Thursday, October 31, 2013

Three cheers for the old cliche

While the sun shines, let's make hay, 
And celebrate the old cliche.
Treat it well, and show respect,
 It's language that we should protect.
And don't forget a stitch in time;
I needed one to make this rhyme.

What you see, is what you get;
Are you growing tired yet?
Still waters run so very deep; 
Misfortune makes the angels weep.
What can we do? That's life, they say,
We'll have to strive another day.

One cliche that I like states:
All things will come to he who waits.
Time and tide await no man;
They rue the day, who never plan.
They say we reap just as we sow.
I learnt that very long ago.

Cliches can make a further point:
They soothe when times are out of joint.
They telegraph ideas and notions,
Steady conversation's motion.
No use complaining, so they say;
No one will listen, anyway.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Getting taller, getting smaller

Much time has passed by since Dad and I had a visit.
On that day, he looked puzzled, and I asked, "What is it?"
"You've grown taller," he said, "Since I saw you last."
"That's untrue," I replied, "My growth days have now passed."

"People gain their full height by late teens, that I know;
I'm well past that time," I said, with some woe.
He shook his head sagely, "It can happen," he said.
"Reptiles keep on growing up until they are dead."

I let it go; if I agreed, he would hurry
To cite some statistics and facts in a flurry.
My father delighted in telling tall stories
Of dining with princes, and other past glories.

If I gave him his head, he'd elaborate tales
Of genial genies making friends with blue whales.
My Dad was well-versed in a magical series
Of antic events and marvelous theories.

The truth of the matter? I think you'll agree;
As we age we get shorter, it's just gravity.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Talking trash

I should have buttoned up my lip;
I asked, "Please, would you take the trash?"
Groceries brought, he was set to dash,
(But not before he got a tip).

He took it, but his look was pained.
Did I assault his self-esteem?
Why else be upset as he seemed?
His manner brusque, his politeness feigned.

Was my request too much to ask?
Less like a plea, than a command?
I needed him to give a hand,
The matter was a simple task.

These days I find that walking's hard,
A trip downstairs, a little rough,
And what I asked was small enough;
The trash bin's right there in the yard.

"Don't take advantage," mom would scold,
"Well-brought-up people never do;
And try to wear the other's shoes."
I memorized that precept cold.

Did I invade some private space?
Was my request too much for him,
One taken as too burdensome,
That weighed upon his sense of place?

If he comes back, next time I'll be
A master of gentility,
And make sure that I never bash
His self-esteem, by talking trash.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

How many houses should a rich man own?

How many houses should a rich man own?
Does it affect the homeless on the street?
Or is that question better left alone?
Would it annoy the rich if they should meet?
And good health care, is that a right at all,
In the land of the brave, home of the free,
Or just an empty prospect, still in thrall
To political expediency?
And what about the burdened middle class,
Its dreams on hold, jobs lost, and homes foreclosed,
While rich men quaff their champagne by the glass?
Is modern life the way that we supposed?
Is life unfair? You've every right to ask;
To reason why's the unforgiving task.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I swallow too much coffee

I swallow too much coffee, and also, too much tea,
I know that aitch-two-oh is the better drink for me.

Water has no flavor, and without a special taste,
Drinking plain old water seems like such a silly waste.

I'm not knocking water; I drink it when I'm thirsty,
But I prefer my coffee, and if it's gone, my tea.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I used to think that sleep was not for me

I used to think that sleep was not for me;
It stole my share of time, when time should last
To use each second to capacity,
And make each moment's value unsurpassed.
I cheated sleep's designs and slaked my thirst
For friendships, conversations, songs to sing;
Why go to sleep? Making love came first,
Pernicious time was always on the wing.
Today the tables are reversed; I chase
Sleep's pleasures every chance I can, and yet
She plays coy games and shows a lack of grace,
Not staying long enough, to my regret.
The old expression's true, its message strong;
We always value something when it's gone.