GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted
Musings of an Energy Nerd

Christmas Poems for 2019

The eleventh installment of an annual tradition

[Photo credit: Fine Homebuilding]

If I Were King

With apologies to A.A. Milne

I often wish that I were king,
So I could order anything.

If I were King of South Sudan,
I’d buy a Panasonic fan.

If I were King of Old Lahore,
I’d buy my friends a blower door.

If only I were King of Spain,
I’d mandate rainscreens for the rain.

If only I were King of France,
Then code enforcement I’d enhance.

If only I were King of Greece,
We’d have more energy police.

If I were King of Mandalay,
I’d let Latino workers stay.

If I were King of Babylon,
Duct seams would all have mastic on.

If only I were king of Crete,
The mastic would look sharp and neat.

If I were King of Timbuktu,
I’d knight my insulation crew.

If I were king of anything,
Red blower doors would laugh and sing.


Post-it from a Plumber: “This is Just to Say”

With apologies to William Carlos Williams

I have damaged
the drywall
you installed
as an air barrier
which you probably
hoped would remain
Forgive me.
I needed a big hole
for my pipe
and the Sawzall
was hard to control.


Sonnet for architects

With apologies to William Shakespeare

The stuff we build our homes with will not last, Our steel will rust and all our wood will rot; So shall this house withstand the icy blast, The rain, the ills of time, the snow — or not? O, how shall asphalt shingles e’er hold out Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring days, When rocks impregnable are not so stout, Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays? O fearful meditation! How, alack, Shall builders battle time, which always wins? What final end awaits…

GBA Prime

This article is only available to GBA Prime Members

Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.

Start Free Trial


  1. Expert Member
    RICHARD EVANS | | #1

    Ha!! Excellent! Well done Martin!

  2. RussMill | | #2

    I hope I live to see the Latinos STAY!
    My Christmas wish!

    Thanks Martin!!

    1. YardHammer | | #3

      Martin is a true Renaissance man.
      Liberal arts education does pay off.

  3. Expert Member

    I look forward to this Christmas tradition. My hope is that it continues for many more years.

  4. PAUL KUENN | | #5

    It made the dark days much brighter, thanks!

  5. wwhill | | #6

    Great poems, Martin! Thank you.

    Bill Hill

  6. dankolbert | | #7

    Oh my god - the WCW is brilliant.

  7. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #8

    Thanks for all the feedback. ("WCW" had me researching abbreviations on Google -- I guess young people text those letters for "Women Crush Wednesday," but that made no sense -- and then I figured out that Dan meant William Carlos Williams.)

    Happy Holidays to readers of all religious, agnostic, and atheist persuasions -- and a very happy new year to all.

  8. Expert Member

    Happy New Year to everyone on GBA!

    A year of transition which saw some really great blogs by Brian Pontolilo, Scott Gibson, Michael Maines, Dan Kolbert, and Carl Seville.

    I'd like to thank all the posters who have shared their time and experience, and the owners who blog their builds. I learn a lot here.

    That said, I have to admit I miss Martin's experience, and ability to fit issues into a comprehensive and logical understanding of building and building-science.

    Cheers to everyone - and good luck with your projects.

Log in or become a member to post a comment.



Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |