Monday 12 June 2017

Poetry Monday: Fly, Drive & Walk Defensively

I keep saying I can't remember any poetry I've memorized, aside from very few pieces which I've already used for Poetry Mondays.

And then something will prompt a memory, and a verse will spill out of my brain onto my tongue, and I will think "Oh Good!" and "Oh Drat" simultaneously. "Oh Good" is easy to understand; I'm happy not to have to sit down and actually use my little brain to compose a new poem (especially when I am mentally drained from worrying about my latest haircut). "Oh Drat" means I know I lied -- again.

Today I have two very short verses; each one will cost you zero munnies, or you can have two for no munnies at all.

The first came to me years ago when I was driving my children somewhere. It must have been about this time of year, when the birds are so busy nest-building and obeying nature's edict to reproduce that they take shortcuts everywhere they go, fearing nothing, hurrying and hurtling through the air, often at eye level of drivers who happen to be in their way.

One such bird had a near miss with the front of my car, and these lines came to mind. My kids liked my little rhyme, and it has come in handy many times since, including just the other day, when yet another bird, probably the great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchild of the one I nearly hit so many years ago, came a tad too close to my grille for comfort.

Plea To All Addlepated Birds In Springtime 

Birdie, please don't fly so low;
My car is fast and you are slow.
Please fly higher, if you could,
So you don't end up on my hood.


And this verse, also about speed and cars, is one my grandfather used to recite, likely to try and impress on us youngsters that even if you have the right of way, that doesn't really matter if you end up dead. I often shout it at drivers, and even walkers, who blithely lurch ahead on a green light into an intersection or into a crosswalk without checking to make sure they are not about to be driven into or mowed down by someone whose mind is elsewhere at the moment. Drive and walk defensively, people, and live a little longer! (I don't actually shout it, although I may say it out loud, as long as I have no passesngers, my windows are tightly closed, and I don't think anyone can see my lips move.)

Grampy's Advice

He was right -- dead right --
As he sped along;
But he was just as dead
As if he was wrong.


That's it for Poetry Monday, where the poems are free and you are welcome to read, critique, laugh, cry and BYOP -- Bring Your Own Poem! Contributions are always welcome. Leave yours in the comments, or if you have a blog and wish to post it there, leave us your blog address in the comments so we can come along and clap for you. Don't forget to visit Diane (who came up with the idea of Poetry Monday) and Delores (who knows a thing or two about writing poetry too).

"Who are you calling 'addlepated'? Your pate doesn't look all that non-addled to me either!"

Whoa. That bird has an attitude.

I hope you have an accident-free week, and avoid all unexpected hood ornaments :)

 Starling photo courtesy of Pixabay.


Elephant's Child said...

I love both your poem and the one (dead right and correct as well) your father recited.
Today I am going to add to the mix with one I recently came across written by Margaret Mahy.
The Cat Song
We always know just where we're at
Travelling by trust cat.
Petrol troubles are all gone,
Milk is what we travel on.
On we speed, though once or twice,
We have to stop to take on mice.
Goodbye to every mileage sorrow.
Cats! The transport of tomorrow.

I suspect she knows much more obliging cats than I do.

only slightly confused said...

Two good ones this week. Two for the price of one and the price is FREE...gotta love it.

Red said...

I hope more verses, like the one on the "birdies", come into your head

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

These are great! And now I'll be spouting them, whilst driving . . .

Steve Reed said...

Now that's some good, practical poetry! Pigeons, in particular, have a habit of flying into danger zones.

Anonymous said...

Lessons for both humans and birds. I like both poems as they are catchy and easy to remember.

I have written limericks in the past which are also easy to remember and my favourite is one I wrote for my grand-daughter because I was able to rhyme her name with a couple of suitable words, which wasn't easy.

There is a little girl called Amber,
Who loves to climb and clamber,
She climbs so high,
Nearly touching the sky,
Then dances down doing the samba.

Have a good week.
Joan (Wales)

Jono said...

Started new lyrics to "Born to be Wild" this morning.
Get you mower runnin'
Head out on the green grass.
Lookin' for adventure
Or what gets me off of my ass.

I'll let you know how it goes from there.

jenny_o said...

Oh, I love this, EC! I can picture the cats with their passengers ... and you're right, this would be a job for very steady, trustworthy kinds of cats. Thank you for BYOP-ing :)

jenny_o said...

Thanks - and those extra-special properties of zeros come in handy sometimes :)

jenny_o said...

I have to say, it usually sounds more like a prayer when I'm saying it, Red! Thanks :)

jenny_o said...

Just make sure nobody sees your lips move, Diane!

jenny_o said...

Yes they do, and their takeoff is a bit slow and cumbersome, too!

jenny_o said...

Good one, Joan! I bet your grand-daughter loves to hear her name in verse! Now I'm going to have to think up some little poems with my grandsons' names in them for the next time I see them. Moms and Dads don't have enough time for that but Grammy does :)

jenny_o said...

Very catchy, Jon - report back with your progress! And now I have that song stuck in my head, but that's not a bad thing :)

e said...

Happy Monday, Jenny_O!

jenny_o said...

Thanks, e! Same to you :)

John Going Gently said...

Is that a starling? X

dinthebeast said...

When I was driving a truck for my living, I often had advice for my fellow drivers, though very little of it was in verse and rather a lot of it was loud and profane.
This isn't really a poem, but I'll share it anyway. It's a parody of "Mr. Tambourine Man" on YouTube by Rocky Mountain Mike:

Hey, Mr. Tangerine man, build a wall for me
I'm not that bright and don't know that you're not going to
Hey, Mr. Tangerine man, keep Muslims away from me
With my jingoistic world view, I'll come following you

Fake me out with this,
I'll be your newest apprentice
My sister thinks you're a trip
All my friends say "Get a grip"
And my skull's too numb to think
Waiting only for the bullshit you've been pedaling

I'm ready to think anything
Your orange face does not fade
My IQ's 88
Cast your protesters my way
I promise to go punching them

Hey, Mr. Tangerine man, build a wall for me
I'm not that bright and don't know that you're not going to
Hey, Mr. Tangerine man, keep Muslims away from me
With my jingoistic world view, I'll come following you

-Doug in Oakland

Martha said...

I love both of them! You don't want "Had the right of way" on your tombstone :) And those little birds zipping around like that freak me out. I'm always worried I'm going to hit one.

jenny_o said...

That's how Pixabay identified it, and it's what our starlings look like in the spring - orange beaks and lots of speckles!

jenny_o said...

Heh heh to your first paragraph :)

That is an excellent parody - they really nailed the sound of the original. The lyrics are pretty solid, too!

jenny_o said...

They're everywhere! I saw one today with a beakful of ... food? I think ... They barely clear the tops of the cars in their hurry!

e said...

Love the poems and all of the remarks they have spawned...Fun!

DB Stewart said...

Love these. I don't know where it's from, but my favourite rhyme is this one:
Loved you once
Love you still
Always have
Always will

jenny_o said...

I love reading the comments! Sometimes it surprises me what shakes out in response to a poem, but it's always a pleasure to see.

jenny_o said...

That verse will resonate with many, many people across time and place, dbs - thanks for dropping in and contributing.

Terry said...

I've never really been into poetry. Give me a good thriller anytime and I'll read it. Stephen Leather doesn't write poetry, but he's a great writer of thrillers

jenny_o said...

What you need is a good thrilling poem, Terry! Just kidding :) Everyone has different interests. I haven't heard of that author; thanks for mentioning him.

baili said...

i am sure you look Lovely in your new haircut dear Jeney!
LOVED your cute poem ,how sweetly you requested birds to fly little higher !
like i am also facing a blank brain right now and not writing since long time though wanted sometime badly but what to do as according to wordsworth poetry is "spontaneous flow of thoughts" so cannot produce them intentionally.
your post reminded me an accident of bird but i don't have courage to share it right now

Geo. said...

Excellent poems, Jenny! I posted mine at "Invalid's Workshop" ( It's about wishes.

ps: The Towhees are hatching today. Norma's been photoing them for a future post.

John M said...

Good thoughts about safety.

jenny_o said...

Thank you, baili. I hope your poetry mojo comes back soon; I would love to read some more of your poems.

Sometimes birds don't quite make it out of the way of cars, and that is sad. I know what you mean when you say you don't have courage to share it right now. It makes one sad all over again, doesn't it?

jenny_o said...

Thank you, Geo. I will be over shortly! I've been away all day so need to get caught up.

Looking forward so much to Normaphotos of hatchlings!

jenny_o said...

Thanks, John. I wish more people would have these (or similar) verses running through their minds more often!

Diane Henders said...

I loved both your poems, and I'm impressed that you made that one up on the spur of the moment! I'm too brain-dead to contribute at the moment, but thanks for the smile you gave me. :-)

jenny_o said...

Rhymes happen at the strangest times. I'm sorry about your brain, but happy to give you a smile :)