Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the Year


You say this year was terrible,
The worst you've ever seen. 
Atrocious, vicious, unrelenting, 
Brutal, cruel, and mean. 
It took so many that you loved,
It broke you, let you down,
It snatched your smile and left in place
A fractured sour frown. 
And now you sigh and tell yourself,
"At least it's at an end!"
Another year, a fresh and clean one
Just around the bend.
But this year, too, is unforeseen,
Like all the other years,
A year of hardships, challenges,
Frustrations, toils, and tears. 
Yet each of those is balanced,
If you know the way to look,
With laughs, delights, and miracles 
Tucked deep in every nook. 
A penny by the riverside,
A night sky full of wonder. 
The bigger piece of apple pie,
The snow that comes with thunder. 
The spring you put into your step,
A smile you give a stranger,
The way you help the soggy worm
Escape the sidewalk danger. 
A joke you share with just one friend,
A song you share with all,
The way the breeze comes through the trees
To tell you when it's Fall. 
A taster spoon of ice cream
And another to be sure,
A hug that, even when it's done,
Will linger and endure. 
There's magic in the year ahead,
To find it's up to you. 
But gather up enough of it, 
It's sure to see you through. 

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Isn't


It isn't the shopping, it isn't the snow,
It isn't the stockings all hung,
It isn't the carolers lined in a row,
It isn't the jolly songs sung.
It isn't the presents, it isn't the tree,
It isn't the star up above,
It isn't the specials on every TV. 
It's the love. 

Now, some say it's Santa, and some say his sleigh,
And some say it's reindeer or elves,
And, while they're important on each Christmas Day,
They don't do the job by themselves. 
Some say it's that T-Rex with laser gun feet,
The hottest new holiday toy!
But all of this stuff doesn't make it complete. 
It's the joy. 

It sure isn't gift bags of popcorn and toffee,
Or coupons for you and your kin,
It isn't your six dollar peppermint coffee,
It isn't the cup that it's in. 
It isn't the sweaters you wear when it's freezin',
Real Christmas means more, if you try.
It's peace in your heart that will outlast the season. 
Just peace, love, and joy. 

(And some pie). 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Magazine Drive


Excuse me, sir, to help my school
I'm selling magazines. 
The perfect chance to show support
For all the local teens. 
I brought this giant catalog
For just a short review. 
Let's find the best selection here
Especially for you. 
We’ve got the standards, TOME and Newswonk,
EntertainMe Weakly,
We’ve still got Poople, TV God,
And Living Ancient Greekly.
There’s Frog Aficionado,
Or Toad Monthly if you please.
There’s Crockpot Illustrated
And What’s New in Beaver Cheese.
Are you a sports enthusiast?
Check out Cats Playing Cricket.
Try Storage Closet Monthly—
It can tell you where to stick it.
If you’re a frequent traveler,
Then you’ll love Tour Nebraska,
The chef in you will cherish
Weekly Ways to Bake Alaska.
And, if you’re feeling naughty,
There's a special new selection:
The Whoopie Cushion Quarterly
To add to your collection. 
Subscribe to any that you like,
'Cause helping schools is nice!
I'll put you down for three or four
At twice the cover price. 
I'll take a check or credit card.
It's fine, I've got all day. 
Or, if you give me twenty cash,
I might just go away!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Stuffed


I got some mashed potatoes
And I crammed them up inside.
A dozen stewed tomatoes
And a walnut, lightly fried.
Some jelly beans, a bar of soap,
A tiny rubber chicken,
Four chunks of moldy cantaloupe 
All ready for the stickin’.
I shoved in half a sticky bun
(It’s just a little chewed),
Some chocolate chips and, just for fun,
My “Super Action Dude™”!
A can of cola, black-eyed peas,
The rest of my burrito,
Some raisin bran, my grandpa’s keys,
My record-setting Cheeto.
I tossed in some beef jerky,
Then I slammed the oven shut.
They said to stuff the turkey,
But they never said with what!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Testing Day

“Testing’s over,” teacher called, “So put your pencils down.
Molly, no more marking now,” he added with a frown.
“I will come around to take your books and answer sheets.
Keep your notebooks closed and stay completely in your seats.”
Billy skipped eleven answers, Jane marked only “C.”
Bobby doodled weiner dogs all over question three.
Sally and her sister Sue both scribbled “I Love Tommy!”
Tommy turned his answer sheet to lovely origami.
Joey switched the math and science, Kate did English double.
Jack left his completely blank, Jill filled in every bubble.
Teacher yelled “These tests will never hold up to inspection!
Don’t you kids know how to listen? Don’t you take direction?!”
Then Johnny handed in his test, all brown and dripping goo.
“I did just what you said,” he laughed.  “I used a Number Two.”

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How the Finch Stole Racism

(with apologies to Dr. Seuss and Harper Lee)

Every White down in Maycomb liked Racism a lot…
But the Finch, the top lawyer in Maycomb, did NOT!
The Finch hated Racism, the whole racist system.
The Racism Fairy had just up and missed ’im.
It could be his brain was too big for the hate,
It could be his heart was two sizes too great.
Whatever the reason, he did what he could
To lead by example and try to be good.
And when a black man faced a false accusation,
The Finch was appointed to his defendation.
“It’s going to be hard,” he thought, “tougher than tough,”
“But I’ll truth out the truth, and I’ll hope it’s enough.”
He quizzed and he questioned, he researched his case,
“I MUST see a verdict on TRUTH and not RACE!”
The night before trial day he stayed at the jail,
Just waiting and reading until, without fail,
They came with their pitchforks, their nooses, their guns,
These small-minded drunkards, the paws and the sons,
All hopped up on whiskey and rarin’ to lynch.
But all were repelled by the might of the Finch.
He sent them home shamefully, back from their sport,
To see that real justice was done in the COURT.
And when the day came, well, he spoke all his speeches,
He tugged his suspenders, besought his beseeches,
And proved without question or shadow of doubt,
The man they brought in should be sent right back out.
He wasn’t the culprit, committed no crime,
But it wasn’t the place, and it wasn’t the time.
And when the white jury returned their decision,
Each “Guilty” cut deep, like a dagger’s incision.
“We’ll make an appeal,” The Finch promised his client,
“A more open-minded court might be more pliant!”
But well before he could be cleared of the crimes,
The innocent man was shot seventeen times.
And all of the white folks in town looked aside,
They whistled and gossiped and took it in stride.
And the Finch, with his fairness and lofty ideal,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could this be real?”
And he puzzled all day ’til his puzzler was sore!
Then the Finch thought of something he hadn’t before.
Maybe justice, he learned, doesn’t come from the Court.
Maybe justice, perhaps, falls a little bit short.
He HADN’T stopped Racism from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow, like always, it came just the same!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Giving


If I give a dollar
And you give a nickel,
If she gives a holler
And he gives a pickle,
If we give a mitten
And maybe a glove,
If they give a kitten,
A cake, and some love,
If clouds give some thunder
And trees give some fruit,
If children give wonder
And owls give a hoot,
If stars give believers
And seas give a clam,
If otters and beavers
Could just give a dam,
If hands give a flower
And feet give a dance,
And all give an hour
To give peace a chance,
If ends give the middle
And arms give a hug,
If all give a little
And none give a shrug,
We might find we all
Have much more for the giving—
More light and more laughter,
More loving, more living.