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  • John M. Campbell

A Bit of Tomfoolery

Tom Dunbar was a venerable engineer and analyst who supported the global communication system we maintained for the Navy. On our weekly teleconferences with the customer, his sonorous voice was immediately recognizable. In responding to the roll call, his "I'm here" reminded us of Winnie the Pooh's donkey friend, Eeyore. He was an avid amateur radio enthusiast, as well as a member of the Association of Old Crows. I wrote this poem as he was returning to Sunnyvale, California, where much of the company's signal processing expertise resided.


A Bit of Tomfoolery


With a curly white beard down his chin,

Bushy eyebrows, a mischievous grin,

And a belly between his suspenders,

In a garden he’d be right at home

Set among the petunias and pansies

At your house on the lawn as a gnome.


On the phone he reminds you of Eeyore.

With a voice that sounds sad as can be, or

It could be that he’s Sleepy or Grumpy

From arriving at five in the morn,

Or gone Dopey from surfing the network,

Up too late busy downloading porn.


But more likely he’s dialing the tuner,

And in touch with an unseen ballooner

Drifting over the moonlit sequoias

Steering clear of the dangerous flow

Of the storms full of lightning and thunder

With the help of this funny Old Crow.


Now he leaves to return to his roots,

Back to join the old Sunnyvale coots.

But at home he’ll be manning his short wave,

And on nights when the air’s crystal clear,

When he’s bouncing his beam past the Rockies,

You can catch his distinctive, “I’m here.”



With fond best wishes,


John M. Campbell

17 July 2003


Click here for my previous poem, Rhymes with Hopke

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