On a balmy afternoon in Ft. Lauderdale after the fall

I write:

“the bees from the hive,

won’t come home alive”

I am sitting, knees up

on a chaise lounge


golf pencil in  hand

writing doggerel poetry

on the back of an envelope

supported by a cocktail menu

that reads (I quote):

Little Ottawa Motel

Your home in The States

The home of the 5 dollar

Dirty Canadian Martini

Tiki bar open till 2AM

Karaoke Saturdays 5 – 7

“they’ve lost their wings,

in a million stings”

it’s four and a half weeks

since Candice went away

to Duluth, to live with

her therapist, Ralph

and 16 days after

Mr. Waters had to be put down

due to a liver condition

and I’d given away

a full box of Kitty-Krunches

and half dozen bags

of Walter Henshaw’s cat nip

to the lady downstairs

with the Siamese

“they’ve buzzed their last,

in a final repast”

a Cuban girl named Debbie

drops a rum and coke off

at my chair and I say to her

that Debbie is not a Cuban name

I demand that she come clean

she smiles, and says if I come back

after 5 she’ll tell me a secret

but she’s full of it – just like my poems

then she takes a ten from me

and walks away toward her next victim

a terribly inflated and bleached

and beached

elderly gentleman

in a lime green thong

“and they now join their brethren,

in insect heaven

I drain the cocktail, then

wad the envelope

poem and all

into a tight ball

drop it into the empty plastic cup

and hail Debbie

for another round.

Hate the sin

Once I rented a room

in a house in St. Paul

from a lady

named Madge

who used to bang on the radiator

with her shoe

when I came home drunk

late at night, after playing cards

with guys from the Pioneer Press

I’d turn up my radio

tuned to the country station

and play Ferlin Husky

at full volume

at 4:30 AM

bang, bang comes the shoe

“Keep it down Cowboy” she shouts

next day she’d squeeze

fresh grapefruit juice

and put it in front of me

with black coffee

and a fried egg

and toast with orange marmalade jam

and she’d ask if I’d met any nice girls last night

and I’d say no, just

card drunks

daytime reporters

nightime gamblers

a fallen preacher

and an old curmudgeon

named Stew

who hasn’t held a job in twenty years

who hasn’t changed his shirt in three weeks

and is easily angered

and becomes profane when provoked

and was recently arrested in Albert Lea

on charges of one hundred sixteen

parking violations

but who’s on a hot poker run

Madge says you hate the sin

but love the sinner

she wishes me well on my new job

selling vacuum cleaners door to door.

Jimmy Stewart’s Dog, Beau

I don’t usually reblog but I am making an exception today. This was originally posted on “Shootin’ the Breeze”. If you’re a dog lover, you’re going to tear up at the end of this one. But don’t just read the poem. Play the clip of Jimmy Stewart reading the poem he wrote about Beau. This starts out humorous, but takes a sudden turn at the end…


Shootin' the Breeze

I have written many posts about our dog named Beau.  Jimmy Stewart, the actor, had a similar dog with the same name.  He wrote a poem that he read on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show back in 1981.  It is funny and more.  Click on the link below.  I expect that you will be glad to have the experience.

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You don’t find him

he finds you

like a lottery lawyer.

You start out on Sunday

early in the morning

before sunrise

you haul your ass out of bed

last night’s debauchery with Leah

a fog shrouded  memory

she’s face down now, snoring

and you’re hoping she doesn’t

remember all of it

but it’s a new day,  so you…

pull your jogging shorts

from the dryer

lace up your one hundred fifty dollar


tell yourself that with vitamin B1

and a pot of coffee you’ll be good as new

and don’t forget that

pomegranate juice was handed down

from heaven

as an elixir for the decadent

and then…

you kiss the dog goodbye

crank Commander Cody on the iPod

and next thing you know

you’re jogging down the 4-lane highway

past the freshly mowed alfalfa field

blood pumping through your veins

and pressing on bravely

through barely passable arteries

Hot Rod Lincoln is racing

through your ear drums

and you are hauling rear for the mailbox

a mile past the house

where the kid

that you’ve forgotten to pay

for the past six weeks

is supposed to leave

the Philadelphia Inquirer.

But halfway there it happens

a shin splint

a muscle spasm

you’re cursing – kicking the blacktop

with your one good leg, so

you hop back home to  the porch

you sit in the swing

you kick off  the cross trainers

“damn” you say

a glitch in the training plan

and then he’s there

standing behind you

three feet behind your left shoulder

like your old man

the day you tried to snitch

a PBR from the basement fridge

when you were fifteen  years old


you recognize the arrogant bastard:

Mr. Mortality.