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Jeannie E. Roberts

         For my dad, who coined the word
Yard "putterbellies" placed this way and that,                 
lawn statues and stuff to point fingers at,
ornaments to make the outdoors look nice . . .
Plain yards are much better! That’s my advice!
Backyards and front yards have gone overboard:
why so much folly, lawn-clutter and hoard?
Your neighbor may have a lawn such as this,
take a good look if you don’t want to miss:
flowers in cauldrons near cast iron cats,                      
servants with lanterns and fancy top hats,
stepladders laden with tinsel and plants,
polka-dots painted on girls’ underpants,
tri-colored turtles displayed beneath trees,    
hand-crafted chimes made of broken CDs,
wood women cutouts with bonnets and frills,
deer statues stationed 'round spinning windmills,
plastic flamingos and bubbling birdbaths,                 
rabbits with rhinestones near cobblestone paths,
shiny, pink pinwheels positioned near stumps,
chrome bumpers balanced atop antique pumps,
beer cans suspended from branches and limbs,
garden gates fashioned with basketball rims,
clotheslines bedecked and bedazzled with chimes,
bathtubs transformed into grotto-like shrines,
wagon wheels chained onto rusty box springs,    
butterfly sculptures with motorized wings,         
crow feathers crammed into cracked coffeepots,
deer antlers showcased on old army cots!
Yard "putterbellies" placed this way and that,                             
lawn statues and stuff to point fingers at,
ornaments to make the outdoors look nice . . .
Plain yards are much better! That’s my advice!

© by Jeannie E. Roberts.
Used with the author’s permission.


Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jeannie E. Roberts is the author of Nature of it All, a collection of poetry (Finishing Line Press), and the author and illustrator of Let's Make Faces!, a children's book.  Jeannie enjoys biking and walking in nature.  She lives in the woodlands of western Wisconsin.  Learn more about Jeannie at



Post New Comment:
What fun to read this! I've seen these yards, including the Shrine in an upright bathtub.
Posted 11/06/2013 11:45 AM
I think the poet has traversed the regions I've visited. Sharp images and sly wit--Yea!
Posted 11/06/2013 08:01 AM
couldn't agree more!
Posted 11/06/2013 07:25 AM
Constraint and restraint have their place, but this irresistible exuberance does too. What energy this poet releases!
Posted 11/06/2013 07:10 AM

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