Poems to my daughter

(I stumbled on these typed sheets [!] today, written between 1972 and 1977 to my young daughter, aged 6 to 11. I’m  posting them in their chronological sequence.)

The Awkward Aardvark Song

Comes the awkward aardvark
lumbering along,
singing in a high, shrill voice
The Awkward Aardvark song:

“Aardvark!  Aardvark!
I am the awkward aardvark!
I’m not a dog.  I’m not a ram.
I’m not a bird or shark.
I’m simply what I say I am —
an arrogant awkward aardvark.”

The Man In the Moon

The man in the Moon, you see,
got there by climbing a tree.
Reaching the top
he neglected to stop
and climbed on for a mile or three.

“Gadzooks!” the old man said.
(An expression he once had read.)
“I’ve climbed too far,
I’m out on a star,
or is it the Moon instead?”

“Well, this will be my home,
and around the world we’ll roam.
The Moon and I
will travel the sky
to smile on land and foam.”


A girl by arithmetic bent
to her father tearfully went.
She studied quite hard
in the house and the yard
till she knew what the numbers meant.

Still she studied each day on her own,
and in multiplication shone.
Though bothered by Dog,
enchanted by Frog,
she subtracted her pain,
added her gain
and divided the prime Unknown.


Spring lives short and green,
slow in coming, hardly seen
but felt as a cat feels rain
before it comes and plays mean.

Summer slips quietly in
taking the place of Spring,
with days bright as a goldfish fin
and evenings when a nighthawk sings.

Autumn casts a magic song:
colored trees and frosted ground,
warm days bright and cool nights long;
known to the wind by a leaf’s falling sound.

The Winter rains a chilling gray
to teach the marigold decay.
The marigold retreats to rise
in time, to be a Spring surprise.

2 thoughts on “Poems to my daughter

  1. “4. The Winter rains a chilling gray to teach the marigold decay. The marigold retreats to rise in time, to be a Spring surprise.” Compton’s American Home Encyclopedia is no substitute…

    Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 00:09:15 +0000

  2. Awwww….I don’t remember these. Did you ever read them to me? I remember (and still lament the mysterious loss of) The Pickle Book. I treasured it for many years until its eventual disappearance and I wish I still had it. I remember to this day my mother attempting to explain the “that was no piccolo, that was my fife” joke to me. I never did get why the man’s wife wasn’t a lady, but at least I got the wordplay. 🙂 Someday I might have to try to illustrate these…(I’m planning a big project now….a large work composed of smaller ones that should keep me busy for awhile and (bonus!) result in some posts to my idle blog. But while reading these, the thought of illustrating them did occur to me….hmmmm……).

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