Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wife Of Adam

She never had a mother
Who trained her hair to curl.
She never knew the teen-age
When life is one grand whirl.
No; she was born to marriage.
Eve never was a girl.
She had no gay, young memories
To conjure up and make
Her hours of ennui vanish.
(Whole thing was a mistake.)
Now is it any wonder
She listened to that snake?


My Daughter

She is proud as wild things are,
Quick, and much more fearless;
Curb and bridle, let her be,
Days, leave her tearless.

I would keep her whimsical,
Life a jest to her;
Let her laugh; she has but seen
Her fifteenth summer.

Let her feel the world is hers
Peaks and wild wings waiting.
Sorrow, let no shadow fall,
Wisdom, cease your prating.



I could not ask a better- world
More innocent of follies
Than cool green lawns and friendly
And men with pipes and collies
And little girls who sit on steps
A-talking to their dollies.


Sand Sprinkler's Sonnet

How vast and gentle is the earth at night!
That apple peddler they have called the moon
Pins up his ragged coat and holds a light
For younger stars to dance a rigadoon.
The stream goes mumbling down his willow bed,
The cricket sings beneath his tree of wheat,
And every gawky fledgling has been fed
And every windling given velvet feet.
All eager children who have lips to spend,
Go buying in their secret market place,
And at the roof top's green and yellow bend
The spider dozes in her silver lace
And all at once, without quite knowing why,
A lantern bug begins to paint the sky.


Give Me The Perfumed Lilacs

Give me the perfumed lilacs, after rain;
Calm sunsets, merging clouds and hills and sea
Into one breath of bright-hued ecstasy;
The west wind blowing through the waving grain;
And wild strawberries, leaving their red stain
On lips as sweet and tempting. One tall tree
Reaching for starlight; and the graceful free
Fall of a snowflake. Frost upon the pane,
Making fantastic pictures, cold and white.
And give me-in the wind-blown autumn-time
New England hills and valleys, all alight
With scarlet bronze and amber; clouds that climb
Into the hazy blue of peaceful skies,
And love's acknowledgment within your eyes!


Good Neighbor

She will bake a custard for an ailing neighbor,
Apple-pies for husbands whose wives are out of town!
She has no style or beauty, but everybody sees her
As a ministering angel in a printed cotton gown!

She makes the lightest sponge cakes,
wins prizes with her pickles;
Her cookie-crock is always full,
she knows what children are.

For crisp molasses cookies,
and sugar-dusted doughnuts;
She keeps her saucepans shining
and her kitchen-door ajar!

Her husband died some 11 years ago,
but she is never lonely,
For neighbors drop in all day long
because they like the talk

Of this cheerful saint in gingham,
whose words of loving wisdom
Have made a pilgrim's pathway
out of her flagstone-walk!


Three Friends

To walk with Nora is to walk
Beside a, shallow pool where lie
The passive sand and stone revealed
Beneath an unreflected sky.

To walk with Susan is to lean
Above deep water, willow-hung,
To watch the shifting sun and shade
In varied velvet, richly flung.

Yet when I walk at Mary's side
I always bend and drink my fill
From out a little bubbling spring
That runs in laughter down a hill.


The Name's Not Hubbard

I think the cupboard and icebox are bare
Of anything I want to eat.
I'm in no mood to dress and go out for fare,
And outside there is snow and sleet.
In faint hope I open the cupboard
-and stowed away I see a can of consomme.
In joy I exclaim-Whoop!


Necessary Disposal

An inventory of the contents of this popular container shows
There is in it nothing unbearably distasteful, goodness knows;
Several bread crusts, coffee grounds, an empty can
Filled with cold bacon fat (poured hot while it ran),
Fruit and vegetable skins and cores, faded flowers,
Used matches, ashes and stumps of three good cigars,
The cup I broke, a small bit of clean hair off my comb,
And atop rests a leather belt-by my waistline outgrown.
Nevertheless, I've an uncontrollable aversion for the man
Who so very blithely empties my own garbage can.


Monday, August 25, 2014

THE ELEVEN AGES OF MAN Expressed in Menu Style

1. Milk.
2. Milk and bread.
3. Milk, eggs, bread and spinach.
4. Oat meal, bread and butter, green apples, all-day suckers.
5. Ice cream sodas and hot dogs.
6. Minute steak, fried potatoes, coffee and apple pie.
7. Bouillon, roast duck, scalloped potatoes, creamed broc¬coli, fruit salad, divinity fudge and demi-tasse.
8. Pate-de-fois-gras, Wiener Schnitzel, potato Parisienne, egg plant a La Opera, demi-tasse, Roquefort cheese.
9. Two soft boiled eggs, toast and milk.
10. Crackers and milk.
11. Milk.

Just Five

What an odd assortment of shrines you've knelt before in your small, brief span.
First it was water. Why, that first year I didn't dare let you in the bathroom or near a hydrant alone.
And when it rained! In spite of locks and chains you got out and were as hard to catch as a small, wet eel.
Then at two you discovered dogs. So much as let you out the door and all the dogs in all the land collected at your heels.
At three you became an Indian fighter. Me, the chairs, the window shades, the divan still bear scars of that assault.
At four you joined the G-men. Never satisfied with less than best Mr. Hoover became your all-consuming hero.
What a devout and earnest disciple you can be-but, then, when some new cause claims your heart, what a complete and cruel deserter.
So now it's cowboys, Autry and Rogers: Boot heels clack through the house, a broom-stick Champ upsets the chairs, the lamps.
Doors slam, pistol shots disturb the neighbors, rip through the startled air, as you chase outlaws galore.
Then when tired, as now, you turn the dial to a hillbilly band and in high treble join "She's Comin' Round the Mountain"
Beating time on a broken-string guitar as big as you, tapping one high heel as you've seen the real ones do.
Such a funny, earnest picture sitting there; big hat pushed back, red hair in disarray, a dozen freckles across your nose;
Battle-scarred dungarees, run-over heels, turned-up toes, kerchief of yellow, shirt of blue-a miniature Spencer Tracy gone buckaroo.



He knows that every woman there
Will turn impulsively to stare
As he strolls in, though men with whom
He stands so slight fill all the room.
His lively step, his merry eyes
Mark him as one whose day defies
All heavy care, each bright hour flung
Away in joie de vivre. Among
The hand-wrought glass he walks with ease,
 Prefers to toy with it than to please
The anxious ones who would divert
His mind to sounder topics. Alert
To smiles, he shows his lack of learning
By looking on the crowd, then turning

Toward the one whose jewels glitter-dance,
While she displays them for his glance
And words, whose depth she hopes to find.
Why is it women of clear mind
Will shed all pride in such pursuit,
And great men bend for that small fruit
His pleasure and approval hold?
The reason is, he's three years old.


Pieces of String

The kitten and I and a piece of string
Are proving that sport is a simple thing,
A matter of guessing which way to run,
A chance that is lost or a chance that is won:
A jerk, and the string is mine, and then
A pounce, and the kitten has it again;
Were it not for wit, I could not be
The match of a cat's muscularity.
If I grow weary of play and drop
My end, the kitten will quickly stop
His antics; for string is merely string,
Though it seemed so like a living thing.
The kitten may curl himself in sleep,
While I sit still with the thoughts I keep
Of many strings that are quiet now,
And many more I must seize somehow.


Physical Law

Little boys and cookie jars
Gravitate together.
Separate them by a shelf
It's a question whether
It will be a stool or chair
For the best ascent,
Or the jar hooked off the edge
"By an accident."
Little boys and cookie jars
Magnetize each other.
You won't find it in a book;
But just ask any mother!



My Daddy sed 'at Santa Claus
Won't bring no toys this year because
He's down in a big hold an' dead.
He sed 'at men jist burned his sled
An' turned his reindeers loose because
There jist arnt no more Santa Claus.
An' then he sed, "What will you do?"

An' I was mighty awful blue,
I sed, "I feel like jist to die
An' go to bed an' cryan' cry,
But I jist won't, "
 " You dress in red
An' play like you was him instead."


Circus Day

"He promised me
Whatever happened,
We would go, we three."
She said.

And facing blue reproachful eyes,
I prayed-
"Dear God, help me to keep
The promise that he made."

Why had it come today?
Bright gilded wagons, elephants and clowns,
A circus band that loudly played,
Passing a new clay mound, rose-strewn.

"Dear God, you'll make him understand
Just that I kept his promise, and saved
Her happiness; and he will know how great her love
That planted blue and yellow toy balloons upon his grave."



Girls of eighteen he loves, and even twenty,
Pleasing and plump and eloquently young;
In his own day he knew and courted plenty
Whose praises tripped divinely from his tongue.

Now that his daughter's chums come in to call
And stay to taste his wife's Alsatian cooking,
He kisses each one fondly in the hall
When he is sure his good wife isn't looking.

The boys who hang around he tolerates
And marvels that a girl must have in tow
Such callow lads who prattle of their dates;
He patronized all his daughter's beaux
And smiles to hear Virginia call them "men"
What he could show them, were he young again!



She wouldn't climb a tree
Like any other girl
But sat and posed and
Twisted a little golden curl.
The boys all brought her apples
From the highest limb
And made a cushion of leaves for her
When they went in to swim.

They shinnied up poles and risked their necks,
Did handsprings for her smile,
But that wistful look was still in her eyes
However they sought to beguile.
Her slightest wish was their command
Such gallantry as this
For she was a little crippled girl
Whom one of the boys called "Sis."


Small Ghosts of Hallowe'en

They look, so little walking down the street,
How can they hope to frighten anyone?
Yet crib-sheets bravely flap about their feet
And Jack o'lanterns light the road, to fun.
Old Mammy walks discreetly in the rear,
Tonight they would not let her hold their hands.
Please, someone, make a fine display of fear!
One who, remembering childhood, understands.


Laughing Ones

I am so glad, I am so glad,
That all my bones are laughing.
My cheeks are red; my eyes are bright;
I jump and run with all my might;
I play all day and sleep all night,
And all my bones are laughing.

Like sword from sheath I spring from bed
And all my bones are laughing,
For all around me thrushes sing;
And all around are flowers of spring;
The world's so full of everything,
That all my bones are laughing.

I am so well, I am so well,
That all my bones are laughing.
My collie chases balls for me;
My kitten climbs the apple tree
And 'there's a turtle- don't you see?
That's why my bones, are laughing.

If I should some time' grow quite old
Would all my bones be laughing?
My daddy's old- he's twenty-five.
He can do everything-and drive
When I'm that old- if I'm alive,
Will all my bones be laughing?


Sport Togs

I like to see the younger girls
In slacks or shorts;
Such clothing was designed, I know,
For active sports.
But housing scrawny middle-age
Or buxom dames make them the rage,
The scene is out of sorts.
There are out-sizes who prefer
The age old skirt,
Refuse to have their bosoms bulge
An outing shirt,
Remaining incog as they can,
¬Not merely "mutton dressed as lamb,"
The silhouette doesn't hurt.
But when a bouncing forty-two
Appears in gear,
Modeled from size fourteen,
And a younger year,
Displaying heft both fore and aft,-
A Clydesdale hitched to racing shaft,
I could really shed a tear.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Verses on the Domestic Angle

At first:
When you proudly wear his name,
Be it long and fine, or simple,
He can make your work a game
Planting kisses in your dimple. . . .

Later :
Though he tells his love for you,
Grants you all your little wishes,
You'll know best that love is true
When he helps you do the dishes!



Have you seen anywhere a tall little lad
And a wee, winsome lass of four?
It was only today, barefooted and brown,
That they played by my kitchen door.
It was only today (or maybe a year:
It could not be twenty, I know),
They were shouting for me to help in their game
But I was too busy to go.
Too busy with sweeping and dusting to play,
And now they have silently wandered away.
Perchance you should hear of a slim little lad
And a small winsome lass of four,
I pray you to tell me; to find them again
I would journey the wide world o'er.
Somewhere, I am sure, they'll be playing a game,
And should they be calling for me
To come out and help, oh, tell them, I beg,
I'm coming as fast as can be.
For it's never a house would hold me today
Could I hear them call me to share in their play!


Blue Penciled

And so the end!
I've read a lot of better plots
Than this- so very thin in spots,
With action camouflaged by dots,
And badly penned.
Not ultra bright,
Though showing promise at the start.
But then some stupid lines in part
And bits about a broken heart,
All rather trite.

And so it's strange
That it has power to haunt me so;
That each re-reading thrills me so;
That in it's spell, emotions grow
To such a range.
r must delete
This interlude we two went through,
This tale that doesn't quite ring true,
And realize in chapter two,
We do not meet.


A Born Collector

The first seven years of his life he collected noise, scarletina, measles, abrasions, freckles, the fidgets, curiosity, vitality and dirt.

At the age of eight he collected beetles, spiders, locusts, toads, a hoot owl, a live eel and a remonstrative family.

At ten he collected climbable trees, falls, assorted lumber, the neighbors' ill will, a gang, black eyes, a bicycle, poison ivy, his father's pipe and a sudden nausea.

At twelve he collected a broken leg, a sweetheart and a suspicion that all was not well with the universe.
From thirteen to eighteen he collected other countries, obscure dreams and two prep schools with all appurtenances and adjuncts.

The next four years he collected a college, friendships, autographed champagne bottles, headaches, romantic moments, a heart broken in four places and a certainty that something was wrong with the universe.

From twenty-three to thirty he collected the world. At thirty-one he collected himself, not enough money, and a wife.

A few minutes ago he collected alphabet blocks, parts of mechanical toys, rubber balls, a bear, a duck, a monkey and a dollar watch and piled them in the corner for the night.