THE LEMONADE LINK

We kids wanted to open
A lemonade stand
Smack dab on the corner
Of Flagstaff and Grand.

But when we arrived,
Supplies all in tow,
Right there on our spot
Was a telephone pole.

Should we relocate?
Give up our plan?
Set up mid-Flagstaff?
Or further down Grand?

No way, we kids said.
That corner’s our goal.
So what if they just….
Moved the telephone pole?

Could that even happen?
Not if we don’t ask,
We agreed then proceeded
To take on the task.

We filled out the forms
Began a petition:
“The Lemonade Kids
Seek Pole Reposition.”

We carried the papers
To City Hall
“This isn’t a thing
we’ve considered at all,”

Said the Receptionist,
Mayor and Clerk.
“Well, I have!” said the Bureau Chief
Of Lemon Work.

“Lemonade was around
long before those phone wires –
which the need for, admit it,
will quite soon expire.

“Look to the future,
These kids are our link!
Invest in their vision:
Wireless lemon drink!”

The Receptionist, Mayor
And Clerk were dumbfounded.
And though trying to hide it,
We kids were astounded.

Our once barely crawling
Lemonade stand
Suddenly had grown legs,
Sprung up and ran.

With a stamp and a seal
And a chorus of “Aye!”s
Our motion was granted
Right before our eyes.

What-if became why became how then
KAPOW!
On the corner of Flagstaff and Grand
We sell now,

Where that telephone pole
Did not go to waste,
After we chopped it up
Into seats for our place.

A place people stop
To sip a cool drink
And to hear the old tale
Of the Lemonade Link.

THE VERY FABRIC OF PETER COTTONTAIL

The life of Peter Cottontail
Would not have been the same
If Leather was the fabric
At the start of his last name.

Imagine Naugahyde or Burlap
Where “Cotton”’s always been
And how Pete’s kid-soft-lap-snapshot-biz
That would so badly spin.

How would Pete be received as
Satintail or Denimtail?
Would then on a motorbike
He ride the bunny trail?

If those pastel egg deliveries
Came from Peter Polyester,
Around Easter lots of sketchy feels
Might every springtime fester.

Yes, the life and times he’s mastered
Might have truly faltered
If Peter Cottontail’s old tailor
His name even slightly altered.

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I L’OEUF NEW YORK

LEAPS and GROUNDS

The tulips are up.
Why? What do they know?
That the Groundhog was right?
That we’re done with snow?!?

It’s still February,
They’re shaking my nerves.
It’s been warm this week
But March weather curves!

Suppose they keep rising
Up out of the yard
And one night a frost
Descends on them hard.

The head start each bulb
Will have by then got
Could in one cold flash
Become all for not.

Which leaves me to wonder ….
About flower brains,
And the speed and direction of
Flower thought trains….

Are my tulips digging
Toward their own demise?
Or are they well informed
As they reach for the skies?

I’ve watched and I’ve listened,
My ear to the ground,
But so far there’s been
Not from them one sound.

Loose lips may sink ships
But these tulips don’t speak,
Except by the rise
Of their eager green beaks,
Out of the dirt
Propelled maybe by knowing:
This year’s nearer to flowers
Than it is to snowing.

 

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They Write Stories About This Time of Year: Gift of the Chiefs

BIRD BRAINS

It’s great to be a bird in a town
where the lawns are always mowed
Whenever I want an earthborn snack
there’s never a long way to go.

While my country cousins
love their cornfield
I say, all those tall stalks
keep the good stuff concealed.

Here the grass stays short
so the worms can’t hide,
There’s so much to choose
I can hardly decide.

So complain if you want
of the noise from the mower,
And its belches of smoke
with their grassy odor,

I’ll stand by relaxing
while all down the street
My lawn obsessed friends
find me something to eat.

ARM CONFLICT

A new snow-ski Vest
I got from my mom
I’ve heard nice things about it
Except from my arms.

“We just bet,” they both say,
“That thing is the best,
If you’re a belly,
A back or a chest,

“Sealed in from the chill
Inside puffy armor,
Not two nude kazoos in
Full vibrato arm-brrrr.

“While you think it’s real smart
a ‘lightweight sleeveless jacket,’
we brothers-in-arms say:
Vests are a racket!”

“I guess,” said the Vest,
“About as much as gloves,
And long johns, wool socks and
Those things ears call ‘Muffs.’

“Pipe down out there, Arms,
Save your noise for the beach.
The value of vests
Seems well past your reach.”

When my snow-ski vest’s on now,
My Arms roll their eyes,
The chips on their shoulders
Big and undisguised.

All they talk about’s summer
And how it’s the best.
Wonder how they’ll like
My new water-ski vest.

 

THE GRAY SHAKE EXPRESS

On every other ride
of the Nantucket Rail
the caboose is the front
and the engine the tail,

When in a straight line it goes
then backs up straight,
Club cars of sightseers
and seafood, its freight.

So much saved steel!
All those safe dunes!
All the time saved to ‘Sconset
AND back by noon!

See Lighthouses, Windmills,
Cisco in your pail,
on the Commonwealth’s finest
The Nantucket Rail,

Like no other train,
it drives forward and back:
A steam-powered pendulum
Criss-crossing ACK.

KID WARNING

Caution: children
Are out on the loose
Boiling up ways
To deep fry your goose,

Everywhere lurking
Hiding scheming
Believing they’re harmless
Is crazytalk dreaming.

Caution: children
Prowling about
Quiet at songtime
At bedtime they shout,

Listening always
Except when you ask
Too busy plot hatching
To complete your task.

Caution: children
Don’t think they’re not smart
They’ll come for your wallet
And leave with your heart,

You cannot afford
to ignore the sign
Not if there’s 1 out there,
Let alone 9.

Whatever the number
They’re all worthy foes
How many are watching
Nobody knows,

So caution: children
When your spirit they’ve torn
Your body they’ve wearied
Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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HOUSTON on the HUDSON