Grandchildren (and Others) on the Loose

Digitally painted photo: Granny at PlayAt Granny’s House

That impish twinkle in her eyes

might lead you to hypothesize

that Granny’s up to something good,

and you’d be right, oh, yes you would—

There’s something in the oven now,

sweeter than Mama’s rules allow,

and some wild playtime to be had

surpassing anything that Dad

prefers, as well, and there’s a tree

you’ll climb, you and your sisters three—

Before your parents spoil the romp,

she’ll make her funny false teeth chomp,

make goofy faces, mad as yours,

all five will then get on all fours

and roll around the living room—

Eight-thirty! chimes the clock, and boom!—

Just as their car pulls up the drive,

you all head for the couch and dive

into a tidy line, as calm

and placid as a Dad and Mom

could hope to see, and Granny’s eyes are

twinkling. Parents?

None the wiser.Digitally painted photo: Playtime

Cautionary Tale

Years ago our family lived near a wooded area where all of the kids in the neighborhood loved to explore and build forts and play, but the youngest among us wasn’t permitted to go there alone, for obvious reasons. The training was attested to by the little girl from next door who announced quite solemnly to my mom one day that her “mother always told [her] never to go into The Forest.” This little ditty is for Micki.

Don’t Go into the Forest

From long ago, our elders cautioned us

That in the wood there lurked a dreadful beast

Whose fangs were fiercely fine, and for whose feast

A hearty haunch of whole rhinoceros

Was scarce an appetizer, and the main

Entrée, a village full of soldiers, knights

And heroes snapped up, each, in single bites,

Made more delicious by their screams of pain.

Our fear of this stayed abstract, since the hurt

Inflicted, terrible enough, was made

For full-grown animals and men, which stayed

The doom from us—but then we learned dessert

Was Children, and we changed our minds, for good,

About the lure of wand’ring in the wood!Digital illustration: Child, Mother, Monster

Water Babies, All

digital illustrationOcean-front Property

A stroll along the esplanade, sun-worship on the beach,

Dining on oysters, clams or cod, there’s pleasure fit for each

And every taste, along the shore, delights enough at sea,

That, whether you are rich or poor, seaside’s the place to be!digital illustration

Youth in Springtime

photoFew pleasures can compare to children’s when they are allowed untrammeled playtime in nature’s kind and pretty places. We should all be so fortunate in Springtime, especially in the springtime of our lives.photoBy Babylon Creek

Babylon Creek

used to make the

children laugh as it ran

tickling fingers up

their summer-heated shins

and the older folk

chuckle shamefacedly

at its puns and the way

its hilarious licking made

them squirm like

dog-loved kids themselvesphoto