Autumn in Georgia

The midday shadows are longer now
The driveway’s scattered with leaves
I’ve learned to avoid telling the missus how
There are big spider webs under the eaves

The stores have big Halloween candy displays
I just walk past them, calm and sober
Nothing I buy in late September
Is ever still around in October

I look out the window at the pond
Half-expecting to see it freeze
Then I look at the thermometer
Oh gawd, it’s 87 degrees!

Young Buckaroo Simmons and the Bull Named Misteak

The arena smelled of manure and sweat
But the show ain’t even started yet
Cowboys and bullfighters markin’ time
Gonna go at some beef a bit past its prime
The crowd waited with bated breath
To see which cowboy would go home with
A gold belt buckle and a hefty check
To make up for nearly gettin’ stomped to heck

Young Buckaroo Simmons was goin’ first
On an old bull everyone said was the worst
But he blocked all that out and stretched his rope
So his ridin’ hand wouldn’t come loose — he hoped
Pushed his hat on tight an’ spat out his wad
Hunkered down low and gave ’em the nod
The gate swung open and away they flew
Snortin’ and blowin’ as buckin’ bulls do

Down went the horns and Buck, he leaned back
So far that bull’s tail gave him a whack
Shruggin’ it off the rider rolled with the tide
On the bull named Misteak bound to give him a ride
They spun to the left, then twirled to the right
And again Misteak reared up, oh man what a sight
Four seconds had passed while Buck aged a year
So focused on ridin’, no time spared for fear

That’s when the bull let his freak flag unfurl
Spinnin’ in place just like a tilt-a-whirl
Buck, he’d been warned that ol’ Misteak was mean
But it’d been a lot of years since he was that green
Six seconds gone, the crowd cheered and crowed
Declarin’ already that this bull’s been rode.
Buck was a hero, the judges were in awe
He stayed put as that bull pitched and yawed

Just one more second, he’d be cream of the crop
With a ride that no other cowpoke could top
The whistle blew and the crowd blew its stack
There was Bucky still on the bull’s back
Now, let’s just say he didn’t stick the dismount
If it’s after eight seconds, it just doesn’t count
He spent the rest of the show sort of daze-y
His memory of that day is still pretty hazy

He still wears the buckle, though the money’s long gone
And most bulls these days he cannot stay on
He freely admits he didn’t get scared
During the ride, but he shouldn’t have dared
To watch the film of all those bounces and swerves
‘Cause that was when he finally lost his nerve

Born to Be Riled

Apologies to Steppenwolf and music lovers everywhere. The SJWs can suck it.

Got my outrage runnin’
In the middle of the highway
Seekin’ validation
For always havin’ things my way
Oh golly gotta make it happen
Or I might as well fade away
Shout my every grievance at once and
Ruin the whole world’s day

Gonna put chains on you
Don’t waste time trynna ponder
You deserve to lose ’cause
My opportunities I squander
Oh golly gotta make it happen
Or I might as well fade away
Shout my every grievance at once and
Ruin the whole world’s day

Like a true tantrum child
I was born, born to be riled
Roll your eyes and sigh
As I stamp my feet and cry
Booooorn to be riiiiiled!

Everything’s a Trade Off

The whole of my domain is leafy and green
As monochrome a world as I’ve ever seen
Sometime next month, though you don’t need to be told
We’ll start to see splashes of scarlet and gold
It happens gradually here, taking months to complete
As each single tree concedes annual defeat
If you didn’t pay attention the leaves might all fall
Without your ever knowing it happened at all.
I’ll see neighbors’ houses emerge from the greenery
As the intervening woods become less screenery
The sound of passing traffic grows ever more clear
Remind me, why is fall my favorite time of year?

Take the Long View

Wolves have packs and bees have hives
Soldiers have platoons, Indians tribes
Football players on the gridiron have teams
Everyone’s part of a group it seems
Teamwork is good, don’t get me wrong
Takes a passel o’ notes to make a song
And a lot o’ hands you’ll need for your roundup
But plenty o’ folks let their souls get ground up
Needin’ acceptance from others is human nature
Exchangin’ loyalty can enhance your stature
Just remember though when your work here is done
When you stand before God, you’ll stand alone.

De Augustibus

They call this part of summer “dog days”
I wouldn’t treat a dog this way
It gets hot, muggy and miserable
People get angry and irritable
Traffic is noisy, loud and slow
Like Christmas shoppin’ season, but more so
No one wants to get anythin’ done
At least I don’t, a majority of one
Storm clouds rise high in the sky
Then say, “hell with it”, give up and die
Dogs are smart though, they’ve got it made
Sprawled out, pantin’, in the shade

The Great Crash of 2017

Summertime in Georgia at Mustache World Headquarters
Is high time for mowin’
‘Cause the grass sure likes growin’
The field ain’t level nor flat and it’s peppered with holes
And there’s always a threat
Of thunder and wet
Tall trees tower over the edges of the open space
So when morning or evening shadows fall
It can seem like I’m hitting a wall
You’d think with so much rain I’d never have to worry about dust
But with every turn it’ll rise
Covering my hat, whiskers and eyes

Well, so between all the dust and the shadows and sun I wove
Up and down and across the field I drove
Turning a wild weed pasture into something closer to a golf course fairway
I’d turn my head when I had to go through the red clay haboob
And slow down a touch when over toward the trees I moved
There’s no regular grid on this patch, I go here, there and thataway

If you’ve never mowed grass
Here in Georgia, take a pass
If you’re squeamish about wildlife surprises
You need to let your senses do
‘Cause there’s a lot to pay attention to
But none are as important as your eyes is
More than once these last few years
I’ve often had to swerve and veer
As summer’s cycle goes through its flow and ebb
But when you’re shade and dust cloud blind
It’s hard not to accidentally find
Your face plastered with a giant spider web

It could have been a mighty crash
I could only use one hand to thrash
And fend off the critter with my spittin’, slappin’ and blowin’
It just goes to prove with real aplomb
How true is that ol’ rule of thumb
Keep your mind on what you’re doin’, and look where you’re goin’

Some parts of this narrative may be fiction. Sort of.

Memo to Self: Next time work out a rhyming scheme before you start writing the poem.