Eight furrows turned neat and straight, most thoroughly done
near fence style, rested his mule for awhile
with pipe alit, soft ground sliced like ripe peaches split
knocked burnt dottle out, since Irish - snort nip from bottle.
Restarted in, dropped plow-board down once again
but half-way back, plow mired deep - wet and black
screamed, cursed and swore, stubborn mule would pull no more
unhitched the plow, walked mule back - quite angry now.
Across the way, neighbors knew - too wet the clay
mule put in barn, when wife asked - Pat wouldn’t say
his Irish pride, not found at pub - til Shrovetide.
February 8, 2001
What does she do, supper made from tins not jars
opened windows, closed stove vents til stove-wood chars
goes out behind the shed or if young - abstain
visit neighbors next door - as there all complain.
What does he do, eats leftovers though but few
closed-off stove vents, cleans out pipes and upping flue
uses plunger or snake, til foul stoppage relieved
glad phone and lights off - enjoys what change achieved.
February 24, 2001
Several moles with hairs too long
a tongue when spoke, two-forked prong
hair shaggy gray, never neat
wouldn't bathe - stank like her feet.
Wore long pants beneath her skirt
lived like those - who love their dirt.
April 28, 2001
Their energy spent avoiding each other - left unmet
as for Hell fire's damnation, running up quite a debt
every opportunity ventured, became a threat
twenty years has been, far as I know - still at it yet.
May 20, 2001
After gone, I had to simply laugh
one very young, always on the fly
women's gift of reason, seems but half
now recalled - didn't even say hi.
Well no loss, if important - she'd be back
women's hopes pursued like hounds on a track
ever persistent, search til answers found
though their thinking found faulty - hearts are sound!
Knowing when she returns - and she will
how soon, can never guess - but will come
thence I will listen, yet keeping still
perhaps learn just where she's coming from!
Well, again I was wrong - for never returned
letter-learned, she'd joined some Peace Corp or such
was years ago, of where she'd gone - left unlearned
as far as thereafter - never been in touch.
September 4, 2002
Though pair of stones cut of equal rank
only one inscribed, other left blank
close-read of one etched, gives no clue
could understand of one - but why two?
Are words enscribed in stone - but a lie
perhaps moved away, but on the sly
or did that other person never die
but if not - a miracle as to why!
Stone's style - before that Civil War
perhaps back then, later years found poor
or was one too cheap to pay its cost
one merely blank - other fully glossed.
Maybe some hidden hate now forgotten
out of wedlock, as one ill-begotten
more likely, hoped-for wanted child
ever yearning - as long years whiled.
Locals still talk of that stone left blank
rowdy tales told, years grow more rank
especially after - all evening drank.
A story, with its truth left unknown
only one etched with inscriptions shown
first tells its history - second stands mute
one speaks of buried death - other left moot.
October 18, 2002
Though we surmise being single, free from friction
when wed-knot tied, truth found far stranger than fiction
although each thinks, still free to do what wish to do
remember, that other half - is also half of you.
Of course we might well laugh at this silly twist of honest rhyme
yet each one holds themself as preeminantly - fully I'm
those unwed, but little more than half of whom might be
despite what widows and widowers think - since now free!
So remember the Alamo, as well as truths of being married
yet must admit, circumstance of each one's life often varied
at times, worth of two wed as one oft felt - like being harried
however, takes a life-time - until one is finally buried.
The better-half is but what you are for that other
or would you prefer yourself - their sister or brother?
Think on these words closely, for futures are at stake
mis-step now might foredoom onward days - big mistake!
When both say to each I do, perhaps intends them true
each hoping other half, at least half what hoped from two
yet if truth be known, what known of that other - merely presumed
marriage a daring risk, future years fraught - with what first assumed.
A challenge, even God itself chose not become entangled with
sterile bishops still preach, old profs taught - perhaps but some vapid myth
marriage a daily struggle, fought with selfish words instead of guns
history replete with episodes, why wars were fought - and sometimes won.
A mess the world still contends with, been better if each one created
no need for crabby kids shatter morning's peace of any sleeping parent's soul
only late widows and glad widowers can fully appreciate
a mistake God made, should have made both the same - yet still communicate.
What's that you say dear: Dinner sooner if I had helped you - as said
Such the ages lie, still believed - those joyed agonies of marriage-hood.
May 20, 2003
Front door for Jehovah witnesses or other sales men
back door for near neighbors, local friends - kith and kin
dogs and cats, birds and rats, mice and frogs, unfriendly snakes and weeds
all have run of my property - without proprietary deeds.
Country ways of the past still in force hereabout
seldom does one visit by, for am often out
modern folks usually phone before they call or will
should some business have need - ask them send a bill.
Perhaps last place will ever dwell, before sickness or death attends
thence suffer indignities of medicos, hospital recommends
sequestered in some noisy rest-home, slowly going crazy - til petrify
for in the end, only Death sanctifies - my funeral's cost may satisfy.
May 21, 2003
Revealed her ring, left hand now ordained
her french-leavage quickly told - full explained.
May 31, 2003
Such life gifts from Pandora's opened lid
freely flung across Time, thoughts longly hid
til dreams altered by schemes - Fate's futures bid.
A paradox - myth of Pandora's box
some found it a blessing gifting pax
others cruelly cursed - with dreadful pox.
An ancient riddle, Wisdom yet finds useful
philosophers and teachers teach, as truthful
soothsayers still believing - keeps one youthful.
June 9, 2003
Until rising creeks began to flood
well-traveled roads, cars soon churned to mud
my peaceful cow still re-chews its first cud
yet quickly bolted, when heard thunder's thud.
Rained so fast, over spilled roof's gutters
complaining downspout, loudly sputters
constant banging of upstair's shutters
shed door loosely slams - old dog mutters.
Night came early, no evening fell
well-gas shut off, no heat to cook by
toilets may backup, stink as well
of my gloomy mood - need not ask why.
Wife's away, visit aunt Floss - a fluzzy
strange lady she is, a real duzzy
when stepped outside, even porch boards oozy
ate cold leftovers, after - felt woozy.
Guess wife will stay her night at aunt Floss' place
as I walked those floors with my tiresome pace
bed-down early, of course sleep a hopeless case
both bed and house felt vacant - with lots of space.
Surely when morning comes, rains will cease
dream early sun may gift drying peace
if wells' not back on, both toilets won't flush
wife not yet back - always in a hurried rush!
Its gloomy overcast greets my hopeful dawn
main-roads full-flooded out, telephone lines down
mud-slides slithered like snakes across the lawn
no word from the wife, dog left - went to town.
Tis then began to plan my destiny, at least for today
with wife gone, enough food - should last one more day.
Mid afternoon, lights finally came back on, minutes later - went out
cursed the darkness, for there had been no dawn, molds began to sprout
at least have heat, its that toilet ill-bothers me
cooked both breakfast and lunch - well-gas shut off at three.
No word of outside world, wife, dog or aunt Floss
water now pools beneath rugs, toilets' growing moss
no heat nor lights, phone out - no dog comes down the lane
old cow bellows - though has enough hay and grain.
About noon, lights briefly flickered - then that was all
checked telephone just in case - for that wanted call
well-gas still out, for some odd reason, toilet works
and so do I, quickly - before all else goes berserk.
Finally oil-skinned with boots, headed for the barn
see how Bossie's bearing up, with barn's full-worth of hay
lawn including barn floor, like a scottish tarn
old Bossie looked just fine, of me - have no more to say.
Checked full grain-box, then pulled down few more bales of hay
though barn floor seeping wet, least she has lots of straw
headed back to house, with not one happy word to say
still no lights nor heat or dog - no phone to make a call.
Another cold supper, watered coffee - is the end in sight
perhaps will starve and die, no one knowing of my fatal plight
gloomy days of rain, what really need - one paddle and canoe
lacking such luck as that, what specially plead - is return of you.
That dog ever comes home, will be shot as soon as seen
land, house, farm and cow - immediately goes on sale
wife and I move away from aunt Floss - an evil queen
move in on our children, til our charm and theirs - stales.
After that, who gives a damn, not I - already been in hell
up and leave all behind, with or without foreclosure's sale
both die as wandering vagabonds, beyond that - who can tell
our names long forgotten, glad that damn dog - a neutered male.
April 12, 2004
Fume and fuss with their cries
swear and vow with endless lies
goes on - despite the other dies.
Treaties, agreements, pacts
greedy for what each one lacks
yet both laugh - behind their back.
Both agreed in palaced tower
pact each signed, their proudest hour
eternal bickerings - for power.
Each wanting what they want
their vacant prides proudly flaunt
belittling - with their teasing taunt.
Constant feuds to curse or bless
how leaders lead, tis anyone's guess
their citizens - could not care less.
Two countries lay side by side
between them both, ran that river wide
economies of both - held up their pride.
Since so close together
like two birds of same feather
what each plans - depends on whether.
Both leaders play the game
tis their pride that fuels hate's flame
what each side plans - much the same.
Thence one night as drank their cup
loud volcano felt erupt
after, river between - dried up.
Buildings fell on both sides
river filled in by mud-slides
need for each other - no one hides.
Required all work together
til both found got along better
soon learned, each to each - a debtor.
Until those two sides no longer fight
finally put away their former spite
with out those squabbles - futures look bright!
April 15, 2004
Until with a well practiced art
loudly outspoke their vented fart
gastric pains eased - with manly art.
April 21, 2004
Thus save himself and floundered soul as well
cyclic cycle, an endless struggle, despite
often sick enough to require doctor's care
writes another check - to cover his ill-health's cost.
Always knows where he stands, if hemorrhoids unfit to sit
an indentured slave, works hard-earned to pay himself
for all those troubles life wrought, hopeful - may save him by
last vacation taken, just after last world-war.
Always wet at haying time, plow-days too
always dry when flat on his back, left to wonder why
by time goes to market, high price suddenly gone flat
with just enough to pay, for his wasted trip - traveled back.
Either half-sick or half-well, never in between
lives beneath some curse, for old Satan does its best
belts snap, oil leaks or blown radiator caps
daily flats a normal nuisance, starts his day out right
weather forecasts always wrong - although never right.
Electric fencing, either hot enough to kill or merely maim
yet on several occasions, found shorted-out by fallen limbs
since skipped last Spring's pruning - long-down sick in bed.
A chance he had to take, for farming tis very risky
for one must dare to do whatever it takes - to write
those endless checks - paying for what already bought.
Farm-year just begun, his early plowing nearly done
equipment repaired, frozen winter's weather had allowed
no longer glance ill-weather reports, disregards them all
rain or shine, sleet or snow - seems ever on the go
buying this, charging that - over-drafts suite him fine.
If gets in debt deep enough, prison will take care of him
not to worry, now goes to bed early, sleeps until noon
all farm equipment sold, house, barn and land - walks wherever goes
since dying anyway, may as well enjoy his coming death.
Last I heard, bought another farm with house and equipment
I'll give him that, despite hypochondria still persistent
perhaps he has a secret plan, again too poor to sell or buy
as long as can write-out those checks - may live until he dies.
May 8, 2004
Wise wisdom of how to get along in life
finishing schools, well brought up to be one's wife
exactitude preferred by those educated
civil of social order - well cultivated.
However, there are times that try men's souls
overstepping proper bounds of propriety
whereof old conventions, oft overthrown
then time to damn all - including sobriety.
For those gifted with Irish wit, well knows
one must follow two sets of rules, to get-on by
depending on how fares the day one goes
most proper one should know, which way to go - and why.
Two countries nearly side by side, across that straight
friendly sort, each learned to live with - both still love or hate!
July 15, 2004
Too long, but cold nights - hot days
til dry land and sea complained
if this keeps up - no one stays
all agreed - new laws ordained.
This idea grew up very fast
like trees, gods quickly planted
til by noon, short shadows cast
with grateful thanks - he chanted.
Tis how shade first came to be
now each day, sits beneath that tree
praising what gods gave to he
thence came a day - did not foresee.
Came to pass, beneath that tree
his noon-day nap slept til three
surprised when first apple fell
his first thought - all gone to Hell.
For there stood by, one with a smile
stark-naked too, more pretty than he
thence both ate apples for quite awhile
scriptures tell- how man first came to be.
July 15, 2004
As quickly riddled out her question
rattled point-blank to ask of me
commanded, unlike a suggestion
knew of its answer - could not be.
Felt like being pulled through some small hole
just big enough, I could not squeeze through
its puzzlement, your lies had stole
yet knew I knew - much more than you.
Some strange thought she had newly found
recently broken above ground
modern thinking, lately brought round
allegedly held - safe and sound.
Though our argument fought all night
eventually found, she'd been right
and I was absolutely wrong
of course she had known this - all along.
Soon after, did things left unspoke
nearly midday - when each awoke.
July 23, 2004
Days or nights much the same
though I hoped - no one came
same food cooked every meal
except still won't eat - bread's heel.
Dust gathers til begins to grow
last night, saw their green eerie glow
creatures evolving, strangely so
both life and death - daily come and go.
Pay bills already paid before
new tools bought, disuse soon outwore
letters sent, come back with postage due
unknowing why sent - to whom or who.
Calendars have little meaning now
which day tis, no means of knowing how
no one comes, no one goes
doors neither open - nor close.
Of when or whereof, now unheeded
past forgotten, futures un-needed
rarely hears one loudly greeted
lonely prayers - nightly pleaded.
July 27, 2004
His point of view may have seemed pointless, by those
whose minds already made up, solidified with firm convictions
unmoved by such insightful wisdom, their proud smugness
held feelings frozen, his keen-held ideas - left unquestioned.
Til his engaging smile, thawed out their cool response
stoic pride chilled by self-deaf ears, what had heard
but of their own, til logic confirmed their thoughts with his
that far-fetched idea in return - would finally save.
August 15, 2004
Til children came home from school
knew then, she had been a fool
fed them grits - instead of gruel.
Homework studies done - sent to bed
til each one's prayers finally said
she stayed up late - for what she read.
November 5, 2004
Eleven with their leader, barely quite
dozen and their shepherd, exactly right
Scriptures attest of such, at least for men
New Testament affirmed - at least back then.
Women were excluded, no need ask why
old scriptures concluded, got in men's way
asked too many questions, oft prone to cry
seldom listen well - have too much to say.
After Christ died, they gathered one more
again back to twelve, need one more elected
twelve men seemed best, whether rich or poor
after Judas hung - Matthias corrected.
Too many, too few - argued til dozen seemed best
when it comes to comradery amongst men
Iscariot's greed, gave lie of his selfish quest
a matter of honesty - for theft was sin.
Til regretful of his crime against those poor
thirty silver pieces flung on Temple's floor
ashamed of his greedy crime, of stolen pelf
remorse self-condemned - when Judas hung himself.
March 23, 2005
Challenged by its awkward occasion
til rose with firm-held affirmation
or renounced - with Hell's cursed damnation.
Wherein left but to curse one's God, then down and die
yet felt entertained, perhaps as an afterthought
after-all - t'was nothing more than an idle lie.
Thereafter found his fragile hopes most inept
beyond reach of reason, ill-devised concept
his proof held no chance - to deny nor accept.
So he proudly launched with staunch resolute bravery
roundly admonished, although truthful facts but twisted lies
times and circumstance naively held - with knavery.
Whence found well-placed before a trusted judge, highly graced
with proud lineaged name, going far back its long ancient line
should accept those given facts as lies - left one shame-faced.
All done within free open court of English law
as to acquit one's guilt, affirming his righteousness
premonitions based on solid facts - of soft evidence.
Left open to a history, long after will approve
that former case but a show-trial, lies trifled with
amusing those ignorant masses - his bold lies disprove.
Yet actual facts of current case, spoke with polite modesty
demurely denied all, with quintessential British wit
to please both rowdy populace - as well as honored King.
TO WIT HE SPOKE
Such if should please these courts of high honored crown
I give answer to these righteous laws of practiced protocol
meekly accepting, whereof would most please our King
such I declare with old English claim - in name, your honor.
TO WIT THEREAFTER
Now acquitted as bows to what his Lordship's honor desires
thereafter, completely vanished into some mid-eastern state
that holds tribute with their friends, those of English Crown
exiled for several years, self-imposed - proper protocol requires.
Thus thereafter, escaping that grave inconvenience in gratis
polite social etiquette will seldom ever speak of again
except perhaps to gain or lose some proffered high-social status
soon returned to England, to eat and bibe - of old English charm.
March 27, 2005
For there is nothing quite like marital deceit
to gain thereby, so as fulfill ones proud conceit
measured out, til fame and wealth makes ones life complete
except that nagging fear, ought need be - one discrete.
Years quickly fled by, his manly powers deeply fulfilled
a secret he unknew, hatred others brewed - long distilled
smoldered within their cankered hearts, rancored their inward soul
til hatched a clever plot, in due time - would foal.
Was in those proud days, England's strength held of long-lineaged kings
gave heir a crown of thorns, consanguinity often brings
kinship certified kingship, should a male heir be found
most proper blood-lines held such strength - old England proudly crowned.
And so it came to pass, a dreary dark night of torrential rain
one made way into Queen's privy chamber, side by side longly lain
til just nine months after, an only son was perfectly born
those old centuries of persistent pedigree - finally torn.
Middle ages seemed timeless, to do as one please
years whiled by, births and death - old jokes might well tease
for that unknown knighted bastard, now stood first in line
should his father king die, now as king - would richly dine.
As time drew near, rank rumors traveled, yet discretely told
unheard by sick King, slowly dying with an English cold
perhaps this recent heir-in-waiting, t'was not of kingly blood
heir-apparent generated by Queen - with an unknown stud.
Despite king's sinking health, bold plans designed - yet cheap
bastard son's unfaithful Queen, poisoned in her sleep
discrete inquiries quick dispatched, to find whom might be
that unknown voyeur, who once slept with the Queen - still free.
For time was of essence, in knowing just exactly when, how and where
such scurrilous wanton behavior perpetrated, back then and there
soon after, King finally died in his sleep - with no heirs apparent
all because of some confusion, of who with whom - were one's parent.
Such doth old England's histories forever tell
long forgotten shadows, still lurk within some minds
old English pride but a prelude, Death takes down to Hell
of what they so sadly spoke, these words - poem herein signs.
May 7, 2005
Three corners of London streets, sang and played my fiddle well-by
where those passing by, one greets to earn my keep - as not to die
but that was five years ago, slept in stair-wells every night
summer's heat or winter's blow, sung and played - to earn what might.
Til one day my fiddle broke, when neck snapped off in my hand
happened with an upper stroke, my future hopes turned to sand
thereafter I meekly begged, soon my cup runneth over
as daily sat cross-legged, no more - a singing rover.
Til finally put in jail, three meals a day and bed
for could not pay the bail, til took advice - cell-mate said.
Soon was out again to sing, play and fiddle done for free
she was such a sweet thing, to buy-out my bail's fee
as said before, don't give up, - each day pray one's good luck be found
she plays, I hold-out our cup - anyway to make 'alf a pound!
May 7, 2005
Tis not a case of idle ease
but of one's firm determination
to find a title that will please
til gives final - notarization.
May 16, 2005
Are those who see things funny
while others find them sad
some still find their days quite sunny
others grumble - what never had.
Such the world breeds of man and womenkind
either of which have their different points of view
those humble folks, so grateful for what they find
others preferring such - freshly bought and new.
Despite changing world, of things both new and old
wry adage still applies - some like it hot or cold
others enjoy that warmth summer's season brings
different cultures evolved - prefer unusual things.
Those variations, mood and custom birthed within
as well as genetics, both of man and womankind
humanity hard pressed, if right or wrong - a sin
yet know tis such but a lie - man will always find.
May 17, 200
But since they were here, I said hello
quickly excused myself, just the same
be right back I said - as slammed rear door.
After an hour or four I returned
warmly listened, to show my deep concern
thereafter left again - once more.
And so it went til supper filled them up
yet knew would still talk for another hour
to say their last goodbyes and final kiss.
I am lucky, wife fully understands
when my folks drop in to stay awhile
she quickly leaves - with her knowing smile.
Eventually some moved away, others died
til now seldom come, those few still left alive
now we have more time alone - to fight or laugh.
In-laws can be a real pain, or a blessing
should you be married to a wife with relations
some right-friendly, while others - an utter bore.
Now that have finally out-lived my wife and friends
spend a lot of time alone, it all depends
to wonder after death - inlaws remet again?
May 28, 2005
Taught to keep my mouth closed
unless to answer questions asked
otherwise, simply dozed
so shut up my eyes tightly clasped
Taught to do what been told
hands folded, knees held together
speak softly, be not one bold
not a question of whether
still remembered - when grown old.
December 8, 2005
Before bought-clothes ready-made
bolts of cloth, miles of thread
mere manikin custom made
if asked - not one word was said.
Knelt on her knees, mouth full of pins
hold arms out - now bring to your side
punished for one's childhood sins
measured measurements - would decide.
Fearful she might finally explode
now but a forgotten episode
tis tears now shed, for she's long dead
a mother's care - a child's dread.
Phantoms of one's past recalled
now far away and long ago
when a child's anger, stonewalled
a mother's care - would not forego.
December 14, 2005
Somewhat of a back-handed way
of saying, what have yet to say
that is, if can still be recalled
early memories - first installed.
Seems one's age has a way of getting old
til those early stories, could not now be told
forgotten memories, my futures threw away
worn-out repetitions - tongue cannot convey.
Wife, kids, and others have longly known
should I tell a story - they begin to groan.
Tis then I gather down to spring-house below
drink a nip of aged cider, til cheeks aglow
as old Blue wags her tail, tis her I'm talkin' to
"its hell to be old" dad oft said, now knowing - tis true.
December 15, 2005
After both plates wore in, filled out his cheeks and chin
felt no need to spit, his spittle now swallowed
seemed unbothered, nicotine's dose now twice what been
yet should spit teeth out to clean - left cheeks hollowed.
Though growing older, still has much to utter
talk and yell, chew and spit - old lies made one laugh
with or without false teeth, unheard to stutter
wise wisdoms gleaned - salvaged from tare's wasted chaff.
Old timers claim, tis tobacco keeps 'em regular
its toxic substance, secreting one such comforture
too soon, grows into an habitual habit
calms one's nerves - daily used by their local abbot.
Old wives find it a good excuse for not kissing
especially upon their husband's foul tobaccoed lips
old hubby uncomplains, knowing what she's missing
since neither kissing - unaware his wife often nips.
December 18, 2005