POEM FOR CHILDREN: Jungle Mouth

Jungle Mouth

 

I taught baboons to brush my teeth.

Opossums learned to floss ’em.

My boa knows how to squeeze out paste

crush up the tubes, and toss ’em.

But when my pets see cavities

they hiss, they howl, they shriek

and take away my lollipops

and chocolates for a week!

 

                                                           

First published in Spider.

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A Banana

How can a

banana

be glowing up dere

so golden

and bold in

da night?

 

Dere must be

a monkey

who lugged it up dere

who licked it

and sticked it

on tight.

                                         

From Monkey Shines, an unpublished collection of night-themed children's poetry.

 

IN THE SHADE OF THE BAOBAB TREE

In the shade of the baobab tree,

where the buru birdie sings,

we could share a bubble pipe

and talk of grown-up things.

 

“Isn’t summer bright?” I’d say.

“Yes sir,” you’d reply,

pretending it was really fun

to stare into the sky.

 

“Isn’t coffee nice and hot?”

“Oh, indeed it is –

certainly much better than

a tin of Lemon Fizz.”

 

“Aren’t the monkeys fierce and quick?”

“Too too true, they are.

Why, just the other afternoon

they chased me in their car.”

 

“I made twenty jewels today,

For sweeping up the zoo.”

“For looking through a telescope,

I made twenty-two.”

 

In the shade of the baobab tree,

where the buru birdie sings,

we’d lay down our bubble pipe,

tired of grown-up things,

and join the little monkeys

on their big banana swings.

 

 

THE DUSKY-LEAF MONKEY

The dusky-leaf monkey, he came from afar,

curled up in the lid of a cinnamon jar.

He sailed the pale ocean on lily-moon beams,

to sprinkle our noses with sweet-smelling dreams.

And now the foul night-smelling ghosts are no more!

O lavender pillows! O peppermint snores!

It’s wonderful what the wee monkey one did,

our dusky-leaf friend, in a cinnamon lid!

                                                                                    

From Monkey Shines: Night Poems, an unpublished collection of poetry for children.

THE FLUPPERKINS OF WIMBLY LIGHT

[Cleaning out an old valise, I rediscovered, in a nest of stale almonds, this long-forgotten odd poem for children. I don’t remember what a Flupperkin is, exactly. I’ll have to think about that.]

 

The Flupperkins of Wimbly Light,

they’re not quite wrong –

but they’re not quite right.

All night they sing “The Happy Song,”

as they flupper along on fluffy feet:

 

“The moon is high, the cake is sweet!”

“Oh, let us wander down the street!”

 

“If we trip, we’ll spill our tea.”

“But if we don’t, then you and me – ”

 

“Can both go splashing in the sea!”

“Take my hand, or – ”

 

“Take my nose – ”

“Just takes it everywhere you goes!”

 

“Tie a pink string ’round your head – ”

“So it doesn’t float away.”

 

“Oh what a flumpy, fimbly, wimbly – ”

“Fluppery summer’s day!”

 

“Except it’s night.”

“Oh – right!”