Summer-Camp Smells

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
 SUMMER-CAMP  SMELLS
 

§  Sing a song of summer-camp smells!
Water bubbling from mineral wells;
cabins musty after it rains;
sneakers dusty from woodland lanes.

  §  Pungent weeds and trampled-down grass;
wood and glue in handicrafts class;
fresh grease on a rusty oarlock;
algae dripping under the dock. 

   §  Buddy burners and tin-can stoves;
bacon and eggs and broken loaves;
fragrant wood-smoke curling higher;
marshmallows that catch on fire.
 
   §  O, memory forms and quickly jells
when you sniff those summer-camp smells! 
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

On the Sand

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
 ON  THE  SAND
 
   §  On the sand I drew a line
as far as I could reach.
I dared the sea to cross that line
and come up on the beach.
 
   §  On the sand I wrote my name,
every letter neatly.
Then the whispering water came,
erased my name completely.
 
   §  On the sand I built a tower,
strong enough to stay.
Then the hungry tide came higher,
washed it all away.
 
   §  On the sand I lay down flat
and dreamed I drove to Dover.
Then a wave came in, and splat!
I was wet all over. 
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunset After Storm

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
 SUNSET  AFTER  STORM
 
The rain rolled down our windshield
in a stream that wouldn’t stop.
The thunder grumbled overhead:
“Look out! The sky might drop!”
 
   The lightning scissored through the dark
and made the clouds look bright.
The dashboard clock said three, but gee,
it looked like nine at night.
 
   And then the clouds began to shrink;
the rain fell soft and slow.
Blue windows opened up above;
the sun began to show.
 
   And on the far horizon,
as evening turned to night,
an orange sherbet ice cream cone
slid softly out of sight.
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Backseat Games

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
 
 BACKSEAT  GAMES
 
   §  The time passed all too slowly
as our car rolled down the road.
We added up the license plates,
pretending they were code.
 
   §  We ran a race between the sides,
the left against the right:
We counted silos, horses, cows,
or anything else in sight.
 
   §  We looked for cars from every state,
from sea to shining sea.
We found them all except Vermont
and Maine and Hawaii.
 
   §  We looked for lime-green minivans,
for trucks of royal blue.
We raced to find the alphabet,
but both got stuck at Q.
 
   §  We ran the score to 94,
Toyota versus Ford, . . .
and reached our Grandma’s cottage
just before we both got bored. 
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 

Scenic Byways

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
 SCENIC  BYWAYS
 
  §  “Scenic byway,” said the map,
“lovely views of Long Lost Gap.”
Daddy said, “Let’s make the climb;
“after all, we’ve got the time.”
Up that winding road we sped.
Down and dizzy went my head.
 
   §  Scenic byways turn me green —
where’s my dose of Dramamine?
Hairpin curves and twists and turns,
while my stomach tilts and churns.
Long Lost Gap? I’ve got a hunch,
what gets lost will be my lunch.
 
   §  Save me from those scenic byways!
Let me ride the big wide highways!
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas 
 

Interstates

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
 INTERSTATES
 
  §  Interstates make pavement ribbons,
crossing miles from Home to There,
threading through the rocky ridges,
leading on to Anywhere.
 
   § Interstates sometimes seem boring –
scenery that looks the same,
every stop like every other,
every city just a name.
 
   § Interstates bring evening swimming,
ice machines, and great big beds –
stretching out to watch a movie,
pillows propping dampish heads.
 
   § Interstates have happy endings,
past that final cloverleaf:
Theme parks, kinfolks, mountains, beaches,
snorkeling near a sunlit reef.
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our Backyard

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
 OUR  BACKYARD
 

§  Tiger lilies tall and straggly,
flaming orange flecked with black.
Grapevines grasping weathered arbors —
these embowered our yard in back.

§  Honeysuckle white and yellow,
swarming up our garden gate.
Dead stumps planted with petunias.
Hollyhocks all standing straight.

§  Honeysuckle red as coral.
(First we’d suck the sweetness dry,
then we’d float the flowers in water:
Tiny goldfish swimming by.)

    §  Damson plums, mock-orange bushes,
calicanthus dark and sweet,
rambler roses pink and thorny:
These made our backyard complete.
 
§  Other people’s yards were neater —
trimmed grass framed by flowerbeds.
Our backyard ran riot with color:
Yellows, purples, blues and reds. 
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 

How Come Humpty Dumpty?

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
 HOW  COME  HUMPTY  DUMPTY?
 
 
  §  How come Humpty Dumpty sat high on that wall?
Whatever possessed him to take such a fall?
And why were those horses, and all the king’s men,
unable to put him together again?
 
  §  Remember the man who could eat nothing fat?
Did lower cholesterol strengthen Jack Sprat?
His wife, on the other hand, ate nothing lean.
Did she use detergent to lick the plate clean?
 
  §  I wonder why Peter liked pumpkin so much.
He ate one, then cleaned out its shell for a hutch.
No rabbit or hamster he put there to dwell:
He moved in his wife, kept her there very well.
 
   §  Do nursery rhymes sound like nonsense to you?
Well, join the club! Give them a twist! Make them new! 
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Inventors

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
  INVENTORS
 
  §  “Wire briar limber lock . . .”
Why three in the flock?
“One flew east and one flew west . . .”
Why fly over the cuckoo’s nest?
 
  §  Who invented children’s games?
Who made the rules? Who chose the names?
What girl or boy (like solemn judge)
gave History a gentle nudge:
“It seems to me, I think it fit,
that one who tags should be called It?”
 
  §  What jump-rope genius thought (and said)
“Mustard!” or “Pepper!” (Black or Red)?
Who first yelled, “Red Rover, Red Rover!”?
If some other color, would none have come over?
Would “London Bridge is falling down!”
still work if in some other town?
 
 §   History tells us dates and names,
but not who invented children’s games. 
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 
 
 

Contradiction

(Some of these short poems see Creation as if through a child’s eyes. Some of them suggest a more mature view of the Creator. A few of them even reflect the long perspective of age. Most are not intended to be Scriptural, sometimes not even spiritual. Yet they may give your spirits a lift: By the middle of the week, who doesn’t need a chuckle or a changed outlook?)
 
CONTRADICTION
 
I’m never quite ready to jump into bed.
There’s always just one chapter more to be read,
a victory to claim
in a video game,
and dozens of thoughts that still dart through my head.
 
   I’m never quite ready to jump out of bed.
That pillow seems just the right spot for my head.
Now, why is it so
that I don’t want to go,
yet once there, I want to stay put in my  bed?
 
Copyright © 2016 by Perry Thomas
 
 
 

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