About robertedahl

Husband, Father, Brother, Friend, Jogger (40,000 miles and I've stopped counting), Cyclist, Kayaker, Hiker, Camper

A Depressed Swedish Guy

He’s told that Swedes need more sun
to get out of depression and have some fun.
What’s wrong with him coming to West Michigan for the sun and the Dutch?
He guesses he’s just a depressed Swedish guy who doesn’t know very much.
When he first came to these shores he thought he was 50% Dutch
but his DNA tells him not so very much.
He even had a guy who is more Spanish than Dutch
tell him that because he wasn’t very Dutch he wasn’t very much.
He could have gone anywhere, maybe Italy or Greece
And hopefully found both plenty of sun and much-needed peace.
But here he is with the contentious Dutch
In a place where the sun just doesn’t shine very much.
However, there is a redeeming feature — a glorious banquet
of those delicious, exclusively Dutch made Pigs-in-a-Blanket.
And so he’ll struggle through what life offers here
as long as there is a “pig” and a micro-brewed IPA beer.

Oh, You Can Go Ahead

I’m letting them get to me —
the rude, presumptuous,
discourteous, egotistical,
“me first ever and always

at all costs” crowd. I make
a resolution to be courteous
come what may and what
may comes and…then a guy

runs up my butt on the road
almost ramming my car’s
bumper, a cyclist flies by me
while I’m cycling without say-

ing “On your left,” and when I
lose my patience and call him
out he just flashes the bird
behind his back and rides on,

a woman jams into me at
the grocery store and pushes
my groceries up the belt so they
jam into the groceries of the

person ahead of me and I
have to apologize to that
person then the crème de la
crème, I stand with one item

in my hand waiting for some-
one to let me  in line but the big
rumped shoppers with their
overflowing shopping carts

lift up their noses and rush
their butts ahead of me to
the aisle which has just
opened at the store with

great prices but no “fifteen
items or less” lane and I
am comforted deviously
and with religious self-

righteousness by the eternal
promise that the first shall
be last and the last shall be
first, but I’m getting a bit

long-in-the-tooth waiting,
and not very patiently any-
more. “Oh, excuse me, you
go right ahead. I’m just

standing here ruminating
on the injustices of life;
besides, I’m retired with
lots of time on my hands.”


“They are hateful, vengeful, frightened,
angry, spiteful, violent.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you
were specifying Republicans
until you mentioned ‘violent.’”
“The deaths of innocent children
in the concentration camps at the
border, the deaths of minorities
at the hands of law enforcement,
the death and dismemberment of a
journalist, the deaths of women who
will be forced into unauthorized,
illegal, back-alley abortions, the
death to life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness in our country, the death
of democracy as we have known it and
cherished it at the malevolent hands
of hateful, vengeful, frightened, angry,
spiteful and, yes, violent Republicans.”
“Omission/commission Republicans.”

The High Société Lab

The Chocolate Lab lay
on the hardwood floor;
she scrambled to her feet
barking, “I’m so bored.”

She looked around
as if a hound of high société
asking, “Isn’t there another hound
with whom I might play?”

Alas, no other hounds to be found,
she jumped on the stuffed chair
looked all around
and sighed in a snobbish air,

as if to say, “I’ll not die
on that hardwood floor.
On this throne-like chair I’ll lie.”
The girl soon let out an unladylike snore.

Soon from that throne-like chair,
a few more rude sounds
drifted toward the air,
sounds not in polite society to be found.

It’s good the girl slept
while emitting such flatulence.
for if she knew from her such sounds crept
her embarrassment would be immense.

The Swedish Chef

Wishing to be an advocate for the people of my ancestry and believing that Norse poets have been unacknowledged and underappreciated, I set out to discover all the great Scandinavian poets back to the great myths, stories and poems about Odin, Thor, Frigg, Freyja, Freyr and Loki and so I listened to recordings of their brooding, deep, dark, depressing words and tried to pronounce their names but all I could think of was the Swedish Chef.

Actually, I didn’t listen to any recordings of Scandinavian poets (I did try to pronounce their names.), but I did watch a few of the old sketches of the Swedish Chef and I couldn’t stop laughing. Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYWZO4-a-bE.


Weekly, my new spellcheck company tells
me all kinds of wonderful things about
my writing in comparison to all the other

writing covered by that particular spell-
check company, but there is one category
in which I fail miserably — grammar. I

feel like I’m back in high school English.
I want to tell the spellcheck company
that I write poetry and that I have lots

of break lines and that commas and
semicolons and periods aren’t used in
the traditional ways and that I shouldn’t

be graded down for that but, in fact,
graded up for creativity; I want to
tell them that if I wrote essays they

would see what a great grammarian
I can be, getting every last jot and
tittle just right, but there is now-

here for me to lodge a protest and
defend my honor as a college English
major. The spellcheck company just

tells me that my issues are “advanced”
and that if I want to improve my writ-
ing skills, I will have to purchase the

“advanced” program so I will move
to the head of the class in competition
with all the other writers whose writing

is covered by the spellcheck company.
In fact, this piece has nine advanced
issues my spellcheck company informs me.

The Dog

He, with guilt and remorse, told me to go over
to the hillside and speak to the one who knows,

so I looked at the different people there and he
said no, that it was the dog to whom I should

speak and so I just listened to the dog’s story,
which was the man’s story of guilt and remorse.

The dog spoke to me of a stormy day when he and
the man’s dog played among the waves and the

waves became too high. The dogs had planned
to journey away but the waves continued to grow

and the storm became great and the man’s dog
drowned and wasn’t found. I felt so bad for the

man because I know how much he loved the dog.
The dog would have come back, I’m sure, but I

don’t think the man knows that and so he just
lives with the guilt and remorse not just be-

cause he couldn’t save the dog but that, in his
mind, he did something to cause the dog to want

to go away, and, in a certain, final sense, the
dog did.

what the one percent wants from the one percent’s perspective

of course, it doesn’t work;
it isn’t intended to work
because that begs the
question of for whom it
is supposed to work
and that begs the question
about the constitution
and that isn’t intended
to be an issue because
if it works constitutionally
that means it isn’t working
for me and all i want is for
it to work for me and that’s
why i pay all the money i
do to lobbyists basically to
bribe legislators to do what
i want them to do. lobbyists
and legislators get rich in
a minor sort of way but
enough of a way to keep
them in line and do my
bidding. pretty simple,
hey? as the ad goes,
just do it.

Drifting Off During A PBS Fundraiser

He drifted off to music heaven
Heart and soul,
Hoagie Carmichael, Glen Miller,
Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, to the sounds of
Saxophones, trombones and
Duke Ellington’s piano bones.
Duke sang so heavenly —
Dreams never are as bad as they seem
So dream, dream, dream to Guy Lombardo
And all the way to Chris Montez and Call Me,
And the old song, The More I See You,
From childhood to high school, from Star Dust,
To It’s Only A Paper Moon to Blue Moon, You
Saw Me Standing Alone
And Let’s Dance and so we did
On the sentimental journey back in time
And we owe it all to the backbeat, finger
Snapping, drum roll of the African American
Who’s got a gal in Kalamazoo.
All that great music owes
It’s soul
To all the blacks from slavery through Motown
And not goin’ back.
From yo mama
To Yo-yo Ma.
Pat Boone stole
Tutti Frutti
From Little Richard.
(Good Grief! and
Lord, have mercy!)
Blacks cringed en mas
And Little Richard
Got his groove back:
Awop-bop-a-loo-mop alop-bom-bom.

The Day

To laugh at the day,
to sigh in the night,
bad dreams to allay,
that is my delight.

To wonder at the day
in spite of politics
and not dismay,
to such hope, I would affix.

To celebrate the day
and meditate therein
come what may —
ah, peace within.