Born Oct. 26, 1928 - Passed Away June 3, 2016
Why Not Minot?
Why Not Minot? Winters are cold and the summers are hot,
But in either season the wind blows a lot.
Blizzards in the winter you can count on that,
In the summer mosquitoes get as big as a bat.
TV weather people oft’ mispronounce Minot as ‘Mineau.’
But they’re from New England so how would they know?
Minot’s a city in the north central part of the state,
And the people who live there think it’s just great.
37,000 people inhabit this North Dakota town,
It is surrounded by crops of grain for miles around.
Colors of blue blossomed flax and yellow canola please the eye,
And there are fields of beautiful green oats, barley, wheat and rye.
These colors are flanked by strips of plowed black soil.
To the west some oil companies recently struck oil.
The economy is good and businesses are flourishing,
Education ranks high and home grown food is nourishing.
The people are friendly and neighbors help one another,
It won’t be long before you’re treated like a brother.
It’s an outdoorsman’s paradise for hunting and fishing,
And noted for excellent pheasant, quail and duck hunting.
In recent years deer have become overpopulated,
Moose, elk, and wild turkeys have hunters elated.
Perch, walleye and northern pike are easily caught.
Come and join us by saying “Why not Minot?”
One sister and two brothers,
Get together with all the others
They’re celebrating their Birthdays here,
And enjoying a dinner and glass of cheer.
Four more sisters and two more bros,
They all flock together just like crows.
It’s a family filled with lots of love,
Thanking God in Heaven above.
George the oldest is eighty five,
And he’s happy he’s still alive.
Bill will be eighty in August,
His being here is really a must.
Janet will be seventy five this July,
She doesn’t look it, she’s so spry.
. Every five years we do this thing,
Get together and laugh and sing.
Their daughters and sons are here from afar,
They came by plane, train and even a car.
Nephews, nieces, uncles and aunts,
Even some ghosts come and haunts.
In-laws, out-laws and so many cousins,
They have to be counted by the dozens.
Also some friends and neighbors are here,
Maybe they just came for the beer.
George goes to Arizona each fall,
And every spring back to Mohall.
Bill now calls Minnesota his home,
But soon he’ll get the urge to roam.
Auburn , Washington is where Janet resides.
And she drives to Mohall without any guides.
They’re all together this week end,
This celebration is setting a trend.
So what if I am very visually impaired,
I’m still full of life and not despaired.
Though things I see are shapeless and blurred,
I still have the blessing of God’s word.
I have my hearing, my smell and my touch,
And all of these senses mean so much.
My friends care about me and give me their love,
So my attitude flourishes with help from above.
When my doctor first told me, I was very depressed,
But the condition of blindness must be addressed.
I enrolled in an Independent Living Skills class,
It was like looking at my soul in a looking glass.
Don’t whimper and pout; stand up and shout!
Face it head on with all of your clout.
You don’t want people feeling sorry for you,
Just show them you’re strong and what you can do.
If you ever had a sense of humor, now is the time,
Just laugh it off and see how high you can climb.
Take advantage of all that’s available to you,
You’ll soon see that you can help others too.
Be cheerful and smile as you walk through life,
Try being a stranger to trouble and strife.
And thank God for this opportunity,
You can shine like a star in your community.
I knew he was a dead tortoise,
As he already had rigor mortis.
A pig that can’t squeal,
I don’t believe is real.
The little giraffe had no neck at all,
But his parents were normally tall.
A fire breathing dragonfly,
Seared everything it flew by.
I saw a jay bird that wasn’t nude
Because he thought naked was rude.
Have you ever seen a turtle dressed in fur?
Or a cat bark? Or a dog purr?
If a fish had feathers could it fly?
And a bird with scales, could it swim by?
And lizards must have gizzards,
If the Land of Oz has its wizards.
It’s been said that an armadillo,
Makes a very uncomfortable pillow.
Why is it we don’t have margarine flies?
Yet, there are millions of butterflies,
If owls are wise, why do they ask who? Who?
And can you tell if it’s an old gnu or a new gnu?
What if an elephant had no trunk?
And there was no smell to a skunk?
Japanese and their Sushi Bar;
Russians and their Caviar;
English and their Sheppard Pies;
Americans and their Country Fries;
Australians and their Mutton Stews;
Eskimos and their Blubber Chews;
Hawaiians and their Roasted Pigs;
Greeks and their Candied Figs;
Chinese and their Chow Mein Noodle;
Germans and their Apple Struddle;
Bostonians and their Baked Beans;
Southerners an their Collard Greens;
New Englanders and their Clam Bakes;
Marylanders and their Crab Cakes;
Greeks and their Gyros;
Mexicans and their Jalapeños;
New Orleans and their Cajun Dishes;
Norwegians and their Sardine Fishes;
French and their Cold Vichyssoises;
Italians and their El Dente Pastas;
Belgians and their Rueben’s;
Cubans and of course they like their Cubans;
Hungarians and their Goulash;
Algonquians and their Succotash;
Spaniards and their Spanish Rice;
Idahoans and their Potatoes Baked Twice;
Israelis mad their Matzo Balls;
Scottish and their Single Malts;
Iowans and their Corn on Cobs;
East Indians and their Kebobs;
Irish and their Potato Soup;
Everyone else’s favorite Goop;
These are favorite Ethnic Treats,
So eat hardy, and Bon Appetites.
Listen to the Silence of the Stars
You can hear the croaking of the frogs and the chirping of the crickets,
When on a warm summer night you’re walking among the thickets.
You can feel the gentile breezes as they skip across your way,
And smell the sweet fragrances of some flowers near the bay.
The stillness of the night is accompanied by shadows of the moon,
For this is the year’s longest day, the twenty-first of June.
It’s a perfect time to locate the red planet, Mars,
Then just “Listen to the Silence of the Stars.”
Not the slightest sound do they make as they float above the earth,
It’s fun to study stars—so study them for all you’re worth.
The universe is full of them; they completely fill the sky,
And they are spaced so perfectly, did you ever ask why?
Think of the constellations in their picturesque styles,
They never lose their shapes although they’re apart by many miles.
I’d like to capture ten and put them in jars,
And sit and “Listen to the silence of the Stars.”
They twinkle oh so brightly on a dark but moonlit night,
You’d think they’d make a jingle since they shine so very bright.
They don’t seem to make a sound, unless it’s just a whisper,
A year ago one fell from the sky and missed us by a whisker.
The one that fell to earth wasn’t from the big or little dipper,
If it had, you’d be drinking from a steady leaky dripper.
So we’ll watch the sky from our convertible cars,
And just be content to “Listen to the Silence of the Stars.”
You will never see a pagoda,
In the state of North Dakota.
But there’s lots of barley and oats,
Used to make beer and feed for goats.
Also they have pigs and some sheep,
For making bacon or counting for sleep.
There are acres and acres of potaters,
But it’s too cold there for alligators.
You’ll see some buffalo and cattle,
Near where Custer had his last battle.
That’s where Sitting Bull did out-fox
The General with his golden locks.
And of course the champagne music man,
Lawrence Welk played a polka and can-can.
Roger Marris played ball when he was a Yankee,
Another famous North Dakotan was Peggy Lee.
Of course, you’ve heard about all the snow,
And how the winters there get fifty below.
So they appreciate spring, summer and fall,
And give thanks to God that winter is not all.
Planting the spring crops is pursued with a flare,
It’s the number one priority for the farmers there.
In July they appreciate the blossoming fields,
It’s not just for the color but for the grain it yields.
Many prayers are offered during the growing season,
The crops need sun and rain and that’s the reason.
And there is always the danger of wind and hail,
With a serious storm their crops could fail.
These farmers must gamble and remain optimistic,
When crops produce high yields they become capitalistic.
They can pay off their seed loans and look ahead,
Their homes will be warm and the children will be fed.
Now how about the people that live in this state,
They are happy and loving and not full of hate.
They greet perfect strangers with a hardy “Hello”,
They help all their neighbors or a poor sick fellow.
The families go to church; their kids go to school,
They live their lives by the “Golden Rule.”
Education is important to these rural folk,
The highest percent graduate, and that’s no joke.
The International Peace Garden on the Canadian border,
Is a symbol of two countries at peace and order.
The Red River flows from south to north; to the east is Minnesota,
And it wanders up to Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba.
Fargo and Grand Forks are on the river; both have universities,
Add Bismarck and Minot and you have the four biggest cities.
The Badlands in the southwest snuggle up to Montana,
Where Teddy Roosevelt hunted and wore a neck bandana.
Residents of this great north central state are very satisfied,
In winter they could freeze and in summer they could be fried.
The highways aren’t crowded and the traffic is real smooth,
Low unemployment and the taxes are fair, so why should they move?
Some spend a couple of months down south at different places,
You know they’re happy to be back home by the smile on their faces.
If you want to be welcomed and feel really free,
Come visit North Dakota and you will see.
Ode To My Cane
This is not a plain old cane.
Because, you see, I really not lame.
But I legally blind and can barely see,
And don want to fall like an old dead tree
But because I have this special stick,
Walking is not a difficult trick.
It customized for just my need,
So now I feel I e been freed!
It painted white except for the tip,
And really handy when I go on a trip.
This cane is fully five feet long,
I had one shorter but it was wrong.
My cane is completely maintenance free.
And comes with a life time guarantee.
I got it at Watson for twenty-six bucks,
And use it to avoid all cars and trucks.
A special teacher came to my home,
And she taught me how to safely roam.
I think my cane could be improved later,
By adding a little turn indicator.
And maybe a horn and a high-powered light,
But still I stay safely home at night.
Brakes aren needed, just go slow and stop,
So I need not worry about a traffic cop.
So I have come to love my little white cane,
It always loyal in sun or in rain.
There are others like it with cost in reason,
And most important it good any season.
But if I lose it, I l just get another
To watch over me - just like a mother.
My Home Town
I have many memories of my home town,
Where I was known as the classroom clown.
It wasn’t hard for such a fool
For twelve years I attended that school,
Playing jokes on my classmate friend,
Pranks and jokes, they’d never end.
It was much more fun than studying books,
But my teachers often gave me dirty looks.
What else do I remember about my home town?
Well, graduation, the prom, and a beautiful gown.
Of course, the band and the sporting events,
Or when the circus came to town with all its tents,
I’d carry water for the elephants, to get in free,
The fat lady and sword swallower were fun to see.
Or a side show staring the amazing fire eater,
But the beautiful dancing girls were even neater.
We think about the old school house,
Or the nearby river named the Mouse.
And the Church where we went to Sunday school,
And the drug store where we had our favorite stool.
The railroads have closed most of its branches,
No more stockyards and few cattle ranches.
The hotel burned down during a winter storm,
These things are gone but memories reform.
Some of the memories are not so prized,
Such as some friends who recently died.
And a little girl who passed as a teen,
She’s now an Angel on Heaven’s scene
Grandma and Grandpa just passed away,
Their funeral and burial were on the same day.
With both of them gone it is doubly sad,
The town lost the best it ever had.
No matter where your home town might be,
Or if it’s a small village or a big city,
It’s where you spent your younger years,
And shed both sad and happy tears.
No other town can take its place.
Loving your home town is no disgrace.
Though you may have moved and never return.
The embers of your memories will continue to burn.
Do you dream in color or black and white?
Is audio available in your dreams at night?
Can you smell the fragrance of flowers in bloom?
Do you sense the warmth of the sun at noon?
Do you feel the soft down on a baby chick?
Does time go by slow or fly by quick?
Are you ever awakened by a loud scream:
The erring fragment of a fleeting d ream.
My answer to all is a resounding yes,
Iʼm legally blind with times of distress.
When Iʼm asleep I forget I canʼt see,
And all of my dreams are as clear as can be.
But when Iʼm awake things are not all that clear,
Distances and fogs tend to interfere.
But Eternity is forever; blindness temporary I pray,
Thus Iʼll follow Godʼs light to Heaven one day.
In the winter North Dakota is the state,
When winter comes it will hibernate.
The colorful crops change their gowns,
The fields of straw turn to browns,
The sky is grey and overcast,
Summer and fall are slipping past.
The winds swirl and the dust does blow,
And the temperature drops to twenty below.
The signs of winter quickly appear,
Fireplace wood is stacked at the rear.
All of the silos are packed to the brims,
And shadows grow long as the evening dims.
The feel of a chill fills the air at night,
And the sun in the morning is not as bright.
On the watering troughs are sheets of ice,
And heating oil has gone up in price.
The leaves have fallen and the grass is asleep,
The Fall ground frost is getting real deep.
Snow flurries are more frequent these days,
Everything gets white as it enters this phase.
It’s time to put on parkas that cover your head,
And get out extra blankets to put on the bed.
You’ll need to wear gloves and long underwear,
And put your ear flaps down, you’re not a polar bear.
Winter is here with the first blowing snow,
And it piles into drifts forming row after row.
When the storm subsides it’s a beautiful sight,
Everything looks so peaceful covered with white.
The children can play with their sleds down a hill,
And make a snow man named Frosty or Phil.
They can get jobs shoveling walks to make a buck,
And if it snows that night they call it good luck.
Blizzards are frequent and the highways get blocked,
But people prepared with their pantries well stocked.
They’ve done this for years and know what to expect,
They just hunker down and give Mother Nature respect.
For the next few months they hibernate like polar bears,
Their homes are warm and comfy so no one cares.
The days get short and the nights become long,
Families stick together so nothing goes wrong.
They may get cabin fever but it comes and goes,
How long winters last, no one knows.
Eventually it warms and the snow disappears,
They hope it doesn’t melt as fast as in other years,
When low land got flooded and planting was delayed,
But now spring is here, just as everyone prayed.
The hibernation is over until next year,
And all North Dakotans can stand up and cheer.
Pending Further Examination Of a Pending Examination
The medical profession has come a long way,
The doctors of old weren like these of today.
Their bedside manners were sincere and caring,
The MDs today are gruff and overbearing.
The Docs of old even made house calls,
They treated their patients as if they were dolls.
Broken bones, appendectomies and serious burns,
Were expertly treated and no charge for returns.
They were men full of love, care and giving,
Their patients came to them to keep on living.
They could cure pink eye, Strep throat, flu and more,
And you didn have to pay when you walked through the door.
He was a true human being with a heart of gold,
After God made him, He then threw away the mold.
The young ones of today could learn a thing or two,
From their seniors and all the things they went through.
In these modern times everything has a test,
Blood, urine, eye, ear, nose and throat are the easiest,
MRIs, EKGs, and brain scans; some are so rough,
With words you can pronounce they are so tough.
Degrees in radiology, urology, hematology and others,
Midwives didn need them to aid expectant mothers.
Specializing is a must in these present times,
Sop doctors can afford their tequilas with limes.
Not to mention their Cads, Mercedes and Jags,
And Country Club caddy fees for carrying their bags.
Of course they e not available on most weekends,
So don go deep sea diving and get the bends.
If it oxygen you need or a little decompression,
Just buy a tank or go to confession.
Or wait until Monday, when they go back to work,
Because that the next time, you l see that jerk.
Now really they e not as bad as I e said,
They e a blessing to keep you alive, not dead.
You can call a plumber for a heart transplant,
Or a lawyer for a kidney, they just simply can .
If your eyes develop macular degeneration,
See a retina surgeon, the best in the nation.
A recommendation to the right specialist for you,
Is a job that your general practitioner must do.
I went through a physical and still felt fine,
It was the first one I e had in a really long time.
My doctor suggested a colonoscopy for me,
He gave me a man name that I should go see.
I made an appointment the very next day,
His nurse checked the schedule and had this to say,
on eat fresh fruit or high seasoned food,
Because it l stick to your gut like it was glued.
Drink lots of water for the next several days,
It will certainly move you and in many ways.
You l have a low fiber diet you must obey,
No tomato juice or any red foods, okay?
And the day before no food at all,
If you feel sick just give me a call.
Drink this special mix with water or juice,
And in the morning you l really be loose.
She said, e at the hospital by ten o lock,
I l be ready for you and so will the Doc.
This has been a long explanation,
Of Pending Further Examination.
A colonoscopy isn fun to go through,
But when you e gone this far, what can you do?
Just put on your gown and lie on your side,
You won feel a thing and there no place to hide.
A shot of demurral and you soon fall asleep,
With more than twenty feet of tubing in so deep.
It won take long because the doctor is good,
He knows what he doing and glad he could.
He l want to see me in a week or two,
To make sure I okay, and not going to sue.
The news was good, no malignancy,
It was a simple procedure, nothing fancy.
I sorry doctor for being so rough,
I apologize for saying more than enough.
Please, may I now be excused?
If you feel that you e been abused.
I was afraid and I got carried away.
And said some things I never should say.
I shouldn't really try to offend.
Or you l surely get me in the end.
Ya all come, and they did,
Invitations went to every kid.
They all came to the gathering this year,
The food was furnished but not the beer.
Some came from far away,
Just to visit and spend the day.
Friends of the family were also there,
You’d think it was the county fair.
Uncles, Aunts, Daughters and Sons,
The old and frail and the little Ones,
And Grammas, Grandpas, Sisters and Brothers,
Also Husbands, Wives, Fathers and Mothers.
.Nieces, Nephews and Cousins too,
More would‘ve come but they had the flu.
Some lived close and some far away,
None of them wanted to miss this day.
Cameras were busy taking everyone’s picture,
Getting them together was a happy adventure
.Memories of the past were pleasantly revived,
And they mourned for those who hadn’t survived.
The children met new faces and learned their names,
And quickly began playing their usual games.
Jumping ropes, racing and of course the bean- tosses,
There was no grumbling from those who suffered the losses.
Of course a big meal was the main event of the day,
My oh my, what a spread they did display,
A variety of food to satisfy everyone’s taste
More than enough to expand everyone’s waist,
Several salads with many kinds of dressings,
All the different entrees were a diners blessings.
I ate four of the desserts and all were splendid,
But we were so full we were glad when it ended.
Thirteen stripes of red and white,
The stars on a blue field do unite.
There are fifty stars in that field of blue,
They represent our states so bold and true.
The red stripes for the blood that was shed,
And the white for the purity that lies ahead,
Seven red and six white makes thirteen in all,
The original colonies that answered the call.
Many brave men fought and many men died,
They had to do it and they did it with pride.
It was because they broke from British rule,
The new flag would fly over every school.
Where we first learn the Pledge of Allegiance,
We’re different creeds and races, but one alliance.
We pledge our allegiance to these United States,
And will offer our all or whatever it takes.
Our flag leads the parade of bands and floats,
Spectators feel pride; hearts in their throats.
The applause is deafening as it goes down the street.
The Star Spangled Banner with a patriotic beat.
The strange thoughts you feel that can’t be described,
A feeling of love for our country which can’t be denied.
Yes, that standard is the emblem of the land we love,
And all we ask is that it be blessed from above.
Our flag is displayed almost every where,
It’s on flag poles, libraries and the county fair.
Over government buildings and even car lots,
They are in cemeteries honoring service persons plots.
In those humble surroundings that touches us most,
Is the red, white and blue flying with nary a boast.
And hearing the notes of a trumpet off in a distance,
“Taps” is played and a thankful prayer for our existence.
Lepidoptera, also known as butterflies,
Their beautiful colors can fill the skies.
You can’t say their flights are very direct,
It’s a graceful floating multicolored insect.
They flutter around without a care,
And then they land but know not where.
Perhaps on a flower with nectar so sweet,
Then be frightened away by a small birds tweet.
They drift around like hot air balloons,
Different shades of yellows, blues and maroons.
They are seen in a garden and are fun to catch,
But it’s easier to see them than to catch a batch.
God is Good, God is Great
God thought of everything,
He is our living King.
The universe is His creation,
Think about it in meditation.
The scent of all the pretty flowers,
Their fragrance lasts for many hours.
And you know, our sky is blue,
Of course, He thought of that too.
Oceans, deserts and mountains so tall,
Rivers and valleys, He made them all.
Bushes, grass and beautiful trees,
Bugs, snakes and honey bees.
Fishes, sharks and whales that swim,
Making a bird fly was easy for Him.
He painted it all with His perfect touch,
And made the colors we love so much.
Elephants, tigers, monkeys and bears,
Ermine, mink, weasels and hares
These are creatures that live on the lands.
They were put there by our Creators hands.
There is no way a humming bird could fly,
God took exception and tossed one in the sky.
And how about a canary that can really sing,
Who would ever have thought such a thing?
He messed up with the avocado pit.
It’s much too large, it barely will fit.
And why does grass continue to grow?
No one we know really likes to mow.
Leaves change color but need not drop,
Just turn green in spring, as a new crop.
Mosquitoes, we don’t need them either,
Freeze them all and give us a breather.
Weather is another of God’s blessings,
He changes it often to keep us guessing.
Is it sunshine or rain, we’d like to know,
It’s forecast to be nice, and then it will snow.
Some storms like hurricanes and tornados,
They could be worse than exploding volcanoes.
But then comes the sun and soft warm breeze,
We thank Him and then get down on our knees.
He kept on working and finally made man,
Supposedly in His image, that was His plan.
The skeleton, flesh and hair turned out fine,
But then man’s brain drew a blank line.
Sure, God still loved him and gave us His Son,
Then declared the Holy Spirit, the Lord and God as One.
All of God’s children to Heaven they will go,
They may become angels and watch those below.
The Poems on this page where composed by Russ in his own words and way. So I have not edited any. RIP