Stint for a stone.
A custom home,
Now ours to own.

Together with Peter,
Elliott and Berry.
Tally found this adventure,
To be quite scary.

From Nampa thru Tampa,
The Solara led the way.
Memories of Eddy’s,
That flashback in play.

Who would have guessed,
Where this would all lead?
As we picked up our “keys,”
And the Warranty Deed.

Happy 20th Sweetie Pie,
A kiss on the threshold.
I’ll love you forever,
It will never grow old!

Copyright 2021 johnstonwrites.com 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Trailer #1616

I grew up in Elkhart, Indiana, the mobile home capital of the world. The industry has never really gotten much respect, despite providing affordable housing and recreational opportunities. A friend of mine bought several acres of farm land to build a country home, but has been forced to live in a manufactured home that came with the property. It was in such bad shape that they chose to live in the barn until it was thoroughly sanitized, fumigated, and painted. It will still be awhile until they can build their dream home and in the meantime have remodeled the barns, extensive garage, and vehicle stalls to accommodate a collection of family heirlooms. 

I’m framing this humorous poem as a housewarming gift, so they will always remember their life together in a mobile home or trailer – probably the last place they would have ever envisioned living. Fortunately, they have a sense of humor. At least, I hope so….

Tindle Trailer

Call it manufactured,
Or double-wide.
It’s a mobile dwelling,
Where Tindles abide.

Was it a meth lab?
Or redneck haven?
It’s certainly not,
Worth even savin’.

On first inspection,
A scary space.
Could have been,
A junkie’s place.

At first, the barn,
Had more appeal.
But elbow grease,
Gave a homey feel.

A clean bathroom,
And coat of paint.
With a log on the fire,
It’s cozy and quaint.

Wheels or not,
It’s temporary.
For Matt and Rebecca,
Occasionally Perry.

With all the projects,
They’ve been dealt.
It’s fortunate that she,
Wears a tool belt.

Cars and a pump,
Family heirlooms.
Arts and crafts,
Many storage rooms.

Neon lights,
Tractor signs.
Hub caps, Golf clubs,
Other precious finds.

Construction plans,
A mountain view.
Land to lease,
A life anew.

Green Acres,
Trash now treasure.
To tear it down,
Will be their pleasure.

In the meantime,
Don’t come knockin’
Especially when,
The trailer’s rockin’

copyright 2021 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Spam #1612

If it weren’t for spam I would be lonely. No one would call or even write. As it is, however, I get too much unwanted attention with at least a dozen daily attempts to extend my warranty, get more benefits from Medicare, or offer insurance discounts. Occasionally, there’s even some porn. My phone now tells me if it’s potential spam, but this has also caused me to block-out welcome callers. With everyone blocked, I now know that all my calls are spam. 

Today is an early Leadership Zoom call, as we reflect on the sorry state of I.U. basketball, struggling business, home improvement updates, and how much we miss live music. Another “Archie Miller must go” e-mail got through my spam filter. He should just resign and save us all a lot of money. It will take years now to restore “The Glory of Old I.U.” I give up on this season and will focus all my energy on fighting spam. 

Spam

I’d be lonely,
If it weren’t for Spam.
People who think,
I give a damn.

No one would write,
Or even call.
It seems these days,
No one cares at all.

When the phone rings,
It’s Medicare.
Or Life Insurance,
So please beware.

Extend your warranty,
Buy a discount card.
Another unwanted call,
Always be on guard.

Blocking them all,
Just won’t matter.
With endless lines,
To spread their chatter.

Annoying offers,
They’ll never end.
They’ve got your number,
Or e-mail to send.

You’ll unsubscribe,
Until you’re blue.
Or text STOP,
Delete them, too.

But they’ll be back,
To bug you more.
They might even knock,
On your front door.

With everyone blocked.
All my calls are spam.
If you need to reach me,
Send a Telegram.

Copyright 2021 johnstonwrites.com

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Backyard Dreams #1598

Valentine’s Day is a time for flowers, poems, and in my case a Limoges Box gift. As my wife and I celebrate our twenty-second, it’s time to look forward to our upcoming Florida retirement life. She was so excited to have palm trees in her new yard that I found a porcelain rendering of a hammock stretched between two palms to commemorate the occasion. My tradition is to insert a special poem inside the hinged box for presentation. 

Backyard Dreams

There are Palm Trees,
On our Venice lot.
Providing shade,
When it is hot.

A hammock swing,
Might be right.
For lazy days,
Soon in sight.

Our Florida home,
Is nearly done.
Where we’ll enjoy,
The setting sun.

A gentle sway,
Will aid your nap.
While hiding under,
A baseball cap.

But unlike being,
Safe in bed.
Keep a lookout,
Watch your head.

While you relax,
And search the sky.
A coconut bomb,
Just might fly.

And down below,
The gators crawl.
So hang on tight,
Don’t slip and fall.

Plus, don’t go out,
In a hurricane.
That might prove,
To be insane.

The pool’s inside,
No worries there.
Enjoy the water,
Without a care.

Backyard dreams,
My Valentine.
I’m sure glad,
That you are mine.

Twenty-two years,
Of being in love.
But the first you’ll own,
Palm Trees above.

Copyright 2021 johnstonwrites.com

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Eight Fate #1592

Eight Fate 

At an Eddy’s table,
On February Eight.
We came together,
As was our fate.

We celebrated this,
Twenty-two times.
With little gifts,
And silly rhymes.

With Valentines,
Just a week away.
We’ve created another,
Heart throb day.

Doubling down,
With Cupid’s aid.
Hoping our love,
Will never fade.

Today marks,
Our “Eddiversary,”
A special kind,
Of Anniversary.

In these times,
When hugs are rare.
We’re grateful for
The love we share.

Diamonds or pearls,
Not this year.
Where we travel,
Isn’t yet clear.

But, a custom home,
In the Sunshine state.
We’ll soon have,
A move-in date.

The beach nearby,
A backyard pool.
Grandkid fun,
When not in school.

Our retirement life,
Has just begun.
The best yet to come,
Twenty-Twenty-One.

Copyright 2021 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Marriott Millionaire #1585

Marriott Millionaire

 I’m a Marriott Millionaire,
With points to burn.
Always anxious to find,
Creative ways to earn.

Mother Marriott,
Is my second home.
Provides a bed or beach,
Even a misplaced comb.

I can check-in on my phone.
Platinum service at any hour.
Special upgrades to a suite,
It’s like a Superpower.

Travel almost anywhere,
From Bali to Orlando.
Dine in my pajamas,
Or use credits for a show.

I’m a Vacation Club owner,
With condos worldwide.
There’s few places I can’t go,
When Mother’s at my side.

As a Bonvoy card holder,
More rewards go in my bank.
With everything I buy,
I have J.W. to thank.

I rarely use my wallet,
They know me everywhere.
From Maui to Bangkok,
I haven’t got a care.

I might be in the pool,
Or sunning on the beach.
A sandwich or a cocktail,
Is never out of reach.

My wife is almost jealous,
And sadly would agree.
She says, “you love your points,
More than you love me!”

Copyright 2021 johnstonwrites.com

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Miami Memories #1584

Before the plane ride home from Miami yesterday, my wife reminded me that I typically write a recap poem after each of our adventures. I went to work during the nine hours it took to get back to Portland. 

Miami Memories

Flew into Miami Beach,
Airport for the night.
Unlike the gloom  left behind,
The skies were blue and bright.

Rental Hertz to Adam’s,
Dance Recital to attend.
Fairfield our Venice home,
Marriott points to spend.

A reunion with Lexie,
Sidewalk Chalk to buy.
Birthday boy is fourteen,
And wants that Cutout, why?

Dining out every night,
Seven to a table.
No longer stuck inside,
Glad to cut the cable.

Golf for the guys,
Neighbors to greet.
Sun baked skin.
Sand under feet.

Saw our new roof,
Begin to take form.
The beach gave life,
A sense of norm.

Subway picnic on Manasota,
As chilly waves rolled in.
Seashells and shark’s teeth,
Glad we didn’t see a fin!

The Sarasota Emersons,
A couple biker bars.
Alligator sighting,
A home we’ll soon call ours.

Cracker Barrel stops,
A dent In the hood.
That crazy coconut,
Was it up to no good? 

Enjoyed a Dolphin sunset.
The Berry’s our hosts.
Spooner in Vero,
Dodgertown ghosts.

Too much driving,
We have a tanning date.
The Deco District calling,
The Keys will have to wait.

Pacific in our front yard.
Chairs strapped to our back.
Raven’s streak to watch,
Stone Crabs yet to Crack.

Sancerre and martinis,
Setting back our clocks.
The only real problem,
Was finding missing socks.

Though without a pool,
We’ll soon have our own.
Another presentation call,
Don’t answer the phone.

We finally ate,
Some key lime pie.
And went to bed,
With a sugar high!

The Betsy for a steak,
Walgreens for gourmet.
Except for that sand storm,
Another sunny day.

Pizza in the toaster,
Fire Alarm goes off,
Please keep your distance,
And mask that cough..

The scene on Ocean Drive,
A tropical path to stroll.
South Beach paradise,
Popover not just roll.

We might stay forever,
But Tally wants us back.
My belly fat is burning,
And just too much butt crack.

copyright 2021 johnstonwrites.com

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Top Down #1551

Top Down

Take your top down,
Expose yourself to the sun.
Raise your arms to the sky,
Time to have some fun.

Let them see,
Those headlights.
Flash them with,
Your high-beam brights.

Feel that breeze,
Through your hair.
As passers-by,
Begin to stare.

Let your top drop,
For all to see.
Show us how,
To “Let It Be.”

Take it all off,
Bare your soul.
Let the Good Times,
Rock and Roll!

It’s why you own,
A rag-top car.
So you can cruise,
Like a Hollywood star.

Or were your thoughts,
Of wild girls?
Wearing nothing,
But a string of pearls.

Topless fantasies,
Got that itch?
Lower the roof,
Hit that switch.

Get a Convertible,
Drop your top, too.
But don’t drive naked,
Whatever you do!

Copyright 2020 johnstonwrites.com

I’ve purposely put the explanation for this poem at the end since it was designed to portray a double meaning. I put it in my category of poems with questionable taste. Were you thinking of a car or perhaps an afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and seeing a sign that reads, “Show Us Your T**s?” Did your mind go in the gutter or did did the phrase “take your top down” immediately make you think convertible?

Obviously, my mind was on other things when I penned this little ditty. I found it in my file of unfinished projects that probably had its start years ago when I actually had some testosterone flowing through my veins. We don’t get to put the top down much here in rainy Portland on either of our convertibles, so maybe this was a project I began seven years ago when we were living in sunny Austin, Texas? I can’t wait until the next time I can take my top down!

Creature Features: Gastro Delight #1550

Our schnauzer Tally isn’t the garbage hound that her sister Tinker used to be. There was never a crumb to be found when Tinker ruled the house. Dropped scraps of food were often gone before they ever hit the floor. Tally is polite around the dinner table and gently accepts any offerings, whereas Tinker might very well have taken your fingers off. With all our dogs through the years, “Ham Time” continues to be a tradition with a bedtime snack of honey glazed ham or healthier turkey slices. (See Post #699). Gastro Delight!

The one drawback with Tally is often her breath. She got into something outside last night that made her repulsive. It’s often hard in the dark to see what she grabs, especially while wearing a mask that makes my glasses fog up. I tried some Crest toothpaste as a desperate resort. Nevertheless, she was not allowed to sit anywhere near us. I even wore my mask indoors this morning to give her a “Tummy Attack,” (See Post #648) while avoiding that furry, foul mouth. 

She can also be adorable, using her eyes to hypnotize us into giving her more attention or food. We call it pet-nosis. (See Post #1440). It makes us give her things against our better judgement. I wrote this poem a few days ago when she was in favor and not so stinky:

Gastro Delight 

She nibbles on kibbles,
And packs in the snacks.
Or rolls on her back,
For tummy attacks.

Her lips make a smack,
At the thought of a treat.
And wants a sample,
Of every bite we eat.

The ears perk up,
Those eyes grow big.
She makes a few grunts,
Like a hungry pig.

But she doesn’t get up,
Just waits to be served.
Whatever you give her,
Is greatly deserved.

Then she will bug you,
To go on her stroll.
With eyes that beg,
As black as coal.

In the afternoon,
She sits on a chair.
Wanting a walk,
Again with a stare.

Once she gets home,
Walks through the door.
Kibble ball nuggets,
Roll over the floor.

They crunch under foot,
With each step we take.
Or hurt our bare toes,
While still not awake.

She’s no Hoover,
Crumbs not her thing.
She’d rather have,
The entire chicken wing.

At the dinner table,
She sits closely by.
And uses pet-nosis,
It’s hard to deny.

Patiently waiting,
For food on our plate.
Then a wag of her tail,
Tells us “It’s Great!”

A chew every morning.
“Ham Time” each night.
Our schnauzer Tally.
Is a gastro delight.

copyright 2020 johnstonwrites.com

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