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!


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.

Other Things #27 – The Christmas Tree That Changed My life

One December night, when my son was just over a year old, I went to Woodwards at the Chinook Centre in Calgary to buy an artificial Christmas tree that was on sale. I had decided that it would be a good idea to raise Jeffrey with an artificial tree as it would be much easier than dealing with a live tree each year. I bought the tree, and pushed a shopping cart with the cumbersome box out to my car in the parking lot.

Once at my car, my struggle began. I had a four-door sedan, and I was determined to get the tree into the car. The box that the tree came in had different plans, and the fight was on. Unbeknownst to me, a woman was pushing a cart out to her vehicle, and she was watching as I wrestled with the box. She could tell there was no way the box was going to fit, and on her way over to tell me, she realized who I was.

Laurie had been a friend since the time I was 11 or 12, although she was actually considered my older sister’s friend. She had gotten married and begun a family years before I did, and she had moved to a different part of the city. Because of the distance, and the fact that our lives were then so different, she and I had drifted apart, and we seldom saw each other. Years before, my entire family had always enjoyed seeing Laurie, and my father, who was a wonderful judge of character once said, with great approval in his voice, “That Laurie’s somebody else again.”

That night in the dark parking lot, it just so happened that Laurie was driving a station wagon, and we loaded the tree into it. She then followed me back to the house I was living in at the time, and we realized that we were now located about seven minutes apart. We sat and had tea that night and made plans to see each other again.

From that point on, Laurie and I got together regularly, and the next year, she was seeing me through one of the darkest chapters in my life because my marriage was falling apart. Through the years of single-motherhood, I was able to look forward to Friday nights because Laurie, her kids, Jeffrey, and I would go to McDonald’s together. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were at Laurie’s, and my mother was there with us as my father had died the year before Jeff was born.

Five years after my marriage ended, Laurie introduced me to Nathan, the man she thought I really needed to meet, and then about two and a half years later, we were married in her family’s living room.

When my mother moved to a seniors’ lodge, Laurie helped me deal with packing up my parents’ home, and 25 years ago, when Nathan and I moved into the house we still live in — which is only three blocks from Laurie’s — she and her family put in hours and hours helping with the packing, unpacking, and wall-washing.

A few nights ago, we were at Laurie’s for Christmas dinner and had a wonderful time and fantastic meal. When we aren’t there, then dinner is at our house, and the two families have spent close to 30 Christmas dinners together.

Laurie has been my support through every major and minor crisis in my life since we loaded the Christmas tree into her station wagon that night. Nathan calls her his ”Guardian Angel”, and many times through the years, he too has sought her advice because she understands people and is full of common sense, wisdom, and kindness.

There is no question that life would be much different for Nathan, Jeffrey, and me had a Christmas tree inside a box fit into a four-door sedan.

The Christmas Pig

A mean old woman bought a pig

cause pork she liked to eat.

She planned to fatten up the hog

and named the poor pig “Pete”.

Now Pete was not a stupid beast —

he knew what she had planned,

and starring on a menu was

just more than he could stand!

Pete’s pen was right beside her house;

its drainpipe stretched right down,

and each night Pete would dream about

pork baked a golden brown.

Since Christmas Eve was coming soon,

a great escape Pete planned.

He’d climb the drainpipe to the roof

where Santa then would land.

Finally, Christmas Eve arrived;

Pete shimmied to his fate.

He hid behind the chimney praying

Santa wouldn’t be late.

At last, the poor pig heard the sound

of sleigh bells in the sky.

He spotted Rudoph’s shining nose

and watched the reindeer fly.

They landed right beside the pig

who grunted with delight

and greeted Santa with a hug,

then told him of his plight.

Soon Pete clung on to Dancer’s back

and flew through clouds so murky.

All the while, he thanked the stars

that he was not a turkey.

This was first posted in December 2020.


Last night I just couldn’t get to sleep.

I tossed and turned all night,

cause Santa Claus is coming soon,

which fills me with great fright.

You see, I’ve done some things this year

that now — I sure regret,

and thinking of those things I’ve done

is making me now fret.

I think I’ll write to Santa Claus

and tell him I feel sad

about the rotten things I’ve done

which I know now were bad.

I shouldn’t have said that certain word!

I shouldn’t have tripped those kids!

I shouldn’t have wrecked Mom’s dinner

loos’ning salt and pepper lids.

I shouldn’t have hidden in the shed

to scare my dad and mom,

and putting worms in Ashley’s shoes

was nothing short of dumb.

I shouldn’t have brought my frog to church!

I shouldn’t have set him free!

I shouldn’t have laughed when Freddy

hopped upon that lady’s knee!

I’ll tell St. Nick I’m changing.

I’ll do things folks will like.

I’ll tell him it’s a promise IF —

he’ll just bring me that bike!

This poem was first posted in April 2020.

The Riot at the North Pole

The elves were working overtime

and all were getting tense,

and that’s the reason all of them

just seemed to lose all sense.

It’s hard to say what lit the spark

that made the elves explode,

but all lost tempers, all at once,

and angry words just flowed.

Tim called Bob a little jerk,

and Bob called Tim a twit.

Jimmy got so furious,

he threw a great big fit.

Mary Beth began to cry,

and then yanked Sally’s hair.

Sally screamed so loudly that

she gave the elves a scare.

Willy grabbed a can of paint

and dumped it on a head,

and cause he’d done a terrible thing,

he then was filled with dread.

All the elves were yelling lots,

and toys were flung about,

along with chocolate cookies —

then came a mighty shout!

“Stop you elves! You’ve lost your minds!

Just look around this shop!

All your work will soon be lost!

The fighting must now stop!”

The voice belonged to Santa Claus

who was indeed so sad

to see the elves behave this way

for elves were seldom mad.

Suddenly, the elves just stopped

and looked around the room.

The shop was a disaster

and filled them all with gloom.

“I’m sorry,” said the biggest elf,

and hung his head in shame.

Soon all the elves said sorry too

cause they all shared the blame.

They then began to hug and cry

while Santa stood and smiled,

and once they’d cleaned up all the shop,

then off to bed they filed.

Don’t work too hard at Christmastime —

remember what is best.

Give all the hugs and smiles you can,

and people will feel blessed.

The Christmas Concert

The Christmas concert sure was fun

though Miss Blake’s still upset.

Because so many things went wrong,

she’s not recovered yet.

The truth is Clarence is a pain

so got what he deserved,

and since that evening, Clarence

has been thoroughly unnerved.

Clarence Henry was the star

of Miss Blake’s Christmas play.

She said his acting was “Superb!”

on each rehearsal day.

Yes, Clarence Henry really thought

that he was just so great,

for little did Miss Blake or he

know what would be his fate.

The concert was a big event

and everybody came.

Clarence Henry told us all

his role would bring him fame.

The play would start at eight o’clock;

the hour did arrive,

and still today, I wonder how

old Clarence did survive.

In the centre of the stage

he stood and all was still.

The sight of all those happy folks

sure seemed to make him ill.

Clarence Henry smiled a bit

and then his eyes just rolled,

and then in front of everyone

poor Clarence seemed to fold.

He fell into the Christmas tree

which fell on top of Meg,

who started screaming frantically,

“I think it broke my leg!”

A bunch of girls began to scream,

and some girls even cried.

Because poor Clarence lay so still,

they thought that he had died.

Backstage there was a billy goat

we’d borrowed for the play.

The beast was tied securely

and just munching on some hay.

While the girls were screaming

and poor Clarence lay onstage,

suddenly, that goat was freed

which started his rampage.

They want to know who freed that goat

which was the final straw

in ending that fiasco,

but I’m certain — NO ONE SAW!

Eventually, it all worked out

and Clarence sure was right.

Just like our star predicted —

he’s been famous since that night!

This poem was originally published in 2001, in my book, The New Toe – poems to tickle your funnybone, and then again last December on this blog.

Our Kitten Climbed the Christmas Tree

Our kitten climbed the Christmas tree,

and then he just went mad,

batting lights and ornaments.

That kitten sure was bad!

He chewed some tinsel, ruining it,

but we couldn’t reach the brat,

and so his rampage just went on

while Mom kept screaming, “Scat!”

Soon he reached the angel’s branch,

the topper on our tree,

and he ripped her halo off —

and both her wings with glee!

Eventually, he climbed right down

and bolted from the room.

The tree was a disaster

and filled us all with gloom.

So then we cleaned up all the mess,

and all of us were mad,

but with his great big wagging tail,

our dog looked really glad.