Saturday, April 9, 2011

For the boys

(based on suggestions from The Boy, 2yo, 8yo, Riley, Ollie, TG, Toby, P, Gabe, and Luka. This poem came about because The Boy asked for one.)

When we are older, we’ll run around without parents, okay?

We’ll say to each other “let’s go shopping but we won’t buy anything

we’ll drive there in a horse but we’ll end up outside or at the zoo.

We’ll let all the nice tigers loose and ride them like stripy rocketships.

When they get tired of running we’ll let them have a nap

and a tall glass of water with clinkery ice in it.

(Even rocketships get sweaty and slippery, if we’re not careful

we’ll start to slide off. So ssssshhhh, the big cats are sleeping.)

Once I saw a train that looked like a tiger. It was long and yellow

and when it ran past me all I could see were stripey stripey blurs.

Listen – can you hear it breathing? It’s a friendly train tiger,

it just wants us to notice its tail. Can you see it? It has a long

long one (longer even than your arms) and we can grab it and riiiiiiiide...

Well, until we need a sandwich. Then we’ll ask a monkey to

get a banana and some bread and – look out! The gorilla sat on him.

I hope you like banana and monkey sandwiches.

You have a body and so do I. Mine's a bit taller.

It’s very well assembled, there are veins

that bring things back and arteries that send things out.

Layers keep us together and we can lift an arm – just like that.

Our bodies keep a lot of bits and pieces under our skin.

There’s a brain, probably a liver, maybe a couple of lungs.

They’re all hidden away like a secret on the inside.

Just as well, if we kept them on the outside it’d be a bit squishy.

Look at that, you have friends in your family:

Baby Lala is his friend, Riley’s mum is his friend.

Who are your friends? Some of mine are animals,

a cat or a chicken makes an excellent friend.

Ollie’s friend Aidan doesn’t come to care any more

but I think it’s a rumour. He still cares.

Friends are like hot air balloons that can fly in outer space –

they might be impossible, but they keep flying.

Let’s go outside when it’s windy. The backyard is the same as a zoo

but the grass is a little bit bigger and the animals a little bit smaller.

Stand still in your backyard – the breeze

is singing through the clothesline.

No need to exterminate/regenerate, just listen -

Maybe it’s asking you to draw a picture of the wind.

Maybe you can sing along with the wind and

you’ll remember that song, forever?


There are ten boys in this poem:

  • @matchtrick and @sulphura’s The Boy: "I asked. Confidently, without hesitation: 'a singing poem about washing lines.' "
  • @tiggyjohnson’s 2yo: "to truly represent his thoughts, “going shopping in the car” would pretty much sum him up"
  • @tiggyjohnson’s 8yo: “outside”
  • @miscmum’s Riley: "He said 'something about mum' (me! Aww)"
  • @pcblues and Tammy’s Ollie: "Aidan doesn't come to care any more."
  • @quadelle and @bookboy’s TG: "What would you like someone to write about?" He said, "Baby. Lala." (Lala is his 4yo sister.)"
  • @anthonyeaton’s Toby: "I can say with almost 100% certainty that it would have to involve trains. Preferably yellow ones. Or possibly Tigers."
  • @sushipyjamas and @facelikethunder’s P: "request is - what a shock - the human body. After thinking about it a while he also added rocketships & space, and hot-air balloons. I told him you might not write about them all" (of course I will)
  • @SeanMElliott and @TheEndeavour’s Gabe: “To get to the other side. How did the monkey make a banana sandwich? A gorilla sat on him. Exterminate! Regenerate!”
  • And my boy Luka:
    Me: ‘What does a poem say?"
    Luka: “Poem!”
    Me: “What does it say?”
    Luka: *pause* "WATER!"

When @matchtrick and @sulphura’s The Boy asked if I would write a poem for him, it occurred to me – why should adults have all the fun? So I asked peeps who have a small boy to ask them for suggestions. (Don’t worry, the girls are up next.)

Ten boys replied (that’s why today’s poem is so long!). I’ve tried to write something they might like (which is quite difficult with an age range of 2yrs to 8yrs), and that their parents might like too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and sing under the clothesline. It's windy tonight.


Miscellaneous-Mum said...

I love it, the breeze indeed sings through the clothesline, and on a rainy night such as this, what a song it would be! :) Thank you for including Riley. Tickled to my toes x

Quadelle said...

This is sweet and so boyish. Well, certainly so much like my boy with trains, tigers, monkeys and gorillas. Thanks for including TG's requests! :)

Tony said...

Ditto. It's lovely. Thanks for thinking of Toby. And a train that looks like a tiger? Genius.

Anna said...

Thanks everyone! This was lots of fun.

@Tony - has Toby seen the cat bus on My Neighbour Totoro?