No Return

Derek brought a yo-yo

and thought it would be great.

Doing lots of yo-yo tricks,

he felt sure was his fate.

But Derek’s brand new yo-yo

didn’t want to play

and wouldn’t roll back up the string —

there simply was no way!

Still, Derek tried to make it work

till finally he did learn

that nothing he could ever do

would make that thing return.

His yo-yo made him angry

since it would only hang,

and so he threw it in the trash

and bought a boomerang!

The Lesson of the Hula-hoop

Sandy had a hula-hoop

and all she did each day

was stand around and hula-hoop,

her only form of play.

The trouble was the silly girl

went to the extreme.

She hula-hooped so very much,

she make her mother scream!

“SANDY, PUT THAT THING AWAY!

YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR ROOM!

GIVE ME THAT DARN HULA-HOOP

AND THEN JUST GRAB THE BROOM!”

But Sandy just ignored her mom

and hula-hooped some more,

so her father got involved

and yelled, “YOU HAVE A CHORE!”

But Sandy just ignored her dad

and hula-hooped with glee,

and Sandy acting like a brat

is what someone did see.

Mrs. Jones lived down the block

and knew her neighbours well,

but what her neighbours didn’t know

is she could cast a spell.

She was, in fact, a kindly witch

who thought that children should

just do what their parents said

in order to be good.

Her spell made Sandy’s hula-hoop

drop right to the ground,

and suddenly, that hula-hoop

was no longer round!

The hula-hoop was now a square

and was no longer fun,

and Sandy’s hula-hooping days

were very clearly done.

Yes, children need to do the chores

that their parents say,

and if they do, I’m certain that

they’ll also get to play.

Math’s No Fun

My teacher is the strangest one

cause she says math is really fun.

She smiles when adding on the board

just like each number is adored.

In lots of ways, I think it’s sad

her sense of fun is just so bad.

Three plus three and eight plus eight

are no fun —I’d sooner skate.

I’d sooner play some basketball.

I’d sooner walk around a mall.

I’d sooner watch a TV show.

I’d sooner play outside in snow.

I’d sooner never have to add.

Subtraction makes me just feel bad.

Division is the worst thing yet,

and multiplying — I don’t get!

“To each his own,” my mother said,

but still math makes me scratch my head.

I’m sure most people think like me;

“Math’s no fun,” they would agree.

Possibly, my teacher’s not

as crazy as I’ve maybe thought.

About this, I suspect I’m right.

She’s said she bowls on Friday night.

Possibilities

Some things are just impossible

and make me want to cry

because I cannot do those things

no matter how I try.

For example, yesterday,

my arms I flapped and flapped

but could not lift up from the ground

like birds — so I felt trapped!

Then I thought I’d dig a den

and live just like a bear,

but Mom said, “Nope! Forget it!”

which I didn’t think was fair.

I told my mom that I was sad

bout things I couldn’t do,

and then she smiled and softly said,

“I’ve just the thing for you.”

She left the room and soon returned,

then handed me a list

of lots of possibilities

I wanted to resist.

I did not want to dust my room

nor brush our lazy cat.

I did not want to have a bath

nor phone my aunt to chat.

I did not want to help Mom weed

or even pick the peas.

I did not want to bath the dog

nor search for my lost keys.

What I have learned is don’t complain!

Relax and just stay calm,

cause you won’t like what’s possible,

according to your mom.

The Day After Groundhog’s Day

It’s February third today,

and in my den I plan to stay.

I’m scared to venture out my door!

My poor, old nerves can stand no more!

On the second, yesterday,

I thought I’d go outside and play,

so from my den I happily walked —

the scene before me left me shocked!

Fifty cameras, maybe more,

flashed as I walked out my door.

“He sees his shadow!” were the cries!

I just saw spots before my eyes.

Now spots are gone, the people too!

T’was awful what they put me through!

The folks round here are dumb as rocks,

cause I’m no groundhog — I’m a fox!

This poem was originally posted February 2021, and I have a feeling you’ll see it a year from now!

Class Discussions

Teacher made us read a book

that I thought was a bore,

so reading every single page

was nothing but a chore.

The characters were really dumb.

In fact, there were three bears,

and a girl named Goldilocks

who sat in all their chairs.

She ate some of their porridge

and slept in Baby’s bed,

and when the bears discovered her,

I thought that she’d be dead.

But no — that girl escaped those bears

which made no sense to me,

cause how could one blonde little girl

outrun the bears — all three?

Lots of kids agreed with me

and said it couldn’t be done.

In fact, our class discussion

was really lots of fun.

Our teacher kept on asking us

to back up what we thought.

She said, “Give me your logic”,

and logic’s what she got.

We said that Goldilocks, in truth,

was sure a little brat.

Teacher said, “Then back it up.

Explain why you think that.”

And as we talked and gave our proof

for judgements that was had,

our teacher smiled and nodded

and just looked really glad.

I’d thought she’d be insulted

cause I didn’t like her book,

but that, for sure, was not the case,

judging by her look.

So now I love to read her books

and think of what I’ll say,

cause talking bout those books we read

almost feels like play.

Poor Sammy

My turtle died just yesterday,

which really made me cry.

I could not understand why God

would make my turtle die.

My mom told me poor Sammy

would be happier in Heaven,

and so we held a funeral

around the hour of seven.

Three kids arrived with flowers

and that sure did make me glad.

It all was so exciting

that I wasn’t quite so sad.

We placed Sam in a jewelry box,

surrounded by some cotton.

We sang a hymn and said that Sam

would never be forgotten.

We dug a hole six inches deep

and put the box inside,

replaced the dirt, and sang again,

then everybody cried.

Now today my folks are trying

to really cheer me up.

The time is right, I do believe,

to ask them for a pup.

This was first published in 2001, in my children’s poetry book, The New Toe: Poems To Tickle Your Funnybone

My Meal

I wish that I could shop for food —

that really would be grand,

because I’d simply pass right by

the food that I can’t stand.

Carrots, broccoli, turnips, beets

would not come through our door,

and neither would those Brussel sprouts

I really do abhor!

White fish, blue fish, yucky cod,

again I’d never chew,

nor would I have to eat a meal

of smelly old beef stew.

Celery I’d never eat,

no, it would not be seen.

In fact, no food I’d ever buy

would be the colour green.

Instead my meals would be superb!

I’d serve the best food yet —

instead of salad — chocolate bars!

My meals you’d not forget.

Popsicles instead of milk,

potato chips galore!

Of course, ice cream would heap the plate,

and you could ask for more.

You bet I would serve soda pop

in the biggest cup,

and after this delicious meal,

Mom says we’d all throw up!

Worries

My mom says I’m a worry wart.

I worry through the days.

I worry bout the strangest things —

my mom says it’s a phase.

I worry that the dog next door

won’t like me anymore.

I worry that my hockey team

won’t ever make a score.

I worry that the frosted flakes

next morning won’t appear.

I worry that the picture on our TV

won’t be clear.

I worry that the snow won’t fall

or that the moon won’t glow.

I worry that the ice won’t melt

or that the trees won’t grow.

The item on my list of worries

at the very top,

is that my stupid worrying

is something I won’t stop!

My New Year’s Resolutions

My New Year’s Resolutions,

are right here on this list,

and judging by the number,

there’s nothing that I’ve missed.

I’ve said I’ll walk the dog each day

and pick up all his poo.

I’ve vowed I’ll get my homework done

and even study too.

I’ve promised I’ll no longer tease

my little brother, Jake.

I’ve stated I will shovel snow

and grass and leaves, I’ll rake.

I’ve said I’ll make my bed each day

and keep my bedroom neat,

and with that final promise,

my list is sure complete.

So now I sit and watch the clock;

my New Year’s list is done,

but acting like “an angel” means

that next year won’t be fun.

This was first posted December 31, 2020.