A THOUSAND MILES TO GOfrom Fireside Fellowship

A thousand miles I've yet to go to reach my own front door.
A thousand miles of wind and snow, a thousand miles in store.

 But one by one, the miles pass by, each one mile less to roam.
 And one by one, the miles pass by until I'm safely home.

  The path of life seems long to run, as step by step we tread
  But one by one, each task gets done through joy or love or dread.

   A thousand things we have to do that face us every day.
   A thousand challenges come through while going on life's way.

    A thousand chances we will get, if we but chance to try,
    And should we not, then we'll regret the chances we passed by.
LIFE'S PAGES from Fireside Musings
When the story of your life is written down in history's book,
Will there be a lot to read, or will it have an empty look?
For some, the story tells of all the riches they have made,
While some have made their mark by giving others love and aid.

A mother's children tell a tale about her earthly time.
The poet, with his art, may be remembered for his rhyme.
Though some tales may be simple, or the saying of a sage,
The saddest tale of all is when your life's an empty page.
TWO LITTLE CENTIPEDES    from Fireside Fellowship
Two little centipedes 
Going out to dance.
They're gonna try the fox trot, 
But they haven't got a chance.

They gotta don their dancing shoes
And lace them up real tight,
And by the time they're finished,
Why the band's gone for the night.
SAND                                            from Fireside Musings
I get sand between my toes when I am on the beach.
It's in my hair and in my clothes and everything in reach.
And when my cat's beside me, she gets sand between her paws,
So is it any wonder I believe in Sandy Claws?
SCROOGEMASfrom Fireside Musings
Why don't we celebrate Scroogemas, or sing a Scroogemas tune.
Scroogemas rolls around each year the twenty-fifth of June.

It's a day to be grumpy and grouchy, irascible as well.
So how did Scroogemas come about?  It's origin, I'll tell.

It's a day for uncelebration.  It's a day to grumble and fret,
For it's as far from Christmas as anyone can get.
C. 2010-13
PLINKA PLANKA                  from Fireside Fellowship
When the banjo player's playing, 
Everybody gathers 'round
Just to hear that strumming rhythm 
Of that plinka planka sound.

Every toe starts in a-tapping,
Every heart will beat in sync
To the tempo of that banjo
With its plinka planka plink.

With its simple strings and drumhead,
Who'd have ever give a thunk
There could be such music magic
In a plinka planka plunk?
PUNCTIONALLY PROUD    from Fireside Fellowship

An ellipses(...) and a colon (:), 
They eloped one wintry day.
The preacher helped them tie the wedding knot.

And in a little while, 
They both were very proud to say
They had a daughter, and they called her Dot (.)
WITH BLINDERS ON                     from Fireside Fellowship
With blinders on, we go through life,
Just looking straight ahead.
We concentrate on toil and strife
To earn our rent and bread.

What wondrous things could be our prize,
'Twould almost make us shout,
To take the blinders off our eyes
And see the world about.
THE MYSTERY OF DUST     from Fireside Musings
From dust we come, to dust we go,
I've often heard that said.
I guess there's lots of people now
All scattered 'neath my bed.
DAN CUPID                              from Fireside Fellowship
Dan Cupid, with his little bow
Will do his best to make love grow
And shoot his arrows straight and true, I'm told.

But Dan can only make a start.
It's up to you to do your part
Once Cupid draws his bowstring and takes aim.
THE TURTLE RACES                           from Fireside Musings
I'm headed for the turtle races.  They're a lot of fun.
About a thousand folks will come to see those turtles run.
You'll hear the crowd let out a roar just as the race begins,
And I'll be back again next week to see which turtle wins.
Fireside Musings:  This is a collection of 427 poems on subjects ranging from the silly to the sublime.  Like all my verses, each features rhythm and rhyme.  Read them simply for your own enjoyment or read them with family and friends.  I look forward to sharing moments with you and your family or friends.
Fireside Fellowship:  This book differs from Musings in that it is divided into three parts.  The first contains 351 general poems of the ilk contained in my first book.  The second portion features a 43 verse group of what I call "Tales of Grandfather Goose."  These are a bit like the old Mother Goose rhymes, but without all the blood, guts, gore and violence.  Finally, there is a collection of 179 novelty rhymelets that I have dubbed "Spells, Curses, Blessings and Sage Advice."  These are patterned after the old wizards' spells of medieval  fame.
FIRESIDE THOUGHTS       from Fireside Musings
Sitting by the fireside 
As the flames give off their glow,
Listening to the crackling logs 
Brings thoughts of long ago.

  A million years before our time, 
  Perhaps the folks would sit
  Around the fire and reminisce,
  Their faces dimly lit.

    Perhaps so long ago they sang 
    And joked 'bout what had been.
    Perhaps a million years ago, 
    They worried 'bout their kin.

      Perhaps tomorrow's weather 
      Formed the bulk of what they'd say.
      Perhaps the folks of long ago 
      Were much like us today.

        If this is so, then could it be 
        Our neighbors near and far
        Are more like us in every way
        Than we might think they are?
Fireside Glow:    It has taken me seven long years to get this one out.  I almost had it ready to go when I reached 365 poems, one for each day of the year.  Then two things happened.  I got quite sick with some virus that knocked me out physically for three months.  However, the brain apparently shifted into high gear and I produced about three hundred more.  I was thinking about putting the new poems in its own book which I was calling Fireside Elegance, but decided that I may not have a fourth book in me.  As a result, I combined all 650 poems into Fireside Glow.  I hope you enjoy it.
FIRESIDE VERSES
A BUNCH OF SAMPLES, PLUS A FEW DETAILS ON MY BOOKS
LISTEN TO THE SILENCE            from Fireside Musings
Come and listen to the silence.  It's a sound you seldom hear
With its awesome voice so peaceful and secure.
Listen very closely; it may nevermore be near.
You should listen like you never have before.

It's a silence that is golden.  It's a silence that is pure.
It's a silence that is total and complete.
It's a silence rare as ruby, but it will not long endure,
For the worldly sounds are longing to compete.

There's no whippoorwill a-calling, calling to its mate,
And no cricket chirps to fiddle out its tune.
There's no school bell that is clanging saying that you'll soon be late,
Nor an ocean wind to howl across the dune.

There's no thunder clap to deafen and no gale to scream tonight.
There's no chipmunk chatter skipping through the wood.
There's no telephone a-ringing and no horns to give a fright,
Only silence, only silence - clear and good.

A cacophony of quiet and a din of nothingness,
An explosion fully empty of all sound.
It's a riot filled with quiet.  That is all and nothing less,
Not a motion in the air or on the ground.

Come and listen to the silence.  It's a sound you seldom hear
With its awesome voice so peaceful and secure,
But listen very closely; it may nevermore be near.
You should listen like you never have before.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the offerings below.
email me
PENNING POETRY         from Fireside Fellowship
I note nothing that is new, save perchance a different view
In the meter or the merger of the magic of a rhyme.
Life so often just repeats ancient tales of ancient feats
And the only things a-changing are the people, place and time.

So the hapless bard who feels he's inventing brand new wheels
Only has himself believing he's the first upon that stage,
While the truth, if it be known, is that other bards have sown
In those same old rows and furrows in a different time and age.
TIME                  from Fireside Fellowship
Time keeps flying day by day
Moving us along life's way.
From time of birth to time of hearse,
We never can outlive time's curse.
SPEAKING FREELY       from Fireside Musings
Speaking freely is a right
We often take for granted,
And how we view what others say
Depends on how it's slanted.

But some folks carry things too far
And say whate'er they please.
For them, there simply is no cure
For Foot-In-Mouth disease.
THE OYSTER BALL         from Fireside Musings
The oysters held a fancy ball
To celebrate the spring.
The vernal equinox had come,
And they would have their fling.

The orchestra was truly grand
And one of great regard,
But if you are an oyster,
Those old dances are quite hard.

For when you have no feet at all,
The two-step isn't fun,
And "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey,"
Just cannot be done.

But as one oyster lad remarked,
"I'm happy, goodness knows.
Not ever once did she complain,
'You're stepping on my toes.' "
HOOK, LINE AND SINKER                             from Fireside Musings
It's true I spend a lot of time out fishing on the lake,
In the winter when I'm freezing, or the summer when I  bake.
I'll fish throughout the rains of spring as well as in the fall.
The time that's wrong for fishing never comes around at all.
Some folks may say I'm lazy or my duties I'm a-shirkin',
But a bad day spent in fishin' beats a good day spent in workin'.
Photo:  THW
Tom Wheatley's Original Crumbly Fudge Challenge    from Fireside Musings
If you are hankering for fudge, the kind Tom Wheatley makes,
Then here the ingredients plus all the care it takes.

Use butter, take a half a pound, then add just once ounce more,
And then you whip it all around.  That softens it for sure.
Then sugar, first you add a pound, and whip these all real good,
(Confectioner's is what you need.) and after that you should

Add half a cup of milk and then a tablespoon or so
Of good vanilla or the fake.  It matters not, you know.
A half a teaspoonful of salt also goes in too  *
To keep that so-sweet butter taste from blasting right on through.

A half a cup of cocoa powder also put in there
Then blend them up most thoroughly.  Of that you should take care.
Now one more pound of sugar goes into that pan, then blend.
So this completes the easy part as down this path you wend.

From here on out, it is an art.  I can but be a guide.
It's not like telling you a yard's three dozen inches wide.
You start to cook.  The stove's on high.  Then with your beater mixing
Most constantly or else you'll find burnt fudge you have been fixing.

Now timing's not the way to tell how long you should be cooking.
I cook about ten minutes, but I judge by how it's looking.
It kinda plops a little slow.  The bubbles break, then plop,
But if you pour it out too soon, you'll just have gooey slop.

Though on the other hand, if you that fudge should overcook.
It comes out hard and crunchy, and more brittle it will look.
Now when it's ready to pour out, some marble top I'm picking
All coated with some butter just to keep that fudge from sticking.

First let it cool a minute and then cut it into squares.
And if you've done it all just right, folks fight to get their shares.


*The salt was inadvertantly omitted in the book, Fireside Musings. On the cooking bit, I use a 6 quart copper bottom pan on a 6 inch electric heater turned up high, and it usually takes me between 9 minutes 40 seconds and 10 minutes to complete the cooking part.  Have fun  If you are brave enough to give it a try, I'd love to hear how things turn out. 
This recipe is based on one used during the great depression when my neighbor, Mr. Bowen, made the fudge to supplement the family budget. It sold for a nickel a square, which was a princely sum back then, but it was so good, he had little trouble selling out every batch.  Mr. Bowen died without divulging his secret recipe, (not even to his kids) and it took me about fifteen years to reasonably duplicate it. 
AT THE BUNNY RABBIT BALL                                              from Fireside Glow
If you go looking for a place where music's really popping,
I'll tell you all about the spot that's bound to keep you hopping.

There's no place else that's like it, though you search both far and wide,
But you gotta be a bunny if you wanna get inside.

There are lots of bunnies dancing at the Bunny Rabbit Ball.
They even hired an orchestra and rented out a hall.

Every bunny loves to be there and it's fun for one and all
When you're dancing with your bunny at the Bunny Rabbit Ball

The bunny rabbit ladies dress in fur from head to toe,
While the bunny rabbit laddies are all hopping to and fro.

They'll dance the Hokey-Pokey, plus the Fox Trot, and what's more,
Every now and then a few will Polka 'round the floor.

But the big hit of the evening is a dance no one can top.
It's that grand finale of the ball that's called the Bunny Hop.
THE REJECTED GIFT        from Fireside Glow
It happened on a summer day
Beneath a shining sun.
I gave a book of mine away,
The Fireside Musings one.

Four hundred poems reside inside
All written from the heart
Four hundred rhymes are there to share,
Each one a work of art.

I never knew she hated verse.
I didn't have a notion,
But when she threw the book at me,
'Twas poetry in motion.
IT CAN'T HURT                  from Fireside Glow
When I go to bed, I always get scared
And pull all the covers right over my head
I know that protects me, that I'm well prepared,
For when I wake up, I find I'm not dead.
ACHES AND PAINS       from Fireside Glow
Aches and pains and muscle strains
Get worse each passing day.
I take for ills a dozen pills
To help me on my way.

Thinning hair and Medicare
Replace the bounce of youth
While failing eyes are no surprise
If You would know the truth.

But still and all I well recall
There's good in every hour
How sad 'twould be if I just see
The thorns and not the flower

So I am one, when day is done,
Who views the years I got
With grateful cheer that I'm still here
To tolerate such rot!
BEFORE THE FINAL CURTAIN CALL
from Fireside Glow
Before the final curtain call
I've plans for life's great concert hall
Should I but have the chance to write that page
I know it may not come to pass
For there's no magic looking glass
But here's the act I'd put upon my stage.

I'd like to smile and shake the hand
Of all who've made my life so grand
And those who only smiled as we passed by
For everything we get to know
Through summer sun or winter snow
Becomes a part of everything we try.

I want to sing and laugh and play
And while the evening hours away
Just chatting with the many friends I've known
I'd like to watch the sunset's glow
And see the moon rise o'er the snow
Before the hours of winter all have flown.

I'll visit once again those spots
That made up life's great twists and plots
And see the leaves, so brilliant in the fall.
though Fate will have the final say
I hope I get to have my way.
All this, before the final curtain call.
THE BEAR HUNT       from Fireside Musings
Bears filled the woods, perhaps the reason;
They didn't know 'twas hunting season.
And so I called my Uncle mort.
He's always game for any sport.

He loves to hunt and fish and hike.
There's nothing outdoors he don't like.
Soon he came by with gun in hand.
"I'm set to go, just like we planned!"

"But where's your hunting duds' big Guy?"
He set me back with his reply.
"I didn't bring a thing to wear,
'Cause you said we'd be hunting bare!"
MUSIC OF THE NIGHT                              from  Fireside Glow,
There's a magic place called evening when the moon is shining high,
Where the daytime cares and worries all take flight
We'll go dancing with the moonbeams 'neath a starry summer sky
As we listen to the music of the night.

There's no daytime din and chatter, and the world just doesn't matter,
And we can stay all night if we so please.
There's a spirit naught can quell as we wander in the dell,
And the fireflies flash while dancing in the breeze.

All the animals are dancing, and they're prancing and romancing.
We might even see a fox trot in the dell.
A jitterbug is prepping just to take his lady stepping,
And the bunny hop's a favorite as well.

The bullfrog,s croak is heard and the warble olf a bird
As the mockingbird is calling out his song.
Crickets sing by rubbing knees while tyhe wind blows through the trees,
And the concert will be lasting all night long.

There's a magic place called evening when the moon is shining high,
Where the daytime cares and worries all take flight
We'll go dancing with the moonbeams 'neath a starry summer sky
As we listen to the music of the night.

ODE TO THE IRS     from Firesde Glow
I hear it on the news each day
That things are going bad,
With housing down and banks in hock.
Well, my life's just as sad.

Prices all are on the rise.
They're climbing every day.
My stocks are down.  My bills are due.
The future's looking gray.

I'm hurting like the economy.
That's true without a doubt.
A little money's coming in,
But much more's going out.

I've turned my pockets inside out.
My bank account's a mess,
And any cash I might have left
Is owed to the IRS!
Rev: 06/24/2013