Kersten Korner


“Relatively” speaking

I once had a lizard named Keeling

Who walked on the walls and the ceiling.

It ate lots of flies

But didn’t care for pies,

And found onion rings most appealing.

Our pet turtles were called Sam and Ella.

When it sprinkled they had no umbrella.

It seemed like the rain

Affected their brain

And caused them to spread Salmonella.

Uncle Walter’s pet hound was named Bright

And was covered with spots black and white.

It had the hound habit

To chase every rabbit

Until it was run out of sight.

The cars uncle drove were a wonder,

He worked on them over and under.

With a hammer and wrench 

And every tool from the bench,

Each repair he made was a blunder.

Aunt Martha had unusual ways

That added humor to our days,

With one sneeze or two,

Her “Kaputzi Kapoo”,

Made us laugh ‘til we fell in a daze.

Uncle John lived not far from our street,

And he could not see his own feet.

Because of his size

They were hid from his eyes,

But he always could see food to eat.


In the beginning God created the heavens

and the Earth.

Of what, I ask, was all this made, this

universal birth?

Rocks and stones.

In dark realms of nocturnal sky shine orbs

of brilliant light.

What are they, I wonder, these bright things

that punctuate the night?

Rocks and stones.

The planetary spheres, void of light, reflect

each solar ray.

With rings and moons and spectral hues,

what makes them look that way?

Rocks and stones.

In the beginning God created -- the evidence


In regions terrestrial and celestial.

His handiwork contains

Rocks and Stones.

I never have heard of anecdotal poetry until I used the term. But, there is nothing new under the sun so here is a poem encased in an anecdote.

Accept or reject is ok. I even question why I am sending this, but here goes...

My daughter and her husband sent me a map of Canada from their home in Quebec, Canada, for my 61st birthday. It was supposed to arrive at our Arizona address on or before June 5, 1989. It arrived 22 days late on June 27 somewhat as described below. It was damaged so badly that it was totally useless. I wrote a thank you note and included the poem below. 


Folded, spindled, mutilated, bent,

I wonder where the package went.

It arrived today in triple-fold,

Battered, bruised, creased and rolled

Pancake flat in a plastic wrap.

There it is! My Canada map!

From Wisconsin to Parkview we came

With thoughts that it may be in vain.

But when we arrived 

We threw doubts aside,

For ‘twas better than castles in Spain. 

The Embers serves great food each day

Prepared in a palatable way.

With choices demanding

And waist lines expanding,

Well, how much do you weigh?

Limericks inspired by The Embers

The Embers - I wonder who thought of that name.

There is hardly an ember but always a flame. 

It sounds esoteric

With scents of turmeric

And keeps burning away just the same.

Parkview officials, hear your members.

What happens here began at The Embers.

In spite of the menu

Table talk is the venue,

And there are times when no one remembers.

Someone called it The Embers,

But that person no one remembers.

A flame it has got,

But it embereth not

Except in the month of December.

The Embers menu can be quite exquisite

And whenever it is, I ask, What is it?”

Etouffee, Meuniere, Monchong and Waloo,

Scampini, Baramundi and Gumbo, too,

‘Tis international cuisine at every visit!

Be nice to The Embers, it is all we’ve got

And it’s here to stay, like it or not.

Two times a day is usually enough

Unless you are hungry and like to stuff.

And the choices are great, cold or hot.

An In-The-Dark shopper named Mo
To Wal-Mart was advised to go.
The experience gritty
Was the worst in the city.
From now on it's just Home Depot.
An In-The-Light shopper named Ed
Decided to use his head.
To Wal-Mart he went
And ten-fifty he spent
To overcome darkness and dread

Jenny Belle

By Ed Kersten

She was old when we adopted her in 1959, and we thought she would live only a few more years, at most. Ten years later she died and we all wept. It is amazing how attached we had become to our parakeet.

Jenny Belle had a limited English vocabulary. In addition to the traditional “pretty bird,” she could ask, “Whatcha doin’?” and say a few other words. She could also sneeze exactly the way she heard it in our home. Most mornings she greeted the daylight with her repertoire of sneezes followed by rehearsal of the words and phrases she had learned, though not necessarily in the proper order. I  think she mixed them to make us laugh.

One of our family lived in a cage,

It had nothing to do with conduct or age.

T’was the ideal place for our parakeet bird,

Who as part of our family deserved to be heard

As she entertained all from center stage.

I once was a singer of note,
But now sound like Billy’s goat.
My tenor was mellow
Like raspberry jell-o, 
Vibrato like auctioneer’s throat.
A poet I may claim to be,
It’s there in print for all to see.
But I was slow at telling time
And very quick to hear a rhyme
From C to shining C.
Uncle Henry worked in Detroit
With hands that were very adroit.
He helped to make Fords
With real running boards
Which riders loved to exploit.
My cousin Jerome liked to shoot
And did it right through his boot.
From ten toes to nine
In sure record time
And another did not take root.
Chicago was home for Uncle Jack
And once he left he never went back.
He may have been sought
But never was caught 
For he knew how to cover his track.

A fine looking couple they are

Especially when viewed from afar.

Up close they have wrinkles

But her eyes still flash twinkles

As she looks at her old superstar.

by Ed:

The Embers has sensitive ears

That hide in the chandeliers.

Say it once, say it twice,

Say it well, say it nice

And you’ll not have any fears.

Three limericks concerning the acoustics in the Embers . . .

by Bobbye:

Overheard in the dining room here

Came a voice speaking loudly and clear

Didn’t need an ear-phone

‘Cause the room’s like a dome

What you say travels ‘round far and near

also by Bobbye:

So, if gossip is what you most crave

You’d better decide to behave

Or someone might repeat

Your remarks not so sweet

And people might think you a knave

Ed’s limericks concerning the Embers dining room

I love The Embers’ potato soup,

Too thick for a straw, too thin to scoop.

Just give me a spoon,

I’ll need it at noon,

Before I do my hula hoop.

Today I had the rainbow trout,

Something I can’t brag about.

It didn’t look like fish

As it laid flat on my dish

Needing a little sauerkraut.

and Bobbye added:

Rainbow Trout with sauerkraut?

What, oh what, is that about?

What’s the complaint?

If fish it ain’t

We’ll have to call our Russell out.

Bobcat Alert!

Betty and I were sitting in the Parkview front entry area enjoying the beautiful evening and watching the rabbits and birds when Betty suddenly exclaimed, "there' a bobcat!" By the time I swiveled my head to see where she indicated, the creature had disappeared into the shrubbery by the flag poles. I walked over to the right of the poles and suddenly the bobcat emerged near the sidewalk, looked at me, paused, decided I was not on the menu, and loped toward the woods to the west, slithered between the fence bars, and made a graceful departure. I have seen a few bobcats in Arizona, but none in Texas until now. It was beautiful. It apparently was reconnoitering the area and will return after dark for a meal.

I read an article recently about bobcats in the Plano-Frisco area and it stated that they live  in wooded places, of which there are many, and are very helpful, even crucial, in keeping the rodent and rabbit population under control. Be nice to the bobcats.

A bobcat was roaming our place

With a hungry look on its face.

A rabbit or two

This evening will do

Without even leaving a trace.


I would like to ride on a train

Instead of a crowded plane

With elbow-room only,

Very cramped yet lonely,

It’s not very good for my brain.

I can’t get there from here

If I even rode in the rear

Of a train on a track

To Chicago and back,

It would still take nearly a year.

From Texas to Maine

Goes fast on a plane.

But taking our Honda

It just makes me wonda

If it’s really worth all the pain.

We had three cars for a time -

Our kid’s, Betty’s and mine.

With no garage shelter

We parked helter-skelter

And learned how to park on a dime.

Our three Beetles were great,

Rattling from state to state.

They didn’t burn much gas

And were not hard to pass

But were really tempting fate.

We spent many winters out West

And made Orange County our nest.

The weather was great

Like the oranges we ate

But the freeways were always a test.

Our motel was as nice as our house

But in darkness I stepped on a mouse.

My weight pressed it flat,

I threw it out for the cat,

Pleasing my dear frightened spouse.  


Wisconsin is famous for cheese.

I’ll have some, thank you, please.

And it’s famous for beer

Which I never go near

And I never drive into trees.

Santa’s big bowl full of jelly 

Must be a Wisconsin beer belly.

Milwaukee goiter, it’s called,

Owners should be appalled

And not blame it all on the deli.

We lived up North for a season

But can’t recall the reason.

The climate was nice,

But take some advice...

You better get used to the freez’n.

The 4th of July is a blast,

The snow is all gone at last.

The flowers are blooming

Mosquitos are zooming,

Start swatting and do it fast.

Green Bay Packers don’t pack,

Unless it is cash by the sack,

Where the money counts

As the profit mounts,

They only get a quarterback.

Wisconsin has lakes galore.

They all have a similar shore

Where people catch fish

But not all that they wish,

And keep coming back for more.

Dairy farms are everywhere

Sweet farm odors fill the air.

With the wind just right

On a moonlit night

Go walking but step with care.

To read limericks & poems from other residents,

click here

and for Bobbye’s article on the origins of limericks

click here


I used to work from 8 to 5

Just to keep us all alive.

Paid our bills,

Honed my skills

Now I’m told I need to Thrive!

Better late than never,

Never was too clever.

Be on time

Save that dime 

Piggy bank forever!

One-armed bandits still exist

North in Oklahoma mist.

Lose your money

Think it’s funny,

Jackpot waiting - oops, I missed.

Money saved, money spent,

First of month, pay the rent.

With quality service

Do not get nervous,

Make this feeling prevalent.

Living here is so secure

It sort of takes away my fear.

I’ll pay my dues

Nothing to lose,

Then sign up for another year.

The fitness center does me good

Just like exercising should.

Set my pace

Run my race

And you can do it - if you would.

Been there, done that just like you,

Varied and embellished, too,

Stories galore

Tell me more

Were they really, really. true?

Golf Limericks

I used to play golf a whole lot,

But how well, I think I forgot.

I could hit the ball far,

But seldom made par

And you can believe that or not.

I had my moment of fame:

When a hole-in-one made my game.

It didn’t show my skill

Just the golf ball’s own will,

For it never goes where I aim.

When I used my famous Ping putter

My putts were smoother than butter.

When the  ball missed the hole

And continued to roll

It left me to stare and to sputter.

I did something really quite rare -

My ball hit a bird in the air.

Birdie fell to the ground,

Got up, looked around,

And seemed like it really didn’t care.

I hit the ball exactly right

200 yards and in plain sight.

A  rattlesnake saw it too

He was there, what will I do?

To be continued tomorrow night.

The Embers Dining Room

Salmon on a cedar plank! 

Is this another Embers prank?

The taste was so good,

No, not  of the wood.

Who is the chef we need to thank?

Banana Foster is going fast.

Is it the one that comes in last?

A horse race this is not,

Great dessert is what you’ve got.

Take it now before it’s passed.


by Ed Kersten

I was nine years old in 1937. Most of my primary (baby) teeth had already come out and were consigned to a place under my pillow where they waited for the arrival of the tooth fairy. Not so! I did not believe in the tooth fairy any more than I did Santa Claus. My primary teeth were disposed of appropriately, each tooth in its turn. However, I had one tooth that declined to cooperate and required a visit to the dentist for extraction by the hand of a skillful, competent and compassionate dentist. 

My father had died in 1933 leaving my mother with five small children and no means of support. We were living in Wausau, Wisconsin, in pitiful poverty. There was no money to pay for dental care, or any other health need, but we did qualify for help from designated “welfare” doctors, including a dentist. I had never been to a dentist, but away I went, a walk of 2 miles.

Doctor Pulliam* had his dental suite in Central Junior High School in space away from classrooms. I entered it fearfully. It smelled strange and looked ominous. He looked threatening. I was placed in the dental chair, and the process began. Before I knew what was happening, Dr. Pulliam, with skillful hand and shiny tool, extracted my tooth. One yank and it was over. And it hurt. I began to cry. The pain and fright were too much. Compassionate Dr. Pulliam told me to “shut up or I’ll pull another one.” I did. He didn’t.

Being poor can be painful.


Dental Care

I went to a dentist in pain

That nearly drove me insane.

I opened up wide

As he looked inside,

And said, “think it’ll rain?”

He said he could forecast the weather

By watching a breeze on a feather.

Birds didn’t agree

And sang “Tweedle-dee-dee”

As he got his act back together.

A root canal was needed.

A what? I strongly pleaded.

No teeth in the moats,

Canals take the boats,

And so the dentist proceeded.

Painless dentistry is a lie,

It hurts no matter how they try.

Whatever they call it,

It’s a pain in the wallet

That almost makes me cry.

He says there will be little feeling

As the pain blasts me up to the ceiling.

I came back down,

With a brand new crown,

And left with my head still reeling.

My teeth are all getting old

At least that’s what I’m told.

I still have a few

That work when I chew,

If the Jello is not very cold.  

A filling here, a filling there

Eventually fillings everywhere.

My mouth has more metals

Than roses have petals

But I still brush them with care.

Ed’s Football Limericks

Ed says, “I am an unrepentant backslidden former football enthusiast and it may show.”

To read his 20 (but who’s counting) football limericks
click hereKerstens_Kickoff.htmlKerstens_Kickoff.htmlshapeimage_10_link_0


by Ed Kersten

Sept. 26, 2015

Several years ago Betty and I stopped for lunch at the Unique Cafe in Boscobel, WI, my wife’s hometown. When the waitress announced the lunch special was boneless pork ribs, I immediately burst into laughter. I could not restrain myself. She looked a little bewildered at my response but never did understand my question as to how ribs could be boneless. But they were. I saw them, I ate them. They were easily the most delicious boneless ribs I have ever eaten. Even Tony Roma could not do as well, at least not for $4.95. And the oxymoron was free. A generous tip followed. 

The place where we ate was unique,

And everything else, so to speak.

From over sized pies

To fat-filled fries,

Recovery took almost a week.

Would we go there again?

You bet, just tell me when.

Desserts are extreme,

A gastronome’s dream,

And I’m ready now to begin.

The calories were almost palpable,

But weight gain imperceptible

Unless you go twice,

You’ll still look nice,

If you don’t, you may be irreparable.


by Ed Kersten

I doubt if the folks of the Plymouth Colony of 1621 would recognize today’s Thanksgiving Day commemoration. Can you imagine them watching 12 hours of continual television showing teams of 22 overgrown boys in multi-colored weird looking protective  uniforms fighting over an oval-shaped sac of pig skin filled with compressed air? Or, would they condone the unrestrained gluttony of many who indulge on this holiday, who never consider the source of their abundance and who never say “thanks?”

Thanksgiving Day was made an official holiday by President Washington’s proclamation on November 26, 1789. That was only 226 years ago and already something has been lost by the addition of extraneous activities on a “day off work.”

The residents of Plymouth Colony gave thanks to God as they commemorated the harvest reaped after the prior winter of starvation and privation. They recognized that a farmer does not grow anything, that he only sows the seed and tills the soil while “God gives the increase.” They knew whom to thank -- the Giver.

This Thanksgiving, during the commercial breaks, think about this: “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all He created” (James 1:17-18 NIV).

Let us give thanks.

Bill had war stories galore,

And told them from eight to four.

He sailed on a tanker

That never dropped anchor,

And never made it to shore.

John did very good work

As accounts payable clerk.

His work was precise

Without much advice,

And didn’t even have a quirk.

Margie smoked like a stack

And had that smoker’s hack,

But she did know her stuff,

As she went puff, puff, puff

While starting another pack.

There also was corpulent Bob

Who slightly resembled a blob,

Until he lost weight

And really looked great,

But he almost starved on the job.

Kay ran the keypunch machine

With skill that was rarely seen,

She talked with each punch

And did not stop at lunch 

Or any time in between.

Pete was a smart know-it-all,

And was dark, handsome and tall.

His work was OK

And so was his pay,

For not having much on the ball.

Russ knew contracting well

But he had that under-arm smell.

Deodorant needed,

But never succeeded

For no one would ever tell.

Lu never missed coffee break

When it was time to take.

He taught me how

And that’s why now

At ten I will start to shake.

Our secretary was not named Sue

But that’s what she said she’d do

If you didn’t stand in awe

That her spouse practiced law,

Yet she failed her performance review.

Paul had retired in place

But came to work just in case

There was something to do

Between 9:30 and two,

And then he would slow his pace.

Red was an interesting boss

Who never seemed at a loss

To know what to do

Without any clue,

But he sure needed dental floss.

There was a new guy named Ed

Whose job nearly went to his head.

When he learned EOQ

And what computers can do,

He soon replaced Mr. Red.

The limericks in this box depict the people in an office I worked in when I began my career with the Veterans Administration over 55 years ago. We all have our idiosyncrasies. Yes, me too. They are sometimes the pegs on which memories hang, good or otherwise.


by Ed Kersten

I have been guilty of a cover-up. It happened before Christmas several times.

Here is my story:

“Twas the day before Christmas and down by the store

Were leftover trees, branches and more.

I picked through the tangle with obvious glee

To find good components for building a tree.

From fragments of fir, spruce or pine,

I constructed a tree that I thought looked fine.

When covered with ornaments, tinsel and snow

And beautiful lights,

No one could know

That grafted-in pieces were hidden below.”

Under the superficiality that so often accompanies what appears to be Christmas happiness are many people with lives of broken pieces. And often no one could know.

Jesus came to “bind up the broken hearted” (Is. 61:1-2).


“How much would you like?” “Oh, fill it up, put a heap on it.”  We sometimes jokingly say something like that without realizing that we really can “heap” the liquid contents just above the rim. When it is that full we usually lower our face to the cup, cautiously extend our lips to its edge, and slurp. Except in public where we let the saucer serve its purpose.

That little heap on the cup of liquid is retained by what is called “surface tension.”It is the molecular bond that restrains the liquid within the retaining edges until the pressure releases it. We call that, spilling. The same surface tension shapes a drop of rain, creates a sparkling spherical gem of dew, or forms the effervescent bubble. It is through these restrained jewels that the light shines with spectral brilliance. It is also the breaking of that tension that allows the liquid to flow.

Perhaps that is what King David meant in Psalm 23 when he said, “my cup overflows.” Did the surface tension of God’s goodness and love spill over the edge? Is that the spill that followed him all the days of his life? If so, perhaps our prayer should be changed from “fill my cup, Lord,” to “Lord, put a heap on it.”

Ed Kersten

Bobbye explained in her Bytes and Pieces that a limerick is nonsense poetry, folderol and literary absurdity. Homophonic limericks are in the ultra-absurd class, and it will shew.

homophone |ˈhäməˌfōn, ˈhōmə-|

each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling.

 Try these fore sighs!

The past tense of grow is grew,

And pass tents of snow it blue.

If this makes no scents,

Jump over defense

Ore find something else two dew.

Up, up and a whey;

A dairyman may say.

It becomes cheese

Curdled to pleas,

And eaten in Green Bay.

A homophone may not ring,

And monotone may not sing.

It is good too pray

That yule knot bee prey,

If sew, just give me a wring.

How quickly the daze go buy,

But that’s four the other guy.

Thyme is for flavor

To make one savor

A half-baked verbiage pie.

I have advice that is grate

That came to me as I eight.

I slipped on the ice

And that didn’t feel nice,

Butt hurt sum as eye ate.

A slice of bread I do need,

And if kneaded will feed

One hungry sole

Making hymn hole

Wherever that may lead.

A homophone is for sight

To reed what only is rite,

The right looks wrong

And dozen belong

Unless ewe make it write.

A Tribute to Ed

by Bobbye

Ed Kersten is one funny bloke

Speaks as clever as any man spoke

He often stays home

To pen homophones

And sometimes comes up with a joke

Parkview has many Old Geezers

Who author some tales that are “pleasers”

But everyone knows

Be it poetry or prose

Nobody can match Ed’s brain-teasers

So here’s to our Ed who’s a hoot

His zingers no one can dispute

That they have a flare

And we’re willing to swear

That the man’s awfully sharp and astute

by Ed

Thanks for the tribute to Ed,

That already went to his head.

Scratch as he may

On that white bale of hay,

The limerick cells must be dead.

My limerick well has run dry

And no matter how hard I try

There is nothing there,

But a blast of hot air

And that’s all it needs to fly.

Something that limericks can’t do

Is take off and say “I flew.”

They are on their own

With many a groan,

And nonsense enough to chew.

A limerick once tried to sing,

And that was a pitiful thing.

It was way out of tune

From midnight ‘til noon,

Like flying with just one wing.

Gravitational forces prevail

And ride on a limerick’s tail

Preventing release 

Of poetic increase

That intelligent folks may assail.

There may be a logical thought

Why limericks are rarely sought.

A nonsense poem

Will stand all alone 

Because it is all for naught.

Intellectual demands are small

For those with a limerick call.

And that is the truth

Though somewhat uncouth,

It still holds a few in its thrall.

Homophones are hard to find

And when they are be very kind.

Poets abhor them and

Writers deplore them

Like mushrooms for the mind.


I turned on the radio and immediately heard the words “no small feet.” I  thought it was an unusual remark for a classical music station at 5:50 a.m.  As I continued listening I realized I had heard only the end of a comment about a pianist playing a difficult composition beautifully, which was “no small feat.” It was too late.  A homophone strikes again!



by Ed

Somewhere on the shelves in a market there are toothpicks that are flat, round, single or double pointed, with or without flavors.  And there are plastic varieties galore. But they all lack the panache of the common birch toothpick.

Near my home as a boy was a toothpick factory. I was fascinated by the little place that operated all of the machines from one big electric motor connected to other devices making little toothpicks out of a big birch log. Someone somewhere must still be making birch toothpicks.

                            Why ain’t toothpicks on the table?,

                            Said Uncle Joe to my Aunt Mabel.

                            She said it ain’t polite

                            To use one in plain sight.

                            This, of course, could be a fable.

                            Toothpicks long have had a place

                            In every culture, clan and race.

                            And history will attest

                            That mankind did its best

                            To pick its teeth in every case.

                            Artifacts galore,

                            Washed up on every shore,

                            Show picks were known

                            And widely grown

                            But not used anymore.

                            Quality picks are now quite rare

                            As plastic ones assume their share.

                            But those of wood

                            Are extra good,

                            But do we really, really care?

Picky, picky, picky.


by Ed Kersten

I  have noticed a bit of political noise lately coming from the Right and the Left. Oh? How can I tell? Who are the “Right” or “Left?” I did a Google search and found the answer: the French National Assembly of 1789. Of course. Blame it on the French. That did not satisfy me so I consulted my pre-Google favorite wise man’s writings,  Solomon, King of Jerusalem, who pre-dated the FNA by over two-thousand years.  Listen closely:

The heart of the wise inclines to the right but the heart of the fool to the left. Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is.

Wow! Check it out in your Bible, Ecclesiastes 10:2-3. And while you are at it, read the context before and after which is even more explanatory.


By Ed

I had a big problem with weight

Related to food that I ate.

I looked so unsightly

Until I ate lightly

And also stopped licking my plate.

My wardrobe changed in size

But not my shoes and ties.

To change a dimension

Was not my intention

But the mirror does not tell lies.

That all happened years ago

But it is still apropos.

Have a dessert

Just once won't hurt.

Been there, done that, I know.

I once had a full head of hair,

It was dark and wavy with flair.

Army barbers are fast

Nice hair doesn’t last

And Army barbers don’t care.

My hair is now thin and white,

Didn’t get that way overnight.

Saw it coming,

Just kept humming,

Everything will be all right.

I decided to grow a beard,

I did, and it sure looked weird.

It didn’t look like me,

Who ’ere I may be,

When I quit everyone cheered.

I began to have trouble with sight,

But only at daytime or night.

Lens implantations

Met all expectations

And now I can see without fright.

Chickadee, dee, dee

by Ed Kersten 

I was sitting on the balcony at our Wisconsin home enjoying the view and watching the birds. Out of nowhere a chickadee appeared, stopped on the railing for a moment, then dropped down to my feet and examined my shoelaces, picked at them, looked around and quickly flew away.

Some time later another chickadee (or the same one) appeared from somewhere and hovered about my head acting like she was interested in landing there, then quickly departed. Then it returned and again, fluttered above my head and seemed quite serious about examining my hair closely, but quickly flew away. And I went inside. 

Several days later I related this incident to a knowledgeable bird-watcher friend. He said she was looking for good nesting material and thought my “silver” hair would be ideal. Fortunately, I went inside before she returned with reinforcements to make a harvest and add another explanation as to why some men are bald.

I love God’s little feathered friends, and at least one, or two, seemed to love me, unconditionally. 

                    The Chickadee is a fine-feathered friend

                    Whose inquisitiveness has no end.

                    Check it out,

                    Have no doubt,

                    It is worth every minute you spend.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are a delight,

Like the bright sun shining at night.

They are not rare

But tell me where

I can see this bright bird in flight.

The White-winged doves with voice so true

Ask each other, “Who cooks for you?”

It’s a bird you’d love

Sent from Above,

And we can ask that question, too.

A Yellow Rump warbler can sing,

At rest or up high on the wing.

No cacophony heard

From this lovely bird

Who’s trill is a beautiful thing.

A Mockingbird says what it hears

With help of its sensitive ears,

In streets and in alleys

Or political rallies

Stirring up all kinds of cheers.

Do bluebirds have blue eyes?

If so it will be a surprise.

They are so small,

To matter at all,

For it’s beauty is seen as it flies.

Robins are here until spring

When northward they all take wing.

In frozen ground

No worms are found

And we love to hear robins sing.

The Cardinal is seen and heard,

A  beautiful but noisy bird.

It sits up high

Against the sky

And always has the final word

The White Crowned Sparrow is here,

 It comes at this time each year. 

It wears its crown

Just above its frown,

With smiles from ear to ear

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers sail overhead

To catch some flies and be well fed.

Their graceful flight

Gives them the right

To fly wherever they are led.

The Cedar Waxwings are great,

Not caring at all what they ate.

The berries ferment

Birds lose their intent

And become a bird inebriate.

Eating live bugs without chewing

Is something its good at doing,

But let’s be brief

And find relief 

For Meadowlarks we are reviewing.

There are many more birds around,

And thousands more to be found,

But these few will do

Just keep them in view

Up high or down on the ground.

Many birds are watching you

No matter what you may do.

Turnabout is fair play

So I think I will stay

And keep the pretty birds in view.


29 Cent Political Words

     by Ed Kersten

Obfuscation is not made clear

Especially this election year.

Explain the cause

Observe the laws

Cast your vote without a fear.

Perspicacity is what we need

To see through every word and deed.

Though highly schooled

One may be fooled,

So be careful what you read.

Oleaginous describes a trait

That politicians love to hate.

Slick as oil

Makes blood boil

Elections come and seal our fate.

Caterwauling gets some attention,

Thank a feline for that invention.

What you hear

Is loud and clear

At the DNC convention. 

Disambiguation has meaning

Depending on political leaning.

Understand the plot

And like it or not,

The RNC is now convening.

Lugubriousness could spoil the day

But only if it has its way.

Cast your vote,

Then take note

Your troubles are here to stay.

Our Awesome Autos


The following 17 limericks all relate to cars that Betty and I have owned from 1952 to 2006. In 2006 we bought our last car which now rests comfortably in the parking lot at Parkview. That represents 54 years in which we owned 34 cars. The limericks give a few hints at stories behind the cars many of which I relate in my book, Our Awesome Autos, that I wrote in 1997 about the 28 cars we had owned to that date. 

Auto Limericks

     by Ed Kersten

A ’39 Plymouth was car No. 1,

My driving life had just begun

A starter car

That didn’t go far

For I had no money for fun.

My ’38 Buick had charm,

In town or out on the farm.

But when it collided

I quickly decided

A junked car will do no more harm.

Does a bumper still have a car?

Or is that a question too far?

My ’47 Ford

Had a real running board

And the roads were paved with tar.

Our ’48 Plymouth was nice

Bought at a reasonable price.

One spot of rust

Soon became crust

And a fender fell off on the ice.  

My ’50 Plymouth was strong

And nothing ever went wrong.

It didn’t cost much

Had a good clutch

And sold for merely a song.

Our ’51 Merc was a blast

Besides being very fast.

On gravel roads

Beware of toads

Or future becomes the past.

Our ’51 Dodge was tough

Crossing the desert was rough.

In spite of the heat

There was no retreat

We arrived with all our stuff.

Our ’54 Plymouth Sedan

Bought from a very nice man

To do him a favor

But it had lemon flavor

And I learned a lesson - again.

This VW was designed

With a bit of humor in mind,

My ’56 Bug

Just needed a hug

And a push start from behind. 

The Beetles always thrive.

I owned a total of five.

They formed a brigade

But not a parade,

And I managed to survive.

My ’75  Chev Malibu

Was called a Classic too.

A really nice car

Made me feel like a star,

Until the insurance came due.

The ’79 Chevy Chevette

Was the worst car one could get.

I thought it looked nice,

So I paid the price

And still have pangs of regret.

My ’79 Datsun truck

Never, ever got stuck.

It ran to perfection, 

Passed each inspection,

Until I sold it to Chuck.

The first car that we bought new

Was in 1982.

Nightmare or dream

Olds Cutlass Supreme

Was almost too bad to be true.

The Cutlass I bought in ’83

Was very nice but not for free.

Improvement was great

But a little too late,

Oldsmobile cars were not for me.

Another Cutlass in ’84?

Didn’t I say I’ll have no more?

But what a deal,

Almost a steal

Now I’ll really shut the door.

Toyotas and Hondas were best,

Far ahead of the rest.

We had six of each,

And each was a peach,

To which they all can attest.


 by Ed Kersten

   An ancient egghead once asked a profound question: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” The answer is: they arrived almost simultaneously. I know, I was there when it happened.

   It was the summer of 1949. I had met Betty the previous summer and in the intervening months had corresponded with her frequently from my home in Wausau, Wisconsin. Then I visited her at her parents’ farm on Maple Ridge in Crawford County, Wisconsin. It was a beautiful place situated just below the top of the ridge but with panoramic views of the strip-farmed fields on the beveled hills in three directions. I was awed at the spectacular beauty and serenity.

   Meanwhile, back at the hen house, the sitting hens were getting hungry. On a chicken-raising dairy farm there is not much time to be mesmerized by the beauty of the landscape. Cows have to be milked and chickens need to be fed. Being a city boy, I lacked the skills for advanced agriculture, but at least I could enroll in Chicken Feeding 101. Betty needed the help, so I helped. I also needed the education.

   Chickens are rather cagey creatures. They know when the feed is due for arrival and in what container. They can recognize it from the distant reaches of a barnyard. Betty assigned a bushel-sized metal container and its contents to me for delivery to the hen house. Most of the chickens were in residence, but there were a few hens lurking about the premises picking through a certain natural pie for undigested seeds while furtively watching for the arrival of the refined feed.

   I gallantly strode to the hen house, ignoring the few hens who suddenly became alert and accelerated toward the impending feast. I stepped up into the hen house, set the container down for Betty to make further distribution, and stepped back without turning. In its haste to reach the feed, one anxious hen tried to get to it without asking me to get out of the way. I accidentally stepped on her. 

   In my effort to save the poor chicken, I was thrown off balance and fell backward on some farm equipment, bounced off and landed flat on my back in the barnyard. The impact left me  stunned. I looked next to me for the hen and all I saw was an egg, a shell-less egg, quivering in its membrane, laid by the hen in an unconventional manner. Then I saw the compressed hen running around the barnyard making strange and unintelligible sounds, the translation of which I have no desire to know.  The chicken died the next day. 

  I recovered and lived to tell this story. And now you know the answer to the profound question of which came first. It was very close to being a simultaneous event: first me, then the chicken and then the egg. And 67 years later that lovely farm girl who initiated the lesson still likes to hear me tell the story.


By Ed Kersten

Apples are in season.

Historic and archeologic records indicate that apples have been known since the times of antiquity. Some people think the apple was the “forbidden fruit” of Eden. If it was not, I am sure it would have qualified.

In addition to being used for pie, sauce, kuchen and salads, apples are used as figures of speech. We know what “one bad apple” does to a barrel of apples. We also know that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” My doctor must eat apples often. It seems like when I need him he is away. Or does that old saying mean apples are curative?

Here is my advice: Never eat an apple in the dark. I learned that many years ago when after eating an apple in the dark, I discovered a half-worm in the core when I saw it in the light.  It made me ask, “How did that worm get in the apple?” I suspected that when I wasn’t looking it bored in from the outside, but then I found a worm inside without evidence of external entrance. My theory of “no wormhole, no worm,” was disproved. I then realized that when the apple was only a blossom, a flying insect deposited an egg in it that would ultimately become the worm that would spoil the fruit from the inside out.

And therein lies a significant lesson. Think about it.

A variety of apples abound,

Your favorite one can be found.

One bite or two,

With a vigorous chew

Will keep you from gaining a pound.

Red Delicious is much desired

Perks you up when you are tired.

Tastes so good

Just like it should

And you will then be much inspired.

There is an apple called “ Pippin.”

And it will keep you from slippin’.

Its non-skid design

Is somewhat benign

And keeps all the pies in the kitchin’.

The Gala is from “down under”

And kind of makes you wonder

Why New Zealanders try

To put it in pie

And thus perform a blunder.

The Rome Beauty earned its name

But doesn’t have enough fame.

It is super good

In my neighborhood

And you likely feel the same.

Apples will please to the core,

With natural beauty and more.

Delightful for lunch

With an audible crunch,

You may eat at least three or four.

Bob Warren’s Comment

I read Ed's flower story

  About the little aster,

A flower in all it's glory

  Growing in brick and plaster.

It seems to be hunky dory

  Living on for its Master

Does Betty know the story?

  Maybe, so let's ask her.

Ed’s Response

The story ‘bout the aster flower

Gets stranger with each passing hour.

Hunky dory it may be

Betty heard it first from me

And shares the aster’s awesome power.

I Found A Penny

Ed’s humorous story about seeking riches can be read by

clicking here

Rocks And Stones

Ed Kersten has written another poem about celestial things

click here

To hear Kate Smith’s “God Bless America”, click here


    By Ed Kersten