Life Learning Yearning Brady McBrown

ca_seuss-2-630x464

(Based on the cadence and rhythm of “The Great Henry McBride,” By Dr. Seuss)

“It’s hard to be down,” said young Brady McBrown.

It’s impossibly possible to fake a frown.

When a fellow wakes up to a free day ahead,

he must kick off the sheets and spring from the bed.

No classes, no lessons, not even a bell.

No teacher to dictate, or lecture, or yell.

I’ll learn when I yearn and whiz when I wish.

I may look at a book, or cook up a fish.

 

There are so many things that would be so much fun.

It’s terribly hard to decide on just one.

I might go to the museum, perhaps, who knows?

I’ll take in the Monets, Manets and Van Goghs!

I could become a curator, a Master of Arts.

Or dig treasures from dirt and piece back the parts.

Yes! That’s what I’ll do. I’ll dig up a crown.

King crown-digger upper, Brady McBrown!

 

But now I’m not sure. Legos could be clever!

I’ll stack up a tower that goes on forever.

I could be an architect, maybe build a whole town!

Crown-digger, town-builder, Brady McBrown.

But why only two things? Say, I could do three!

I could put on my swimsuit and swim in the sea.

A deep sea diver! Yes! That’s what I’ll be!

Crown-digger, town-builder, diver McB.

 

And science is fun! So I’ll do that!

I’ll mix up a potion in a great big vat!

I’ll point to the map and pick a new place.

I’ll zoom in to cities and back out to space!

Or add up some numbers, divide them by ten.

I’ll count all the bird seed, then go feed the hen.

Then study some stars and the patterns they form.

Oh no! Those clouds! I think there’s a storm!

The rain’s pouring down like cats and dogs!

The puddles are filling with tadpoles and frogs!

I’ll stomp and stamp and jump in the muck!

Til my clothes are quite caked and my shoes are quite stuck!

 

The rain won’t stop me.

There are gifts to be known.

There is play to be played.

And seeds to be sewn.

On a day like today, with dreams in my head,

I can hardly wait to leap from the bed!

On a day like today, with dreams in your heart,

Today is your day! Where will YOU start?

 

photo credit: Redbook, Suessblog

Advertisements

End of Summer Limericks

I wrote these for a “sand and sea” limerick contest. 

Limericks, as a folk form of poetry, began in England and Ireland in the 1800’s and were often recited aloud in pubs as a form of entertainment. They consist of 5 stanzas following a strict AABBA rhyme scheme.

There was always a thread of competition to see who got the most and loudest laughs. These rounds of limericks were of course accompanied by rounds of beer and got progessively bawdier as the night went on. By nature, limericks are humorous, absurd and always a bit “salty” or risque and sometimes downright crude. I’ve tamed mine down just a little.


 
The Boy from Impanema
 
A girl met a boy from Impanema
who expertly shook her caiperinia.
She tossed the pink umbrella
and bedded the bronzed fella,
waking penniless and parched in the marina.
 
 
 
Aunt Beatrice
 
Aunt Bea took a trip to Greece,
a gift from her doting niece.
She re-tied the knot
on Yannis’ yacht.
Uncle Al–may he rest in peace!
 
Rio Trio
 
She met a lover in Rio
Who had a best friend named Leo.
They asked her to tango,
and fed her a mango,
and now they’re a happy trio.
 
 
 
Sweeney
 
A curious chap named Sweeney
Uncorked a rusty old genie,
Who granted his wish
to swim like a fish
While wearing his wife’s bikini!

Two Foodie Poems



For me, going into a really good patisserie is more exciting than going into a jewelry store . . . and less expensive. These delicacies remind me of little jewels.  Feeling down? There’s nothing a pastry can’t fix. The drawback here, is that, unlike jewelry, you can’t wear them . . . accept on your ass. 


My tribute to French pastries . . .

 
Patisserie
 
Baubles behind glass
Kneaded, braided, beaded and glazed
Edible gold leaf flutters and settles
Upon the skin of cooled confections.
A cream puff ring!
Ribbons of marbled marzipan?
Delicately dusted truffles
in ruffled slips await
My choice.
Crumb-dotted doilies, I fear
Reveal remnants of a salted butter crust,
a must.
I am too late.
Single sweet, powdered pearls 
Sit upon the footed Macarons,
Nectarous and toothsome!
Pedestaled and perfect in lavender or coco.
Chanel? no.
Better in fact 
For the palette distracts
all momentary woes.
 
 
 
This poem was inspired by a Martha Stewart-like evening when I decided to tackle a recipe at 5 pm without looking at it beforehand. It looked simple until I got half-way through and didn’t have half the right ingredients.
 
 
Out of Thyme
 
Turn on the oven to 375,
and while it’s preheating
Sharpen your knives.
 
Cube the lamb
and toss it in flour.
This recipe will have you
in Morocco in an hour.
 
Now drizzle the olive oil
Over julienned slices
of carrots and onion, 
Then add in your spices
 
Hand-ground, of course
To release the aromas
Which pair quite well
With a Merlot from Sonoma.
 
You did buy the wine?
It was mentioned in step six
of the pre-recipe section called
“Timing tips and tricks.”
 
Next, delicately brown 
the beef on all sides
Until the butter stops frothing
and the sizzle subsides.
 
This should take no more 
Than six minutes at best,
During which time 
You should remove the zest
 
From three-quarters of an orange
and half a Meyer lemon
Which you’ll  turn to confit
to serve with flatbread from Yemen*
 
* A must if your aim 
is to wow your guests.
Make it two days ahead
Then let it rest.
 
Now add your home-made stock,
Along with the citrus preserves.
And while those flavors are mingling
Make the goat cheese -scented hors d’oeuvres.
 
While the stew is in the oven
Make sure your linens are fresh
Now set the table with the clay tajines
Imported from Marrakesh.
 
You should be right on schedule!
Plenty of time to shower and dress
Perhaps do a short meditation
to eliminate any pre-dinner stress.
 
Now right before your guests arrive
Chop a handful of thyme or two
and gingerly sprinkle it into the pot.
It’s the key to a successful stew.
 
The odors at this point
Should be simply sublime . . .
 
Unless, of course,
you’ve run out of thyme.

Child’s Pose


In March 1993, photographer Kevin Carter made a trip to southern Sudan, where he took the now iconic photo of a vulture preying upon an emaciated Sudanese toddler near the village of Ayod. He snapped the haunting photograph and chased the vulture away.
Carter eventually won the Pulitzer Prize for this photo, but he couldn’t enjoy it. “I’m really, really sorry I didn’t pick the child up,” he confided to a friend.
Consumed with the violence he’d witnessed and haunted by the questions as to the little girl’s fate, he committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning three months later.

This is my poem based on the photograph in tribute to Kevin Carter. It was awarded honorable mention in the Scribophile “Humanity in Poetry” contest.

Child’s Pose

I’ve wiped the lens
with the edge of my shirt
over and over again

each time hoping
to find her
digging grubs from the coolness of mud.

Or sifting millet
with agile fingers
looping through the grains.

Haunched
on strengthened knees,
feet anchored to the ground,
circled hands cupping drops
from the catalyst of rain.

The sharpness has faded,
the background obscured,

but her pose
remains unchanged.

Laid down on the trek,
did she long for the womb,
the fluid float of a weightless embrace
to carry her once again?

Or maybe she sought
to sink beneath
the stratum of clay
to entwine with roots
that would keep her
until Spring.

Earth, too parched to absorb another child
rejected her hunger,
and offered her up

crouched limbs,
caged spine,
bones bracing and
biding

as the talons and lens approached.

The scavenger,
patient and poised,
stilled to her flesh and the
vapored stench
of urine, bile and bowel.

I willed it to advance,
spread wings
just once.

And I waited.

Not a squawk, not a twitch
not a breath, not a click.
A war of observation,
there was no retreat.

The few steps I could have taken
were a vastness bridged by fear.

She held her pose,
too weak to accuse.

I never saw her eyes.