Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 1 of 28)

Rhymes of all kinds

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

Retirement is not without Hassles: Nicest Trailer #2246

For the first time since our Alaska and Hawaii travels, I got back in the pool today for a short swim.  I had turned the heater temperature down to save a few bucks back in late November and just cranked it up a few days ago. I could begin to tell the difference in my arms from not following up on my run each morning with a few laps of the breaststroke. At my age, muscle mass begins to deteriorate, and the underarms become flabbier. 88 pushups every morning are not enough anymore to keep my upper body firm. I was inspired at an early age to do push-ups every day, a lesson taught by an elderly gentleman, who was probably younger than me at the time and a friend of my grandfather’s. He lived in the same Englewood, Florida mobile home park as my grandparents, Ross and Grace Hancher. I’ve done this exercise nearly every day since I can remember, following Mr. Kaufman’s wise advice. 

My routine every morning includes a quick dog outing, stretching, sit-ups, pushups, and a 3.1-mile run, followed by the swim that I’ve added since buying our Florida home nearly two-years ago. I somehow settled on 88-pushups as my daily goal, but I’m not sure why I stopped short of 100. It would not be difficult to do 12 more, but like any day-after-day task, you simply get into a routine. I used to be able to do hundreds at a time and once drove my Sigma Chi fraternity brothers nuts by relishing what they thought was pledge punishment. “Thank you, sir, may I do another?” I would smile and effortlessly meet their challenge to the point where it would no longer be satisfying to administer. 

Every morning I now do the Mr. Kaufman challenge, long after he has been gone from this earth. I ran across his obituary years ago but failed to find it again at the time of this writing.  He lived in what I always thought was the “nicest trailer in the park,” with a view of Lemon Bay. Most importantly, he was the kindest man who treated my sister and I like his grandkids when we visited. He took us fishing, on boat rides, and to the park. 

I like to write silly poetry, and although the following is not in any way a reflection of Mr. Kaufman or the Bay Palms Trailer Park where he and my grandparents lived in the winter months, it was inspired by how many people too often stereotype mobile home living. Although it no longer exists today, the beautiful property where these folks once inhabited is now a public park. Their homes were immaculately kept, and they were the nicest people you could ever meet, not the crude portrayal that I present:

The Nicest Trailer in the Park

I own the nicest trailer,
In the whole damn Park.
Though it looks better,
After it gets dark.

Cause then you can’t see,
All the rust and dents.
But a newer model,
Just makes no sense.

There’s an elderly couple,
That lives down the way.
They own the lot,
That sits on the Bay.

Nice landscaping,
A new doublewide.
But unlike mine,
No bar inside.

A big satellite dish,
Doesn’t sit in their yard.
And they don’t have,
A junk yard dog.

No car on blocks,
No stray cat.
No bird droppings,
On the welcome mat.

These are the things,
That make it mine.
Home Sweet Home,
As it says on the sign.

It keeps the rain out,
Though the roof may sag,
The frig keeps the beer cold,
And the carpet’s shag.

The floor’s not level,
Cause one tire’s flat.
And underneath,
Lives a big old rat.

The lock is broken,
And my neighbor is a jerk.
Gray tape fixed one,
And the other doesn’t work.

The bugs can’t get out,
I’ve patched the screens.
As you can see,
I live over my means.

It’s a prime lot,
With the best view.
She’s a sight to see,
But a mother of two.

Indoor plumbing.
Is one of my goals.
Right after I repair,
Those bullet holes.

The maid hasn’t been here,
Since I can remember.
The lights are still up,
But it’s not December.

It’s paid for you know,
Though the propane is low.
And when I want to move,
I’ll just get a tow.

There are curtains to hang.
And bed bugs to kill.
For the lucky person,
Who’s in my will.

So, bill collectors,
Don’t come a knockin’.
Especially when,
My trailer’s rockin’

Copyright 2011 johnstonwrites.com

Also See Post #124

 

 

 

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Cupcake #2232

The evidence of Christmas Day is gone. Wrapping paper, empty boxes, bottles, cans, and cards have been recycled. The duck bones and remnants of the meal are on their way to the dump, with a few leftovers in the refrigerator. It’s so nice to once again have a working fridge in the kitchen. We no longer have to go to the garage now that it has finally been repaired – all the modern conveniences of home.

Gift giving was at a minimum this year after our trip to Kauai. I got a pair of socks and a new Kindle. Traditionally, I get my wife a Limoges Box each year and write a poem that’s stored inside. A porcelain cupcake was under the tree with a personal tribute to the pet-name I gave her many years ago – “Sweetie Pie”:

Cupcake

Tis the Season,

For candied scents,

Sugar Plums,

And Peppermints.

 

Pumpkin Bars,

Christmas cheer.

Gooey treats,

From the Chocolatier.

 

Slice of Key Lime,

Jamocha shake.

Recipes shared,

Goodies to bake.

 

Schweddy Balls,

Gum drops.

Peanut Brittle,

Lolly pops.

 

Cookie Monster’s,

Resistance weak.

Means dental care,

Early next week.

 

Let’s ice the cake,

And make Nazook.

Lick the bowl,

And kiss the cook.

 

These are a few,

Of my favorite things.

Outside of pizza,

And Wild Wings.

 

But the best of all,

Is Sweetie Pie.

Cupcake goodness,

Only mine to try.

Copyright 2022 johnstonwrites.com

 

 

 

 

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Island Christmas #2224

I bought a new/used computer, so most of my editing and posting issues are now behind me as I get back into the daily blog routine. I’ll start with this poem that summarizes our trip to Kauai where we dealt with some plumbing problems in our on-the-surface luxury resort:

Island Christmas 

A plunger by the toilet, 

And buckets to flush. 

Cheap toilet paper, 

But the condo was plush. 

 

Dancing Santa, 

There to greet us. 

No sign of Dinosaurs, 

That might eat us. 

 

A beautiful view, 

But screaming brats. 

Mother and daughter 

Poolside chats. 

 

Grumpy old man, 

And “broken face.” 

The tooth can be fixed, 

The first-not the case. 

 

A catamaran tour, 

With a puke nuke. 

Trampoline fun, 

Dinner with Duke. 

 

Looking to find, 

A Dive Bar clue. 

Nature abounds, 

Cock-a-doodle-doo. 

 

Dolphins jumping, 

SEA Turtles to SEE. 

Food and gas costly, 

But the Hula Pie free. 

 

World Cup Soccer, 

Chess to play. 

Waterfalls and rainbows, 

Though too much grey. 

 

“Wettest Spot on Earth,” 

The sign read. 

Gallons of wine, 

Early to bed. 

 

Spam for lunch, 

Too many hot dogs. 

Mini Van chariot,  

Flattened frogs. 

 

A wad of wasabi, 

By mistake one night. 

Hanalei Bay, 

A “magical” sight. 

 

Puka Dogs, 

Tiki torches. 

Folding glass panels, 

To ocean-side porches. 

 

Kalanipu’u,

Too many vowels. 

Code Name teams, 

Feathered Fowls. 

 

Secret beach, 

And elevator. 

We finally got here, 

Two Years later. 

 

Pipes third-world, 

At our first-rate resort. 

Family Christmas, 

But Time was too short. 

 

“Mele Kalikimaka” 

copyright 2022 johnstonwrites.com

Retirement is not without Hassles: Shot Crazy #2214

With my wife sick on the couch as a reaction to her third booster, I couldn’t help but think about the notion of whether or not these shots are really worth it? She was sicker from the reaction than she was from when we both came down with Covid. My only aftereffects from this shot was a sore arm.

After yesterday’s Turkey and Tequila poem, I apparently had Tequila on the mind and wrote another to pass away the time on a quiet afternoon:

Shot Crazy

A shot for this,
A pill for that.
We’re nothing more,
Than a lab rat.

A prick here,
A Band-Aid there.
The flu bug,
The Covid scare.

How about shingles?
Pneumonia yet?
How about your dog,
Have you seen the vet?

The common cold,
Can’t help you there.
And we don’t have a cure,
For losing your hair.

May I have another?
Are they two-for-one?
After this next booster,
Am I finally done?

Did you have a reaction?
We’ve got nothing for that,
And we don’t have a remedy,
For fighting fat.

Immunization,
Has swept our nation.
We’re all hooked,
On Vaccination!

Don’t make me bend over,
Not in the butt.
The need for a needle,
Has us all in a rut!

If there’s a shot,
To heal ya.
Forget the others,
Make mine Tequila.

Copyright 2022 blog.johnstonwrites.com

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Turkey & Tequila #2213

I got my third Covid booster yesterday. It follows last month’s flu shot while the pharmacist also asked about pneumonia and shingles shots. All I ever wanted was a shot of Tequila. Years ago, a group of friends would get together around Thanksgiving for what we called “Turkey & Tequila.” One of them recently commented that “it sounded like a potential  Kenny Chesney song.” I don’t write songs but I do dabble with poetry, so I responded with this:

Turkey & Tequila

When Thanksgiving comes,
Guests don’t want Sangria.
Nothing’s better with turkey,
Than a bottle of tequila.

The turkey’s meant,
To fill ya’.
While Tequila’s buzz,
Will thrill ya’.

Turkey and Tequila,
A combo like no other.
But never served,
By my mother.

So, pass the gravy,
Salt and limes.
And get ready,
For good times.

Give me a leg,
You prefer the thigh.
How does Anejo,
Go with pumpkin’ pie?

But don’t go choke,
On that turkey bone.
Wash it on down,
With a shot of Patron.

Have no regrets,
Now will ya’?
Don’t drink so much,
It kills ya’.

Blue Agave’s,
Known to heal ya’.
And when distilled,
You have Tequila!

If the alcohol don’t,
The worm will keel ya’.
That’s the reason,
It’s called “Te-kill-YA.”

I’ll have seconds,
What a meal (yum)!
Let’s give thanks,
For Turkey & Tequila.

Copyright 2022 johnstonwrites.com

 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Cruisin’ & Boozin’ #2176

The much anticipated poem to summarize our recent lengthy excursion to Alaska and Hawaii:

Cruisin’ & Boozin’

First Class to Portland,
Are we set to sail the seas?
Already second thoughts,
Do we really want to freeze?

Time with Family,
Falco and Ham.
Lunch with buddies,
Suitcases to cram.

Nike campus tour,
Former haunts to rove.
Mitch has in-law-itis,
Megan with no stove.

Vancouver Sheraton,
For a pre-cruise rest.
But Wanted in Canada,
For evading a Covid test.

First stop for Totem poles,
Mendenhall Glacial ice.
Berg bits float by,
Scenery meant to entice.

Outdoor kitchen taking shape,
But mighty Ian on the way.
Helpful neighbors chipping in,
While out cruisin’ Glacier Bay.

Suddenly no power,
As hurricane winds blow.
But we’re got full stomachs,
At another onboard Show.

Taking in Munch Moments,
Seeing a Brown Bear live.
Sea Lions and otters,
As flooding rains arrive.

More Manfredi’s pasta,
Or a Chef’s Table treat.
When we get home,
There’s nothing to eat.

We still have a pool cage,
As we tour Valdez.
Another glass of wine?
Just find Tally please!

Cooking classes,
Champs at Bridge..
But spoiling food,
In our bad fridge.

Alaska is so beautiful,
From our comfy deck.
But our resort community.
Is an awful wreck.

Russian churches,
Grey Whale bones.
Mountain views,
No web or phones.

Puffins and eagles,
So much beauty to see.
Even some blue skies.
Where’s your ID?

The whales are jumping,
The ship badly rocking.
Hold on tight,
Seven days without docking.

Once we left Alaska,
The wildlife took passes.
The only Big Fish spied,
Were thru 3-D glasses.

Fake ABBA and Beatles,
Films on the BIG screen.
Surrounded by water,
Nothing green.

Land ahoy,
Kauai catamaran.
Surfing Dog,
Still fading tan.

Vacation Club scout,
Movie scenes.
Frig out at home,
Shorts not jeans.

Maui WOWIE,
Fleetwood memories.
Tender to Oahu,
Calm seas, Palm trees.

Last Stop,
Aloha Clock.
Red Eye home,
Jet Lag Shock.

But with our credits,
We Booked another.
Using Father Viking,
And Marriott Mother.

Copyright 2022 johnstonwrites.com

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

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