CUTTING OFF YOUR NOSE TO FEED YOUR FACE

My smeller may be broken
I cannot get a smell
Is that chicken noodle soup?
Or Clams Casino?
I can’t tell.

My nose is on the fritz,
At least that’s what I think,
We drove past a manure farm
And I could sense no stink.

In fact it’s all non-scents,
No matter what I sniff,
The assembly line of my olfactory
Can’t make a whiff.

Whatever might be in the air
I can’t a bit detect
But if I may, those cookies in your hand….
Might I inspect?

They look delectable,
My eyes are Frisbee big.
Would I like one? Well I shouldn’t….
I don’t want to be a pig.

But maybe just a bite
A nibble, and another,
Wait! I can’t believe it ….
I think my nostrils tingled, brother!

Better take another cookie
They have the power to heal!
Every scrumptious crunchy byte
Makes my nosy muscles squeal!

What’s that – you’re out of cookies?
Now that they did the trick?
That’s a shame. Condolences.
At least my odor motor’s fixed.

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Re-Seeding the Weeding

Standing in the window

We saw out in the yard

Dad crouching and appearing

To be thinking very hard.

Before him lay the lawn

Which he ran both his palms through

Then he stood and snapped his fingers

Like he knew just what to do.

“Kids, congratulations!”

he said walking in the door,

“to the list of gifts we’re blessed with,

go ahead and add one more:

That rug of yellow flowers

We always viewed with alarm,

Is now the answer to the question,

‘Where’s your dandelion farm?’

“How close I came to mowing it

How lucky that I stopped!

How fortunes may have turned

If I’d ploughed our major crop:

“No dandelion tinctures,

Lost dandelion greens,

Zero dandelion wine

Or dandelion diaper creams!

“It proves how working hard

instead of smart can be a pox.

Why battle dandelion growth

When we’ve got it outfoxed?

“Now please excuse me kids,

this here farmer has had SOME day,

the land can wear you down, you’ll learn,

if on our farm you stay!”

Chuckling loudly as he exited

Dad didn’t hear us sighing,

Or see us window-squinting,

Picturing farming dandelions.

OFF SWITCH ON

Not working is no crime
during Gooftime,
when doodling, napping,
or day-dreaming are fine.

Gooftime is for play
and a while each day,
it’s a lighthearted state
worth at least a brief stay.

So try it and see
how much happier you’ll be
once you begin to
take Gooftime seriously.

PUSH IT REAL GOOD - The Envelope of Gooftime

“PUSH IT REAL GOOD” – The Envelope of Gooftime (art by PaC).  For more Gooftime art, check out this fabulous work by @sandeehjorth

YOU CAN’T, LEAF!

You there, leaves,

Back on the trees!

You may NOT yet come down

And blanket the ground!

You must help us stall

The beginning of fall,

Because the end of summer

Would be such a bummer.

So up, up, you go

To those branches you know,

Back up in place,

This isn’t a race!

Then in one month feel free

To LEAP off the trees,

Right now I can’t take

The thought of a rake.

AUTUMNA NON GRATA - (Photo - PaC)

AUTUMNA NON GRATA – (Photo – PaC)

ON THE OTHER SIDE

I can see it there …
Just beyond the bus door …
Just down the bus stairs …
After just one stop more …

Hissing brakes
Lurching stop
Squeaky hinges
I stand at the top …

Then step step step, down I go,
When feet hit street it’s begun:
The summer, sweet summer, there it is, right there,
Just beyond the bus door, all that fun.

NOT A SQUARE ANYWHERE

There was a block party
The Lincoln Logs hosted,
Being metal the Erector Set
Ran marshmallow roasting.

Like a social chair would
K’Nex networked non-stop,
The Magformers stuck together,
The Wood Letter Cubes did not.

The Megabloks, Nanobloks
And Kreos all came.
Jenga tried to sneak in again.
Why’s he so lame?

Often Bristle Blocks skip these things
But not this time:
They were chilling with Goldieblox,
Who, as usual, looked fine.

Typically they don’t
But the Play-Dohs got the invite,
But that wasn’t even
The big surprise of the night,

Which came when the Legos
Walked through the door
Their snap-on hair smooth
As they found the dance floor

Where they boogied down with
All the Playmobil ladies
When ‘New Kids on the Block’ played
The whole place went crazy.

Oh what a block party it was
It’s true,
Not a square anywhere,
And the Legos there, too.

SAND HASSLE

Go away birdies
leave me be,
I want to relax
here by the sea,
But your pecking is creepy
your breath smells like gill,
I want to sleep
and your cawing is shrill.
So go away birdies
go fly away,
there are no crackers here,
no reason to stay.

bird_venicebeach_og

“Early Bird of Venice Beach” (Photo: PaC)

CAN’T BE LICKED

All day I could eat ice cream

Then still have more at night

To say there is a time I can’t eat ice cream

is not right.

That’s why in all my belt loops

I hook on sixteen spoons,

It’s why at my house there’s

Ten freezers in each room

And toppings stashed inside the pocket

Of each coat I own

And why I’m working on a way

To eat ice cream through my phone.

Ice cream may not be perfect

But it’s very very close

So to sundaes, cones, and chipwiches,

Let’s raise an ice cream toast.

licked_edit

BuccanAir

The Pilot Pirate

flies a peg-leg plane.

The Pilot Pirate

keeps booty on the brain.

The Pilot Pirate

has a sneaky parakeet,

who’d rather have an aisle

than a window seat.

The Pilot Pirate

navigates sea and air.

The Pilot Pirate

doesn’t have a care.

The Pilot Pirate

makes the world his lair,

soaring and swording

and ARRRR-ing everywhere.

The Pilot Pirate

wears an eye patch,

and when putting it on, yells,

“Batten down the hatch!”

The Pilot Pirate

goes fast but doesn’t run,

because swashbuckling sweaty

ruins the fun.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 11.56.58 PM

This photo first appeared on Instagram.  For more like it, click here.

BIG BREAK

Half way through October
Columbus is my best friend
For his famous trip that led us to
A three day-long weekend.

The next month comes the long weekend
When three days turn to four:
When we say, “Thanks, Thanksgiving,
For serving us that much more!”

There’s the great week-long weekends in
December and the spring,
They make me smile, yes,
But only one weekend makes me sing:

It begins the day that school lets out
Sending fun into high gear:
It’s the biggest best break ever,
The Longest Weekend of the Year.

At the start of it the end of it
Looks way further away
Than the New World looked from Europe
On an explorer’s set-sail day.

On this magical most-long weekend
That lasts a quarter year
You don’t need navigation,
It’s permissible to veer

From late nights to slow mornings,
There’s no brakes on this big break:
The Longest Weekend of the Year
Means having and eating your cake.

And when sadly in late August
The Longest Weekend ends
You’ll appreciate again Columbus,
Our three-day-gifting friend.

RADIO QUESO

On my Milwaukee Talkie
I can hear Racine,
And Green Bay and Kenosha,
And all the points between.

I can keep up on the Badgers,
The Brewers and the Pack,
And if for the 10000th time
Brett Favre is coming back.

On my Milwaukee Talkie
I love to talk up Pabst,
And how I don’t like the first name
Of Minnesota Fats.

The Bucks, Laverne and Shirley,
Alice Cooper, Happy Days,
have made the world talk about
Dear old Mill-ee-waugh-kay.

But if it’s not enough for you
To only hear about it,
If you need a special way
To celebrate and tout it

Then get and keep your own
Milwaukee Talkie by your bed
And before you sleep each night
Tune in to Channel Cheesehead.

Artist rendering of a Milwalky-Talky, produced by SONY subsidiary WISCONY.

Artist rendering of a Milwalky-Talky, produced by SONY subsidiary WISCONY.

STRING DANCER

I want to run away
You can think me a fool
I want to leave this place and join
An elite Yo-Yo School,

I want the finger magic
The skill to twirl and flick
How making disk and string obey me
Would be plain epic,

The Walk the Dogs
And Elevators
Eiffel Towers
Alligators
Cradled Cats
And Rounded Corners
Twinkled Toes
And Jolly Mourners,

Imagine all these parlor shows
That will reside in my elbows,
Wrist and palm and thumb combos
Yos flying high, yos digging low,

For the knowledge I will need
For the lessons that I crave
For a mastery of Yo
I will gladly be a slave,

Years of study it may take
Perhaps a decade, that’s a fact
But like a yo
After I go
If I do right
I will be back.

ROUND AND ROUND

My sister’s dance recycle was held this afternoon
The open was a fresh take on the classic “Brigadoon.”
The ballerinas stole Act II updating “Claire de Loon”,
Next came a Modern version of “The Ballad of Rocky Raccoon.”
Throughout it all I snacked on extra crunchy Lorna Doones,
Which the Tap Dance Troop’s clicks covered to a new “Angelina, Zooma-Zoom.”

From where this event got its name,
at first I had no clue:
There were no boogeying bottles or can-canning cans.
But after seeing the old songs
rethunk, reduced, and reused
“Dance Recycle” is now a name I understand.

recycle_edit

THE LIGHT

If life were like a grotto
There would be no score
If the lighter of a candle
Had been rich or a poor

Or boy or girl
Or black or white
Or young or old
Or left or right

Or what had brought’em there
Or how many lights they’d lit
Or if they liked to stand in back
Or kneel alone or sit

No one keeps track of how to spell
The candle lighters’ names
At a grotto time is better spent
Reflecting on their flames

And when the spirit moves,
Passing the light along,
With no thought that the candle
You’re sharing from is wrong

If life were like a grotto
Every light that we discover
Would warm and guide and give itself
To freely spark another.

ROBERTO CLEMENTE BENIGNI MUSSOLINI KENNEDY’S QUANDARY

Danish, Denmark, Netherlands,
Dutch, Flanders
Flemish.

France, Wales, Britannia
Scotland, Irish
English.

Peruvian,
Bermudian,
Australian,
Toboggan,

How will I ever fit the great big world inside my noggin?

Roberto's Globe

GLOBERTO

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 10.11.42 AM

Click on the “book cover” image above to see this poem presented as a #StellerStory.

DEAR TOOTH FAIRY

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Wherever you might be,
Take one good guess
Who it’s time to come see.

If you are not near by
My apologies
I know sometimes your work
Takes you overseas

Or maybe this is your week
To be on holiday
Either way, with all respect,
There’s no more time to play.

Because another tooth
At eight-oh-four this morning
Leaped out of my mouth
Without any warning.

Now I’m sure that no one knows
The tooth business like you
Or appreciates how teeth can
Fall out out of the blue.

And while unexpected calls
Must make your life tricky
Just imagine how they help
Spur the economy!

Just what would happen if
No one ever called?
Think of the horror: poor you!
At home, watching the walls!

But at least for one more day
There’s no danger of that.
So stop what you’re doing, check my address,
And this evening, be here, stat!

AN ARTIST RENDERING OF THE TOOTH FAIRY ON VACATION - Seen here (silhouette, at center), riding her Vespa in Cinque Terra.

AN ARTIST RENDERING OF THE TOOTH FAIRY ON VACATION – Seen here (in silhouette, at center), riding her Vespa in Cinque Terra.

CLOVERDEALED

So you found a 4-leaf clover.

Well, I hunt bigger things:

Like five and six leaf clovers

And the extra luck they bring.

And the highly coveted clover

With leaves that number seven,

Legend says those who find one

Will go straight to heaven.

The eight leaf clover doubles up

What a plain four leafer brings

The 9-leaf clover isn’t lucky at all:

Touching it actually stings.

Ten leaf clovers are what I’m really after

They’re the best it gets.

So you’d like to come hunting them with me?

Hmmmm….well, ok…let’s.

I’ll bring you along for the low low price

Of that old 4-leaf clover you’ve got.

What’s that? I said 4-leafs don’t interest me?

I said that?!? Well. I must have forgot.

cloverdealed_edit

Field Notebook Renderings of Members of Genus: Polyleaf – (from upper left corner) The Basic aka The Four Score ; The And-1 ; The O’Six Pack ; The Stairway to Seven ; The Octclover ; The Stinger aka the Paul Newman aka The Henry Gondorff ; The Big Time aka the Green Whale aka The O’Derek

NEW BIG DOG

UPDATED 9/18/17: To see this poem as a fully photo illustrated STELLER STORY, click here.

Up in the Hudson Valley
Lived a dog named Zo
He was always the biggest pooch
Wherever he would go.

Weighing more than most grownups,
Even far away he looked tall,
“No dog in all this land,” thought Zo,
“Could ever make me feel small.”

As he started each day
That was Zo’s world view
It kept his sun warm,
Made his sky extra blue.

And that’s how it was
As he strolled a new street
One morning and looked up
And saw two large feet,

And above them huge legs,
Giant ears, a big kisser,
Eyes climbing, Zo thought,
“What have we got here, Mister?

“That can’t be a dog,
There’s no way. But it is.
Up there … on that roof ….
That whole building is his.

“Do my peepers deceive me?
Is he bigger than I?
Who am I kidding?
He blocks out the sky!

“Could he be part Bull?
Smooth Fox? Jack Russell?
Would even Godzilla
With this fella tussle?”

Politely Zo nodded
And yipped a hello.
The roof dog’s response
Was too slight to show.

Or too little, at least,
To detect from the street,
At the level of Zo’s
Now fast moving feet.

“Good day sir,” Zo barked,
without looking back,
“It appears on this street
You’ve got things well intact.

“Should you stop what you’re doing
because of me? No!
You just hang out up there,
I’ll go keep being Zo.”

Then off he moseyed
Politely smiling
While in his brain this address
He was filing.

Good old clear sighted Zo
Still gets thrown in a fog
Thinking back to first meeting
That other big dog.

O’NO!

No business card order
made Jim’s Print Shop squirm
like the monthly one from
the Dublin law firm

of “O’Billy, O’Biley, O’Riley, O’Connell,
MacDougal, MacTavish, MacCabbage, MacDonald,
Kilkenny, Kilpatrick, Fitzpatrick, Kilboyle,
McLanahan, Shanahan, Flanagan, Doyle.”

So many Dubliners would make almost any Jim's head spin.

So many Dubliners would make almost any Jim’s head spin. (Photo: PaC)