Scattered here and there throughout this blog are various poems. Here are some of them in one place. 

The Front Porch Poem

The front porch offers quiet retreat, Listening to birds from a front row seat. The porch provides a place to think, A place to pause while worries shrink.
Shade with railings, natural view,
Openess enclosed, just for you.
Not quite inside, not quite out,
A place to sit and look about.
Sheltered from rain, buffered from heat,
A ceiling fan cools the wicker seat.
The front porch calls, and beckons each night,
Luring us away from tv's light.
Far you may wander, far you may roam,
It always feels good to find your way home.
To see your front porch as you come round the bend,
To stand on its floorboards before you go in.
Recalling those days you’d sit there and smile,
Finding answers to questions you had for a while.
A cup of coffee and cookies you crave,
And every so often to a neighbor you’d wave.
To dwell on the times your friends dropped by,
And talked for hours, making time fly.
The porch offered solace, the porch offered space,
It offered new visions for you to embrace.
The future is based on a view to the past,
Made of those memories that somehow outlast.
And many of those memories were made,
There on the porch under its shade.
Memories of gently holding hands,
The first kiss perhaps, and then making plans.
Front porch magic helps us see how,
The decisions made then affect us now.
Front porch memories never quite wane,
The peace it once offered it offers again,
Tis the place to be in the fading sunlight,
As day becomes dusk, and dusk becomes night.


A Poem About Poetry

By Ron Barthet
The sad sight of an empty poetry box on the sidewalk along the Mandeville lakefront prompted this poem

Where did all the poets go? There's no rhyme nor reason. One can search both high and low, But poems seem out of season.
At one time poems were revered, We all knew one or two, Great poets were oft endeared, For bringing deep thoughts through.
Some brought joy, and some brought tears, All life was their fair game. Some stoked laughter, some stoked fears, Poets were known by name
They put words to feelings, That seldom were expressed. And imbued a sense of being, That all human beings possessed.
Songs are good, essays fine, Even tweets oft stir emotion, But nothing's like a rhyming line, To put one's thoughts in motion.
A pondering poet one day said, "Be still, my friend, and listen, Each day strive to forge ahead, And learn what may be missing.
"Yearn not for the grandiose, For truth is often found, In moments that one finds close, With friends and family round."

Poems provide a peace of mind,
That seldom can be known.
They also share a piece of mind,
That sometimes makes us groan.

It is for sure that poems enlist,
A kind of keen insight.
That some people still insist,
Should help bring truth to light.

So seek those poems that fill that need,
Poems that make one think.
Lines upon which thoughts can feed,
And Truth knowingly wink.

The Farmer's Market

by Ron Barthet

There's a place that can't be beat,
and every week you'll find,
A wide array of things to eat,
Every color, every kind.

Of vegetables and produce,
Of fruits and nuts and more,
The best in homegrown goodies,
As good as any store.

Towards downtown you will head,
Take your car and park it,
As close as you can get it to,
The local Farmers Market,

Sing a song for celery,
Give brussels sprouts their due,
Love apples to their very core,
Throw in a pear or two.

We all care for carrots,
They bunch, they crunch, and stew,
And a basket full of broccoli,
May just cure what ails you

Let us all love lettuce,
Both iceberg and romaine,
Then there's cheese, if you please
Perhaps some sugar cane.

Tomatoes and potatoes,
Plus time to talk with friends,
Drink a cup of coffee,
And the music never ends.

If it's honey that you seek,
You'll find it there as well,
And jars of jams and jellies,
Are certainly to sell.

 The farmers and the growers,
Each season bring their own,
Things they planted in their fields,
Produce that they have grown.

To share them with your family,
The healthy and the best,
Fruits and vegetables with,
Which they have been blessed.

Thanks to all those who plant,
Who water, weed and wait,
To harvest, haul and sell it all,
Within the Market gate. 



To Seek A Creek

Whenever overwhelmed by stress,
I embark upon a quest,
Into the countryside I sneak,
Looking for a tranquil creek.

A creek that runs, a creek that flows, 
Along the forest floor it goes,
A peaceful place, one that's unique,
Is what I sometimes have to seek.

When worries mount, when problems peak,
It's time to stop and seek a creek.
To listen to its trickling sound,
With all the trees and brush around.

To soak in its natural state,
Somehow helps release the weight,
That urban  life ofttimes brings,
Burdens, fears and other things.

Creeks awaken newfound wonder,
Cast a spell we all fall under.
The splashing swirls somehow play,
A tune that holds one in its sway.

Sometimes we feel somehow off course,
Weighed down by an unknown force, 
A country creek might be the cure,
For what you think you must endure.

Unspoiled spot, creekside retreat,
A pleasant place for friends to meet. 
Release your dread, lift up your eyes,
Enjoy the peace a creek provides.

So when you're down, head back to where,
You first found rest, you first found care.
No matter how far you may roam, 
The creek awaits your journey home.


Memories of Marsolan's

by Ron Barthet

Marsolan's was the place to go,
For feed and seed and more,
You could search both high and low,
And not find a better store.

Gardening and farm supply,
Was their stock in trade,
Suggesting what's best to buy,
On every purchase made.

Youngsters thrilled to baby chicks,
The rabbits and the rest,
Hard to choose among the picks,
Which birdhouse was the best.

The hanging chimes would surely bring,
A smile each time they're hit,
A golden sound, a lasting ring,
A memory exquisite.

The chickens clucked as they do,
Their antics will be missed,
They laid their eggs right on cue,
For tomorrow morn's breakfast.

The rows of seeds went on and on,
The veggies and flowers too,
And don't forget the organic,
Is mighty good for you.

It was a place to meet a friend,
And enjoy the old time songs,
The toe-tapping would never end,
Where everyone belongs.

The music and musician,
Meant so much to many,
Where everyone joined right in,
And fun they had a'plenty.

Memories of Marsolan's,
Will bring a tear to some,
Others will think of bands,
That will never get to come.

Farmers fed their families,
The finest food on earth,
From seeds they bought at Marsolan's,
And got their money's worth.

Many ranchers got their gear,
Their livestock feed and more,
From the fine people here,
At Marsolan's great store.

A fond farewell to Marsolan's,
Eight decades of service,
Brought lots of joy to lots of fans,
And you surely will be missed.




Tribute to Hadden Hall

by Ron Barthet

Hadden Hall was a meeting location for several civic groups, an American Legion post, served senior citizen lunches, and hosted the monthly Friends of the Library book sale.

Among the many places,
In our community,
You'll sometimes find one comes to mind,
That stirs a memory.

Hadden Hall was such a place,
Where people came to visit,
To enjoy a meal, and what a deal,
To find a book exquisite.

The memories cascading,
Weddings flung with rice,
To meet with friends, talk til it ends,
And honor those who sacrificed.

Hadden Hall did it all,
Home to Post 16,
Senior Center, Summer, Winter,
And Bingo games often seen.

The rows of books went on,
And on, records, tapes and more,
Many sought and books were bought,
Pleased by what was in store.

A building whose main purpose,
Was to shelter and provide,
All walks of life escape from strife,
Friends to share, to care and guide.

We say good-bye to Hadden Hall,
It will be long remembered,
Taking the lead in filling a need,
Through the services it rendered. 



In Love Again With Covington

by Ron Barthet

I'm in love again with Covington,
The most peaceful place I've ever been,

A town to fulfill almost every desire,
A quiet retreat one has to admire.

I love to walk down oak-shaded streets,
To sit on Lion stadium seats,

To float in a boat on the river so still,
from Tchefuncte Square to Claiborne Hill.

Saying hello, picking up the mail,
Warming a bench at the Southern Hotel,

Drinking coffee with the courthouse staff,
Sharing the news, enjoying a laugh.

Covington's surely the place to be,
To settle down with your family,

A beautiful place to come retire,
Play a golf game and join the choir.

To live every day without a care,
To live in the sun, breathe Ozone air,

Artesian water, flowing oh so pure,
A great place to live, that's for sure.

If you're looking for inspiration,
Go where life is a celebration.

Your search for serentity surely will end,
Where the Bogue Falaya and Tchefuncte blend.



The Pine Knot House

by Ron Barthet

The Pine Knot House is a 16 square foot shed on U.S. 190 in west Covington, originally  filled with hanging baskets of flowers

Roadside refuge of twisted pines,
A sheet tin roof and mass of vines,
A crooked gate that welcomes all,
A hundred years and still stands tall.

Somewhat hidden among the trees,
Birds are resting enjoying the breeze,
The pine knots curl and turn and twist,
To stop and look one can't resist.

The Warner family pine knot shed,
Warms your soul and clears your head,
The wonder of it, the joy it brings,
The mystery of which it sings.

Nature's knots, cast aside,
Brought together to close abide,
Woven, stacked and tucked and bound,
Makes a place where beauty's found.

The passersby don't always know,
What they miss while on the go,
The many twisted pine knots show,
The things revealed when you go slow.




 Volunteer Firefighters

by Ron Barthet

Fire was a major scare,
In the early days.
A cry went out,
The bell would ring,
Sounding through the haze.

Then from every part of town,
Volunteers would come.
Ready, willing, able to do,
What needed to be done.

Rally round the firehouse,
Give them all three cheers.
That is why we love our fire-
Fighting Volunteers.

Smell the smoke and see the flames,
What a frightening blaze,
But with their skills and expertise,
They truly amaze.

They would take their buckets down,
To the riverside,
To fill them up, bring them back,
And carry them inside.

Buckets flew and water splashed,
Put the fire out.
And when the final ember died,
We'd all give a shout.

Train them well and keep them safe,
When all's said and done,
Pray the Good Lord up above,
Watch over every one.

Now today things are different,
Equipment galore.
But the dedication stays,
The same it was before.

Rally round the firehouse,
Give them all three cheers,
That is why we love our fire-
Fighting Volunteers.



by Ron Barthet

Quiet town, restful calm, time to be still,
Find a spot, settle down in Madisonville.
Deeply felt peace within, riverside retreat,
Watch life flow, let it go, it just can't be beat.

Wooden boats, pirogue race, seafood restaurants,
Twilight walks, visiting your favorite haunts.
Playing cards, telling jokes, heading for once again,
That place nestled near Lake Pontchartrain.

Sailing shops, fishing piers, stop to buy bait,
Launch a boat, drop anchor, for the fish, wait.
Drop a net, no need to fret, just prepare the sacks,
Go on home, ice chest full, now time to relax.

 Build a boat, have some fun, reduce your strife,
Cast a lure, clean and pure, enjoying life.
Weekend trip, festival, no need to have concern,
Pack the car, it's not far, just round the next turn.

 Adventure, to be sure, waiting for you and yours,
Baseball game, snow ball stand, and local museum tours.
Pleasant meal, what a deal, what a real thrill,
To spend time here in old Madisonville.

Front porch swings, choir sings, people to meet,
Talk with friends never ends, walk in your bare feet.
Scenic sights, park campsites, never a rush,
Soothing waves, moss that sways, always a hush.

Sunsets bring birds on wing, crickets rule the night,
It’s dark now throughout the town, a most tranquil sight.
Come the dawn, wake on up and grab your fishing pole.
Nothing better for your well-being, nothing better for your soul.

At the end of the day, a place to admire,
And realize it's a good place to retire,
Old time ways, they're all there still,
The magical place called Madisonville.


Ode To K-Mart

by Ron Barthet

On the occasion of the K-Mart being demolished in Mandeville
Gone is the blue light special,
The store known as K-Mart,
When Christmas season rolled around,
It's where we all would dart.
From the long lunch counter,
To the racks of shoes,
From the auto service center,
To fabric of many hues.
Remembering the wide array,
Garden center full of plants,
The hardware section with all its tools,
All the shirts and skirts and pants.
We will miss you K-mart,
You brought us lots of joy,
Popcorn, videos, health goods too,
And now and then a toy.
The balloons were great, the CD's cool,
The greeting cards were neat.
The memory of shopping with our friends,
At K-mart can't be beat,
As you go to retail heaven,
And the sweet buy and buy,
Say hello to our old friends,
Especially TG&Y.

The Oblong Song
by Ron Barthet

In 2022 the state highway department started building a traffic circle in the middle of Covington. Since the roads were offset, however, they decided to use an "oblong" traffic pattern instead of a circle. So this poem was inspired by that effort. 

Where once was planned a roundabout,
So Covington cars could sort themselves out,
Things are finally going ahead,
But not in the way originally said.
The traffic circle will soon be built,
And it will have a bit of a tilt,
Instead of a traffic circle so round,
A lop-sided oblong is soon to be found.
Where Jefferson crosses o'er 21st,
It isn't that bad, we've all seen worst,
An intersection that's just so wide,
You could fit two circles inside.
So that's what they did, they flattened the curve,
Made it so that cars will swerve,
From all four sides, traffic goes in,
Yielding at first, then go for a spin.
They eventually see a safe way out,
And escape the clutches of the roundabout.
They're fun, exciting, and somewhat scary
Use them wisely, and just be wary.
But since this one's really somewhat oval,
It shouldn't be that bad or woeful,
It's not that round, but a little oblongish,
Call it oblongabout, if you wish.

Star Dust

The Star Theater is no more,
Its building's been torn down,
The memories that it helped create,
Earned it widespread  renown.

Watching movies showed the way,
To every moviegoer,
How good guys took the upper road,
And bad guys took the lower.

How westerns and the musicals,
Each offered different themes,
But all wound up about the same,
Stirring young folks' dreams.

The romance and the action,
The stuntwork and the drama,
From when the hero first arrives,
To the villain's final trauma.

Nothing better Saturday night,
When horror films scared us all,
Wondering just what we would do,
If werewolves came to call.

The Star did shine its brightest,
When a person's dream was shown,
That they could one day also star,
In a movie of their own.

But for now, the Star is snuffed,
Though the good times will live on,
In the minds of  all who went,
Fond memories will be drawn.

Memories of friends and dates,
Memories of movies past,
Memories of the best of times,
Memories that will last.


This Little Town Called Covington

By Patricia Clanton, 1982

Covington, I'm lucky to be among
The people who claim to be from
This little town of Covington

Governors from Claiborne to Treen 

Agree that its just what it seems
A place where the pace is serene
This little town called Covington

The natives say "It's always been that way, 

Just kind of quiet and nice"
And when you think twice
We'd like to keep it that way!

We picnic under live oak trees
Catch the soft summer breeze
The scent of pine in the air and 

Friendly folks everywhere
What more could you need?

When all is said and done
There's no place under the sun
That I would rather be from
Than this little town called Covington

Ode To Covington

By Elizabeth Malone

My hometown nestles in a parish so fair,
That's famous for its healthful ozone air,
Covington, Oh Covington, so blessed my chosen land,
Showered with such beauty by God's own loving hand.

I love my hometown Covington with a boundless love,
This town that is so richly blessed by God above.
He gave us gorgeous oak trees, ever gently swaying,
And garnished them with mosses, tinted silver-graying.

He added, too, the rivers, that beautifully surround,
Our friendly, lovely, sleepy and scenic little town.
And pine trees tall, shading all, and cypress trees abound,
In this our most favored spot of all, our town.

In spring the flowers flair and all look so grand,
One would almost come to think this is a fairy land.
Sweet mimosa, that most fragile tropic bloom,
And Jasmine, too, fills our air with their rich perfume.

And faintly comes the one pure scent no one can forget,
Of the bashful, lovely, little, quiet violet,
And bridal-wreath, also, with its love-knot like bouquets,
And the pale wisterias, its purple-grape display.

Our peaceful, sleepy, charming little river town,
Awakens to birdsong almost all year round,
The whippoorwill occasionally sends out its famous call,
And stirs the gay adventurer asleep within us all.

I view the wealth of loveliness which fills my chosen town,
The gentle folk who live and work and play within its bound,
And on my knees I thank dear God that He did freely give,
To me the special blessing of the place where I now live.



An Idyll

By Matronita (1918)
St. Tammany Farmer Nov. 16, 1918

By the Bogue Falaya's side, fair Covington!
You sit embowered in your wondrous trees,
And croon the mystic song of Life and Death-
The song of all the ages. While the soft breeze
Whispers through the dark green leaves of mighty oaks,
And sways the festoons of the graceful moss
That drapes the spreading branches, gnarled with age,
And blows the pollen from the pines across.

A dome of sun-swept sky doth spread above your throne.
The skies of Italy ne'er showed lovelier blue
Than that which doth adorn you on a day that's fair,
And make us contemplate your charms anew.
The river at your feet flows so slowly by
It hardly seems to flow, but pools so still,
That it mirrors boat and sail and banks of green,
And clouds that hang like some great fleecy hill.

You are bedecked with many beauteous flowers
That do perfume the air and lend a glow
To the living verdure of the grass and trees,
Thus adding beauty as the seasons go.
The eye of memory (doth see a lofty pine
Wrapt round with clinging vine that hangs its blooms
In garlands of showering white that seem
Like musty sprays or white and dainty plumes.

Your streets are grass-grown, and so soft to tread upon
That Mother Earth seems dearer than before,
And brings us close to Nature that we may read
The guarded secrets of her deepest lore.
Some slowly wander to the centre of the town
And lose their verdure beneath the paving stones.,
While others wend their way to pastures green
Where soft-eyed cattle browse, and tinkling bells intones.

I love thee, Covington, with a grateful love
For all that you have done for me and mine.
Thus do you for all mankind who seek your aid,
By giving life and health with healing half divine.
For the air which robs the balsam from the pines
Is potent with that which doth grim Sorrow balk-
As if Christ gave it the power supreme
To say, "Poor man, take up thy bed and walk!"


Columbia Landing

by Carol Jahncke

There were ghosts last night at the landing,
And all were hovering quite near
Mr. Kentzel was where I was standing,
Capt. Hanover was down by the pier.

I'd swear there was a ship in the foggy mist.
It was being loaded with freight.
The captain was checking the passenger list.
He and his trusty first mate.

Dr. Randolf Lyons then came down the street
And slapped his editor friend on the back.
It was here that they often did chance to meet,
To await the by-weekly mail pack.

They were dressed in the clothes that were worn in that day,
So different - so very different from mine.
All were happy and smiling, friendly and gay,
And the ladies there looked so fine.

Then I would swear I heard a whistle blow,
And the Captain gave  warning shout,
The mist began to rise - oh so slow...
And gone was the past - as if a light turned out.

Columbia St. Landing is there for us all,
To relax with dreams of the misty mast.
To hear, perhaps, our ancestors call,
And to enjoy our present and past.


Welcome Home Mighty Soldier
By Joseph P. Untz II
Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2021

20 years of war, how did we end up here
Our Nation was attacked, Our Countrymen filled with fear
An order given to set it all in motion
Our troops readied and set sail across the ocean

Battles fought, lives lost, keep fighting we must continue
Searching for weapons of mass destruction
A terrorist life, we have to bring an end to
10 years later our mission is complete
Cheers ring out, People dancing in the street

Orders changed, 10 more years will ensue
Hearts and minds have to be won, before our mission is through
Battered, beaten, broken, torn up inside
Still the look upon your face, filled with American Pride

Two Thousand twenty-one, Mission over time to pull out
Battles fought, Lives lost, War is Hell
'Til the next time your Country calls

Welcome home mighty soldier
Welcome Home...

The Printing Shop

by Elizabeth Malone (1989)

When I was a little girl, there was the most wonderful shop in the world
Where you could buy stationery of the finest quality,
Engraved and with engraved envelopes, for all to see
The beauty and style and quality.

Mr. Kentzel always had a smile on his face,
And a gracious charm that time could not erase,
And when he was gone, Mrs. Kentzel took his place,
With an equal amount of charm and grace.

Now another generation is in charge, the third one I am sure,
To await the pleasure of your business there
With pure charm and efficiency and a smile so bright,
That it could lighten the darkest gloom of night.

I'm glad that there is a Kentzel's in my town,
And that Billy chose to wear a smile, not frown.
And if you need a special order, he will see that it is done
In that best little printing shop under the sun.

Within the minimum of time and if it should not be just right,
He will fix it up, even if it takes all night.
So go to Kentzel's if you have a pressing printing need,
Or something for your office, if indeed

They have the best supplies in town and desks and pens and such,
And if you are a thrifty shopper the price won't vary much,
And Kentzel's stand behind the things they sell,
So I know that's why the business does so well. 

On Old Lacombe

By E.B. Cope (1931)

Oft, as in my hours of ease,
I paddle 'neath her shady trees,
My mind harks back to days of yore,
When the Choctaws roamed the wooded shore

And sought beneath the sturdy oak,
The muskrat pelt, for some Indian maiden's cloak,
Or fished beside the tall marsh grass,
For the savage fighting bass.

Or stole along, with bow and spear,
The spoor left by the shy red deer,
Then from pleasant memories thronging,
There comes to me a longing.

That I, too, might return from days of roaming,
Late in the peaceful gloaming,
To my woodland home,
Hard by the banks of Old Lacombe


A Song To Covington

Published May 27, 1922 - St. Tammany Farmer
Click on poem to make it larger.