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Proverbial Twists and Turns


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Of the proverbial twist and turn
There is so much we need to learn
A word to the wise; you know the rest
Think before you act is really the best

Where there’s life there’s hope
Yet he died at the end of a rope
Whom the gods love die young
So the weak out live the strong

Where there’s a will there’s a way
Now it’s a relative I hear them say
A coward lives to fight another day
Heroes fight and in the dust they lay

You can’t have your cake and eat it
Quitters seldom win winners never quit
Worrying never did anyone any good
Yet worrying lives in everyone’s blood

What can’t be cured must be endured
But some adore what they need to cure
Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
Why use the Bible to prop up a shelf?

When the cat’s away the mice will play
It is good sense to keep trouble at bay
What goes up must come down
A mouth that’s up produces a frown

Variety is the spice of life
A woman a day, recipe for strife
Waste not want not
A yearning for waste might be your lot

Two blacks don’t make a white
Two wrongs don’t make a right
Darkness can never create light
But light brings darkness to sight

Two is company, three’s a crowd
‘Tis better to speak the truth aloud
Too many cooks spoil the broth
Not enough cooks brings boss man’s wrath

To every thing there is a season
For every thing there is reason
What is the season for treason
And your reason for joining its legion?

Truth may be stranger than fiction
But lies eventually lead to friction
Truth often brings conviction
But lies accompany dereliction

Time is a great healer
Procrastination is a great stealer
Pretension is a great squealer
But the Bible is the great revealer

There’s none so deaf as those who will not hear
There’s none so dead as those who will not care
There’s none so blind as those who will not see
And for misleading people still they charge a fee

There’s no smoke without fire
There’s no employment without hire
There’s no such thing as a free lunch
Every man for himself in a crunch

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
Without straw you can’t make bricks
You are never too old to learn
Grasp the chance when it’s your turn

When in Rome do as the Romans do
Jews returning home so should you
When in China creativity is a must
Wherever you are you’d better adjust


Two heads are better than one
Night is darkest just before dawn
Be satisfied with your single head
Two heads you’re better off dead

Tomorrow never comes they say
Owe no man tomorrow pay today
Yesterday’s gone forever in the past
Today is limited; it just won’t last

There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip
And is often caused by a careless grip
More in the mortar than just the pestle
Many a suspicion with which we wrestle

It’s better to give than to receive
It’s worse to doubt than to believe
It’s better to care than have to retrieve
The worst of all is the intent to deceive

There’s no fool like an old fool
The young fool keeps his cool
Where ignorance is bliss ‘tis folly to be wise
The man who knows all is a fool in disguise

The husband is always last to know
The wife is the one who told him so
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world
That’s now in the hands of many a young girl

The fruit does not fall far from the tree
But the birds and the bees do have a spree
The leopard does not change his spots
But things in the distant appear as dots


The price of liberty is eternal vigilance
The cost of keeping it is constant diligence
Some lose it through repeated negligence
Lost of liberty is worse than indigence

Spare the rod and spoil the child
There’s more to gentle Jesus meek and mild
One man’s meat is another man’s poison
Keep sailing will never reach the horizon

Necessity is the mother of invention
Failure holds hands with good intention
Never give a sucker an even break
Never advantage of a sucker take

Marry in haste and repent at leisure
Honeymoon be a short lived pleasure
Always seeking an elusive treasure
But never took the correct measure

All that glitters is not gold
Look before you leap we are told
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
Sometimes the wind blows from the south

Let the dead bury the dead
So the living can live instead
For life is just what you make it
And the time there is is just a bit

Into every life a little rain must fall
Even new cars will sometimes stall
Hard work never did anyone any harm
Yet con-men live by dint of their charm


Good things come to those who wait
But those who wait are often late
Surely we need to get this one straight
One must work towards one’s fate

Everything comes to him who waits
Yet he who gets up is he who takes
Thin line between work and patience
Success comes via patient endurance

Many a true word is spoken in jest
And a bit of truth in every lie at best
A bit of lie contaminates all the rest
Nothing but the truth stands the test

Make hay while the sun shines
It’s then the lazy man reclines
Choosing to sleep the best of times
Never heeding the warning chimes

Man does not live by bread alone
Does not indulge in eating a stone
Can never for his own sin atone
Or reach the Lord on a telephone

It is easy to be wise after the event
Wised before should lead one to relent
For this outcome was never the intent
The best to be done after is to repent

In the kingdom of the blind the one eye man is king
In a nation full of seers it might be the same thing
Often much wisdom among them obscures the light
And the poor one eye man reveals simple insight

If a job is worth doing it is worth doing well
But to a poor worker this would never jell
For a bad workman always blames his tools
And what is sense to the wise is folly to fools

He who pays the piper calls the tune
He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon
He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword
But the best sword to live by is God’s Holy Word

Hindsight is twenty-twenty
History repeats itself a plenty
Honesty is the best policy
To ask, a good philosophy

Give credit where credit is due
A bad debt is no help to you
Flattery will get you nowhere
Won’t even know when you get there

Don’t wash you dirty linen in public
Especially if you are a public critic
Do as I say and not as I do
Suggests I am the fool, not you

A woman’s place is in the home
While the man continues to roam
A woman’s lot is being alone
She alone hears the children moan

Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Sometimes it develops another wonder
While away a new relationship deepens
While the previous progressively weakens

Charity begins at home
And love is like the ocean foam
It swells and grows and glows
When it reaches you everyone knows

Better safe than sorry
Sorry was driving the lorry
Sorrow didn’t change the fact
Since safety never entered the act

Ask no questions and hear no lies
Bees follow honey and so do flies
All is well that ends well
Though the end I cannot tell

A rolling stone gathers no moss
He who roams may incur great loss
A thing of beauty is a joy forever
So if you have it leave it never

All good things must come to an end
And this poem has reached the bend
A woman’s work is never done
And this man’s work is just begun

Brevity is the soul of wit
At this point I think I’ll quit
Criticize if you must, I know you will
But writing these lines was quite a thrill


Stewart Russell © 2013