The Poetry of John Pinkerton


I Was Once a Boy in a Tree

One of my essays gives “free verse” the Dickens claiming it ain’t poetry---just prose in disquise.  Well, I abandoned my claims just retaining a regular rhyme scheme for this effort. 

I’m old and I’ll do as I please.

I was once a boy in a tree.

The tree invited me

To climb from limb to rung

To reach the top…,

  This great lance which toward the sky had sprung.

I worshiped there---

The white sailing ships,

Each with straining lines

Or maybe white houses and white picket fences,

Nevermind, I loved their nautical designs.

I could have stayed

And heard the sailors’ hymns, 

Master of all I surveyed,

A demigod among the limbs,

But the pinch of hunger…

And Mom’s worried look

Stirred my homeward step.

My perch I forsook.

Again rung by limb

I inched down the birch,

Arched my back

And gazed toward my deserted perch

Where a blackbird eyed me and ripped the air

with a caw, caw, caw.

It was home to Mom and blueberry pie,

My throne safely guarded.

My glorious day I would thus end;

My tree and I…happily parted.


It Ain’t No Southern Words

        “Epiphany,” it ain’t no Southern word.

         If neighed loudly by some Northern bird,

         It sounds uppity,  kinda officious.

         But from a Southern lad—injudicious.

        Southern folks have sudden revelations---

        Sudden surprising mental gyrations---

        Not your Yankees’  big bloated thoughts, of


        Considering Southern brains are their


        Just thoughts such as, “That  boy there ain’t

                 too bright.”

        Or, “Ya know, it’s harder to see at night.” 

        This monstrous word ain’t right for

              Southern minds:

        It’s far too big for our Southern behinds.

        Let the trumpets roar as I do unfurl

        A new word for our simple Southern world:

        “Epiphany” is  banned from the Southland


         To be replaced by the word I have brung.

        “Epiph”…“epiph”------I’ve truly brought the    


        Now let it be spoken all day, all night.

        A fine lil’ word which seems to be just right,

        For each and all a small Dixie delight.

        So delete “epiphany” and add “epiph.”

        It is to each and all my wondrous gift,

        A small nomenclature intervention,

       A wee adjustment is my invention.


Why Do Folks Hate

Our Dairy Queen?

            Why do folks hate our Dairy Queen? 

            Folks be treatin’ it---down right mean. 

            The fries and burgers are  a treat, 

            A place for young and old to meet. 

            The first attack was  a surprise 

            The second made us realize 

            Some folks just hate our Dairy Queen 

            Of the eatery they’re not keen. 

            First car attack just broke the glass 

            Which all in all was pretty crass 

            The second attack  drove through the


            Like Richard Petty in a race  

            Booths and table flew everywhere. 

            For safety sake there was no care.    

            But all soon was put back in place

            Again a normal eatin space. 

            First we thought these were accidents 

            Then along came another gent 

            Big rig---drive-thru overhang---

            Demolished it with quite a  bang 

            Against our palace ya’ll do scheme,

            You haters of our Dairy Queen.

            Your attitude is just obscene--- 

            Alas, haters hate it does seem. 


   Before  the  Outpost Petrol Shack


            Mum, Jim and Jack sat back to back

              Before  the  outpost petrol shack, 

            Beneath the white hot desert sky  

            Each  with his own intimate lie. 

            Jim thought life the pits and lonely.  

            Jack felt an empty life only,

            Beneath the white hot desert sky  

            Each  with his own personal lie. 


            Then came echoing off of the hills 

            The sound of cash riding on wheels. 

            The Caddy moving quick to slow,  

            What news the Detroit beast will know?  

            Before the pumps,  Caddy  silent, 

            Cigarette dangling, mood  violent,  

            Pink Caddy, dark glasses, red lips

            “Fill her up---Ethel,”  from her hips. 

            Jack fed the beast, proffered the bill. 

            Cash and a look crafted to kill;

            Then she’s gone, radio fading;

            Money whine slowly abating.

            Jack says to himself---not to Jim,

            “A cool lemon sip,” tone most grim.

            Jim spoke his own composition

            “Jim Jones, limited edition.”

            Jim to thinking his lonely thoughts.

            Jack the empty life he had wrought.

            Before  the  outpost petrol shack, 

            Mum, Jim and Jack sat back to back.


Southern Welcomes

The Southern folks welcome new folks to town

With a smile, a handshake, and not a  frown,

But I’ve got news that may be a bummer:

Years later you’ll still be a newcomer.


Steal My Art...Damn It!

Oh Lord, please guide someone to steal my art.

I Just need a small theft, just a small start.

My friends all have lots of their stuff stolen.

Their egos are so terribly swollen.

Apparently my art ain’t worth stealin’.

You dog gone “thieves” are hurtin’ my


I’ll leave it unguarded to make it easy---

Stealin’ my stuff will be easy-breezy.

At least grab an image from my website,

Steal paintin’s from my garage at midnight,

Off  one of them fancy gallery walls,

Purloin a painting from my home’s long halls.

How can I hold up my old artist head?

Facing my artist friends is now a dread

‘Cause not one klepto is stealin’ my stuff

Come on you pirates, enough is enough.



The Great Donald rolls in with a


While Hillary chimes in with a


Trump declares himself to be

a mighty mugwhummp

While Clinton presents herself  as 

a Southern peach.

Thump a de thump, screech a de screech, 

such a clamor.

Their conjoined dissonance

I’ll not be cheering

Their noise less pleasant than

a mighty jack hammer

Deserving no less than

the voters’ loud jeering.



Due to my twelve-year-old mentality,

I find good humor in the word “titter.”

But having a pre-teen modality,

Doesn’t mean I need a babysitter.

“Titter” just means “chuckle,” for goodness sakes,

But it sure gets folks’ attention in gear

And makes folks do funny double takes

If I say it with a wink and a lear.


The other day, my wife, Linda, commented to a friend that the friend had been quoted and footnoted in an application for a Texas historical marker.  I couldn’t resist: I had to use it as part of a poem about academics.

The Academic’s Prayer

I want to be

Quoted and footnoted,

Devoted and promoted,

My special qualities denoted

As I’m praised fully throated.


Old Guys Are Still Nifty

            The Lord threw me a bone the other day

            Peyton Manning won Super Bowl Fifty

            Once again I could say Hooray, Hooray,

            And feel as though old guys are still nifty.


Possum Loves Linda

Possum loves Linda with all her cat love:

Sees Linda as sent from Heaven above, 

But she has no leftover love for me: 

To her I'm just the petite bourgeoisie

She moves away when I enter a room. 

For me she has an expression of gloom.

No joy can I discern on her visage. 

My quick departure is what she wishes. 

For years I've suffered this cat's attitude.

By her as a wretched creature I'm viewed.

But my old heart still has love for this cat 

Even though she sees me as a big rat. 


Freckled White Girl

I began life as a freckled white    


With straight blond hair without

         the hint of curl

Enough shame to make most

         anyone hurl.

What will life, for such a poor

        waif, unfurl?

Born out West in the state of Montana,

So white…so white…on that broad savanna.

How typically Americana.

Thank God they didn’t name me Diana.

Must overcome the inferiority

Of being one of the majority?

Escaping whiteness my priority.

Shazam, I’ll become a minority.

Abracadabra, I’m suddenly black.

Teaching Black Culture, my career’s on track.

From the NAACP, no flack

Until my white parents began to yak.

Now I’m treated like I have a disease.

I’m treated as though I have STDs.

I am in this mess up to my white knees.

Hell, I should have chosen to be Chinese.


Front Porch Hanging Judge

Sitting on my porch is not a bad thing.

I realize, my friends, it’s good to be king.

I wait for the unaware to pass by

So my wise, old judgement I can apply.

From my majestic thrown I know darn well

Who’s going to work and who’s going to Hell.

I can make my judgments with a quick glance.

Escaping my judgement, there ain’t no chance.

Who does that girl think she is half dressed?

Surely she should be placed under arrest.

There goes a wild fellow riding a horse

Now it’s off with his head, of course, of course.

Bicycle guy will not escape my rhyme

Piddling peddling is a major crime.

Dumbass, don’t stop your car to read your mail.

Blocking traffic will send you off to Hell.

There’s a fellow head down shuffling along.

He’s off to Hades for things he’s done wrong.

That boy skippin’ along singin’ a song

Needs to be in school---skippin’ is wrong.

There goes a fellow riding a mower.

Mowing the street, can’t mow any lower.

Cap turned back to front on his head won’t stand.

You and your cap I do ban from this land.

Wearing white after Labor Day’s a sin.

Your sentence is to go straight to the pen.

Good Lord, their trousers are around their knees

Where’s my  good rope and some good hanging trees.

There’s an old guy with a long tangled beard

He’s moving so slow that it’s really weird.

O, my goodness, I just realized

I’m judging myself and I’m so surprised.

Surprised or not, I must levy a fine.

O my word, I’m bound by my poetry’s rhyme

To cease the judgements I make all the time.


On to Page TWO>

HOME page>                  NEW STUFF page> 
          WRITING CONTENT page>       GUEST ARTISTS page>Home_1.htmlNew_Stuff.htmlEssays.htmlGuest_Artists.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3