Now and then I get the urge to write some rhyme. I shouldn't call it poetry, because it isn't that good, but its fun. I also will include some real poetry by others.
I wrote this first one when I was 69, but adjusted it here to my present age - a minor problem that doesn't affect the story line.
Going Like Twenty At Eighty
By Jug Varner
One hundred years of age, I see,
is what folks want to live to be.
An age to which most all aspire
as each month takes them to the wire
in life's cavalcade.
I pondered this, and I agreed
that it could fill a human need,
but only if a newfound plan
could elevate the thoughts of man
so age could retrograde.
The first rule would be to divide
those hundred years, and then decide
which fifty years to live out first,
and how to minimize the worst -
with all the rules obeyed.
I'd choose the second half myself,
since I am nearly on the shelf.
I'd like the opportunity
for latter day immunity
from past mistakes I've made.
Instead of old and being eighty,
I'd be twenty (not so weighty),
the second time that I'd been there
albeit with more savoir-faire -
from all my groundwork laid.
Back again at youthful twenty
I would know that I'd have plenty
wit and wisdom there for me
to overcome adversity -
face evil unafraid.
With newfound vigor, future bright,
I'd never ever hide my light,
nor fail to help someone in need
whatever color, race, or creed -
with love that would pervade.
I'd work to know that senior age
requires not to disengage
from youthful thought or youthful ways,
and spend my time in fruitful days -
with others to persuade.
“If I knew then what I know now,”
I've often said, as in a vow.
Well, now at twenty I could use
whatever expertise I choose
because my dues are paid.
I wrote this next one several years ago after attending my 50th year high school class reunion. Some things never change.
Class Reunion Day
By Jug Varner
Time slips by much faster, the older we all get,
and sometimes things remembered are easy to forget.
But good friends are not one of them, we're happy we can say,
as most of us discover on our Class Reunion day.
We're none of us spring chickens, and most have slowed apace.
Our school has seen some changes. It's not the same old place
it was when we were younger, but then, neither are we
the same as we were then, nor all we thought that we would be.
Some of us lost our figures. Some of us lost our hair,
and portions of our bodies. It's true, but we don't care
about such little trifles, 'cause there's much more to see
within the hearts and minds of friends the likes of you and me.
We smile away the wrinkles and just ignore the fat.
But don't tell us you struck it rich - because we can't stand that.
We will accept a few white lies, if truth's not stretched too far,
but we don't care what you are not - we like the one you are!
Here is an interesting tale about how towns are born and become cities.
The Calf Path
By Sam Walker Fuss, 1899
One day through the primeval wood
a calf walked home, as good calves should,
but made a trail all bent askew,
a crooked trail - as all calves do.
Since then three hundred years have fled,
and I infer the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail
and thereby hangs my moral tale.
The trail was taken up next day
by one lone dog that passed that way.
And then a wise bellwether sheep
pursued the trail o'er vale and steep,
and drew the flock behind him, too,
as good bellwethers always do.
And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
through these old woods a path was made.
And many men wound in and out,
and dodged and turned and bent about,
and uttered words of righteous wrath
because 'twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed, do not laugh,
the first migrations of that calf.
The forest path became a lane,
that bent and turned and turned again.
This crooked lane became a road
where many a poor horse with his load
toiled on beneath the burning sun
and traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
they trod the footsteps of that calf.
The years passed on in swiftness fleet.
The road became a village street.
And this, before men were aware,
a city's crowded thoroughfare.
And soon the central street was this
of a renowned metropolis.
And men two centuries and a half
trod in the footsteps of that calf.
A hundred thousand men were led
by one calf near three centuries dead.
For men are prone to go it blind
along the calf paths of the mind
and work away from sun to sun
to do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
and out and in, and forth and back,
and still their devious course pursue
to keep the path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred groove
along which all their lives they move.
But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
who saw the first primeval calf.