Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 1 of 29)

Rhymes of all kinds

Retirement is not without Hassles: Tammy #2390

It’s always good to hear from a former co-worker, and Facebook has been a great way to preserve those friendships.  I sent Tammy a birthday greeting, about the only way we stay in touch anymore. We weren’t close friends but I wrote many going away poems for the staff at the radio station in Portland where we both worked. She apparently never got a poem, and jokingly asked for one in her response to my “Happy and Healthy Birthday” message.  I was both honored and surprised by her request, remembering my contributions to our friends, so I quickly complied:

Tammy

You stayed at Alpha,

Far too long.

Making the “Great Eight,”

Before moving along.

 

Ayn, Al, Cathy, Jaylene,

Jeana, Jim, Nicole & you.

Remained in the nest,

When I finally flew.

 

Then Al said goodbye,

A poem his request.

I wrote Twenty-two,

All in jest.

 

What’s one more,

As I look back.

It’s your birthday,

I’ll take another whack.

 

Three years now,

At Brown & Brown.

Unlike me,

You stayed in town.

 

As Facebook friends,

I see your smile.

But face-to-face,

It’s been awhile.

 

Maybe at an airport,

We’ll cross paths again?

And when in Florida,

Please stop in!

 

Your name comes up,

Every day without fail.

After all, we live on,

The Tamiami Trail.

Copyright 2023 johnstonwrites.com

 

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Road Trip Rations #2385

Over the past few posts, I’ve recounted our long drive back to Indiana for a wedding and funeral. In the meantime, we missed Hurricane Idelia, evacuating well. Most of the references in this recap poem were alluded to in these reports but the names may or may not have been changed to protect the innocent. 

Road Rations 

Truist Park.

Hot-lanta Braves,

Amanda’s house,

Artwork raves.

 

Lodge cast iron,

Big Bad Breakfast.

River House dinner,

Recalling Egypt’s past.

 

The curb had no mercy,

Tire Pressure light a pain.

Rocky Raccoon sighting,

When will we hit rain?

 

Baseball, Bourbon, & Bats,

Wedding & Funeral await.

Louisville Slugger Factory,

And Evan Williams date.

 

Freddy’s for lunch,

Bio Mom nearby.

Joanie in Nashville,

Bloomington drive-by.

 

Pumpkin bars & caramels,

Flushed with Diet Coke.

BLTs and Burgers,

Weight loss plans a joke.

 

Hoosier Tenderloins,

Indy friends to meet.

We’d already had,

Too much to eat.

 

Brunch at Ruth’s Café,

For a Beatle’s song.

“All you need is Love,”

We all sang along.

 

Bottleworks vows,

Cookies not cake.

I’d already had,

A spin on the lake.

 

The lyric-off winner,

Denise proved wise.

A shot of tequila,

Bobby 2’s demise.

 

Bobby 1 calmed,

His angry son.

As Claire and Shawn,

Got ‘er Done!

 

Miranda was the DJ,

But the music was faint.

So no dancing Dan,

And the Outlaw no saint.

 

We had as much fun,

As old age would allow.

The “life of the party,”

Mitch met his vow.

 

West Fork Whiskey,

My Birthday pour.

Along with some Nike’s,

And fire pit s’mores.

 

Oliphant Hospitality,

Sahm’s and Capri.

Many old acquaintances,

At the viewing to see.

 

Onward to Huntsville,

Buc-ee’s for brisket.

Just after digesting,

A Cracker Barrel biscuit.

 

Banisters at Connor’s,

Then stayed an extra night.

As Hurricane Idalia,

Showed her might.

 

Cheesecake Factory salad,

Tasteless movie “Strays.”

P.F. Chang’s encore,

Little to do but graze.

 

Detour to Dothan,

And the giant peanut.

Pepto Bismol tablets,

For the rumble in my gut.

 

Texas Roadhouse ribs,

With hot buttered rolls.

McMuffins and Shakes,

Glad we’re home – I’m full!

 

Copyright 2023 johnstonwrites.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Retirement Requirement #2367

Most of my friends welcomed retirement, but some people just don’t ever want to stop. They either don’t know what to do after leaving the workforce or they can’t come up with another excuse for avoiding social engagements. This particular friend deliberated for years about retirement and finally reluctantly pulled the plug. She was a co-worker of mine in the radio business, went onto Indianapolis print publications like Hot Potato Magazine and the IBJ, started her own health food store called The Good Stuff, and ultimately went on the road for years selling natural foods, vitamins, supplements, and other health related products. Her older husband was a popular Indy DJ, voice talent, and race car owner. Our mutual friend, Peter, and I send her a friendly bird when we get together without her. She is the second friend to have requested a poem in the last month. Here was my response: 

Retirement Requirement 

You were a Hot Potato,

And had the Good Stuff.

But now you think,

You’ve had enough.

 

Plus, radio and racing,

Have been very good to you.

It’s time for retirement,

And little required to do.

 

You married a DJ,

But really your job.

And you became,

A health-food snob.

 

Vitamins and minerals,

Became your passion.

And whatever nutrients,

Happened to be in fashion.

 

You were a pusher,

Of veggies and fish oil.

To the Organic cause,

You’ve remained loyal.

 

Your health gig is up,

You’re on your own.

No more meetings,

Or sales by phone.

 

No more alarm clock,

Forget the Vegas show.

Now your email message,

Reads forever OOO.

 

If you get on a plane,

It should be for fun.

But mostly just enjoy,

The Cambria sun.

 

Long walks with Tashi,

Time alone with Griff.

Supplement those supplements,

Or your joints will get stiff.

 

Here’s to Alice’s Restaurant,

WKRP reruns, too!

Turkey and Tequila,

Happy Trails to you.

 

A long finger salute,

From Peter and I.

It’s just retirement,

Not a last goodbye.

Copyright 2023 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Wedding Roast #2365

After several silly delays, including a first officer that got locked out of the jetway while trying to join the crew on our plane, we arrived in Portland about 2a (5a at home). We still had to get our luggage, find the Enterprise Rental desk, and drive to my stepdaughter’s new home. Needless to say, I got to bed about the same time I normally wake up, with very little sleep.

By 9a I was doing the daily run, choosing a middle school track over the hilly roads surrounding it. However, the temperature was much cooler, so I went a little further at a pace that was nearly a minute faster. When I returned to the house, my clothes were not uncomfortably soaked in sweat. I was home again in Portland.

Today, I’ll see some familiar sights, starting with a friendly lunch at the Lake Oswego Grill. The temps have been hot here, as well, considering that this athletic dude did his annual bike ride from Seattle to Portland and couldn’t finish, consumed by 90-degree heat. After lunch, I’ll swing by Plaza Cleaners for a pair of pants apparently left behind two-years ago in our move to Florida. Dinner will be at Ling’s Garden, the Asian restaurant that we frequented while living in our Portland apartment and dealing with Covid.

I made arrangements to visit a former co-worker’s home on Sunday after a wedding weekend that starts tomorrow. There will be many long-lost faces in attendance, with probably a few surprises. We’re staying at the Tillamook Shilo Inn, a rare deviation from our Marriott lodging. Tillamook is of course famous for its Cheese and right down the road is Netart’s Bay, known for its oysters and the home of my about to be married buddy of 55 years.

I wrote this poem for his wedding toast, taking into account our friendship extending from hometown Elkhart (“City with a heart”) to I.U. and finally into Oregon. I’m making fun of his R.V., likely built in our our Hoosier backyard, and the trip we took together to Italy with ex-wives:

Wedding Roast

Rog and I go back 55 years,

From the city with a Heart.

Blazers and Hoosiers,

Choir was our start.

 

We could have had,

Mobile home careers.

But Roger chose,

Instead to steer.

 

It’s often parked,

In his driveway.

Overlooking,

Netarts Bay.

 

But when traffic is slow,

We often say:

Must be a “Rog,”

Blocking the way.

 

We’ve traveled abroad,

Back in the day.

With other women,

Let’s just say.

 

You showed me,

The Amalfi Coast.

So I offer you,

This silly roast.

 

We once saw the Pope,

Mowing his lawn.

He had his shirt off,

Showing Holy brawn.

 

In an Italian rental,

Speaking of scares.

You nearly guided me,

Down a set of stairs. 

 

But enough about us,

Let’s talk about them.

Roger and Christina,

Together again.

 

40 years ago,

They dated two years.

But missed 38 more,

Due to commitment fears.

 

Destiny has intervened,

So FEAR NOT.

They now get a second shot,

And have tied Love’s knot.

 

No more glitches,

Two point Oh.

We’re all delighted,

As you two know.

 

Here’s to the Millers,

Or did she make you Hoell?

With this latest version,

Your lives grew full. (Or whole)

 

We wish you the best,

And don’t come knockin’

Especially when,

That “Rog” is rockin’.

 

If up to me,

I’d end right there.

But Denise insists,

There’s more to share.

 

To Roger and Christina,

A toast to 2.0.

May you spend your golden years,

Basking in love’s glow.

Copyright johnstonwrites.com

To be continued…..;…

 

 

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Favorites & Farewells #2361

Allow me to answer a few silly questions that have been posed to me through Storyworth, as I continue to write my life story. As I’ve admitted many times, my favorite drink is Diet Coke, although I’ve tried to cut down on caffeine to relieve some of my shakiness. When I’m feeling rebellious, I’ll buy a can of Sugar Free Monster, and I’m still partial to an Arby’s Jamocha Shake, but rarely stop for one anymore. I’ve never liked beer so I haven’t gotten caught up in the whole Budweiser transgender scandal, although some of my conservative neighbors recently questioned my purchase of a Michelob Ultra. I think I’ll just stick with Coors Light to avoid any future political nonsense, but I will go on record with a rare personal observation. I think that it’s ironic that Americans have now made Modelo (Mexican) and Yuengling (Chinese) the top selling beers rather than face their ridiculous homophobic fears, putting Americans out of work.  Tito’s is my Vodka of choice, so lately I’ve been drinking it in a mix with cranberry juice, lime, and tonic water. I need it to deal with our unfriendly, biased world.

The other day one of my neighbors oddly asked if our dog Tally liked coffee. Their pups apparently beg for it. We don’t drink coffee at home but are prepared for company with a Keurig, so Tally has never picked up the habit. Admittedly, when I was working, I would stop at the Starbucks in our building for a decaf mocha latte. I also drink sugar free, orange Gatorade, most any flavor of sparkling water, and red wine. 

I’ve also been asked what famous people I’ve met. This would include Peyton Manning, Ray Romano, Morgan Freeman, John Cougar Mellencamp, Bob Knight, Gene Keady, Lou Henson, Walter Alston, Tommy Lasorda, Ryne Sandburg, Reggie Miller, Nick Saban, Gene Simmons, George McGinnis, Craig McCaw, John McKay, Jason Aldean, David Schwimmer, Scott Rolen, Henry Winkler, BB King, Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Dennis Lehane, Matt Damon, Meadowlark Lemon, Barak Obama, Drew Brees, Shirley Muldowny, Lyn St. James, Patrick Dempsey, Lance Armstrong, Matthew McConaughey, Paul Newman, Mariska Hargitay, S. Epatha Merkerson, Rick Bayless, Larry Bird, JFK Jr., Jane Pauley, Jeff Saturday, Tom Brokaw, Kevin Costner, Mohammad Ali, Alicia Keys, Billy Brooks, Jeff George, Rupert Boneham (Survivor), Dan Rather, The Who, Nick Nolte, Bob Eubanks, Alex Trebek, Vanna White, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, Bobby Rahal, ZZ Topp, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Sajak, Grace Slick, Jon Anderson, Sean Connery, Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Jesse Plemons, Olivia Newton John, Buddy Garrity, Bitsie Tulloch (Grimm), Drew Barrymore, Ray Charles, Donald Trump, Senator John McCain, Danica Patrick, Alice Cooper, Dick Butkus, Angela Lansbury, Joe Tiller, John Popper, Mary Travers, Michael Johnson, Gail Devers, Martha Stewart, Mickey Mouse, George Foreman, Raymond Floyd, Gene Cernan, Don Kessinger, Eugene Levy, Mike Ditka, Jim Belushi, and Nolen Ryan, to name a few that I can remember. 

How do I want to be remembered? Well, I never made it into anyone’s Hall of Fame, but please don’t forget my smile, curly hair, sense of humor, running streak, silly poems, love of baseball & I.U., Toastmaster skills, and generosity. I wrote this many years ago as a final testament:

My Last Breath

As I close my eyes,

Take a final blink.

I want it to be,

A playful wink.

 

Like I know something,

No one else does.

I don’t know why?

Just because!

 

I’ll have a last laugh,

Put a smile on my face.

Make every effort,

To go out with grace.

 

I’ll take my secret,

To the grave.

And with final breath,

Pretend to act brave.

 

Like it’s no big deal,

To leave forever.

And all earthly ties,

To suddenly sever.

 

Into the unknown,

I’ll boldly venture.

And face the start,

Of this next adventure.

 

All I’ve accomplished,

The love I’ve felt.

I’m satisfied with,

The hand I’ve been dealt.

 

I have no regrets,

I’ll exit with style.

I take my first steps.

And leave you a smile.

 

And no, thankfully, I’ve yet to be saved or rescued.

 

 

 

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: 6T7 #2353

It’s my younger wife’s 67th birthday today and she wanted a palm to replace the “nasty Florida oak” out behind our lanai. It was just not tropical enough for her tastes. I had that done while we were in Egypt. This morning I added a wrapped present under the tree, a camel Limoges box to add to her porcelain collection. She actually enjoyed riding her camel with the pyramids in the background and tried to get me to relax by leaning over to kiss me. I, of course, had a death grip on the saddle. It was a memorable experience for both of us. 

The trip and built-in dining cupboards were having installed this week took another serious drain on our dwindling retirement savings. I half-jokingly offered to take her to Freddy’s, her favorite fast food restaurant for dinner and instead settled on Owen’s Fish Camp in Sarasota to celebrate the occasion. Many of the area restaurants are closed on Mondays, so this posed another challenge in making this decision, undoubtedly considered cheap on my part by those of you reading this post. 

As it turns out, she then arranged an early dinner later next week with friends at this particular restaurant, so we agreed to change to our seafood standby, Dockside, for her birthday dinner. My wife tends to change her mind frequently when it comes to dining and therefore further compromised by finally settling on buying a couple of lobsters and grilling them herself. DIY – Do it Yourself – tails for her and her “cheap” husband. I don’t mind being called that since she usually gets what she wants regardless of my constant pleas to save money. 

We went to Tahiti for her 60th, including some pearls, and hope to do something special for her 70th. Does that sound cheap? We also added-on London and Stonehenge to our Egyptian cruise last month and went to three London musicals, including SIX, so she cruises to her tap classes in her Lexus convertible singing along with the CDs. Also, many magnet purchases (now that’s a cheap souvineer) from Egypt, Jordan, and England moved her total over 225, decorating our garage refrigerator. She has a great tan from living here in the resort community and looks youthful for her age. I’m not feeling sorry for her – just love. I tried to express this in a poem:

6T7

Happy 6T7,                                                                                         My Babe in Arms.                                                                       With A Florida tan,                                                                      And womanly charms. 

After built-ins and Egypt,                                                         We’ve emptied the tank.                                                          There’s only love,                                                                           Left in the bank. 

No fancy pearls,                                                                                From this old gramp.                                                                    DIY Lobster Tails,                                                                      Instead of Fish Camp. 

You could have had,                                                                          A Freddy’s treat.                                                                                    But with Father’s Day,                                                                        Too much red meat. 

Your kiss on a camel,                                                                Tried to keep me calm.                                                                   So I wrapped a memento,                                                            Under the BD palm.  

We added a cartouche,                                                                 To your gold chain.                                                                      And a SIX CD,                                                                                      So you can sing the refrain. 

There’s more magnets,                                                                    On the fridge.                                                                                    Like Abbey Road,                                                                          And the Tower Bridge.                               

We did our best,                                                                                To mark your 66th year.                                                          Now Let’s get ready,                                                                      For some 6T7 cheer! 

Here’s to loving you,                                                                            My adorable hottie.                                                              Wishing you fortune,                                                                 And Angels on your Body.

copyright 2023 johnstonwrites.com

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Trip of a Lifetime #2335

On the 5.5-hour flight from Amman to London, I tried to make poetry of this trip of a lifetime experience. In the process, I used a couple of Arabic expressions like “Habibi” (sweetheart), “Yell-a, Yell-a” (hurry), and “tuf-tufs” (golfcarts).  Ten flights, five countries, and fifty new friends is the only way to sum up this plane, boat, and bus experience, that included a ride on a camel. We went through so many security checkpoints at airports, museums, and historical sites that we were probably overly exposed to harmful x-rays. Tipping was expected to even go to the toilet and aggressive vendors chased us down the street to the boat wherever we went. All this hassle was worth it in seeing these unbelievable wonders of the world. 

Among the surprising guests on the Viking riverboat cruise was a couple from my wife’s small Indiana hometown of Rochester. I thought the pyramids would be the highlight but instead it was Petra. We brought home souvenirs from the Cairo Marketplace, a Carpet Weaving School, a Papyrus painting outlet, and a Mosaic craft center, after observing the workmanship that goes into these unique items. Our last stop will be in London, so expect an encore poem, as well. 

Trip of a Lifetime 

Trip of a lifetime,                                                                                    Relics galore.                                                                                        With my “Habibi,”                                                                                  The wife I adore.

Seeing the pyramids,                                                                        A bucket check mark.                                                                  Ending with my return,                                                                  To London’s Hyde Park. 

“Yell-a, Yell-a,”                                                                          Always on the go.                                                                          The X-Ray exposure,                                                                Gave us a glow. 

Early Mornings,                                                                      Shorter slogs.                                                                              Sights to see,                                                                                       No time for blogs.                                                                           

Cairo’s Marketplace,                                                                  And times to pray.                                                                        Museums of yesterday,                                                             And Dead Sea mud play.

Tombs and Temples,                                                                  Pesky flies.                                                                                          But not as aggressive,                                                                    As the vendor guys. 

Pay to pee,                                                                                Another tip.                                                                               Planes, Boats, and Bus,                                                               An epic trip. 

Tuf-tufs, carriages,                                                                       And even a hump.                                                                   Modes of transportation,                                                           Hard on the rump. 

From the scriptures,                                                                        To the throne.                                                                                      So much ancient history,                                                     Carved in stone. 

Nubians, Bedouins,                                                                   Gods and Kings.                                                                      Crusaders, Romans,                                                                   Murders And Flings. 

Obelisks, Cartouches,                                                   Hieroglyphics and Caves.                                                     Mosaics, Mummies,                                                            Mosques and graves. 

Columns, Sculptures,                                                                 Carpet School Mart.                                                                  Egyptian cotton.                                                                   Papyrus art.   

Abu Simbel,                                                                                            A Dam good save.                                                                                  On Mount Nebo,                                                                    Seeking Moses’ grave. 

Luxor Temple treasures,                                                            Camels, goats, and crocodile.                                          Navigating the locks,                                                                     All while dining on the Nile.

The Wonders of Egypt,                                                             And Jordan’s Petra jewel.                                             Lectured along the way,                                                           And even attended school.         

The Avenue of the Sphinxes,                                                          And the Mother of them all.                                                          Viking friends we made,                                                          Fond memories to recall. 

We saw how big the world can be,                                            And how Rochester small.                                                Structures dating back to B.C.,                                              And a modern, seven-story mall. 

The time passed quickly,                                                        With Stonehenge ahead.                                                          Like Egypt’s Great mysteries,                                          “Aliens,” it could be said.

Copyright 2023 johnstonwrites.com

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Marc’s Party (not at my house) #2302

Many years ago, when I was a boss and Marc was one of my salespeople, I let him throw a party at my home pool. If questioned by management, it was his party – not mine – but just happened to be at my house. It became an annual tradition. Marc and I had a special connection dating back to his teenage years, while I was working for his dad at a Ft. Wayne, Indiana radio station. His old man was one of the toughest and most demanding managers I ever worked for, so I figured that Marc would be a good first hire for me in the Indianapolis television market. Thirty-four years later, Marc is finally leaving the business, and I wanted to contribute something for his retirement party. 

When I write these personalized poems, I realize that there are many inside references, so you may not understand everything about the content. He’s a guy that has followed in my footsteps, replacing me in Lafayette as General Manager and raising his family in Zionsville, a location between the station and Indianapolis. We did business in both places. Like me, Marc also married someone he worked with and left the company (LIN-TV) once they sold the stations where we worked. Regardless, our paths kept crossing through the years, and although he knew and worked with my wife and I knew his, most of our joint interactions were at company retreats, conventions, and promotions where our kids were not present. Plus, he remained in Indiana, while we moved to Illinois, Texas, Oregon, and Florida,

His wife’s name is Lynn, while our company research director was Lynne. I hired her, as well, but he took over where I left off. She is organizing the party and I therefor refer to the three LIN Lynn(e)s in his life. As you can see, we have all be closely interconnected throughout our careers. One one occasion, we all traveled together to Stowe, Vermont for a ski promotion and ended up doing shot-skis (shot glasses attached to a snow ski). After over-doing-it, we selected costumes from the lost-and-found and took some silly photos. The photos were later laminated and used as place mats at our favorite Indy hangout, The Great Divide.

 

Marc’s Party (not at my house)

April Fool’s Day,

One of my first hires.

And 34-years later.

Marc finally retires.

 

Your dad was my boss,

And I was once yours.

Following each other,

Forever endures.

 

One poem per person,

Was my initial vow.

But our paths kept crossing,

As I re-honor you now.

 

You took my place,

At WLFI.

Then back to THR,

Without the LIN tie.

 

We both chose Zionsville,

For a home to own.

Sam and Peyton,

I’ve barely known.

 

We’ve “Dickled” together,

Skied coast-to-coast.

Wish I was there,

For this retirement roast.

 

We both fished off,

The company pier.

Found the loves of our lives,

Co-working so near.

 

I’ve tried to ignore,

Your history of pranks.

For not picking on me,

I offer my thanks.

 

Our work intertwined,

With promotional free-bees.

One such great adventure,

Involved multiple “shot-skis.”

 

We then dressed up,

In silly lost-and-found hats.

The laminated photos,

Were Great Divide placemats.

 

The retirement party organizer,

Along with your LIN-TV wife.

There just weren’t enough,

LIN Lynn(e)’s in your life.

 

I’ll regret not attending,

And feel like a louse.

But this wild party,

Is not at my house.

Copyright 2023 johnstonwrites.com

 

 

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Wallet Woes #2290

I bought an Alice in Wonderland Limoges on E-Bay to celebrate our 25th anniversary of collecting these unique, porcelain boxes. It ties in nicely with our recent trip to Las Vegas and Disney World. I wrote this poem to recap our adventure, the only downside was a lost wallet. 

Wallet Woes 

Two Adult Playgrounds,

A plane ride apart. 

Night in Orlando,

Is where we start. 

 

Grand Chateau

Decaturites reunite. 

Bellagio memories, 

Eataly for a bite. 

 

A bunch of dummies,

At the Fator show. 

Blackjack and slots, 

Stealing our dough. 

 

Smith and Wollensky

For martinis and scotch. 

Chicago performance, 

No need for a watch. 

 

Mon Ami Gabi

Then Mott 32

For more nourishment, 

As our appetites grew. 

 

National Geographic

Mobster foes. 

Neon Boneyard, 

A Hugo’s rose. 

 

Disney is calling, 

Ratatouille ride. 

Laser finale,

But sleep, we cried.

 

Where’s Alice?

Time for Tea. 

Buzz and Peter, 

None for free. 

 

Until Tiger’s hug, 

Nora unimpressed.

The Castle fireworks, 

By far the best. 

 

It’s a retirement trip,

We won’t soon forget. 

We kept our shirts, 

But lost a wallet.

Copyright 2023 johnstonwrites.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Sport Shorts: Roll Tide #2255

I am a hardcore sports fan, but it’s rare when I don’t write about my favorite teams. There are too many times when I’ve wished I’d picked winners to support. I shunned Notre Dame growing up because their fans were obnoxious, spoiled winners. I was fortunate that Indiana University had so many good teams in numerous sports throughout the years.

On last year’s road trip, I stopped by Tuscaloosa, Alabama to see my half-sister, and she graciously took us on a tour of the campus where she works. The University of Alabama is far enough away that I don’t have to put up with their undoubtedly ugly fans. The campus is apparently haunted as the former site of an experimental psychiatric hospital. Plus, I’m sure the ghost of Paul “Bear” Bryant still has a presence, especially on game day. As a fan, my half-sister always ends her notes to me with, “Roll Tide,” so I wrote this poem for her:

Rock, and Roll Tide

In Tuscaloosa,

They’re on a roll.

And hope to rock you,

With the winning goal.

 

Their mascot,

Has a trunk.

Why is that?

I’ve often “thunk.”

 

Does it have,

A Red Neck?

Or say Y’ALL?

With due respect.

 

“Big AL” roams the sidelines,

And leads some cheers.

But he’s got wrinkles,

And Elephant ears.

 

The campus ghosts,

Come out to play.

And join Bear Bryant,

For each game day.

 

The fans are pumped,

The stands are packed.

Soon Twenty titles,

Could be a fact.

 

But Tigers and Bulldogs,

Get in the way.

Gators and Razorbacks,

Think they can play.

 

They’re led by a man,

Known as Saint Nick.

He’s won seven trophies,

With a temper that’s quick.

 

Volunteers and Rebels,

Try to compete.

Aggies and Wildcats,

Can’t take the heat.

 

The red wave is coming,

That will strike them all down.

And all these imposters,

Will be run out of town.

 

What’s a War Eagle?

Or a Commodore?

Gamecocks extinct,

And Rebels no more.

 

Bryant-Denny’s,

A special place.

A hundred thousand,

Party space.

 

Script “A” and Circle,

The logo to wear.

“Dixie’s Football Pride,”

Where losses are rare.

 

When you go into battle,

Be on the right side.

‘Bama forever,

Rock, and Roll Tide!

Copyright 2023 johnstonwrites.com

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