The Jack-o-Lanterns On My Street

The Jack-o-Lanterns on my street
Are scary, but they have no feet.

Even if they’d like to battle
Trick-or-treaters, we’d skedaddle
Quick like bunny zombies (zummies?)
To the sidewalk where our mummies,
Chatty, chilly kid-protectors,
Monitor their threat-detectors.
Any pumpkin worth its candle
Has to know it couldn’t handle
All that mama grizzly wrath
In raincoats by the garden path.

The Jack-o-Lanterns on my street
Are scary, but they have no feet.

If I got close to one for fun
And it attacked me, I’d just run.
How could it chase me? It’s a face!
It isn’t going anyplace.
So what if it has jagged teeth?
It’s got no arms or legs beneath!
No scaly body like a snake
So there’s no chance that it could take
A run at me if I got near it.
Not one reason I should fear it.

The Jack-o-Lanterns on my street
Are scary, but they have no feet.

My little sister thinks they’re funny;
She’s so small her nose is runny!
Anyway, my friends are here–
Or were: I’m bringing up the rear.
The mommy pack is moving on.
If I don’t hurry, they’ll be gone
Beyond the bushes, standing guard
In front of someone else’s yard,
Oblivious, as burning gourds
Descend on me in orange hordes!

The Jack-o-Lanterns on my street
Are scary, but they have no feet.

This is it. It’s time. I do it:
Pluck my courage up and screw it
To the sticking place, ignore
The gourds, and march up to the door!
I ring the bell, breathe deeply, then
I shout– Wait, what’s my line again?
My mind’s a blank! The words are gone
Like daisies from a winter lawn.
I turn to flee…and my galoshes
Smash right through those flaming squashes!

The Jack-o-Lanterns on my street
Aren’t scary. Since they met my feet,
They’re busted heaps of pumpkin meat!
What can I say? Oh…
Trick or treat!

You had me at “brownish-purple”

Good with apples
Great with fish
Complimenting* any dish
*Spelled with “i” instead of “e”
Because they’re just that sweet. You’ll see.
Brownish-purple on the skin
White like marshmallow within
Parsnips are talkative, gracious and airy
And rarely take taxis ’cause backseats are scary
Where turnips are clannish and easily flustered
A parsnip will happily pass you the mustard
Friendly vegetables are few
But parsnip’s always there for you

Night-Night, Bear

Your ears are felt
Your nose a button
But with no eyes
You don’t see nut’n

I drew a mouth
With pen and ink
But absent eyes
Can never blink

“My fabric arms
And legs can squeeze,
But can I have
My eyeballs, please?”

I plucked them and
These eyes I’ll keep
So you can’t watch me
While I sleep

It’s nice to have
A friend who cares
But I can’t sleep
With one who stares

“Night-night, Bear,
It’s time for sleepy.
Close your forehead!”
Whoa. That’s creepy.

Root of All Evil

Beware of the carrot!
Don’t eat it! Don’t share it!
A nastier vegetable doesn’t exist.
It’ll take off a welcoming hand at the wrist!
It’s warning-sign orange
And not for no reason:
This root is a brute.
Why, at harvesting season
I’ve seen baby carrots, two inches or less,
Kill a fully grown hare!
Think I’m fibbing?
They’re pointy like daggers
And meaner than spinach.
Their wristwatches only show
Mean Time from Greenwich!
They prey upon tadpoles
And slow-moving carp
And aren’t to be trusted
With anything sharp.
Jullienned, sliced or boiled,
You just can’t defeat ’em.
Whatever they promise you,
Trust me: Don’t eat ’em.


I truly don’t know what to say.
My muse is sleeping in today.
In fact, she phoned it in last night–
That dream she gave me wasn’t right:

I’m standing in my underpants
On Rue du Pays in Paris, France,
And…nothing happens. No “Pourquoi?”
No “Qu-est ce que tu veux de moi?”
Unquestioned, unalarmed, bereft
And bored, because my muse has left.
The hours pass. I’m standing there
In Sgt. Pepper underwear
That’s slightly tight. In fact, it’s creeping–

–Just like that, I’m finished sleeping.

So, I got nothing. Zippo. Boo.
The end, my friend.
What’s up with you?

Oh, nothing….

I wish I had the energy I need
To write the words I really want to write
If I could find a genie, I would plead
For freedom from the need to sleep at night
I cannot find the time each day to seize–
Or, when I do, neglect to dedicate–
The fallen fruits from that temporal breeze
To say what I should say, and so I wait
Instead of speaking out, I let it go
When words that wound are spoken, written, read
I’m tired, so I hold my tongue, although
On good men’s silence is the devil fed
Though absence of compassion is a curse
I sometimes feel that apathy is worse

In other words…

When gasping Sol first thinks to yield the Stars
And Rayleigh Scat’ring does of Blue dispose,
No more alike the fie’ry Hue of Mars
Becomes the Sky, than always is the Rose.
Yet, while His daily Task Apollo plies,
And th’ Atmosphere doth lesser Lambdas let
Thru its diminish’d Self to paint the Skies,
The Flow’r first brought to Mind’s the Violet.
Thru Photosynthesis, these Blossoms take
Two Waters, CO2, and E (Sol’s Heat)
To chemic’ly a Carbohydrate make
Which turns to Sugar: Spoons and Cubes of Sweet.
Your Cheeks are like the Rose; Your Eyes, the Blue;
But, most of All, the Sugar is like You.

The Objects of My Greed

There are some things I’ll do without
Like SUVs or blackened trout
Some sacrifices I would make
Some luxuries I could forsake

I don’t crave power, fame or gold
Too much corrupts (or so I’m told)
Too little’s not much fun, it’s true
But well-content trumps well-to-do

I don’t begrudge the appetites
Of those for whom their days and nights
Are dedicated to the search
For loudest cheer or highest perch

But racing rodents meets no need
Of mine; the objects of my greed
Are hours spent with kith and kin
Retelling tales of “‘member when?”

Or, better yet, Diem Carpe-ing
Doing, making, seeing, playing
Soaking up experience
We’ll laughingly recount years hence

Let’s do today what we’ll wish then
We had the time to do again