Welcome to the Wonderful World of Fireside Verses   Book Three Is Now In Print
      Whether sitting by a campfire on a warm summer night, enjoying the glow of your very own fireplace while wintry winds whistle by your window, sharing some moments with a few close friends, or just having a bit of personal solitude, these books provide a welcome addition to the spirit of the time.  The subject matter of the verses in each book is somewhat randomized.  Being in alphabetic order, poems are arranged in a manner that allows you to jump from silliness to sincerity just by going on to the next poem.  I hope you take the opportunity to enjoy a visit to this collection of my verses replete with rhythm and rhyme.
427 Verses
573 Verses
ISBN 0-9745199-0-1
ISBN 978-0-9745199-1-3
Thomas Henry Wheatley

Maryland Poet Laureate Finalist
Poet Laureate, Blue Springs, Canada
YOU JUST NEVER KNOW     from Fireside Fellowship
You just never know what life's lessons will bring unless you get in there and try.
The boxer can't box 'til he stands in the ring.  The flier must take off and fly.

  Experience teaches the lessons of life in manner like no other may.
  To dance like an angel or carve with a knife, get in there and do it each day.

    'Tis not in a book sitting there on a shelf.  
            You won't really know 'til you've done it yourself.
JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS              from Fireside Musings
"He'll be our poet laureate," I heard some fellas say,
But I'm not sure of what they meant, for then they walked away.
Then others of me seemed to speak, "His manner seems so sorry.
He seems to lead a lonely life.  Let's have him meet with Laurie"

Well, one and one make two, I know.  Those folks must think I'm dumb,
But when I added up their words, I got a frightful sum.

It may be fine for mantises, black widow spiders, too,
But I don't think it's quite the same for folks like me and you.
Those casseroles are fine enough.  I'd say that in a minute,
But I just have to draw the line if I'm the one who's in it.

So, all in all, there is one girl I never want to date.
I do not wish to end up as a poet Laurie ate!
Unless otherwise indicated, 
poetry verse illustrations are from My Hemera "The Big Box of Art 615,000", used with permission

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ZEBRAS WON'T WEAR PLAID     from Fireside Fellowship
Zebras come from Africa.   I guess they always will.
  They dress in black and white striped suits, but not in tweed or twill.

They never come from Poland or from Rome or London town.
  They never come in red or green or purple, orange or brown,

And they never come from Scotland, which some folks might find sad,
  But that explains the reason why a zebra won't wear plaid.
FENCE SITTERS                                             from Fireside Fellowship
Sitting on the fence is fine if you're an alley cat,
  Meowing on a moonlit night, just making feline chat.
    But folks who choose that straddling pose sing out a different song.
      They think that sitting on the fence means that they're never wrong.

However, there's a different side that ought to come to light,
  For always sitting on the fence means that you're never right.
    So pick a side and take a stand and show which way you face,
      'Cause folks who sit upon the fence aren't going any place.
IT ISN'T EVEN THERE                       from Fireside Fellowship
Some day I'm going home again to see where I grew up.
  I ain't been there for years and years, since Hector was a pup.
  The old place, it ain't there no more.  They tore it down, you see.
  The pals I knew have moved away, the same as you and me.

What will I see when I go back, and who'll be there I know?
  It makes me wonder what's the use.  Why would I want to go?
  Who would want to shake my hand, and who would even care?
  I guess I can't go home again;  it isn't even there.
GROWING OLD                          from Fireside Fellowship
The youngsters growing up today know all there is to know.
There's not a single thing they don't know cold,
Except the spills and pains and thrills of years of joy and woe.
You only learn about them growing old.
ECHOES                         from Fireside Fellowship
Everything we say or do and all the things we see and  hear;
They're never ever really new.  They're echoes of our yesteryear.
If you're at work or you're at play, these words are ringing ever true.
Tomorrow lives in yesterday.  Today is what connects the two.

We know tomorrow's on it's way, for time is marching to it's drum.
But shadows cast by yesterday can give a hint of things to come.
So listen for those echoes faint, and heed the messages that they bring.
Observe the pictures that they paint, and listen to the songs they sing.
email me
Totally off the subject of poetry: If you're a guy who likes to sing, you might want to pay a visit to one of my other activities.  I sing with the Chorus of the Chesapeake, an a capella group ranked in the top 25 in the U.S.  We meet on Tuesday evenings, 7:30-10:00 PM, at the Government Center in Dundalk, Maryland at Merritt Blvd. and Wise Ave.  I'd love to see you there! 

For more information, e-mail me or visit us at our web site, www.dundalk.org or contact us by phone at 443-98SONG1.  (This phone isn't manned so just leave a message and we'll get back to you. Tom Wheatley
Separate subject:  If you're a guy who likes to sing, take a peek at my invitation at the bottom of this page.
Are you looking for some of my Scouting poems?  If so, go to the bottom of the Contact page.
CARES AND WOES                                      from Fireside Glow
All alone, I'm all alone and on my own tonight.
  I miss my pals, both guys and gals, for they've all gone away.
    I'm on the shelf all by myself.  Those days of yore have flown,
      And I can't see what's there for me along this path I've known.

Though friendships end, all pathways bend troughout life's steady grind,
  So without doubt, I must reach out and leave lost worlds behind.
    If I'm to thrive, to be alive, and walk through brand new fields,
      It's up to me to turn the key on what the morrow yields.
THE SHOE AND LACE RACES               from Fireside Fellowship
The racing shoe and hiking boot, they ran a race one day.
 The racing shoe was much too fast and led it all the way.
  Two laces also ran that day.  For championship they vied,
   But when they crossed the finish line, the both of them were tied.
THE SHIFTING TIDES                               from Fireside Glow
Ebenezer had a gal who kept his heart aflame.
The apple of his eye was she, and Florence was her name.
They lived beside the river bank in sunny Maryland's clime
And often went out fishing just to pass away the time.

They'd cast their lines into the deep and drifted with the tide.
Eb, he whiled away the day with Flo there by his side.
And if perchance a fish would bite, they'd never keep the thing.
They just kept on adrifting.  Flow would dream and Eb would sing.

In time folks set their watches by the time that boat would show.
And the tides upon the river, well they named them Eb and Flo.
EIGHTY YEARS           from Fireside Glow
To all who have reached this magic milestone, I send my congratulations.  To any who are still striving to get there, I wish you all the best for reaching it in good health.   THW

Eighty years upon this earth, eighty years since time of birth.
Eighty years bring wear and tear, some aching joints and falling hair.

Time has brought me creaks and groans two failing eyes, plus thinning bones.
Eighty years leave little doubt that bit by bit, I'm wearing out.

So as I pass this milestone day, there's not a lot that's left to say,
But this opinion I can give.  It beats the one alternative.
PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE      from Fireside Fellowship
Put a smile on your face and some hope in your soul
  And a wee bit of love in your heart,
    And you'll find that you're setting a pretty good goal
      Toward giving your life a great start.

Put a smile on your face and then share with a friend,
  And a smile in return comes your way.
    That will make each day better from start to the end,
      And the blue skies will outshine the gray.
Fireside Glow has finally been put together and contains a brand new set (650) of my poems.  It has taken me seven very long years. The back and front covers are shown above.  There are two ways to get your very own copy.  You can order through me directly or can contact my publisher at www.thebookpatch.com  I've added a number of new poems from Fireside Glow directly below the info blocks on this page.  The cost from the Book Patch will be the cover price of $11.95 plus postage, but that may be a lot more comfortable to you than sending me cash.                                                                                    (April 1, 2014)
THAT'S THE TIME                                   from Fireside Glow
When a brand new day is dawning and your world begins anew
And you rise and shine to greet the morning sun.
That's the time to face the challenge of the tasks you have to do
Before the daylight hours have had their run.

In the quiet of the evening when the sun has gone to rest
And the stars begin to twinkle in the sky,
That's the time to sit and ponder of the many ways you're blest,
And the things that you can do if you just try.
Tom Wheatley's
Original Crumbly Fudge Recipe
Do you have a sweet tooth?
Do you like a cooking challenge?
Take a gander at the bottom of the "Samples" page
and give it a try!  I Double Dog Dare You.
Christmas Poems are found at the bottom of Page 5.
Speaking of gift-giving time,
these books make great gifts any time!
I know I'm way behind the times, writing poetry that rhymes,
But it worked out for Poe and Guest, Service, Nash and all the rest.
From January through December, their rhymes were easy to remember,
So in their footsteps now I tread, writing poems meant to be read.

Deep within these works you'll find verses sure to please the mind,
Poems to share at eventide, or sitting by the fireside.
There's glory, fun, and hope and joy, tales about a girl and boy,
And works that set a moral too, plus times of old that we went through.

So here's a book for everyone who likes to read and have some fun.
If you seek poetry that 'cooks', then come and buy my Fireside books!
(Ordering info is on page 3)

FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY           from Fireside Glow
There are friends who appear when you're buying the beer
  And the gravy train's chugging about.
    There are friends who will stick when the going gets thick,
      And you're walking the tracks, down and out

For friendship's broad range is often quite strange
  As the pathway of life ebbs and flows,
    But the best friends of all will be there for your call
      And will share both your beer and your woes.
NATURE'S PAINTBRUSH                                   from Fireside Glow
Nature has a paintbrush that she uses every day
    To fashion scenes no artist e'er could paint.
      From the freshly minted mornings when the sunbeams start to play
          Through the ending of the gloaming, dark and faint.

From the shadows in the moonlight when the nighttime rules the land,
    To the stars will dance about up in the sky,
      'Tis a paintbrush ever changing, painting pictures ever grand,
          Painting pictures that no money e'er can buy.
FLIGHT TRAINING                           from Fireside Musings
Do witches go to flying school?  How do they learn to fly?
Does Mama push them from the nest when flying time is nigh?
And must they signal when they make a turn to left or right?
And can they fly when day is nigh, or must they wait 'til night?

Is flying natural to them, or must they take a test?
Must they attend a flying schoolUntil they reach their quest?
Do witches get to learn for free, or does it cost them riches?
Perhaps the answers to these things are only known to witches.
Scouting Poems will be found at the bottom of the Contact Page
YET THE WORLD TURNS        from Fireside Glow
I know many problems keep coming our way
And yet, the world turns on its axis each day

  The day may be cloudy or sizzling or cold.
  Woes all around us may seem to unfold.
  We all may be burdened with sorrow and care.
  Troubles and turmoils appear everywhere.

  Ills may beset us and worries grow strong,
  But time never stops.  It keeps moving along.
  So hike up your courage each day and each night.
  And just do your best to have things turn out right.

I know many problems keep coming our way,
And yet, the world turns on its axis each day.
WHO'S GETTING OLD?                             from Fireside Glow
Old? Old?  Who's getting old?  I've just begun to live.
    I ponder as the years unfold on what life has to give.

Oh, sure, my knees creak when I rise.  My skin is wrinkling, too.
    And I need glasses for my eyes, and I can't tie a shoe.

It seems like only yesterday I used to run and laugh and play,
    And though my legs no longer run, I'm still a guy who likes some fun.
    So I've no cause to frown or fret, and what you see is what you get! 
IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN                                          from Fireside Glow
"It's for the children," so they say for every cause that comes their way,
And who might dare to stop or pause their noble, selfless worthy cause?
But take a look and you will see it's working out quite differently,
For when you take a closer view, here's what politicians do.

By and large each move they make is riddled deep with fraud and fake.
When you break through the haw and hem, you'll find they do what's best for them.
But hidden deep within their laws, they'll sometimes place a noble clause
So they can point with ample pride that they are on the children's side.

Now here's one thing I've found holds true about those debts that will accrue.
Those pools have put in endless hock debts ticking on the children's clock.
Who cares if it's unworkable or causes heavy, endless sorrow?
Our kids will have to pay for it, so borrow, borrow, borrow, borrow.

You can believe that selfish breed.  It's for the children, yes indeed!
C. 2010-2014
LEO THE LION               from Fireside Glow 
Leo was a lion out on Africa's broad plain
He wowed the lady lions 
          with his huge and fluffy mane
But when it came to hunting, 
          he held back in second place,
And the ladies all took over, which so often is the case.
LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART          from Fireside Glow    
A couple sat upon a bench.  'Twas just the other day. 
And though they met not long ago, I clearly heard him say,
"Let me call you Sweetheart when the eventide is nigh,
Or when the moon is shining down beneath a starry sky.

Let me call you Sweetheart 'cause I love your smiling face,
And when I hold you close, my dear, you cause my heart to race.
I love to hug and kiss you, and I hope you feel the same,
And please let me call you Sweetheart 'cause I don't recall your name"

SCHUBERT'S SERENADE                              from Fireside Glow
I knew a man named Schubert and he worked the equine trade.
  He had a horse named Sarah who was of a brownish shade.
    He fed her oats 'most every day, and in the fields she played
      And when she saw him coming, that's when Schubert's Sarah neighed.

SIGNS OF OLD AGE              from Fireside Glow
The words on that sign are now just a blip.
  My dentures are loose and they're starting to slip.
    My trousers grew long, and I'm starting to trip.
......   I think that's a sign of old age.

The kids now use words that I can't understand.
  I'm just eating foods that are mushy and bland.
    There's no way I can run.  I can just barely stand!
.....   That sounds like a sign of old age.

Our home is more empty as we live alone.
  The kids that we had are now fully grown
    And the kids of our kids now have kids of their own.
.....   No doubt that's a sign of old age.

Now we have been wed a gret many years.
  We've shared many joys and a couple of tears,
    And we've had far more hopes than we've ever had fears.
.....   That's a wonderful sign of old age!
THE ST VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE       from Fireside Glow
'Tis February Fourteenth Day.  You know what that'll mean.
  A great big heart-shaped box of sweets is headed for the scene.

A wrapping of red cellophane makes it look so neat.
  Every morsel in that parcel is a chocolate covered treat.

As long as I don't open it each piece is safe and dandy,
  But once I get the wrapping off, I'll kill that box of candy.
THE GLORY OF A FIRESIDE GLOW                      from Fireside Glow
Some folks may never ever know the glory of a fireside glow
That beauty of those embers glowing bright.
The fire was once a blazing thing with crackling sparks tht seemed to sing.
There's nothing like a blaze to heat the night.

But blazes cool and then burn low and yield a warmth some never know
Some folks jusin flames of splendor,
But life is not a constant blaze.  In fact we spend so many days
Just sitting by life's glow so warm and tender.

Although a glow might seem quite small and doesn't cast much light at all,
And although a blazing fire might seem enchanted,
Mild tenderness is not a flaw, but surely should be shared by all
So never take a nice warm glow for granted.
And now for some poems from the whole collection on this and following pages.
ISBN  9781620309612
I'M JUST PASSING THROUGH                from Fireside Glory
Shadows creep among the trees as stars shine in the sky.
Leaves all quiver in the breeze with hours creeping by.
Wood smoke slowly drifts away upon the summer air
While flashing sparks all dance and play as if without a care.

Wispy wood smoke brings delights from very long ago
When I would sit on summer nights with campfires all aglow.
Wisps of memory come to mind while basking in that blaze,
Ones I thought I'd left behind with childhood's distant days.

Then I came to understand that yesterday and now
Are each so very great and grand as through life's fields I plow.
Wisps will come, then go away as life itself must do.
That's why I'll relish every day, for I'm just passing through.
LITTLE WE KNOW                     from Fireside Glow
Little we know of the ways of this world.  Little we understand.
Little we know if the blessings will flow.  Little we know how grand.

Little we know how our lives will unfold, if the wind will be fair or blow gales.
What little we know never stays just the same as the wind shifts the way our ship sails.

But this we can know of the world where we live, for this will be certain and sure.
As long as we wake to a new dawn each day, our happiness chances endure.
SOMETIMES                                      from Fireside Glow
Sometimes I get a bit confused.  My mind seems mixed or even fused.
 Sometime I go a bit too far and even wonder who I are.
  Sometimes folks will come to call.  Some are short and some are tall.
   Some are fat and some are thin, and some I'll ask to come right in.

Sometimes in the early spring, I'll lift my voice and maybe sing.
 Sometimes when it rains and pours, I don't go outside my doors.
  It's sometimes day and sometimes night
                and sometimes things won't turn out right.
   Sometimes things show woe and strife, but mostly it's a good old life.
THIS JOLLY OLD LIFE              from Fireside Glow
There oft comes a time in this jolly old life
When we run into trouble or sorrow or strife.
There oft comes a time when the walls seem to close
Where we can't see the way past the end of our nose.

But if we believe in ourselves through the maze,
It won't be too long 'til we break through the haze.
And then with the sun shining bright in our souls,
We'll get right back up and march on to our goals.
TIME TO GO HOME        from Fireside Glow
Here I am out in the woods with leaky boots and tent
The rain's been coming down for hours.  My patience is all spent.
The fire is gone, as is my grub.  My patience's thinly spread.
I think it's time to just go home and crawl into my bed.
TIPS ON LIVING                               from Fireside Glow
Living quite long's not a difficult trick.  One method is simply to never get sick.
It's fine to go to sleep, but then be sure to wake back up again.
Live life just like that one-hoss shay that lasted a hundred years and a day.
It never had rheumatiz, shingles or gout.  It never broke down.  It just simply wore out.

To harvest the most that life has to give, make a new friend every day that you live.
Laugh often and well with the friends that you know.
                Live life to the hilt as the tides of time flow.
Then move right along as you go on life's stage
                and like that old shay, you can reach an old age.
TRAINING A FLEA                          from Fireside Glow
I've trained a lion in the ring, taught lions how to dance.
I've trained some tigers how to sing and stallions how to prance.
My group of musical raccoons have formed a marching band,
And they can play those Sousa tunes in manner truly grand.
But how to train a flea, I say, can make my senses flip
For first I have to find a way to crack a tiny whip!
TIPSY TOPSY TURVY          from Fireside Glow
My heart gets tipsy topsy turvy when e'er I meet a girl who's curvy.
I tend to get swept of my feet when e'er I meet a gal who's sweet.
My heart goes pit-a-pit-a-pat when e'er I meet a girl like that.
In fact, each time I see a girl, my brain starts racing in a whirl.
And that is why I'm asking you, what is this whirl I'm going through?
Is there a pill to cure this ill?  On second thought, who wants a pill?
CAMPING OUT                                                from Fireside Glow
There's little like the hours spent when camping outdoors in a tent
As dawn springs forth so cool and fresh and mild.
Each morning, I ill rise anew, the morning grass still wet with dew,
Relaxing in the splendor of the wild.

Now here's a breakfast that I'll eat.  A couple eggs cannot be beat,
When coupled with a tasty slice of ham.
Wood smoke drifting through the air gives that meal a special flair,
A flair without a pretense or a sham.

Then as the hours drift on by with white clouds floating o'er the sky,
There comes a feeling that this world is mine.
There's little like the hours spent when camping outdoors in a tent,
Amidst the fresh and clean scent of the pine.
A CARPENTRY MIRACLE              from Fireside Glow
The carpenter man lost his sight
When he poked out his eye one dark night.
        Thought some thought him daft
        He still stuck t his craft,
Though his measurements often weren't right.

He blindly used auger and awl
But wished for a miracle small.
        This carpenter's scheme
        became more than a dream
When he picked up his hammer and saw.
CARVING THE TURKEY            from Fireside Glow
I want to stand back and keep out of the way
When Dad carves the turkey on Thanksgiving Day

My dad thinks he's king of the bird and the knife,
But that's rarely the tale you'll get out of the wife.
She can tell you some tales of Thanksgivings of yore
When the bird won the fight as it flew to the floor.
Or those torrents of words like you never have heard
When Dad cut himself instead of the bird.

It's wise to stand back and keep out of the way
When Dad carves the turkey on Thanksgiving Day