“Good Old Dad,” “Nuns Fret Not,” and “That’s All Folks”

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

Good Old Dad

Had enough of it,

pushing along with

his job and family

and gave up.

Game over.

Good old dad,

always liked trains

and that's where he went.

Coming out

of the roundhouse

a couple of yardmen

couple a baggage car

full of old


and dad

riding out west

out of style,

alone and happy

in the boxcar.

Big wheels turning,

chug chug

goes the locomotive,

struggling up the mountains,

rolling, whoo-hoo, down the dales.

Shed of us,

dad's free and easy now.

Before the rain stops

and the silent snow

starts to fall,

crossing the Rockies,

he'll be singing.

Kids and all, the wife

weighed in the balance;

the right thing

too heavy a load

for a restless rambling soul.

Sooner or later

he'll pay through the nose

for his selfish evasion.

Offenders will be prosecuted!

Railroad cops

and God's avenging angels

will be on the lookout

for a middle-aged newspaper

bearing the headlines,



That's for sure;

out of style,

out of bounds,

and out of our lives.

So thoughtless, so uncaring,

how could he do that?

Wherever he goes,

whatever he does,

bad cess to him

but keep him safe!

Nuns Fret Not

Wordsworth said,

in a well-shaped and

self-satisfied sonnet

and I don't believe

a word of it.

These nuns

meandering around

the grim cathedral

standing near the sea,

its stones stained black

as the Fastnet Rock,

don't seem to be

unhappy, unhoused

for a brief span,

walking along

in their dark habits

and chattering away

and the white gulls

screeching around

and the sea around them all

and the gulls wheeling around

and beyond the black cathedral

and beyond, the lighthouse looming

at day's end,

around and around

turning its blinking eye.

In this unfettered landscape

the nuns wander together,

for the nonce

seeming quite content.

And beyond all of this,

it seems

the whole world turns

just as well without

the grace of God,

that on this merry-go-round,

whirling on its axis,

these brides

and servants of Christ

in this life

living in His waiting room

are bereft,

knowing that to serve

does not ensure faith

within or beyond the four walls,

the restrained reach

of their frail humanity.

Certainly, they have doubts

and God in any guise

as father, son or holy ghost

is far away, beyond

the back of time

hidden from sight of all,

so how to believe

sight unseen and fretting

in a narrow room?

Of course they fret

and know as well as we

the stark reality of the world

and all that's in it,

good, bad or indifferent;

not easy to overcome

the uneasy thoughts

brought home,

the seeming fact

that it's only here on earth,

beginning to end,

that we find our destiny

and no room small enough

to hide us, to hide away

out of sight

the enormous tumultuous outside.

Quis ut deus?

For these nuns

a long time for growing

ever inward, ever more silent,

a long time doing without;

in this world below

such is their fate

in passion and sorrow

broken away from God.

That’s All, Folks

Donald Duck is

dead as Kelsey’s nuts,

deceased in the magic kingdom;

not ten tons of old celluloid

can bring him back again.

Mickey Mouse,


in his big black

prideful shoes,

sweats like Porky Pig,

pink-slipped with Minnie

at the last.

Zoot-suited Hollywood

plays ducks and drakes

in all sizes and shapes

instead of swans;

yellow beaks

that speak and speak

long before they die.

Bambi and Bombast,

two more such

at the right time

couldn’t find Chang or Chen

so General Ching’s

chicken was shat upon;

reds and blues

went down

by the light

of Chairman Mao,

rising like a

new Sun Yat-sen.

What a day!

Or call it

on the long march,

a nice night’s work.

The play’s the thing

to catch the commune’s conscience,

cartouche to cartoon.

Disney, dubbed a fink

by the forces of labor

spoiled the kinder rotten

with Schneeweiss and such,

forced sugar

down their throats

for years.

The hell with it.

The duck died;

that’s awful

but done is done.

So set your face

against the reruns;

not ten thousand

Andalusian dogs

can charm him back again,

out-strutting Hitler

behind the Pathé news.

Sleep in peace

duck of dawn,

in the long night

dead and

nailed to the wall now,

cold as

Eskimo sleds or

witches’ broom.

About the Author

Jack D. Harvey

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Write Launch, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.
The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.
His book, Mark the Dwarf, is available on Kindle.