Authors: Gabriel Rosenstock
POEMS FOR OWLISH CHILDREN
Edited by MÃcheÃ¡l Ã hAodha
Â© 2011 G
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any meansâgraphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval systemsâwithout the prior written permission of the author.
Mobi : 978-1-908477-97-2
Published by O
., Dublin, 2011.
Sadly the dawn light seeps from the skies
He closes his eyes
Counts black sheep
“I am tired of being wise â¦
I'm not wise. It's all lies!
“I am just a foolish bird
My name is Henry Hooter the Third.
“With a name like that I could be clever?
What a hoot (bless my word!) â did you ever?”
He opens his eyes
Thinks: “Me? Wise?”
“I've a big surprise for you all:
I am as wise as a brick wall!”
Now that he's said all he wanted to say
Henry Hooter goes to sleep for the day.
The vertical-take-off sparrow â
A creature that seldom is seen;
Up he goes like an arrow â
They call him “The Flying Machine”.
He whirrs when about to take off â
But how to describe itâ¦ that sound!
Say a hundred gnus were to cough
(If a hundred gnus could be found).
My canary is sick
And refuses to sing,
He turns up his nose
At the food I bring
And his eyes grow dim
Grow dim, grow dim
And nobody knows
What's the matter with him.
I wish he could speak â¦
Can't you open your beak?
Poor little thing! He's far too weak.
The corkscrew-bird has a very funny nose
With which it makes holes in trees,
A funny old nose which it never ever blows
Except when about to sneeze.
The corkscrewâbird is born in midâJune
(And sometimes, too, in May)
Try as it might it can't sing in tune
But it hopes to â¦ one fine day.
The brent goose eyes a passing cloud:
“I'm leaving tomorrow
No cause for sorrow!”
Chill wind cries aloud.
Greenland calls to the brent goose, time to go,
Nothing has changed
Her flight is arranged
No time to lose come hail, come snow.
How I wish she'd take me there
To Greenland through the honking air!
An insect chirps in the meadow
Like a bicycle coming down the road,
I'm not afraid of the bumble bee,
The asses cry with their heavy load.
Mama's shawl is warm,
Father's pants are wide,
If ever I'm in trouble
I know where I can hide.
Uncle is mending a currach,
How I love the smell of the tar!
The lake at the end of the boreen â
Silvery as a star.
I like the cows black as turf,
That stream â no depth at all;
Sheep have dyeâmarks, blue and red,
Ponies never grow tall.
Lightning flashes daub the sky,
Crow is flying at his level best;
“Caw! What a storm â can hardly fly,
Hardly see â¦ damn, where's my nest?
“What am I doing at this time of night,
Lightning ripping the sky in two;
I'm a fool, you know â head is gone light,
Wife will be mad. What will I do?”
Down in a hole in a bog
Lived an old, old, old, old frog.
He was old, he was cold,
All covered in mould
And breakfasted mostly on fog.
Carries lots of things
On his back
And as he trundles
He tumbles and mumbles
“So many bundles!
Henry Hooter has a pain in his head,
“Should I get up, or stay here in bed?
Should I be single, or should I be wed?”
His head feels heavy â heavy as lead.
Henry Hooter has just had a thought,
It flew out his ear and was only half caught:
“All life,” he said, “is with something fraught,
Wisdom's a something â¦ something â something
Henry Hooter opened a book,
“What a load of codswollop! Look, just look!”
With laughter and anger his whole frame
“From start to finish it's gobbledegook!”
Henry Hooter says the world has gone mad:
“Just have a look at it! Terrribly sad!
Everyone asking what's the latest fad â
By heavens, I hope it's not me â egad!”
Henry Hooter nods off to sleep,
Sleeping deeply he lies in a heap,
Deeply sleeping till the first stars peep,
Mumbling sweetly “How come I'm so deep?”
Squids spurt ink
What's a fink?
Don't know. But flamingos are pink
And lemmings fall over the brink
Into the drink:
Is it some kind of kink?
Don't know. But foxes slink
And a chain is as weak as its strongest link.
Is it wrong to wear mink?
Don't know. But skaters skate in a rink
Zn stands for zinc
Some girls prink
And as far as I know fish don't blink.
I am a little penguin
And I waddle when I run:
Widdle wuddle waddle â
Gosh, it's so much fun!
I waddle in the morning
When the day begins to break
And I waddle in the nightâtime
Just to keep myself awake!
My dad's a powerful waddler â
Twice Waddler of the Year,
The judges said he must have had
A fourth or fifth gear!
“That old Spud's a proper stick-in-the-mud,”
Says redâlipped Cherry. “Not talking to him
Spud hears this and is hurt to the core.
Suddenly â thud!
Next thing you know he's lying on the floor.
All the fruit and vegetables gather round to
view the scene.
“Dead or alive?” asks Parsnip. “Hmm â¦ let's
see,” says Garden Pea,
“I wonder â¦ hmm â¦what do you think Broad
“Nothing serious, just badly shook if you ask
“Spud! Darling! It's me â Cherry. I'm awfully
sorry! (Can he hear?)
Said awfully sorry! Friends? So silly to fight!”
Spud opens a watery eye: “Forgive you this
time, my dear.”
“Oh, so happy!
Tell me Spud â¦ anything â er â
You think because I'm just an eel
I don't feel?
I feel! As do lizards, newts and rats
And vampire bats!
You think because you see no tears
I've got no hopes, no dreams, no fears?
I fear, I dream, I hope,
My dreams are slippier than soap.
What do you think I'm made of? Jelly?
Oh, what's the point! Go watch telly!