Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines he wrote a poem And he called it "Chops" because that was the name of his dog And that's what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and a gold star And his mother hung it on the kitchen door and read it to his aunts That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo And he let them sing on the bus And his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair And his mother and father kissed a lot And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X's and he had to ask his father what the X's meant And his father always tucked him in bed at night And was always there to do it Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem And he called it "Autumn" because that was the name of the season And that's what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of its new paint And the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars And left butts on the pews And sometimes they would burn holes That was the year his sister got glasses with thick lenses and black frames And the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go see Santa Claus And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot And his father never tucked him in bed at night And his father got mad when he cried for him to do it. Once on a paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem And he called it "Innocence: A Question" because that was the question about his girl And that's what it was all about And his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because he never showed her That was the year that Father Tracy died And he forgot how the end of the Apostle's Creed went And he caught his sister making out on the back porch And his mother and father never kissed or even talked And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup That made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway because that was the thing to do And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly That's why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem And he called it "Absolutely Nothing" Because that's what it was really all about And he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist And he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn't think he could reach the kitchen.
Dreams like a podcast, Downloading truth in my ears. They tell me cool stuff." "Apollo?" I guess, because I figured nobody else could make a haiku that bad. He put his finger to his lips. "I'm incognito. Call me Fred." "A god named Fred?
I cannot go to school today" Said little Peggy Ann McKay. "I have the measles and the mumps, A gash, a rash and purple bumps. My mouth is wet, my throat is dry. I'm going blind in my right eye. My tonsils are as big as rocks, I've counted sixteen chicken pox. And there's one more - that's seventeen, And don't you think my face looks green? My leg is cut, my eyes are blue, It might be the instamatic flu. I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke, I'm sure that my left leg is broke. My hip hurts when I move my chin, My belly button's caving in. My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained, My 'pendix pains each time it rains. My toes are cold, my toes are numb, I have a sliver in my thumb. My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, I hardly whisper when I speak. My tongue is filling up my mouth, I think my hair is falling out. My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight, My temperature is one-o-eight. My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear, There's a hole inside my ear. I have a hangnail, and my heart is ... What? What's that? What's that you say? You say today is .............. Saturday? G'bye, I'm going out to play!
If I should have a daughter…Instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B. Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say Oh, I know that like the back of my hand. She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried. And Baby, I’ll tell her don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him. But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it. I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, There’ll be days like this my momma said when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you, ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the wind in win some lose some, you will put the star in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life. And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. Baby, I’ll tell her remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more. Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
He stepped back and threw his arms out. "I'm always crazy around you Rose. Here, I'm going to write an impromptu poem for you." He tipped his head back and shouted to the sky: "Rose is in red But never in blue Sharp as a thorn Fights like one too.
Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Roads Go Ever On Roads go ever ever on, Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea; Over snow by winter sown, And through the merry flowers of June, Over grass and over stone, And under mountains in the moon. Roads go ever ever on, Under cloud and under star. Yet feet that wandering have gone Turn at last to home afar. Eyes that fire and sword have seen, And horror in the halls of stone Look at last on meadows green, And trees and hills they long have known. The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say. The Road goes ever on and on Out from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone. Let others follow, if they can! Let them a journey new begin. But I at last with weary feet Will turn towards the lighted inn, My evening-rest and sleep to meet.
I will not play at tug o' war. I'd rather play at hug o' war, Where everyone hugs Instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles And rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, And everyone grins, And everyone cuddles, And everyone wins.
When Great Trees Fall When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken. Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.
Magic Sandra’s seen a leprechaun, Eddie touched a troll, Laurie danced with witches once, Charlie found some goblins gold. Donald heard a mermaid sing, Susy spied an elf, But all the magic I have known I've had to make myself.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead, Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.
I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain - and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
[ The Old Astronomer to His Pupil ] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe , I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe , that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't sit still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest; Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest.
A Woman's Question Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing Ever made by the Hand above? A woman's heart, and a woman's life--- And a woman's wonderful love. Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing As a child might ask for a toy? Demanding what others have died to win, With a reckless dash of boy. You have written my lesson of duty out, Manlike, you have questioned me. Now stand at the bars of my woman's soul Until I shall question thee. You require your mutton shall always be hot, Your socks and your shirt be whole; I require your heart be true as God's stars And as pure as His heaven your soul. You require a cook for your mutton and beef, I require a far greater thing; A seamstress you're wanting for socks and shirts--- I look for a man and a king. A king for the beautiful realm called Home, And a man that his Maker, God, Shall look upon as He did on the first And say: "It is very good." I am fair and young, but the rose may fade From this soft young cheek one day; Will you love me then 'mid the falling leaves, As you did 'mong the blossoms of May? Is your heart an ocean so strong and true, I may launch my all on its tide? A loving woman finds heaven or hell On the day she is made a bride. I require all things that are grand and true, All things that a man should be; If you give this all, I would stake my life To be all you demand of me. If you cannot be this, a laundress and cook You can hire and little to pay; But a woman's heart and a woman's life Are not to be won that way.
True story This morning I jumped on my horse And went for a ride, And some wild outlaws chased me And shot me in the side. So I crawled into a wildcats cave To find a place to hide But some pirates found me sleeping there And soon they had me tied To a pole and built a fire Under me---I almost cried Till a mermaid came and cut me loose And begged to be my bride So I said id come back Wednesday But I must admit I lied. Then I ran into a jungle swamp But I forgot my guide And I stepped into some quicksand And no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get out, until I met A watersnake named Clyde Who pulled me to some cannibals Who planned to have me fried But an eagle came and swooped me up And through the air we flied But he dropped me in a boiling lake A thousand miles wide And you’ll never guess what I did then--- I DIED
I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.
Nobody really knows her Except the chosen few Her secrets are kept hidden Behind that sun-kissed hue. If I reach out to touch her She’ll just run away My Forever and Always Will have to wait another day.
Journey’s end In western lands beneath the Sun The flowers may rise in Spring, The trees may bud, the waters run, The merry finches sing. Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night, And swaying branches bear The Elven-stars as jewels white Amid their branching hair. Though here at journey's end I lie In darkness buried deep, Beyond all towers strong and high, Beyond all mountains steep, Above all shadows rides the Sun And Stars for ever dwell: I will not say the Day is done, Nor bid the Stars farewell.J.
My child, I know you're not a child But I still see you running wild Between those flowering trees. Your sparkling dreams, your silver laugh Your wishes to the stars above Are just my memories. And in your eyes the ocean And in your eyes the sea The waters frozen over With your longing to be free. Yesterday you'd awoken To a world incredibly old. This is the age you are broken Or turned into gold. You had to kill this child, I know. To break the arrows and the bow To shed your skin and change. The trees are flowering no more There's blood upon the tiles floor This place is dark and strange. I see you standing in the storm Holding the curse of youth Each of you with your story Each of you with your truth. Some words will never be spoken Some stories will never be told. This is the age you are broken Or turned into gold. I didn't say the world was good. I hoped by now you understood Why I could never lie. I didn't promise you a thing. Don't ask my wintervoice for spring Just spread your wings and fly. Though in the hidden garden Down by the green green lane The plant of love grows next to The tree of hate and pain. So take my tears as a token. They'll keep you warm in the cold. This is the age you are broken Or turned into gold. You've lived too long among us To leave without a trace You've lived too short to understand A thing about this place. Some of you just sit there smoking And some are already sold. This is the age you are broken Or turned into gold. This is the age you are broken or turned into gold.
While I was looking the other way your fire went out Left me with cinders to kick into dust What a waste of the wonder you were In my living fire I will keep your scorn and mine In my living fire I will keep your heartache and mine At the disgrace of a waste of a life