In response to a letter we received from Harvey Hoffman, the general manager of our Bulle Rock HOA, which stated we were in violation of community rules.


We are law-abiding neighbors,

And do what we’re asked to do.

But the rules on garden décor

Are far too extreme in our view.


We received a letter scolding us -

We did something we should not.

We placed in the front of our house

An occasional errant flower pot.


Container gardening as I see it

Is hardly equivalent to

A pink flamingo or garden gnome,

Though I think those are okay too.


In a place where nearly every house

Looks almost identical to the eye

To someone walking down the street

Or simply to someone driving by,


Or to me who has been known

To approach the driveway in my car,

Wondering why the garage door won’t open.

Did I push the button from too afar?


Then I suddenly look to the right,

And to my surprise I find

Our neighbor’s garage door is open.

Why, I think that house is mine!

                                                                                                                                                                           Because Because we have small garages

With little extra space on the floor,

There is very little negotiating room,

Once two cars are inside the door


Yet, we’re required to keep our trash cans

Inside the garage where our cars dwell,

And in the heat of every summer,

It creates quite an unpleasant smell!


So maybe you can understand

Why there’s a flower pot near our stoop

Where we can deposit as we pass by

Our daily bags of doggy poop.


The other flower pots lie dormant

But will come to life in the spring,

Waking from their long winters’ nap,

Hues of vibrant colors to bring.


I know it’s hard to standardize

And to make one rule fit all,

So that fairness is universal,

And nothing’s left to judgment call.


But freedom of expression

We Americans hold very dear.

Why do we need to be so uniform?

What exactly do you fear?


Individual expression

Helps to  make one’s house one’s own.

Adding a personal touch

Turns a house into a home.


“Stepfordizing” neighborhoods

Lacks character and appeal.

Would allowing more flexibility

Really be such a terrible deal?


Purple houses or pink flamingos -

Perhaps that could be understood,

But flower pots -  a violation?

How is that for the greater good?



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John March 01, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Steve, if you are going to insult the city you so willingly moved to, please learn to spell it correctly. Bulle Rock CHOSE to keep their gates up, so they forfeited city services. You are certainly free to leave this backwards city.
Steve Oleszczuk March 03, 2013 at 03:05 PM
John what would even be better if Bulle Rock, unannexed its self. Leaving the city without all that tax revenue that the get for NOTHING!!!!!!!!
George Helm March 03, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Lived in Houston for 15 years and had to come to Md. because of a job transfer. Houston and Texas has it all over Maryland hands down!
Kelly Laubner March 03, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Pennye, I also wanted to say that I loved the choice of voicing your opinion in poetry.
Pennye Perez March 03, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Thanks, Kelly. It was an attempt on my part to infuse a little humor into an expression of frustration.


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