Today's thoughts

Category: POEMS (Page 2 of 24)

Rhymes of all kinds

Retirement is not without Hassles: Christmas Star #1549

My wife’s Christmas Limoges this year is in honor of our upcoming move to Florida. It’s a miniature picnic basket with plates inside and is topped with a porcelain Starfish. It’s perfect for a romantic lunch on the beach or filled with burgers, fries, and a pup-cup for our schnauzer, Tally, from nearby Freddys. Our new home will be near Casey Key and the grandkids. Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Star

This star is not,
On the Christmas tree.
It comes this year,
From the sea.

Florida or bust,
Our move is soon.
We’ll next be singing,
A Sunny tune.

We’ll have our picnic,
Near Casey Key.
As soon as we,
Are Covid free.

A basket full,
Of tasty eats.
While Tally gets,
Some doggie treats.

We’ll fill our plates,
And raise a toast.
To our new house,
On the Gulf Coast.

Or we’ll stay home,
Enjoy the pool.
While the grandkids,
Are off at school.

White sand beaches,
Bright blue skies.
Where we can feast,
On Freddy’s fries.

We’ll travel again,
Beyond the Keys.
And in retirement,
Do as we please.

I hope you get,
Every Christmas wish.
But our star this year,
Is really a fish.

Copyright 2020

Retirement is not without Hassles: Ho-Ho-Hum #1548


Dinner’s to-go again,
Can’t sit in a bar.
Much too overcast,
To wish upon a star.

Can’t go to a movie,
Or even a game.
We live in isolation,
Nothing’s quite the same.

Normal is long gone,
Boredom here to stay.
Afraid of the scale,
What I might weigh?

The mask on my face,
Keeps bad breath to myself.
Only cheap toilet paper,
Left on the shelf.

Zoom is our only,
Close family time.
Since holiday gatherings,
Are considered a crime.

Home is now everything,
Office, School, and Gym.
We look to escape,
But the prospects are dim.

The stockings are hung,
With social distance in mind.
The year Twenty-Twenty
Has been so unkind.

We all hope the future,
Will be so much better.
I can’t even show-off,
My ugly Christmas sweater.

Should I dream of white,
Or for a vaccine?
Or kill all the pain,
With booze and caffeine?

Santa shouldn’t travel,
From his North Pole bubble.
Christmas next year,
Should just be double.

After hours of TV,
My butt is numb.
Life’s not jolly,
It’s Ho-Ho-Hum.

copyright 2020

Creature Features: Dog and Frog #1511

This is a children’s poem based on our schnauzer, Tally, and a recent encounter with a tiny, harmless thumbnail frog. She actually bit it in half, but this would not have been an appropriate story to tell to an impressionable kid. As a result, I made up a less controversial ending. The dog and the frog are having a conversation in rhyme with the dog speaking in red

Leap of Friendship

This is the story,
Of the dawdling dog,
Who came nose-to-nose,
With a flirtatious frog.

“I like to pause,”
And smell the roses,
And tell me this:
Do frogs have noses?”

“I got a whiff,
Of you, my friend.”
“And with that breath,
You might offend.”

“You stink good, too,
A lot like a fish.
Finding a pal,
Fulfills my wish.”

“A dog and frog,
It makes some sense.
Based on scents.”

“You fear my bark,
Stay out of reach.
I can’t get much closer,
I’m on a leash.”

“You’ve got no Master,
To pull your chain.”
But your croak is a joke,
And my teeth cause pain.”

“You’ve always been,
A puppy dog,
But I was once,
A polliwog.”

“And once had a tail,
Just like you.
Then out of nowhere,
These legs grew.”

“I couldn’t hop,
Once had to swim.
I’m a she,
Are you a him?”

“Well, I can shake,
And even fetch.
I also learned,
To play some catch.”

“But there’s something,
Tickling my nose.
It’s a nuisance,
I suppose.

“I can quickly,
Snatch that fly.
My tongue is quick,
So Say goodbye.”

“You can run fast,
Since you’re a dog.
But you can’t out-swim,
Or out-leap a frog.”

“I’m amphibious,
While you’re grounded.
Why you’re attracted,
Leaves me astounded.”

“Frogs are cool,
Despite no hair.
Your eyes bug out,
When you stare.”

Do you have lips?
Or should we just shake?
Then you can leap,
Back in the lake.

“Though we’re different,
We’ll still be friends.
This story Ends.

copyright 2020



Diary of an Adoptee: Gingko #1491

Fourteen years ago, when my parents were both still alive, the family gathered at a neighborhood park and planted two small trees, including a red maple and a ginkgo. Appropriately, the ginkgo was one of my dad’s favorites, plus he grew up on Maple Street. My sister and I were both adopted by them and had families of our own when the ceremonial planting took place. Since that time the maple has been replaced several times, but the gingko continues to survive. It turns a golden color this time of year. At it’s base, we buried a time capsule that included this poem: 

The Family Tree

May it grow tall,
Roots big and strong.
Branches of love,
Sprout many years long.

Shade in the summer,
Color each fall.
New leaves come spring,
For enjoyment by all.

Where birds will nest,
And squirrels will play.
This truly is,
A magical day.

Only we know it’s special,
For you Mom and Dad.
For all you have given us,
For the good lives we’ve had.

We stand here together,
With the love we all share.
And planting this Ginkgo,
Is a family affair.

The root of our being,
Your marriage has sewn.
From your guidance and love,
Our families have grown.

October 28, 2006
Ginkgo Tree planted especially for Burt
And Cathy Johnston

Copyright 2006

I spoke with my sister yesterday and reminded her of the time capsule and the anniversary of the planting. Her kids were there when we added the contents, but neither of us can remember what was included. She doesn’t live too far from the park, so I’m hoping she can get her kids together and dig it up, maybe add more things before replacing it in its rightful spot. Our parents, Burt and Cathy, both died in 2014, eight years after the tree was planted. There’s a photo that I will dig out for next year’s anniversary. 

I’ve since discovered the identity of my birth parents, so I spend a lot of time with my Ancestry family tree, searching for clues about my existence and genetic ties. However, it’s not nearly as meaningful as this living monument to the people that loved and raised me. I honor them today with this memory of our lives together. Miss you, Mom and Dad!


Retirement is not without Hassles: Insanity #1471

We’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s famous line: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Well, apparently he never said it! However, it doesn’t really matter who said it because the words ring true, as day after day I tend to live in a rut of repetition. Here is a poem to express my recent feelings of boredom:


Day after day,
Of doing the same.
I’m tired of playing,
The Covid game.

Stuck at home,
In a room by myself.
With travel plans,
Sitting on a shelf.

Little to do,
Not much to say.
Wanna get away,
But forced to stay.

A mask on my face,
And sanitized hands.
I miss the crowds,
And seeing live bands.

I’m glad there’s T.V.,
But I’ve seen too much.
I want the comfort,
Of human touch.

I’ve had enough,
Of this isolation.
When can I go,
On a needed vacation?

I haven’t bought a ticket,
For a game or show.
Restaurants closing,
My spirits low.

Schools are shuttered,
We work from home.
Rarely go out,
Don’t need a comb.

Each day a risk,
Of getting sick.
We want a vaccine,
And need it quick.

Unemployment rises,
Income falls.
All we see,
Are the same four walls.

Have another drink,
Take a nap.
Ways to escape,
This pandemic crap.

Everyone’s patience,
Is running so thin.
Doesn’t it feel like,
It’s yesterday again?

Going through the motions,
Growing insane.
Today and tomorrow,
Seem exactly the same.

Copyright 2020

Retirement is not without Hassles: Vampire #1465

It’s time for some Halloween fun, while combating the Covid Curse. I’ve seen some cleaver candy delivering systems to maintain social distancing protocols for brave Trick-or-Treaters. I doubt we will see many this year. We’ll just all eat our own candy, adding to all those pounds we’ve gained these past six months.

It’s been an October tradition over the last twenty-years to gift my wife with a porcelain Limoges Box in celebration of the holiday. However, not all of them have been Halloween themed, so her shelf display only numbers sixteen, as some overlap with Thanksgiving that are still in storage. With the pending move, we’re also not bringing out the other decorations. As a result, Halloween this year for us will be nothing but a  token gift of Dracula with this silly poem hidden inside:


This Limoges coffin,
Your Halloween desire.
A shiny black box,
With a scary vampire.

It sleeps all day,
Sucks blood at night.
Just watch out!
It could well bite.

Big white fangs,
Coat of gray.
Keep the lid closed,
Or it might stray.

A garlic clove,
Or wooden stake.
Keep him at rest,
For everyone’s sake.

Count Dracula,
Long overdue.
October’s gift,
From me to you.

copyright 2020

Retirement is not without Hassles: Ghost of Halloween Past #1449

It’s that time of year when my wife’s Limoges Box display changes from a summer to a Halloween theme. It’s an annual tradition to bring out all the porcelain trinkets that celebrate the season. I hauled the special container out of our apartment storage cage that sadly led to a lot of sneezing on her part after once they were all unwrapped and organized. It was also a reminder that I need to buy a new one for this year. Last year, I purchased a haunted house that was already part of her growing collection. In fact, after twenty years of collecting, it’s hard to keep track of the inventory. I do have a list of over 325 pieces, but obviously I missed the boat last year and ordered a duplicate. 

By the time I sent the original piece back and replaced it with a ghost, Halloween had come to an end. The ghost did not get much shelf time before Thanksgiving and Christmas were upon us. I also failed to write the customary poem that goes inside each hinged box. As a result, the cute little ghost with a Trick-or-Treat bag, was back in storage without a poem in its belly. I put this together quickly to remedy the situation:


Ghost of Halloween Past

This poor ghost,
Hasn’t been fed.
It’s gone a full year,
Without a poem read.

This porcelain spook,
From Halloween Past.
Wants words that rhyme,
And needs them fast.

It’s hungry and lonely,
Been trapped in a cage.
It’s probably haunted,
At least filled with rage.

All the other Limoges,
Have a poem inside.
But this one sadly,
Has been denied.

It arrived late October,
Too tardy to display.
Packed up for a year,
And hidden away.

To make matters worse,
It was an afterthought.
The first one I gifted,
Had already been bought.

It now gets its chance,
To shine on the shelf.
Until it’s replaced,
With a turkey or elf.

Twenty-twenty has been,
A very strange year.
Halloween’s cancelled,
Due to pandemic fear.

We wear a mask every day,
And smoke fills the air.
We venture outside,
Only if we dare.

Trick or Treat Time,
Has come at a cost.
There’s been some bad breaks,
And jobs have been lost.

But many good things,
Have also transpired.
Both of us now,
Are officially retired.

And this ghost moves next,
To our new Florida home.
And maybe by then,
We can travel to Nome.

Copyright 2020

The poem references a broken leg, virus concerns, travel restrictions, job changes, wild fire smoke, and cancelled Trick-or-Treating. We were not able to get into Canada or Alaska as planned this year and our Hawaii trip is questionable. Egypt and Bali were not to be, despite the fact that my wife and I are now both retired and we’re building a new home in Florida. Regardless, Happy Halloween to all!

Retirement is not without Hassles: Write A Poem #1442

I’m not sure where this one came from? I was sitting in the Dallas airport for hours, finishing up some partially written haikus from years past. It evolved into a personal protest against those who will argue with anything. 

Write A Poem 

Doesn’t go my way,
I guess I’ll show ’em.
When I get upset,
I write a poem.

To put my thoughts,
Down on the page.
Clears my mind,
Of anger, even rage.

Words that rhyme,
Calm my soul.
They keep my world,
In firm control.

I try to be funny,
But life’s often not.
Sometimes my words,
Don’t mean a lot.

The power of expression,
Is a wonderful right.
You can make your point,
Without a fist fight.

I choose the pen,
As my weapon.
But have to be careful,
Where I’m steppin.’

Too far to the left,
Or way to the right.
Sometimes the vise,
Can turn too tight.

Sparks can fly,
And tempers can flare.
When everyone agrees,
It’s extremely rare.

In troubled times,
Phrases get twisted.
Battles break out,
Grievances listed.

Some get offended,
When no offense is meant.
Too many times,
A mixed message is sent.

I wish we could all,
Just get along.
But someone would say,
That this is just wrong.

Copyright 2020

Creature Features: Black Bandit #1441

Our little black schnauzer named Tally must have top-of-mind presence. Yesterday’s poem has led to another. I dutifully let her out to do her business first thing every morning and twice in the evening. It seems she should be grateful, but instead she definitely prefers my wife. She’s even reluctant to sleep in good bed on my side of the bedroom. She’s definitely a Mama’s Girl with many nicknames like “Talligator,” “Gator,” “Tally Monster,” and “Tallster.” It suddenly struck me that she’s more like a “Black Bandit,” lurking around our apartment in anticipation of a treat or meal.

Black Bandit

This Black Bandit,
Doesn’t wear a mask.
When it comes to theft,
She’s up to the task.

She’ll steal your heart,
Take your breath away.
“Would you like a treat?”
Is all you have to say.

She’ll expose her tummy,
Like an open book.
Flash the cutest smile,
Give a welcome look.

She would very much like,
To take you for a walk.
Sometimes you suspect,
She can actually talk.

She’ll bite the leash,
To pull you along.
Like you’re doing it,
Totally wrong.

You try to keep up,
While she leads the way.
Then slowly dawdles,
Until spotting a stray.

Smells are codes,
From canine confidants.
To be doggedly deciphered,
Seeking sense from scents.

With jaws like a gator,
She tears up her toys.
And barks for attention,
From the doggie boys.

She lounges in good bed,
Until supper is served.
Awarding her behavior,
That’s much deserved.

When it comes to bedtime,
Ham Time’s the tradition.
And getting extra servings,
Is Tally’s daily mission.

She’s the Black Bandit,
And sneaky like a crow.
The pink tongue an exception,
In color head to toe.

She’s really not a thief,
Just very persuasive.
But when it comes to me,
She tends to be evasive.

Copyright 2020 


Creature Features: Yummy Tummy #1440

When our schnauzer Tinker was alive, she always seemed to inspire a poem. Her younger sister Tally all too often got upstaged. Now that she’s an only dog, I thought it only fair to write some words to describe our all-black pup who is often just a dark shadow in photos (unless she poses on a white rug). Tally rarely pays attention to me, but every once in a while she rolls on her back expecting a Tummy Attack!

Yummy Tummy  

We have a pup,
Who likes attention.
All you have to do,
Is subtly mention.

Would you like,
A Tummy Attack?
She’ll roll over,
On her back.

Her paws in the air,
To urge your hand.
Exposing her belly,
To something grand.

“Please don’t stop,”
You can hear her plea.
The smile on her lips,
Expressing glee.

“A little lower,
And to the right.
You can keep rubbing,
All through the night.”

And when she’s hungry,
There’s more magic rhyme.
“Yummy Tummy,”
It’s dinner time.

Backwards, Upside down,
Then comes the look.
She’s got you,
On the Hook.

She’s a black bandit,                                                                        For scraps or Ham Time.                                                              But stealing your heart,                                                                Is her biggest crime.

Those eyes meet yours,
It’s clearly Pet-nosis.
Tally gets what she wants,
She’s Puppy Precocious.

Copyright 2020

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