A favorite childhood poem: What is yours?


Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern American Poetry.  1919.
Eugene Field. 1850–1895
5. Little Boy Blue
 I’ve always liked this poem. Thought I’d share it.  I thought it was about growing up, but now I realize it’s about something else. But I still like it anyway. It was in a book of poems we used to have in my house growing up. Do you have a favorite poem? Maybe I was a more melancholy child than average. Maybe not, since it’s very famous.

English: American writer, poet, literary criti...

English: American writer, poet, literary critic, and editor Louis Untermeyer (1885-1977) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

THE little toy dog is covered with dust,
    But sturdy and staunch he stands;
The little toy soldier is red with rust,
    And his musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
    And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
    Kissed them and put them there.
“Now don’t you go till I come,” he said,
    “And don’t you make any noise!”
So, toddling off to his trundle bed,
    He dreamt of the pretty toys;
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
    Awakened our Little Boy Blue—
Oh! the years are many, the years are long,
    But the little toy friends are true!
Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
    Each in the same old place,
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
    The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting the long years through
    In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
    Since he kissed them and put them there.
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I’m Watching “This is It” Missing Weird Michael Jackson (MJ)


Cover of "Michael Jackson: This Is It"

Cover of Michael Jackson: This Is It

I’ve seen the movie, “This is it” a couple of times, but I don’t get tired of it.  Michael Jackson in rehearsal is the closest I’ll ever get to a MJ concert.

After all, I watched MJ grow up. I remember him as a little kid, singing and dancing. What poise, what stage presence, and what promise.

I remember watching The Jackson 5  on Johnny Carson. I thought it was weird MJ wasn’t doing any talking. He said he was “shy and quiet.”  That wasn’t the half of it.

I remember how excited my 5th grade class was after he did that Apollo Theater special. He  moon-walked for the first time on TV, and his performance was riveting.

The next day my fifth grade students came to class wearing one glove. I knew the young adult heart-throb Michael Jackson,was going to be a big deal to them.

But then the weirdness really started about 5  years later.
Monkey’s, horrible accusations, sad trials, and all the rest of it. I’d like to think he was innocent of the accusations. I’d like to think he was just weird.

Then, the different way he died. Whoever heard of anyone dying from an anesthetic. I’m glad they convicted that doctor. I guess money can buy anyone or anything.

It’s insane how we get to know the celebrities, and they never know us. It’s insane how we demand so much from them, and they don’t even ever know who we are. It’s ironic that this cute kid with all that talent came to a sad end

Still, I can appreciate watching “This is It.” If’s entertaining.

Thanks MJ wherever you are.

Am I wrong? What do you think?

Saying goodbye to a friend, Barbara Perrin


I got the news of my friend’s death through an email. That is now life in the 21st century. In case you may have known her, her name was Barbara Perrin. Maybe you ran across her in the writing community.

My friend wasn’t my closest friend. We didn’t call each other on a regular basis, or go many places together. But, the relationship was getting warmer. She had a subtle sense of humor.

We attended a 3 day writers group together several months ago. We talked and talked in the hotel room. She was really proud of her son.  I felt like I could tell her anything. How many people can you trust like that?

I met her at a  casual writer’s group several years ago. She’d come every week, all the way from Westerville, Ohio to Reynoldsburg, Ohio. I could depend on her walking in every Thursday, getting some coffee, and sitting down at the table in the back of the room.

She was an editor by trade, and edited some things I wrote. It was something you’d expect someone to charge for, but she generously did it for free. I learned more than a few things from her.

She was a kind and gentle person, one who knew how to be tactful and get along with others. She seemed to have all the patience in the world.

Her stories were really different, and she had a wonderful way with words.  Her stories were about different types of things from an angle you wouldn’t expect. They were quite artistic. One of her stories was published in the last Columbus Creative Cooperative, and she was so excited about it. The editors were looking forward to the one she was writing for the Bicentennial edition.

When they didn’t receive it, they kept trying to contact her. Her only son called them, and gave them the news. That’s why I found out about it through email. The editor sent out the news to everyone who belongs to the group.

There was no obituary in the newspaper. She died like she lived, quietly.

Today, I went to the writer’s group where I met her.  Only one other person who knew her was there.  I missed her so much, especially her kind blue eyes. The group, like all things, changes with time. Both of us felt so  sad about her death.

She was missing. And the fact is she’s not coming back. We both kept hoping maybe she’d show up, although we knew it wasn’t logical or possible.

That is what happens when someone dies  They are missing.

Barbara Perrin is in the top row on the right. She’s wearing denim and a scarf.

Rest in peace.

Do you think Cursive writing is important?


The English alphabet, both upper and lower cas...

The English alphabet, both upper and lower case letters, written in D'Nealian cursive. The grey arrows indicate the starting position for each letter. For letters which are written using more than one stroke, grey numbers indicate the order in which the lines are drawn. The green tails on the front of several of the letters are for connecting them to the previous letter; if these letters are used to begin a word the green portion is omitted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m taking my idea for this post from a Facebook friend who was bemoaning the fact that they’re not teaching Cursive writing in schools anymore.

She contended that it was an important part of the learning process. I think it’s more like an art form. I use it because it is faster than printing, but I’m not sure anyone else could read it.

When I was Substitute teaching several years ago, I noticed that hardly any of the High School kids were writing their papers in Cursive writing. They either printed, or used a cross between Cursive and Print writing.

I thought this was a curious thing and asked some of them why they weren’t using Cursive writing.

Their answer usual was that they used the computer for most things, and if they took notes they could print pretty fast. Others said they never learned it. So, I guess they haven’t been teaching it for a while.

When I was an Elementary School Teacher, I remember one parent who was so focused on his child’s poor handwriting that he couldn’t acknowledge his child’s numerous strengths. I’m sure that child grew up to be a success in life. I’m betting he uses his computer for almost everything.

I think as time goes on, paper and pencils will become obsolete. I know when I go into an Apple Store for instruction and ask for paper, they are hard pressed to find any. Maybe it’s already a paperless world and I just don’t know it.

Why fight progress?

Just because things change, does it mean things are worse? I don’t think kids today are less bright than we were. I think they just do things in a different way.

What do you think?

Jack Wagner Exits and dancing questions for you?


Standard dancing (prechampionship final) at th...

Standard dancing (prechampionship final) at the 2006 MIT Ballroom Dance Competition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just as I predicted, Jack Wagner is going!

During the show, Anna and her dance partner husband did a gorgeous dance together. They were honoring their friend, a dancer, who is fighting stage 4 cancer.  Their emotions really came out in the dance. It is really a beautiful art form! It was touching to see her friend’s grateful reaction.

I wish that people would start ballroom dancing, and we would all start doing it on the dance floor.

The way baby boomers  dance is so basic. Getting up and shaking is kind of silly. We wanted to give up structure, but maybe we got carried away. It’s all a hangover from the casting away of tradition of the 60’s  and 70’s.

I remember taking dance lessons, and it had something to it, and a place to go. Remember the jitterbug, Cha Cha, and slow dancing. (That hasn’t changed that much)

I didn’t get into the disco movement? Did you? .

Have I lost touch? What are the latest dances? Where do you go to learn them? What’s your dance experience?

Do you wish dancing had more structure?