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Best Poems Written by Robert Candler

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Call Me Insensitive

You call me insensitive,
But I don't believe that's true;
Because, you see,
It's all about me.
It's not about you.

You say your opinion doesn’t matter,
That I’ve no respect for your point of view;
But I do if we agree,
Because it’s all about me.
It’s not about you.

You say I’ve no compassion,
No feelings for your troubles or your blues;
But none of us is issue free,
And mine are all about me;
But…not about you.

A time old adage, 
“To thine own self be true.”,
Is all about choices you see.
My choices are all about me,
And, certainly, not about you.

So, when its time to make your choices
You’ll understand and know it’s true; 
To decide what will or will not be,
Won’t be at all about me;
It will be all about you

But special moments confront most of us,
When what matters isn’t “Me”.
And while these moments are few,
They’re not about me, not about you.
For a time, it’s all about “We.”

Yes, “…no man is an island.”
Is a valid point of view;
But if it’s not about “We”, 
Then it’s all about me.
Sorry.  It’s not about you.

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014



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A Golf lesson

Over fifty years have passed,
Tho’ it seems like just the other day;
My father gave me golf clubs,
“It’s a game you need to learn to play.”

He said, “It’s very difficult, but so is life.
There’s more to learn than grip and swing and rules,
Like honesty and dealing with adversity;
Then, pointing to his head, “… and how to use ALL your tools.

Play the Course… and Mother Nature…
Focus on just one shot at a time;
Try to learn from each of your mistakes;
Then, do your best to leave them behind.

These clubs will teach you more
Than our ‘man to man’ talks.
This you'll learn for yourself,
So you can “walk the walk.”

“Practice makes better, but not perfect.
And always remember what they say:
‘”Golf is not a game that we can win.
It’s just a game we play.’”

His lessons served me very well,
Took them to heart and play the game.
And life is much like a round of golf.
Despite the bad shots, I’m always glad I came.

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

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Her Sense of Humor

A slight hint of consternation was in her voice,
“Why did you tell those people I’m deaf and dumb?”
“I never said you were deaf, my Dear.”
She laughed, but I kinda felt like a bum.

Hell.  It was just a joke.

One evening, she asked, “Will you love me if I get chubby?”
I responded, “Of course I still love you.
It would take much more than pounds and cellulite
To make me fall out of love…it’s true.”

Hell.  It was just a joke.

“Would you remarry if I die before you?” she asked.
I said, “No…probably not…I’ve been spoiled by you.”
“But you’ve been a great husband. I think you should.”
“Whatever happens, happens is the best I can do.”

“If you remarried, would you play golf with your new wife?
And would you let her use my clubs?” she demanded.  
I calmly smiled and said, “Your clubs are safe.
You see, my Dear…she’s left handed.”

Hell.  It was just a joke.

Then, she whined and whined about her butt.
I responded, “Want to knock some inches off that ass?
It may sound strange, but I heard it works….
Rinse all your panties in Slim Fast.”

Hell. It was just a joke.


The next day, I readied for work, took ‘undies’ from my drawer.
They were engulfed in a fog of white, why I didn’t know.
So, I asked, “Honey! Why did you put talcum powder on my shorts?”
She slyly smiled, “That’s not talcum powder.  That’s Miracle Gro.”

Hell.  It was just a joke....I guess.

So, what is my wife’s most endearing feature?
Her sense of humor.... there’s no doubt.
Always a smile where angst or anger might have been,
A smile I never want to be without.


Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

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Flailin'

Flailin’,  flailin’, flailin’;
There goes my ball sailin’
Into a trap, the water or the woods.

Flailin’, flailin’, flailin’;
You can hear me wailin’,
“Why won’t that damn ball go where it should?

Drives go right.  Putts go wrong.
I shank my wedges or ‘skull’em’ long.
My golf game’s just no damn good.

I’m swingin’ too hard & lookin’ up;
As if I’ll actually see it go in the cup….
As if it ever really would.

My alignment’s too far left or right.
My ball can find the only tree or trap in sight,
Even if the shot starts out lookin’ good.

These days, I carry some special tools:
A handheld weed eater with extra spools
And a pruning saw, in case I’m in the woods.  

I’ve even tried to ‘buy’ a better game.
No matter.  My scores were just as lame.
Those new clubs didn’t do what they should.

Bogies & doubles...even triples... are common scores.
I very rarely get pars any more.
Believe me, I’d change it if I could.

My buddies said it must be me,
A teaching pro I should go see.
They said he’d fix my game…..if anybody could.

The pro said, “Hit some balls while I watch you.
Just set up and hit’em like you normally do.
We’ll see if I can do your game any good.”

After the first bucket of balls I hit,
He calmly said, “Take two weeks off…then quit.
Take my advice.  You really should.”

Now, what really has me vexed,
I’m wondering what I’ll try next.
That pro’s advice was no damn good.

So, I struggle along with my flailin’ game;
But, strangely enough, have fun just the same,
Finding hope in rare shots that are actually good.

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

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Roll'em

One wake-up away
From the best day of your life.
Life’s just a crap shoot. 

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014



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Pal

Bob had been a lonely man ever since
His wife of fifty years had passed.
“Lord, let me join her.” he would pray.
“Let this day be my last.”

Each day, he went to the cemetery,
Just a short walk down the street.
After their talk, he would water her flowers
And hear passers-by whisper, “How sweet.”

One gray and misty morning,
He had hoped for sunnier skies
To plant fall bloomers at her graveside;
But there, to his surprise…

Stood an old dog beside her stone;
Thin and dirty, but he struck a handsome pose.
He whined as Bob approached, as if to say,
“I could use a friend, you know.”

He sat calmly as Bob planted flowers,
Carefully sniffing each one Bob put in place.
Then, after he sniffed the last one planted, 
He turned and licked Bob’s face.

Bob smiled. “I had a dog when I was young…
Pal…he was a mighty good one too.
So, if you don’t mind old fella,
That’s what I’ll call you.”

Pal may have been an old dog,
But he was smart and handsome in his way;
So they made a deal, Bob would give him a meal
And a bath, if he decided to stay.

Pal loved his bath, then rolled in the grass.
He slept on a blanket in the den.
In the night, he dragged it next to Bob’s bed. 
He intended to be Bob’s best friend.

Pal was such a good dog, housebroken too;
Never made a mess or got in trouble.
He knew about newspapers, slippers and Frisbees;
And when Bob called, he‘d come on the double.

Yes, Pal gave Bob’s life new purpose.
A special bond of friendship was cast.
And never again did Bob pray, 
“Lord, let this day be my last.”

For twelve years, the very best of friends,
Together night and day;
And so it was, until one evening,
Pal quietly passed away.

Bob held Pal in his arms and wept.
“Oh, Pal…my best friend…you saved my life.” 
He caressed Pal as he reminisced;
Then, sometime in the night, Bob joined his wife.

The next morning, an old woman,
Tears welling in her sad and lonely eyes,
Brought fresh flowers to her husband’s grave;
But there, to her surprise….

Stood an old dog beside the stone, 
Thin an dirty, but he struck a handsome pose.
He whined as she approached, as if to say,
“I could use a friend, you know.”

He sat calmly as she took old flowers
And put fresh ones in their place. 
He carefully sniffed the fresh ones,
Then, turned and licked her face.

She smiled through her tears.  
“I had a dog when I was young...
A good one too.  His name was Pal.”

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

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The Victory Dance

To play as if today
Is your only chance.
Some say, “It’s just a game.”
Have they done the Victory Dance?

When hard-earned Victory
Was finally at hand,
Have they felt the glory
Raining down from the stands?

To do or not to do….
No one wants to hear, “We tried.”
Effort and dedication will be rewarded… 
They are the magic on your side. 

Yes, to fall short is still an option;
But much better to succeed.
Heroes are made and remembered
Only by their deeds.

So, just go out and win.
Give your all to each and every chance.
Persevere and achieve…

And do the Victory Dance.

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

Details | Robert Candler Poem

Went Fishin'


Submitted to the "Gone Fishin" contest
------------------------------------------------

Trollin’ the islands at Texoma,
It was April, 1964.
New rod and reel in hand,
I’d NEVER been fishing before.

A Garcia 2510T casting rod.
The reel, a Mitchell 301,
Plus hand-selected worms and lures…
I was ready to have some fun.

My teacher, a master fisherman,
Had fished all over the earth...
From trout in Austrian mountain streams
To sea bass just west of Perth.

He showed me all the basics,
Including how to tie a lure.
“No snaps. They’re no good.
Tie’em on…just to be sure.”

He made me practice casting.
“Take aim with your rod’s tip 
Take her back - ten, eleven, twelve, one;
Smoothly return to ten… with just a little flip.”

While I practiced the casting motion,
He said, “Large Mouths will be jumpin’ bugs.
Water’s bubblin’ with Sand Bass spawnin’.
You’ll know the difference if one gives you a tug.”

As we drifted around the islands,
He said, “I think you’re ready.”
So, I picked a lure, a pretty Heddon;
And tied her on.  My hands were steady.

Yellow with black dots and a weed guard. 
A streamer tail and double treble hooks.
Who knew if she would do the job,
But I liked the way she looked.

As I tied her on, I looked around
For a likely place for my first cast.
Magazine pictures always showed weeds
In the background of a striking Bass.

So, I picked a reed bed in the shallows;
Threw my first cast, watched her fly.
What happened next was the stuff of dreams.
We couldn’t believe our eyes. 

About eighteen inches before she lit,
A monstrous Large Mouth erupted from the water.
My teacher screamed, “Holy Mary, Mother of God!  
Kiss O’Reilly’s Ugly Daughter!”

When the Bass broke water, it scared me. 
My whole body jerked and shook.
So sudden, so silent, it seemed like slow motion.
Until I heard him screaming, “Set the hook!  Set the hook!”

When the big Bass scared me,
I must have set the hook.
The tussle was on, long and hard.
This fish didn’t want to be cooked.

My lack of skills prevailed, however,
As I finally reeled him in;
I grabbed him by the lower lip,
Like I’d seen Don Wallace do, time and time again.

“Oh, my God”, he murmured as he weighed the Bass;
“Jeez.  Over thirteen pounds....Thirteen pounds, two.”
He took out his Polaroid and laughed, 
“I’ll take a picture of this fish... holdin' you.”

He snapped the picture of me holding the Bass;
On the back wrote the date, the length and weight.
As he turned to put the camera away……
Get ready.  This is the part that’s great.

I’d watched Don Wallace ‘catch and release’.
He always did that on his show.
“This fish put up a good fight.” he’d say;
“Now it’s time to let him go.”

Yes, as my teacher put away the camera,
I held the big Bass by the lower lip and tail
And ‘swished’ him in the water,
Making sure his gills would not fail.

My teacher turned and saw what I was doing
Just as I let the big Bass go.
This, too, was like slow motion
As I heard him screaming, “NOOOOOOO!”

“Why would you do that, Lad?
Do ya know nothin’ at all?
A fish like that... on your very first cast?
Well...Lad, that fish goes on the wall.”

“Well…he’ll be here next year.” I said with a smile,
“And even bigger, I’ll bet.”
He said, ”You’ll make a fisherman, Lad.
It’s not for the fish that we fish…

but for the great stories we get.” 

I still have that lure…and the rod and reel.
Still in their bags and boxes, just like new.
I thought about selling them on eBay,
But 50 years later, they have sentimental value.

You see…I’ve been invited to go fishin’ several times
By golfin’ buddies and other friends;
But for some reason…I really don’t know why…
I’ve never gone fishin’ again.

They say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
And I believe that is a fact.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of truth and,
In the meantime…..”Ya’ll come back!”

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

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Leap of Faith

Not long after The Beginning,
There were Animals and there was Man.
A great chasm lay between, that legend said
Only a Leap of Faith could span.
 
Animals seemed happy on their side;
For, after all, such a leap could not be done
“Make the best it,” they all said;
All, that is, but one.
 
There stood Dog, alone upon the brink,
The distant Man’s reflection shining in his eyes;
Something was robbing Dog of peace;
Something was urging him to try.
 
Compelled, he stood and stared,
Nothing could distract his gaze.
Now and then, Horse would come;
Each time, the same old words to say.
 
“I understand.  I really do.
I admit it.  I’ve thought about it too;
But it’s too far for me to jump,
It’s certainly too far for you”.
 
One day, as Horse spoke his words,
Cat rudely interrupted with a sneer.
“Go ahead and try.  You’ll break your silly neck.
You can’t go there.  Your place is here”.
 
More resolute now, his vigil became duty;
Still, he often wondered, “Why?”
But something deep inside kept saying,
“You must.  You must.  It’s do…or die”. 
 
Then, one day, he turned and walked away.
Oh, yes, he’d need a running start.
He knew now, he had the Will;
But only a Leap of Faith could prove his Heart.

Just before he made his Leap of Faith,
Dog saw the loneliness in Man’s eyes.
“He needs a friend, someone to help 
And always stand right by”.
 
With those unselfish thoughts,
Dog had reason, he felt whole.
And well he should, for at that very moment,
God granted Dog a Soul!
 
But Souls don’t come so easy,
And his leap was short that day.
If Dog was to make a Leap of Faith,
Man would have the final say.
 
Dog’s faith was truly tested, front paws upon the edge.
He hoped  Man’s eyes hadn’t lied. 
Then Man’s Heart swelled and touched his Soul.
He helped Dog up and placed him proudly at his side.
 
Oh, so jealous was Cat I’m told;
His eyes turned green that day.
“Oh, you are an heroic mutt; 
A friend of Man, you say?
I’ll make that leap by myself.
You can bet, I’ll find a way”.
 
So, Dog had made the Leap of Faith.
He and Man became Best Friends.
So it shall be, for all eternity;
That is to say, until the Very End.
 

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

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My Buddy

I miss you already, Buddy.
You’ve been the apple of my eye.
When I think of life without you,
It makes me cry. It makes me cry.

Oh, so many moments we've shared together,
From romping mischief and tummy rubs to those pesky fleas;
And nothing’s better than my puppy’s kiss;
You always try your very best to please.

You always curl up with me on the bed.
You always meet me at the door.
You run and jump and bark with such excitement.
Yes, Buddy, I know you couldn’t love me more.

And when all others fail me, Buddy,
My best friend is always there.
Through my very worst of times,
Your eyes and your attention said,  “I care”.

Five to seven years for every one of mine
Is so little time... it’s hardly fair.
It must be God’s way of saying,
“Love them now… and well.  
There’s precious little time to spare”.

But, if I should go before you, Buddy,
Love your new master without reserve;
And they will love you as you love them. 
It’s what a great pup like you deserves.  

I miss you already, Buddy.
You’ve been the apple of my eye. 

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

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