STANDUP STORY

There once was a bird
who wanted to be
any bird
but the one
that he was:
an ostrich named Stanley.

Sometimes he’d act like
the macaw
(you’d guffaw)
or a chick
(it was sick)
bird of prey
(yech…no way!)

Even more than those acts
that Stan couldn’t master
other tries were plain bad,
no worse,
a disaster:

His strut recalled peacocks
less than it did newts,
his night hunting efforts
made every owl hoot.

And when he carried on
like some bird he wasn’t
the Small Stan inside him ‘tsked,
“Big Stan you mustn’t.

“You’re an ostrich,
Be proud if your head’s in the ground!
Don’t clown cluck around
like The Birdbrain of Town!”

Some messages
the first time
are loud and clear,
while others
don’t arrive
for some reason
for years …

So it was one day it hit Stan
And he could see,
“What I really know how to be best
is me.
Not them
or they
or he
or she.

The feathers of others don’t fit on my frame
And trying to force them has made me look lame.”

So Stan said to himself,
“Let’s forever agree
For you to be you
And me to be me.”

From then till forever
Stanley didn’t mince,
Nor did that old ostrich
once lack confidence.

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FLOWER SHOWER

A flower shower

Turned the tree green

Turned the grass pinker

Than I ever seen:

Cotton-candy colored

It yesterday was

When into and out of it

All the bees buzzed.

Then the quick change.

Perhaps it was the breeze:

Petals went packing

To the lawn from the leaves.

Now the Pink Tree Photo

I had taken in my head

Resembles Sun-dodging

confetti instead.

MOON TAKER

As they headed home from Nana’s house
late one clear, dark night,
Fred said to his Mom and Dad,
“See the moon there,
big and bright?

Could I pretty please this once
take it home with me?”
“Why, Fred,” his mother said,
“that idea sure is…….
lovely.

“And maybe you could,” she said,
“But how will you reach and get the moon?”
“How I get the kickball from the garage top shelf,”
Fred said,
“by knocking it down with the broom.”

“That sounds good,” said Fred’s Dad,
“but how’ll you catch it when it falls?”
“Easy,” said Fred,
“in Baby Jane’s old crib
where we keep all her dolls.”

“And just where would you keep the Moon,” Dad asked,
“once we got it to our place?”
“No problem,” Fred said,
“I’ll clear out my big wagon,
the red one, to make some space.

Then I can drive the moon around,
and show him our whole street.
The way he’s movin’ above the trees,
makes me think
he thinks seein’ stuff is neat.”

“Well that’s just it,” Fred’s Dad said
as their house came into sight.
“Here we are, back from Nana’s,
and the moon’s still with us,
big and bright.

That makes me think the moon loves traveling
just like you have guessed.”
“So, maybe,” Fred’s Mom said,
“leaving him to roam the sky
would be best.

And the next night that we’re out like this
and see the moon again,
I’ll bet he’ll hang out with us some more,
to prove, once more,
we’re friends.”

Fred gazed up at the sky and thought
about what his Mom and Dad had said.
“Yes, maybe you’re right,” he told them,
“I’m tired.
And the moon doesn’t quite look ready for bed.”

moon_edit

METS BRAIN FEVER

Hey, Mets.
Go? Let’s.
Hit’em long,
Throw’em strong,

Leather, flash,
Bases dash,
Play ball,
All fall.

So Mr. Met
Must never fret,
Think magic numbers & old tricks,
Like Sixty-Nine & Eighty-Six.

If fortunes stray,
For miracles pray
When hope is nada,
Believe, ya’ gotta,

Yes, Mets.
Get it, let’s:
A pennant pretty,
New for Citi.

Then stay sound,
From the mound,
The rubber, toed,
The batters, mowed,

The flames dealt,
The lineups melt.
That’s how it’s been
When it’s amazin’:

Gems hurled,
To the Series, World,
Cool as Vlassic
In the Classic.

Show no quit
In the books, put it.
Not a bit of fade,
‘Till there’s a parade.

Woo-hoo,
Orange and blue,
Make a scene
Out in Queens

End our wait
To celebrate
Yo, Mets.
Go! Let’s!

cone_edit

STILL HAVE my David Cone autographed 8×10 glossy, purchased at a baseball card show (what are those?!?) circa 1990. I can recall hearing on the radio that he’d been traded to the Blue Jays in August ’92. I was crushed.

While I can’t express as eloquently as others have the emotional roller-coaster of being a former die-hardI am very much in their tent when it comes to the New York Mets.  They were my first irrational sports love, and since then, have remained one of the teams that occupies a permanent place inside me.  Admittedly, and without shame, I’d call my Met fandom today a fraction of what it once was.  Now when I cheer, out of respect for the every day, pavement pounding, orange-and-blue collar fans, I cheer quietly ; in the same way many Catholics describe their faith, I say I’m lapsed.  But I also contend, as evidenced by the sporadic but unmistakeable ways that it surfaces every so often, that my Met-love won’t ever completely be gone.  Which is why since they won the National League last night for the 3rd time in my lifetime, only their fifth pennant in 53 seasons, I’ve had Mets on the brain, dripping in bits and bursts into a notebook and then above. Somethings, when you learn them young enough, simply become a part of you.  They might fade like the snapshots in Back to the Future (sorry, Cubs fans), but in time, the real stuff always returns.

ED-ITATION

“Ol’ Ed Reed starts with an Ed
And ends with an Ed….
Is that right, Fred?”
“That’s right,” said Fred.

“It’s why all his friends
Call him ‘Bookends’
As a nickname
Because his edges are the same.”

I asked him, “Ed
Whendja get it in yer head
Thatcha start with an Ed
And end with an Ed?”

He said, “’Twas plain to see
The first day I could read
The combo ‘E-D’
I had two of’em in me.”

“Well shucks, Golly!”
I said to Ed Reed,
“Lose that ‘R-E’
And you’ll be Tidy Ed Ed!”

He said, “No thank ye, sir,
I’d much prefer
To finish how I started:
Two ‘Eds’ by one ‘Re’ parted.”

FLIPPING FRIGHTENED

When I woke up this morning
The weather was hot.
But where were my flip-flops?
Did I know? I did not.

All through the long winter
All we wore was boots
Then suddenly the
Flipping trees had flopped fruit.

So in my bare feet
With nerves that were fraying
I searched for my flops
While I shoulda’ been playing.

Being flipflopless
Was terribly scary,
‘Till the moment I found’em –
That flipped on my merry.

‘Cause nothing says good times
Like flops on your feet
Not inside the house
But out on the warm street.

KNUCKLE CHATTER

My fuzzy gloves that are fingerless
Send me palms over knuckles with digital bliss
On the winter days I’m earwax picking,
Scratching backs, guitar licking,
Pinching jacks, popping pimples,
Cleaning braces, poking dimples,
Tying laces, tickling bellies,
Needle threading, tasting jellies,
Rabbit foot petting, booger flicking,
Yo-yo twirling, paper football kicking,
Portraying a Shadow-Squirrel, snatching a donut hole,
Lapping cookie dough trails from Mom’s mixing bowl.
But when it’s really cold outside and time to shovel snow,
Mittens that cover my fingers are what I wish I had in tow.

knuckles_edit

THE FOANSILLIES

The Foansillies never ending
quest is for a ring.
Their evergoing search occurs
staring at the Thing
gripped tight as their Foansilly
Palm can grip it.
From out of their hands
not a Strongman could rip it.

Forever I wondered
about this Foansilly way
‘til I met one once,
and said to him, “Hey,
Should a ring from that Thing
one day arise,
how will you contain yourself
at the surprise?

For it seems all Foansillies
spend all their time searching,
Has any among you
yet found anything?
Or could it be, maybe,
that there is no ring??”

This Foansilly laughed at me,
“No, of course not.
There are so many rings, there are more than a lot.
It isn’t one ring
we Foansillies chase.
It’s the next ring…then the next…on and on, like outer space!”

I said, “But that search sounds like
time not well spent.”
“Well perhaps,” he replied,
“Our name’s no accident.”

MALADY and HARMONY

Each year the seasons germs and frost
prompted scores of fret
in the world famous Busskill singers,
The Waiting Room Quartet.

They said, “It’s simple, really,
when we’re sick we just can’t sing
Any more than a slinky can
Slink stairs on a broken spring.”

So when the duo Cough’n’Sniffle
put The Quartet to the test,
it would quiz right back with a three pack
of Juice and Soup and Rest.

And when its Song of Winter
became a four-cough-harmony,
The Quartet tuned up a mega dose of health
with cords of Vitamin C.

See, the Waiting Room Quartet
was not content waiting around
under blankets doing nothing
when there were songs to be sung about town.

MAMA’S L’IL LOOKALIKE

L’il Sissy is a spoon
always stirrin’ stirrin’ stirrin’,

Li’l Sissy is a kitty
always purrin’ purrin purrin’,

Li’l Sissy makes me giggle
how she coos coos coos,

which makes Mama laugh and say,
“Your Sis reminds me of you.”

I say, “Mama that’s silly,
I’m growin’ growin’ growin,

A big strong brave kid
filled with knowin’ knowin’ knowin’”.

She smiles’n’says “Yes,
but even though that may be true

Mama can still see the
itty bitty kitty spoon in you.”

POETIC COMPASS

Peter’s senses observed
until his notebooks were full
the heat of July,
the blossoms of April,
October’s colored leaves,
December’s deep freezin’,
yes, Peter wrote poems
about every season.

And he loved all his lines,
from the first to the last,
till that fateful day
in Geography class,
the moment he learned
what happens to weather
when it travels down south
below the equator
where December gets steamy
and July has snowballs,
October pops buds
and April is Fall.

Peter worried his poems
when published abroad
would make him seem like
an unworldly fraud.
But then his frown flipped as
he wrote these introductory words,

“If reading these poems in the southern hemisphere,
please do so upside down and backwards.”

This prologue both cleared Peter’s head
to write more poetry
and proved his failing comprehension
of Geography.

POOR U

Whenever you’re feeling
unsure what to do

Then you know what it’s like
every day to be U

Who starts out one way
then turns ‘round halfway through,

no letter’s less decisive
or, maybe, more confused.

Perhaps U’s resemblance
to a horseshoe

Dragged U through the mud
so U’s ego got bruised.

And if U didn’t have
spare ego to lose,

Then U probably grew sheepish.
Imagine, wouldn’t you?

So if one day self-doubt
jams you up with the blues,

Think how hard it would be
if your mirror showed U.

BILLY D.IVIDENDS

Billy’s a Rule Guy
but a happy guy, too,
That’s why “Have fun doing it”
is his Rule #1.

And since, “The more the merrier”
is Billy’s #2,
he made Rule #3:
“Invest in mutual fun.”

slayer-2

FABILLOUS – The real “Billy D.” surrounded by two strong-arm members of his film crew that “he blithely called his goons”, once wore this custom made helmet-camera into a mosh pit to capture the special intimacy of a Slayer concert as it had never been captured before. Not once in the dozen years that I knew him did he respond to the question, “How you doing, Billy?” any other way than with a smile and a single word: “Fabulous.” The world lost a little sunshine this week when Billy left us, but to those who knew him, his image – let alone the images he captured – will never fade away. Here’s a video tribute to Billy Driber: NFL Films Legend, a New York Times profile of him, and the story of his part in the rock’n’roll history of America’s Football Movie Makers. (Photo: Richard Owens)

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)