rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the category “Poems”

LETTER FROM THE GOVERNMENT

This is not intended to be any type of political statement. I merely compiled all my tax information to send to my accountant for the preparation of my income taxes. I had this idea to write about it and it is meant to be a humorous article. Perhaps at this time of year, you may also get a chuckle from it. I hope you take it that way. Of course, if you have to pay any additional amounts, then you probably are not laughing. Sorry about that.

To the agencies listed in this poem, don’t bug my phone, don’t track my tweets, don’t publish my private information across FB or Instagram or the local newspaper. Don’t mention it to any television station and by all means do not send this viral on YouTube. Keep my name out of it. Thank you and I appreciate it.

Letter from the Government

I got this disgusting letter from the IRS today
Said I owed them money and soon I better pay
First of all, I ain’t so sure I owe them folks a dime
and what they took from me must surely be a crime.

I called The GAO about stuff their Office buys,
using all my money which ain’t no big surprise.
They offered no excuse and sent me on my way
They said that maybe it’s just time for me to pay.

The DHS is famous for the safety of the land
But they declined to help me with my simple payment plan.
They said that maybe I should call the DOC
But the DOC said not to bother, unless I pay a fee.

So I called upon the FBI to check for DNA
They mentioned I should maybe call up the CIA
The CIA then told me that my stuff is classified
Then they asked me what it was that I was trying to hide.

I hung up my telephone in case I’m being bugged
If I’m thinking otherwise, it’s possible I’ve been drugged.
It was suggested that I could call the DEA
But they’re known to share their files with the CIA.

I could keep this up all day and for many days to come
But all these folks in government, they all think I’m dumb
Like EPA AND FEMA or maybe FANNIE MAE
Then there’s POTUS and FLOTUS and of course the FAA.

And don’t forget the BEP, the most important one I know
They’re the ones responsible for printing all the dough.
Sirs, I need a little more to pay my past due tax amount.
That way the IRS can settle up my account.

ist2_5855720-income-taxes

Pete Robertson
Feb 2017

If you are so inclined you may check out this link to see where the government spends your money. It is a list of ALL (hopefully) government agencies that have a budget.I think you may be surprised at the length of this list.

http://ucsd.libguides.com/c.php?g=90902&p=584912

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The Peculiarities of Nature

I sometimes feel the need to explain myself. No matter what course of action I take, it does not always seem illuminating. I wonder if you ever feel that way.
In writing this poem I was influenced by the weather of late. Temperatures hovering in the teens and a smattering of white fluffy stuff drifting about the surface of a frozen earth. Living here in North Texas, we occasionally experience varying degrees of weather. Snow, ice, cold temps, makes one want to stay in bed. Well at least when one gets to be my age. Maybe I should not generalize.

Let me put it this way, I, at times, want to stay in bed and can’t. I find the circumstances to be exasperating. The occasions that come to mind are those in which I find myself with a serious motive for rising early. On these occasions, my desire is to stay there however, the circumstances prevent that desire.

On the other hand, some mornings I am not obligated for any particular project and have the freedom to stay a bit longer. However, I awake at an early hour and find myself unable to go back to sleep. Such is the revolving degrees of slumber and I have no solution.
So here are The Peculiarities of Nature. Perhaps you may see the motivation in this poem.

The Peculiarities of Nature

The early morning sun rises daringly
through the slits in the venetian blind.
Peering timidly from within, I resist approval.

I battle its domain;
He, not willing to retreat,
Me, not ready to abandon my comfort.

His actions imperil my sense of slumber.
As the darkness retreats, I stare helplessly,
Even as my vision flounders in the shadows,

Events of pretend still fresh
Of faraway places in my mind
I struggle with consciousness.

I feel bewildered.

I seek authority; there is none
I seek motivation; there is none.
I seek insight; there is none.

The whims of nature are tenacious.
The glimmer of his powerful rays
overcome my illusions of self-possession.

His persistence is overwhelming.
The venetian blind, raised to the limit,
my eyes are focused distinctly.

The morning ritual is bright and cheery
and I reap the reward of full satisfaction.
Good morning, Morning!

                                                                                                                                       Pete Robertson
© January 2017

Stay warm, wherever you are.

 

When I was Young

 

In the past few months, I have experienced the effects of an autoimmune disease known as RA. It certainly has been on my mind lately. It is a nasty ailment, affecting many people. It is incurable, however, with modern medicines it usually can be controlled. It is said that women are more likely to come down with RA than men. I remember my grandmother suffering from the effects of arthritis. Statistics show that a descendant of one with this disease is at an increased risk of developing RA. The statistics also show that most that do have this disease are usually between the ages of 40 and 60. When I was young, I considered these people to be old. Now, I am much older than that. However, age does not factor into whether or not one acquires RA, although,  we tend to associate it with the older generation.  I will not discriminate on the basis of age as I have great empathy for all  who suffer with this syndrome as I do.

This consequence brought to my mind, the evolution of age. This poem is a reminder of that process.

When I was Young

When I was young,
I reached out
To be picked up.
and cried until I was.
I crawled
until I could stand.
Then I stood… and fell…
and stood again
and crawled and stood again,
until I could walk.
I walked
and fell and got up
and fell again and stood
until I walked again,

When I was young
I mumbled and muttered
and tried to speak
And tried again
and cried again
when I could not…,
until I could speak.
and when my words
were misunderstood,
I cried again.
until I could be understood.
and the world around me
was so small
when I was young.

Now I am old
and the world around me
has magnified
and is no longer the same.
yet I do not see clearly
and I stand carefully,
and I fall and get up
and stumble again
and cry and try to speak
and mumble and cannot hear
and my words are misunderstood.
Maybe the world around me
Is not so big after all
just like when I was young.

Pete Robertson
©November 2012

I hope you have a wonderful (and pain-free) day.

The Day of the Storm

This winter of 2015/2016 has been one for the record books. I do not believe I have ever experienced the ups and downs, twists and turns and such variable temperatures as the season has brought us so far this year. I believe that you, the reader, no matter where you live, may have gone through much of the same.

I felt a little poem coming on to support my assumption. This week, in Texas, and especially North Texas where I live, has been very wet and stormy, with high winds, tornadoes and flash flooding. Thus far, it has been as described.                                         My poem illustrates only one day. I simply called it,

The Day of the Storm

The morning breaks silently
with a formidable mist in the air.
Still, the forthcoming day
will bring unenviable clamor.
lightning will flaunt the heavens
Thunder will roar across the sky.

As the morning comes to a close
the orderliness of routine
will inconveniently cease to exist.
marauding winds will subdue the calm.
Unforgiving and intolerant
The rage in the air will angrily erupt.

Midday illustrates fearfulness
Yet it is serene calmness that
Placates a few, alarms several,
Even concerns many, for
the disarray will have its day
And the rains will stalk the stillness.

The night will bring more turmoil
Darkness and storms convey fear
Anxiety will increasingly intensify
As the hours, dwindle away
We search for reassurance
That will put our minds at ease.

and the annual seasonal events
will share the tranquility with
the turbulence and the tension.
Yet the serenity of composure
Will abide in the comfort of
knowing Who is in control.

Pete Robertson
March 2016

PHS Class of 57

“And the class of ’57 had its dreams,
But living life from day to day is never like it seems.
Things get complicated when you get past eighteen,
But the class of ’57 had its dreams”.

I attended my 55th high school class reunion this past Saturday evening in Palestine, Texas. I am very grateful to the Class of ’57 for always including me. I never actually graduated from PHS. I had a long-standing desire to enlist in the U.S. Navy. I could not contain myself; consequently, at the end of my junior year and on my 17th birthday, I did exactly that.
Many of my classmates were supportive of my decision and to this day, the class has always been gracious to include me in the reunion just as though I graduated. Therefore, I thank each of you.

There were forty-two classmates out of one hundred twenty-two present. Having attended many of these reunions, I can attest that our numbers are dwindling. The list of those who are missing is growing. Larry commented that in 1957, those who may have been celebrating their 55th reunion would have graduated in 1902. It rather puts life in perspective as we realize the class of 1902 no longer celebrates a reunion. I hope as long as there at least two members of the “Class of ‘57” still around, that you will drink a toast to all who have gone on to their rewards.

As we meet each time, we remember all of those who are no longer with us, from the first to the last. At this meeting, thirty individuals have passed on. That is 30 out of 122 classmates. Who among us will not be here in 2017 for the 60th reunion? It is a sobering thought.

As Larry read every name, I tried to recall any memory I had of that person. I, of course, knew them all, some more than others. I believe George Coleman was the first of the Class of ’57 to pass away. I knew George from outside the classroom.
After a hard fought football game Friday nights on Luckett-Kolstad Field, I would make my way to the Eilenberger’s Bakery, where I would box donuts for Mr. Hurley Coleman, George’s grandfather. We had a connection because of George. Some of you band members may also remember that George played the cornet (?). I tried to play the French horn in my freshman year; however, I could not master it well enough for Mr. Roy B. Karen was much better.

One of my memories of Class of ’57 was serving as the manager of the Wildcat’s basketball team. I was “the little guy” who picked up the towels and supplied the water. I still have my letter sweater. Still fits too, but then sweaters do stretch. I must confess, I have difficulty in remembering my coaches and do not have the benefit of researching through the Arc Light. My daughter has the books.

Other Memories!

Does anyone remember sitting in the classrooms on the south side of the building and smelling the cottonseed oil from across the street? (No AC and the windows were open.) I do not remember what class I was in, only that I was in there just before lunch and the smell made me so hungry. In those days, we had no cafeteria and either brought our lunch or as many did, go to Bratton’s Drug for a barbeque sandwich. A quarter would buy a sandwich and another dime would get you a Coke.
Wonder how many drinking straw covers were stuck to the ceiling? A piece of gum on the end of the cover was the challenge. I know had a few to stick.

How about the dodge ball games in P.E? Well, for the boys, anyway. There were no oversized balls for these games as they are today. We used the small balls that fit your hand, about the size of a softball. They could really sting when they hit you.

There was another graduate from the class of ’57, many will remember, “Maggie”, Mike Henderson’s constant canine companion in all of his classes. She was the ideal student. I do not remember her ever causing a problem and she received her diploma along with Mike. Do not recall her GPA; however, I am sure it was higher than mine was. Check your Arc Light. She is in there.

I certainly had an enjoyable evening visiting and reminiscing with the Class of ’57. I look forward to another one five years from now. We might begin to think about having it a little earlier in the day. One way we can relive the “good old days” is through our memories. Memories are brought to life through our dreams. The “Class of ’57” had its dreams.
I hope all your dreams are in color.

Postmortem of a Dream

Thoughts develop mysteriously.
I shudder, a ripple effect, I am certain,
I am baffled in my slumber.
Dreaming? Nay… Dreaming in color!
Dare I dream in color?

I see red from a child’s crayon…
Then; …rubies… cherries… roses…wine…
What gauges these mysteries?
Their meaning escapes me
In my dream of color.

Not to be confused with memories
where are the answers?
Confusion is not premeditated,
Never synonymous with nostalgia
Even in dreams of color.

Hence those mysterious thoughts
are scattered into oblivion,
and I am left unfulfilled
Wondering not about the dream
Rather that I dreamt in color.

                                              Pete Robertson                                                                                   

Copper Pennies

As I was emptying my pockets before retiring for the night, I dropped a penny on the floor.
It brought a thought about how we treat the penny in this modern age. They do not mean much anymore. There was a time from 1793 to 1837, when the penny was made entirely of copper.
It had value. In 1837, they changed the composition to bronze. Pennies are not made of copper any longer. It became too expensive. Throughout the years, it has changed numerous times until 1982 they became 97.5 % zinc and 2.5% copper-plated zinc.
It remains so today. Except, it isn’t of much value. Did you know it costs almost .0125 cents to produce a coin that is valued at .01 cent? Could it be that people in general disregard a penny lying on the ground because it has no value? Who stoops to pick up a penny?
It crossed my mind that some people correlate that with persons who seem to fit a pattern of “worn out”, obsolete and perhaps “used up”. Who stoops to pick up a derelict?
I hope you can get the meaning of this poem. At my age, it certainly speaks to me. Just because the coin I see laying on the floor happens to be of no significant value does not mean it is no less importance in our society. An old, obsolete copper-clad penny not worth picking up? May it never be so!

Copper Penny

In my dreams, I touched reality.
Along the way, rested a penny by the wayside,
well-worn, discolored, begging to be picked up.
People passed by, disinclined to stoop over
for an obsolete, copper-clad penny.

In my dreams, I touched cynicism.
If I were, a frayed, tattered, antiquated soul,
like a penny, languishing by the wayside,
Would people pass by and refuse to bend over
for an obsolete, copper-clad penny?

In my dreams, I touched certainty
If I were a crisp, sliver of green currency,
Like a treasured icon of extravagance,
Selfish people would stumble over themselves.
But, not for an obsolete, copper-clad penny.

In my dreams, I touched optimism.
That this would not portray legitimacy
of a pompous, arrogant and disdainful society.
Stoop, bend down, won’t you pick up
this old obsolete copper-clad penny?

                                                                                              Pete Robertson
                                                                                              September 2012

Have a nice day.

Words

 

Burning Bridges: To do something which makes it impossible or at least very difficult to return to an earlier state. Often used in situations where you have to make a choice which cannot be undone.

Words

We’ve all been down this road before.

We spoke too soon, no doubt.

for when the brain is not engaged,

the words just pop right out.

 

Sometimes our faint and feeble minds

Can’t think that far ahead.

we don’t look before we leap  

and don’t remember what we said.

 

Those hapless thoughts we’re thinking?

they’re clogging up our mind.

We can’t escape, no place to hide

No haven can we find.

 

But, here’s a concept to consider:

The reckless words we often tattle,

Can lead us up a crooked creek

without a single paddle.

 

So, keep your mouth all tightly closed

Resist the urge to scream

And never, ever burn your bridge,

Before you cross the stream.

  Pete Robertson                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                       

The Highest of Heavens

Some of you may have noticed that I have been absent from cyberspace. I apologize. It has been extremely busy around “This Old House” what with remodeling, etc. However a friend remarked that I should “get a hankering” to explore the truth about the greatest gift for all humanity. thanks, Jackie, for reminding me.

The Highest of Heavens 

“Can you not see the irony of this?

This child- -a king-? Born in Bethlehem?

Is this some form of mockery?

I… am Herod the Great,

I… am the ruler of this land.

Seek him out if you must,

But I am king, not He.” 

 

And the Lord God Almighty said,

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. He comes from very old times, from days long ago.” Micah 5:2

 

In the highest of heavens,

Even, the heavens above the heavens,

The Most High

Sits on the glorious throne of the Lord God Almighty.

In the beginning

And from your splendid throne

You Were…

 

Before light was bright …

Before the assemblage of cosmic matter…

Before endless space came into being…

You Were

 

Before time became measurable…

Before humanity even breathed a single breath…

You Were…

 

Before nothing …

You Were…

 

And even before all of this, my name…,

MY NAME…! was on your lips,

And my soul… MY SOUL!  was on your mind.

 

And in that highest of heavens, 

at your right hand sat the Plan for my soul.

You whispered my name,

He said, “I’ll go!”

 

Then from that highest of heavens,

Down through the endless space,

in His measured time,

Brushing aside cosmic matter to save humanity

As the True Light…

In flesh …He came…

 

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14     

                                     

Today, we celebrate the physical birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. But it isn’t His birthday, neither is December the 25th. We celebrate not the day He came, but that He Came. Some ask, is it real? I say, Oh, yes, His Birth was indeed real. He is real.

 Can you imagine God whispering to Jesus, the names of everyone ever created in His image even before the world existed?  God whispered your nameThen He came…

Merry Christmas

And So It Goes

My most recent post, These Changing Times, described the activity around “this old house.” Occasionally I get a break from the “not-so-monotonous” routine. I read somewhere that “all work and no play…” I forgot the rest of it, but you get my meaning.

 So it was, until I had an opportunity to present a poetry reading at a local women’s group. Any break from the rigid schedule is welcome, especially if I can present some of my poetry. With my personal “moral support” accompanying me, off we went.

 Outnumbered by twenty to one, I had to be on my best behavior. It was not easy. Being the only male in a group such as this, well perhaps you can visualize the anxiety I might feel. Putting one’s self into such a quandary, voluntarily, may seem to be an inane thing to do.

 Now I have all the confidence in the world reading my poetry that is until I discover that many in the group are retired teachers. This presents a dilemma. I usually pay particular attention to my grammar, spelling, pronunciation, enunciation and articulation. However, I can be intimidated.

 I was concerned at the prospect of being pilloried bya group of women who may appear stern and inflexible, just waiting to grade my recitation.           Let me put that to rest, they were very friendly and cordial and adored me (I think).  However, just in case, I apologized to Miss Springfield, my tenth grade English teacher. It wasn’t her fault.

Poetry really is my first love. I must make a note to publish more of it on my blog. I think I will today.  

 I presented a number of poems, which I will post over the next few blogs. This first poem was based on my stepdaughter’s childhood encounters with unexplained and unknown entities and how to overcome those unwelcome guests. She named them, “Neokits”.

 

Neokits! 

Beware the neokits! Ominous neokits

Haunting adolescence,

enveloping the soul, the spirit,

   Shrinking bravado to Lilliputian size.  

···
Yet neokits are not immortal.

Courage overcomes anxiety.

Maturity coalesces the mind

devouring the fears of childhood.

 Raising dogs is a fun part of our life around “this old house”. Part of our daily routine is to allow them a bit of freedom from their kennels. Each morning and afternoon, they run freely throughout the one acre behind our home, regardless of whatever “remodeling” is underway. They certainly enjoy that happy time outside their pens. and obviously, they use that time for their personal business. This is the background for the poem, “And So It Goes”.

 

And So It Goes 

Monday mornings are acutely

deceiving, especially

to my distorted eyes.

Fumbling

for my bifocals

Is a distinctly, futile effort.

Stirred from an oblivious slumber

I wonder what the day will bring.

 

I awaken to the rhythmic sound

of pattering rain.

at long last, delightful rain.

I can’t say

what the day will bring.

I can say

The kennel dogs were not budging

From inside their lair.

 Even in the rain, I must insist

that my friendly canines

exit their shelters.

One by one.

I dare not cause any

jealousy among them.

And so they exit one by one,

to attend to personal business.

 

returning to their sanctuaries,

they meet to discuss

what the day has brought.

The conversation was inexplicable.

You could almost hear them muttering.

Mutts… muttering?

That’s how my day went, how was yours?

 

And so it goes… And so it goes…I think the women enjoyed the afternoon and the poetry. I hope so. At least, no one criticized my grammar, spelling, pronunciation, articulation, and enunciation.  I think I passed the test.

 

Have a Great Day, read a poem.

 

© Pete Robertson

Dig Another Hole

The last time I posted to this blog, the subject was, “Who Stole the Time?” I can tell you, someone did. Since that time, my lovely wife has spent a week in Kentucky with her mother, I have began a remodel of a bathroom, the heat has gone up threefold, eighteen straight days of over 100º, who knows for how long, and the air conditioner went out right in the middle of the bath remodel. Fortunately, it was only a faulty thermostat, easily replaceable, of course for a charge.

The downside is that the electricity usage is increasing at an enormous rate. I may have been better off not having the air conditioner repaired. Certainly, financially better off. I read where the energy companies are urging consumers to cut back. I did not listen. I repaired the A/C. There was some good news during this time. During her absence my wife left a generous supply of pie to help me “cool off”. That certainly takes the edge off of the heat.

Our small pond in the back of the house has gone completely dry. Weeds are growing in the bottom. Isn’t it curious how weeds can survive with no visible means of moisture? About the only thing around our home to mow is the bottom of the pond. As the pond began drying up, I erected a barrier fence around it to keep the dogs out of what was left of muddy water. This apparently trapped a rather large turtle inside and I helped him escape. The last time I saw him, he was making his way toward the neighbor’s pond. In this weather, he won’t stay long there either. I can visualize him making his way from pond to pond, as each one dries up. I’m afraid he won’t find much moisture unless he heads for Seattle.

The frogs long ago departed for greener pastures, well, some departed for the dog’s water bowls. I retrieved one from a water dish only this morning. He couldn’t hop out and the dog wouldn’t eat him. Now they seem to have actually departed to that great fishpond in the sky.

In reference to the dogs, I probably should explain, we have a kennel where we raise standard poodles, currently, ten dogs. Each has their own 5 x 15 foot kennel enclosure on a concrete slab with a covering over the top for shade. Each pen has its own misting system and sleeping quarters inside a small building. Each building has a fan for cooling. One could say they lead a dog’s life. Because we have the back acre totally fenced, we allow the dogs a time of exercise outside the pens twice daily. Several dogs enjoyed jumping in the water when we had water. This is why I erected the barrier fence around the pond for they also enjoyed the mud.

There are benefits to a drought, be they few. First, I do not have to mow nearly as often. In fact, there are areas where there is nothing to mow except, of course, the bottom of the pond. I saw on the television, news of a huge dust storm in Arizona. I could duplicate that if I mowed any other part of the back area. There is that area around the aerobic system that stays green. I t looks rather odd, a small circle of green in the vastly desert-looking back yard. Gives new meaning to “crop circles.”

The influx of grasshoppers helps keep what little grass we have down to a nub. I have noticed they also like to get in the water dishes. However, the dogs refuse to help them out and you can guess what happens next. One can treat the areas for the little creatures, but they are like roaches in an apartment building. They just move.

I also notice, the gophers and moles seem to have migrated to other parts of the country. Since our land is mostly sand, when the ground has moisture, they have many opportunities to tunnel and build their little mounds. When it is dry, as it is now, they cannot tunnel successfully. Their tunnels cave in. Thus, they move on to another location. That’s all well and good. The gopher baits I used to decrease their population seemed to increase them anyway.

When the spring began, there seemed to be an abundance of snakes. Basically, three types of snakes enjoy our home place. The dreaded water moccasin, the copperhead and the king snake. The first two are poisonous and the king snake is a beneficial animal. However, around here we subscribe to the theory that the only good snake is a dead snake. The drought has succeeded in relocating all three varieties.

There may be a few other benefits to a drought, just I cannot think of any additional thoughts. However, I can, think of a number of things I can do before it eventually rains again. When I lived in west Texas, we had a saying, “Neighbor up, dig another hole.” This simply means that in the flash prone areas of West Texas, be prepared for when water does come. Get together and dig another pond for it will help out during the next drought. So, I leave you with this poem: titled, naturally, Neighbor Up, Dig Another Hole. One could also call it “Complaining”

Neighbor Up, Dig Another Hole

I mused just the other day 

about too much rain. 

This coming from someone 

who week before last 

Complained… 

about the lack of rain.  

I mused then that 

Grasses wouldn’t grow,

Humidity was low

Skin was dry and

I Complained…

About the lack of rain.

And then it rained! 

 I mused then about

The satellite dish going 

on and off with too much rain. 

And it drowns the grasses and

I Complained…

About too much rain.

I mused that too much rain

Causes mosquitoes,

High humidity,

Mold, And again,

I Complained…

About too much rain. 

And then it ceased to rain!

Musing still, about the rain,

My Dearest Friend remarked, 

“Neighbor up, dig another hole“ 

Was there ever a time when you

Complained… 

About the right amount of rain?

                                                        And then it began to rain. Again!

Pete Robertson                                                 

© May 2007

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

 

 

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