|Verse and Worse started largely as birthday verse written to our children and grandchildren, as explained below. After I had acquired a taste for versifying, my fancy took my writings in various directions; hence there are a number of chapters on loosely related themes. Most of the verse, however, is still oriented toward our children and their families. We now have children in seven states and grandchildren who have a tendency to want to be mobile as well. This means that the network to which our birthday greetings need to go is vast and complex.
Along with mailing checks to our progeny, we originally sent birthday cards. This worked, and we assumed that it was the only way to go. Then something happened. Because of a major mechanical failure of our motorhome, we were stranded for several days in a small RV park in the mountains in Utah. The town where we broke down had one combined restaurant, convenience store, and RV park. No daily paper was available, and nary a birthday card was there to be purchased. It was necessary to send out some birthday checks, and Necessity, (the mother of invention) suggested to us that we send birthday checks and replace the unavailable card with a dollar bill. To give some semblance of a card, I wrote rhyming couplets to attach to the first ones. Surprisingly, the idea pleased the recipients, who liked the idea of a dollar to spend without disturbing the check, and didn’t mind the little rhyme.
|The result was that we decided to make it our practice to replace the traditional birthday card, even when available, with a one and a little rhyme. We hope the general reader appreciates the verses, which are quite clearly directed to individual birthday celebrants. I never called the verses poetry because they seldom deserved that characterization. The verse rhymed (sometimes lamely) and it used other conventions of English verse, but rarely did it approach being poetry. Cheryl, my artistic daughter, has supplied illustration to contribute to your reading enjoyment. As you read these verses, I hope you will smile, or laugh, but I also hope you will recognize the bits of homespun philosophy here and there. If the verses amuse you or touch you in any way, our efforts will be rewarded.|
One of the many drawings from the book
Verse and Worse - a limerick
There once was a man who wrote verse,
With nary a lewd word nor curse.
Though his words were not naughty,
He could not be haughty,
For his lines oft became verse and worse.
A Divinity Student - a limerick
A Divinity Student named Larson
Just simply doted on arson.
With a torch made of birch,
He burned down the church,
And that really burned up the parson.
Man of peace, why study war?
Remember the goal of history--
Swords into plowshares, guns for butter,
Peace in our time.
War solves nothing; so why dwell on it?
But I see Lee and Grant, Rommel and Patton,
David and Goliath. Though war oppresses,
I sigh, and live the Bulge over again,
In print and film.
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The author and spouse