The Long Night

Last night I put my dollies

in bed to sleep with me

and lined them up, all ten of them,

as straight as they could be.

I covered them with blankets

so they would not be cold,

and said to them, “Now say your prayers.”

They did as they were told.

I slowly crawled into my bed

and got beneath my quilt,

and then I tried to go to sleep

but soon was filled with guilt.

For Alice was the doll who lay

the farthest from my side,

so would she think she wasn’t loved?

“Oh dear!” I softly cried.

So I got up and carefully

I rearranged us all.

Now I was in the middle —

then I heard Samatha fall.

For she’d been on the outside

and rolled right off the bed

and so I had to get back up

and bandage her poor head.

Throughout the night I had to keep

arranging all my dolls

because they all kept poking me

or taking nasty falls.

My dolls, today, are mad at me

and think that I’m not fair

for saying now I’ll only sleep

with Fred, my teddy bear!

Shiny Head

My grandpa has a shiny head

because he has no hair.

My mother says he lost it,

and I just wonder where?

And so last week at grandpa’s,

I thought I’d look around.

I knew my gramps would like it,

if his lost hair — I found!

I searched inside his dresser

and rooted through his socks,

and in his bedroom closet,

I looked inside a box.

I climbed into the attic

and found no hair — just dust!

I searched in every cupboard

until I thought I’d bust!

Where Grandpa lost his own hair,

I really have no clue,

but just so I won’t lose mine,

I filled my hair with glue!

The Spitball

I shot a spitball at my friend

who sits three rows from me.

I shot it through a hollow pen

as straight as it could be.

Then happened a most awful thing

I sure did not intend.

That spitball flew another place

and didn’t go near my friend.

It hit my teacher, Mrs. Bell,

and stuck right to her nose!

Now, you can just imagine how

the whole darn class just froze.

My heart was pounding in my chest —

my hands began to sweat.

That spitball was a huge mistake

and filled me with regret.

What happened next was really strange

and still gives me a chill.

Mrs. Bell just stared at me

which made me feel quite ill.

I braced myself for what I thought

would be a dreadful shout.

I braced myself cause I was sure

the woman would shriek, “Out!”

Instead, she smiled and softly said,

“How much is three plus two?”

I was so stunned, I simply said,

“I haven’t got a clue.”

It’s been a whole entire month

since that fateful day,

and I expect you won’t believe

the next thing that I say.

That spitball still clings to her nose;

she doesn’t seem aware,

and just today, I noticed that

her spitball’s grown a hair!

Running Away

My mom asked me to clean my room

and I just said, “No way!”

I got so mad I packed a bag —

I thought I’d run away.

So here I am with bag in hand

a block from my front lawn.

I packed a book and Ted, my bear,

and my mom knows I’m gone.

I told her I was leaving home.

She said, “I’ll miss you, Jack.”

I told her I was sick of home

and that I won’t be back.

She said she’d leave the door unlocked

in case I change my mind.

I told her not to look for me

cause me, she’d never find!

She said, “I guess you’ve made your choice.

I guess this is good-bye.”

But what surprised me most of all is —

she didn’t even cry!

I slammed the door when I left home

cause that sure makes her mad,

but now that I’m a block from home,

I just feel kind of sad.

The trouble is I’m scared of dogs;

I’m scared of big kids too,

and some of them I’m sure to meet

and then — what will I do?

I wish that I had thought of this

before I ran away,

cause if I go back to my house,

I’m not sure what to say.

There’s no doubt I’ll feel stupid!

I know I’ve acted mean,

so I suppose I’ll have to say

that now — my room I’ll clean!

Hide ‘n Seek

I’ve found the perfect hiding place

behind this open gate.

We’re playing Hide ‘n Seek right now,

a game, I think, is great.

Tom’s discovered everyone,

that is — except for me,

and from here I can plainly view

Tom staring up a tree.

Now I see him peek inside

the big old garbage can

that’s right beside the one in which

he found my best friend, Dan.

He’s on his hands and knees right now

to look beneath some cars

which is the way I saw him find

my stupid brother, Lars.

Tommy really is confused —

he hasn’t got a clue.

He sort of looks like he might cry

and wonders what to do.

Yet I know Tom — he won’t give up!

He’ll search for me til dinner.

If he would only give up soon,

then I would be the winner.

Because I have a problem now,

a winner I won’t be

for I will soon reveal myself

when I run home to pee!

The Thoughtless Writer’s Sentence

A sentence lost its period and therefore couldn’t end.

He worried ‘bout connection to thoughts that didn’t blend.

He wanted his coherence; he wanted back his dot,

and wondered if indeed there’d been a period-napping plot.

Desperate to find answers, he called up his old friends.

First he called dear Question Mark who questioned without end.

“Who?”and“What?”and“Where?”and“Why?” were all his pal would say,

just questions but no answers, so soon he said, “Good-day.”

He then called Exclamation Mark to find out any news,

but this became a great mistake as this mark blew a fuse.

He screamed and yelled and hollered lots and acted like a bomb,

so Sentence then remembered, his friend was never calm.

Next he called Quotation Marks, who live right on his block;

as always they were full of news and quoting all the talk.

They gossiped till he thought he’d scream, as what they did repeat

told nothing of the missing dot that made him feel complete.

Now Semi-colon was concerned about the clause’s woe

and worried that his own dear dot might someday up and go.

He hadn’t seen the missing mark, but offered Sentence this —

to join him to another clause so dot he wouldn’t miss.

Parentheses too did their best and offered special aid,

to wrap themselves ‘round Sentence, whose status then would fade.

Yet Sentence had an ego, Parentheses couldn’t feed;

with them he’d be an extra – he wanted to play lead!

The desperate clause a mad thought had so Ellipses he soon phoned.

He asked the trio for one dot; in answer, they just groaned.

“We’d never work again, you know; a threesome we must be.

Omitting is our passion, but not one dot from three.”

It’s sad to say this story’s end is not a happy one,

as right into another clause, the dotless clause did run.

From that day on all sense was lost as wording sounded crazy.

People read, but no one knew, for thoughts, at best, were hazy.

So don’t forget your periods to show where thoughts do end.

Yes, punctuation is to words their very dearest friend.

Without these marks amongst the words, sense will surely fail,

and nonsense is the sentence in the thoughtless writer’s jail.

Baking Cookies

I’m making some cookies while Mom’s at the show.

I’m making them perfectly round with this dough.

My dad is asleep and when he comes to life,

I’m sure that he’ll tell me I’ll make a good wife.

I used all the flour and sugar and peas

and tossed in some pickles and even some cheese.

I poured in molasses and pitched in some jam,

and after, decided to throw in some ham.

And now I’m excited just watching them bake.

They’re sure puffing up — and they’re starting to shake!

Oh dear! What’s the matter? Now what will I do?

They’re just like volcanoes — and spitting out goo!

I really can’t stand this! It just isn’t right!

These cookie volcanoes are really a sight!

There’s no doubt about it — my mom will be mad,

but the one in most trouble, I’ll bet, is my dad.

Flying

Jane took her cat up on the roof

to teach him how to fly.

She grabbed his tail, swung him around,

and launched him in the sky.

He flew up high above the clouds;

he flew right past a plane.

He did some loops and fancy stunts

which made the birds complain.

And still today he flies around

up in the sky so grand,

for one thing Jane forgot to do —

was teach him how to land!

Booting

There was a boy whose name was Tim;

his temper got the best of him.

He got mad once and stamped his shoe,

and nasty words around him flew.

He shocked his mother and his dad;

they wondered if their boy was bad.

The child then ran around to kick

whatever thing his foot would pick.

He booted pillows in the air!

He booted pots and underwear!

He booted chairs across the room!

He booted his poor mother’s broom!

He booted dishes off the shelf!

He even booted at himself!

To go outside and boot some more,

he booted through the old back door!

A sleeping bulldog he soon spied,

and crept up to the bulldog’s side.

Then little Timmy soon found out —

some things you cannot boot about.

“Other Thing” #1

This is Sonny in 2017. Fortunately, he has found other interests in 2020.

It feels odd to be posting something other than a poem today, but I wanted to let you know that I will be getting into a regular schedule of posting poems on Tuesdays and Fridays. In my first week of blogging, I wanted to post several poems so that you would get an idea of what to expect, more or less. This, as the title indicates, is my first “other thing” post. Like you, I’ve been mourning the loss of our “old lives”.

The surreality of the world right now has been having a profound impact on us all, and that point was driven home Friday morning more than ever when I went to Costco. I had expected that the many people who are always waiting outside for the 9 AM store opening would be in the warehouse already, and at 9:10, when I arrived, I would simply sail into the store and get my shopping done. Well, it didn’t go quite that way.

Much to my horror, what greeted me was a long line of people curling around the side of the building. The line-up then snaked up and down three long rows, created by various barriers, before it got to the entrance. It was a bitterly cold April morning, and I hadn’t even taken gloves and a scarf because I had expected just to zip into the store. The line moved quite well for most of the way, but then it stopped when I was right in view of the entrance. The Costco people were only letting a certain number of customers into the store at a time, making sure that crowding didn’t occur in the warehouse which naturally would have made it more difficult for people to maintain a healthy distance from one another. That meant the next group had to wait outside until several of those people had gotten their groceries and left the store. Time slows down, it seems, when you’re waiting for anything, and the colder the wait, the slower time passes.

When I finally got into the place, I was beyond thrilled, and when I got to the huge display of toilet paper, I was ecstatic. The last time I had been in Costco, I had witnessed massive hoarding by, what I considered to be, wildly selfish people. The scene was reminiscent of those videos you see of people in stores on Black Friday fighting over smart TVs at rock bottom prices — but — but this was toilet paper! I had managed to get one big package and left the ugly mob feeling morally superior to them because I had only taken one. I also wondered if these idiots were under the impression that Covid 19 was an intestinal bug. Obviously, Costco had learned from the hoarders, and now people were only being allowed to take one big package at a time. There was even a Costco employee guarding the display. Civility had returned to Costco.

Why I was feeling particularly happy about the resurrection of “old world” behaviour was because I had actually thought about the toilet paper situation several times since my last outing at Costco. (I think I must have been mildly traumatized by my experience there.) I was well-stocked, but I had visions of not being able to find any toilet paper when I needed to get more, and quite frankly, it kind of worried me. I don’t normally worry about toilet paper. Never have. Never expected to. At times, I found myself trying to reason what I’d do if I were to actually run out of toilet paper, and I thought that maybe pulling the layers of Kleenex tissues apart would possibly be a solution. I have a nice stash of Kleenex. Beyond that, I had no solutions.

I suspect the reason that toilet paper has become such an obsession for so many people, including me to some extent, is because our lives feel so out of control. We don’t know what’s going to happen to our families and friends, nor do we know what’s going to happen to the economy. We don’t know how long we’re going to have to live in our homes, seldom going out, and worst of all, even the experts admit they don’t know. However, if we are well-stocked with toilet paper, we have, at least, one important aspect of our lives still under control. It’s just a theory, of course, but I want to rationalize my somewhat irrational interest in the whole subject.

I look forward to the day when I’m unconcerned about standing within six feet of other people and the availability of toilet paper. What I do know is that the most difficult periods of my life have always led me to positive changes in either myself, my environment, or my situation — sometimes all three. Until then, just remember, the limit is one package!