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Children Poetry Page 1

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All poems © 1995 Blake Steele
May be copied and used freely.
Please identify author as is normal.
For publication rights please contact author.

All Paintings © 2003 Blake Steele

 

                     


                       I'LL TIP AND I'LL TOE BEFORE I GO

                   

                                Tip toe, tip toe,

                             here I go, here I go,

                                my foot I trace

                                 in that place

                               where shadows lie

                                   under sky.

                                Tip toe, tip toe

                             here I go, here I go,

                               the shooting grass

                                parts as I pass.

                                 Up on one toe

                                    now I go,

                               tip toe, tip toe.

                              Won't step on light

                            won't touch the bright,

                                until I'm ready

                                I'll stay steady

                                 in the shadows

                                 of the leaves

                             neath these brilliant

                                  maple trees.

                                Tipping, toeing,

                                tipping toeing,

                                 now I'm ready

                                  to be going,

                                 now I'm ready,

                                steady, steady,

                             running in the light,

                        cart wheeling though the bright;

                               jumping, twirling,

                               dancing, skipping,

                            through the shiny fields

                                  I'm leaping,

                                   on the way, ,

                                 till at last I say...

                                   I'm home!

 

                           

 

                      A BOY, A BOY OF LIGHTNING FEET

 

                      A boy, a boy of lightning feet

                      fell down upon a mountain sweet

                      all made of chocolate and ices,

                      where trees were made of candied spices.

                      He fell as all the birds flew up

                      to drop their candies in a cup

                      for it was nearly half past three

                      and time for bears to take their tea.

                      Bird candies are the favorite fare

                      of bears who roam the forests where

                      that boy, that boy of lightning feet

                      fell down upon the mountain sweet.

 

                      And so the bears and birds and boy

                      then nibbled candies in their joy

                      and rollicked round a honeyed lake

                      on meadows of an ice cream cake;

                      for bears and birds and boys all know

                      that good does often come to grow

                      from accidents and other bad

                      that might make many grownups sad:

                      like when that boy of lightning feet

                      fell down upon the mountain sweet.

 

                        

                          
                       (Listen to the audio here... Tweety)

                                  A BIRD SINGS

 

                                  A bird sings

                            assured that it's a bird:

                            to fly, to sing, to sit,

                                   to flit,

                            to get down in the grass

                               and pick and peck

                               and turn its neck

                               and flick its wing

                                and skip and hop

                                and bip and bop,

                               then once more be

                                  up in a tree

                                to sit and sing

                               and flick its wing,

                               so solidly assured

                                that it's a bird.

 

                         

                            
                                   (A Sun Song for You)

                          SUN SONG SUN SONG SON SONG TOO

 

                          Great dancing gold glit sun,

                          lit of the saucy sky,

                          by thinking light illimitable

                          you spangle, sparkle by;

                          and who should know the other known

                          and darkly dancing way

                          if not for sun's irascible, yet

                          Christly crest of day.

                          So when the moon in madness mourns

                          and makes me miss the more,

                          I savor in the midst of me

                          that golden glit of store:

                          until sharp shadows prancing bold

                          upon the starry dome,

                          dissolve in amber ecstasies

                          and fiery tides of foam.

                         

                           

                       
                          (Listen to the Crinkly Man)

                      I MET AN OLD AND CRINKLY MAN

 

                      One moist and misty morning,

                      when clammy was the weather,

                      I met an old and crinkly man

                      dressed in silk and leather.

 

                      His eyes were blue as summer sky,

                      they sparkled like a star,

                      I said hello and so did he

                      and then he said, "Au revoir."

 

                      "Au revoir?" I asked, what could that mean?

                      for I was only three,

                      and so was not a traveled man

                      who'd crossed the distant sea.

 

                      "Au revoir my little bumpkin lad,"

                      the old man said and smiled,

                      he danced about just like a bird,

                      he seemed a little child.

 

                      He winked and all the stars shone out

                      that lived within his eyes,

                      the moisty, misty morning cracked

                      and sunlight filled the skies.

 

                      Then I went running to my house

                      and laughing jumped in bed

                      and singing like a little bird

                      I pondered what he'd said.

 

                      "Au revoir, au revoir," the old man cried

                      to moist and clammy weather;

                      I felt the sunshine of the sky

                      had come through silk and leather.

 

                      But I was but a milk-fed lad

                      a blank slate boy of three,

                      so after it was supper time

                      I climbed on Daddy's knee.

 

                      "Papa, Papa, sing to me

                      about the stars and sun

                      and how the world has come to be

                      and of what is it spun?"

                     

                      And so my daddy smiled at me

                      and with a happy look

                      he opened up my heart and soul

                      with a holy, ancient book.

 

                      And when he sang of stars and skies

                      and how it all began,

                      it's then I knew with certainty

                      that old and crinkly man.

                     

                                 *

 

                      Even now, when days are moist

                      with mist and clammy weather,

                      I say, "Au revoir," and see the sun

                      shine through silk and leather.

                   AND JUST WHAT SHALL THE OYSTER MAKE
                         IF SAND SHOULD MAKE IT CRY?

     

                      What if God made hairy bears

                      lay eggs just like a hen;

                      and what if God made honey bees

                      to wallow in a pen;

                      and what if God made herring fish

                      to take to open sky?

                      --then I would lie in an oyster bed

                      for my bed, says I.

 

                      And what if sheep all hunted prey,

                      then showed no mercy when

                      they picked their fearful eyes out

                      just like a pecking hen?

                      (There I've used the hen again).

                      And what if lions ate up straw

                      and snuffled like a mouse;

                      and what if zebra's dug their dens

                      right beneath your house;

                      and what if snakes sat in your lap

                      and snuggled in your bed?

                      (Perhaps we'd have more kitty lovers

                      comfortless and dead),

                      for if the kitty lovers

                      snuggled snakes, I'd moan and cry

                      --and I would lie in an oyster bed

                      for my bed, says I.

 

                      And what if God made little gnats

                      as big as elephants?

                      People might have pic a nics

                      but they'd do it only once!

                      And what if people gobbled down

                      green beetles in dead trees?

                      (I sure am glad,

                      though things are bad,

                      they could be worse you seeze);

                      and if a buzzard buzzed your house

                      like a pesky household fly

                      --than I would lie in an oyster bed

                      for my bed, says I.

 

                      And what if cows lived underground

                      in trenches like a mole?

                      you might have milk and mud besides

                      within your breakfast bowl;

                      and what if horses swam the sea

                      and surfaced like the whale,

                      how would you trot and gallop then

                      upon that watery trail?;

                      and if the fluffy bunny

                      had the cobra's evil eye

                      --than I would lie in an oyster bed

                      for my bed, says I.

 

                      And what if God made pied-bill grebe

                      hunt wolves beneath the moon;

                      and what if apes swam in the lakes

                      just like the arctic loon;

                      and what if polar bears were small

                      as mice upon the dock?

                      --than you might find a polar bear

                      hid down within your sock--

                      and what if little puppy's fur

                      were quills, who'd question why?

                      --but I would lie in an oyster bed

                      for my bed, says I!

 

                      ADDENDUM AUD MAGNATORIOUS

 

                      So glad I am that Great Love chose

                      to make things as they are,

                      yet odd enough that a man might choose

                      to sail beyond a star,

                      and dip his heart in molten gold

                      and swim within the sun,

                      and learn at last to laugh and praise

                      and love just everyone:

                      then over monstrous, loathsome things

                      he'll shed his tears and sigh

                      --and lay him down in an oyster bed

                      for his bed, says I.



                        


OUR CAT THAT ALWAYS ALLOWED ME
TO SPELL EVERYTHING WRONG

Listen to the Cat

Our cat that always allowed me to spell everything wrong,

sat upon my father's chair, listening closely to the air,

then suddenly sang me her song: about murflies

and little brown mups and dittles all in rows,

and scurry scumps and linckle dumps with pink and purple bows.

And fairy pips with burning lips and miniature mileys in glass,

and amber air where big cats stare at mice in the molls of the grass.

All fiery words that cat there heard she mewed into my ear,

so I wrote them down just like they sound without one bit of fear

of being told my spelling was turned all inside out,

(I know I spelled uniquely, and that without a doubt),

for a forswinkle skates on buttery plates under the light of the moon,

and who can know when a cat might glow with poems or a rune.

And if I cared for spelling I might have missed a line

of words that came unraveling like balls of woolen twine,

(with which our cat would often play when she had nothing left to say).

And often were the times, in the heated midst of rhymes,

that cat would glance at what I'd written and lick me like I was a kitten

just to let me know that words like: phosphodiferies

and gully warple scullyscows were special words,

were burning words, were words that cried for a child

to write them any which-a-way just to keep them free and wild!

*

Now, I'm old, and I've learned to spell a little bit, though you I'll tell

how I still remain quite sure that our musical cat who scorned all that

was not one half the fool, as those who dished up, like dead fish,

cold words to us in school!




THE DREADED BUGGYWASSELS


You must be careful, big people say,

of Buggywassels everyday.

Buggywassels, what can they be?

Do they look like rinosofferouses

are they smaller than a flea?

Well I have seen them, and I can tell

they’re scarry, warty, and they smell.

They often come from sewage drains,

but sometimes through aches and some times pains,

sometimes they drop out of a tree

and slip and slide through revelry.

And when they come then everything goes:

they’ll snitch your shoes and snitch your clothes,

and snitch money from your father’s banks

and take your pills and guns and tanks

and when you’re sure that’s quite enough

they’ll snitch away your other stuff.

And when they’ve snitched you night and day

and took your thinks and what you say

and snitched your gadgets, gears and goes

they’ll snitch these green things in your nose.

Oh me, oh my, what should we do?

This is prepondrous if its true.

I put the question on the net

and waited until I might get

some insight — but got only junk

that twenty thousand people thunk.

Until I got a message from

a tiny child who sucked her thumb:

her mother wrote it down for her

without a comma or a slur.

She was from an African tribal place

and sent this drawing of her face.



Buggywassels, she plainly wrote,

come like this drawing and this note.

They appeared two times last year

and stole my father’s chandelier,

and stole my momma’s credit cards

she used as wind chimes in the yard,

and stole my crying doll you see

with her controls and battery.

Then stole my TV and my games

and took my books of weights and names

and everything that they could find

except the pictures in my mind.

So that’s what’s left, but its enough,

I play with sticks and rocks and stuff

and make up worlds and draw and write

and dance in circles half the night.

So if those Buggywassels come

don’t shoo them out or make them run

just give them all your stuff and junk

that packs your mind with glop and gunk

and let them open up that place

of freedom that’s in empty space

for through it comes those songs that fly

through Earth and sea and stones and sky.

With that I took the junk I own

and piled it up outside our home

and drew a sign to show and say,

“This is a Wassel take away".

And now I write and sing and rhyme

and draw and paint most of the time,

then hug my momma and my dad

and say don’t worry or be sad

for if the Buggywassels come

having nothing much is fun.

Now they don’t get it, but when they do

they’ll have more time for me and you

and be happy to be free

to dream and write and dance like me.


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