Friday, December 25, 2009


Colleen and Cousin's Wife Dorothy, circa 1974

Poems I Once Wrote


Once upon a noonday bright,
As I sat and tried to write
What had never been written before.
Suddenly there came a tapping;
Twas my fingers gently rapping,
Tapping out the rhythm of the Great American Lore.
"Tis the Muse!" cried I, "From the literary days of yore."
I wrote one chapter, then nothing more.
(February 1992)

The Writer's Life

Write, type, rewrite, submit
Rejection, dejection, aggravation
Rewrite, retype, resubmit
Rejection, depression.
Rip, tear, reorganize;
Start over again.
New idea!
Write, type, rewrite, submit,
Make changes, resubmit.
(January 26, 1996)

What I Saw

I saw a tiny spider
Crawling in the soot.
Along came a little boy
Who stomped it with his foot.

I saw a robin redbreast
Looking toward the sun.
Along came a bigger boy
Who shot it with his gun.

I saw a little village
With busy kids and moms.
Out came a group of men
Who destroyed it with their bombs.
(August 1968)

When I Look in Your Eyes

Some of us are foolish
And some were born wise.
I only see Beauty
When I look in your eyes.

You may be ugly,
And you may be fat.
But when I look in your eyes
I don't think of that.

When I look in your eyes
A mirror I see,
And in the reflection
I only see me.

I only see me
I only see me
When I look in your eyes
I only see me.
(January 1988)

Minnesota Homesick Blues

Well I lived up North where the cold winds blow
Any my heart grew just as cold as the snow;
So  I went down South tryin' to lose my blues,
But when I got to Nashville, I had the blues there too.

I thought I'd stay there anyway
And see if I could make my guitar play
To feed my famiy and pay my bills
And let me find peace up in those hills.

Goin' back to Minnesota
Where the waters are sky blue;
Goin' back, back, back to Minnesota
Where every winter I get the flu.

Well first I got ripped off for three bills,
And I caught a cold and I got the chills.
Then I got in a car accident,
And I couldn't even pay my rent.

Things got better by and by,
But I  couldn't imagine why;
That Southern talk I couldn't understand
And my heart ached for that Northern land.

Goin' back to Minnesota
Where the waters are sky blue.
Goin' back, back, back to Minnesota
Where every winter I get the flu.

One day I packed up my '68 Dodge Dart.
Nashville and I were going to part.
I headed north on the Intersate;
I was going home and I couldn't wait.

When I got to Minnesota it was thirty below.
All I could see was blowing snow.
I skidded off the road and cut up my face.
Well, I've heard that Virginia is a mighty fine place.

Goin' back to Minnesota
Where the waters are sky blue.
Goin' back, back, back to Minnesota
Where every winter I get the flu.
(October 1974)

Ode to Babysitting

Oh! The terrors of babysitting
Shock me through and through.
It's not at all how they look
But only what they do.
Today they threw their cereal
All over the floor in their room.
I was going to use the vacume cleaner
But they broke it, so I used the broom.
When I returned to the kitchen
To throw away the mess,
I looked around in horror
And said, "Oh my! Oh yuck! Oh ish!"
The video and cassette tapes
Were scattered across the floor.
The peanut butter and jelly
Were smeared all over the door.
One cat was in the refrigerator,
The other was in the oven.
I'm sure the feet of those children
Were definitely pointed and cloven.
I want to put a spell on those kids
To make them nice and good.
Then maybe they'd behave themselves
The way that children should.
Tomorrow I'll find a new job
They will pay me what I'm worth.
I'm only eighteen, but I know for sure
That I will never give birth.
(July 1967)

Just Before the Dawn

Dark is the night that through my windows peek
Just before the dawn.
And I awake reluctantly
Stifling a yawn.
The shrilling of the clock must be stopped
Just before the dawn.

Where's the coffee? Where's the tea?
Where's the Diet Coke?
I was slumbering peacefully
Just before I woke.
Now to work I must go through wind and snow,
Drinking my Diet Coke.

It's still dark outside as I trudge along
Just before the dawn.
The blizzard is raging; the ice is glazing.
All the green grass is gone.
Why must I be out in this cold weather
Just before the dawn?
(January 1983)

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