cavemen in the kitchen

My kids are all neanderthals
you doubt me? Ask their mother!
if they’re not painting on the walls
they’re beating on each other

the other day they must have chased
a mammoth through the kitchen
for all the dishes are displaced
and the noise had me a twitchin’!

my youngest, wearing just a strip
of cloth tied on with wire
is holding sticks with quite a grip
and trying to make fire

they’re savages, it’s plain to see
and sometime they’re a trial
but I love them and they love me!
so I’ll keep them…(for a while)

Dear Girl With The Curly Blond Hair

Dear girl with the curly blond hair
who was making those eyes at my son
my boy’s pretty shy, still, when he is near girls
so he might not, for you, be the one
you seemed like you might be quite sweet
when we passed in the grocery store aisle
I checked with my son if he’d ask you your name
but he shook his head. Not for a while.
Enjoy your youth while you can
Those childhood acts and scenes
too soon you will both into adulthood grow
but for now you are still both young teens.


While shopping, today, he passed by another family. One of the young girls in that family couldn’t seem to tear her eyes from one of my boys. This gave me the chance to tease my son a bit (not too much, I hope), but it was also a reminder that my son is quickly maturing into adulthood. Maybe a bit too quickly. I’m thankful that he’s not interested in romantic relationships yet…that’s another thing that will probably come far too quickly for this father to handle. So I can only hope that my son…and that girl in the grocery store…will both enjoy their youth while they can. Adulthood will come for both of them far too quickly.

Square Pegs and Round Holes

I have three boys.  All three boys share the same parents, and yet, in some ways they are dramatically different.  Each of my boys has his own unique strengths and weaknesses.

My wife came up with an illustration to explain how my boys differ:

Give each of my boys a square peg and ask him to insert it into a round hole.  My eldest son would give you a lengthy discourse on why it is not possible to insert a square peg into a round hole.  My middle boy would either whine and complain about the unfair task that we’ve given him, or he’d completely ignore the task and find an interesting way to play with what he was given.  My youngest would take that square peg and bash it again and again until he made it fit.

In the microcosm of our home, then, there are radically different approaches to life, and yet, ironically, I find it shocking that in the greater world, that not everyone sees things the way that I do, and in fact, I often face fierce opposition

in diversity

don’t seek for the dissonant

but harmony


linked to Ligo Haibun

(inspired by the Mongolian quote: “Men and women sleep on the same pillow, but they have different dreams.” – I chose to write about different people as opposed to men and women)

It’s Hard to Write…or The disadvantages of a 3 and a half year old

At dVerse, Mary asked us to write a poem that looks at both sides of an issue.  As I read her prompt to us and reached over for my spiral note-book, I wasn’t sure what to write.  My youngest son had recently awakened from his afternoon nap and wanted to snuggle with me, making the physical act of writing rather difficult…and suddenly I knew what I was going to write about:


It’s hard to write
with a three year old…
no, a three and a HALF
year old (as he’ll tell anyone
who’ll listen)…
sitting on my lap

It’s hard to write
when he gets down
because the music moves
him and he says
“dance wiff me, Daddy!”

It’s hard to write
when my wife starts
tickling him and his
laughter comes
in ear-splitting shrieks

It’s hard to write
when he does all the
silly crazy things that
he does…the things that
make him…him

But then again…
He’s the source of
so much joy
so much laughter
so much inspiration
so maybe…
It’s not so hard to write after-all


Instructions From One Three Year Old To Another

On How To Get What You Want


Demand that Mommy and Daddy

Give you what you want

Stomp your feet and



Throw a tantrum

Throw a fit

Throw some blocks

Hold your breath ’til you

Turn quite blue

Pound your fists on the floor

…if this doesn’t work…

Do it again – just louder


Wonder why you still don’t

Get your way

Calm down

Say “Sorry”

Wrap your arms around their necks and


Feel them squeeze you back

Realize…a hug is what you wanted all along

My Horse

I have a horse I like to ride
Oh the places that we go
Each day we go adventuring
In sun or rain or snow

Sometimes we end up by the sea
To watch the mermaids play
Or dive right in to swim with fish
And feel the ocean spray

Or to a castle in the sky
An ogre there to fight
To rescue captive royalty
Then they’ll make me a knight!

Or to the forest deep and dark
Where wild creatures roam
But if I find I’m getting scared
I blink and I am home

My rocking horse is a great pal
Oh the places that we go
To any place in my mind’s eye
In sun or rain or snow


Written for dVerse today’s prompt is to write poetry for children.

Walking With a Three Year Old

Gay invited me to re-link this post to dVerse, as she felt that (even before I read her article) that it would fit with the “Beat Poetry” theme, so if you have already read this post, you don’t have to read it again  🙂

I’ll try to write something else later, so I hope you don’t mind too much if I link up 2 poems to the same prompt…


Sorry, before I get to the poem, I need to give a few notes of explanation:

One of the songs that the Dave Brubeck Quartet was known for was Blue Rondo a la Turk.  A good portion of this piece is written in 9/8 time.   Basically, this means that there are 9 beats in each measure, and the 8th note receives one beat.  Usually, when a piece is written in 9/8 time, it is played with a rhythm of Strong weak weak Strong weak weak Strong weak weak.  Brubeck, however, put the “emPHAsis on different syllables.”  Instead of 3+3+3, he wrote the piece to have 3 measures of 2+2+2+3, and then a fourth measure of 3+3+3, and then that 4 measure rhythm would repeat.  To translate that into poetic terms, you could say that the poem was written in quatrain stanzas with 3 lines of trochee, trochee, trochee dactyl, and then a 4th line of 3 dactyls.  This irregular rhythm seems, to me, to give a rushing/impatient feel.  I wanted to write a poem to this rhythm, and immediately thought of my youngest son, Kai, who is a VERY busy boy.

If you listen to the above link, you can hear how Brubeck and his friends made this work.  Of course, Brubeck’s song has a lot more complexity than just the rhythm I’ve listed above, but the 9/8 feel of his piece is what I wanted to capture in my poem.  You may also notice that the last stanza of my poem has 13 syllables in the final line instead of 9.  If you listen to the end of the Brubeck composition, you will see that I have modeled this after his tune.  I found that sticking to the same rhythm throughout didn’t allow for a metrical resolution, but when I followed Brubeck’s example, the poem felt like it could end.

One other point:  I have capitalized the first letter of stressed syllables to help the reader/reciter get the feel.

And now, if you have been patient enough to wade through all the technical details, here is the poem:


Walking Down the Street with My young son
Discov’Ring the World is So much fun
See him Skip and Play and Jump and run
Look at this Look at that Here’s a stick

Ev’ry Canine We hapPen to see
Gets a ‘ThusiAstic “Hi puppy!”
Life is Simply Grand when You are three
Look at this On the ground See the worm!

Things that I might See and Just pass by
Are uNique to Him and Catch his eye
Things i Take for Granted: He’ll ask why
Why did that Leaf fall down From that tree?

This world I guess Might someTimes seem bland
Unless Our horIzons We expand
So walk With a Child Hand-in-hand
And maybe You will see Something new

Don’t be Afraid To look Through their eyes
I susPect that You’ll have A surprise
That a Kid so Young can Be so wise
Seeing things That we miss Everyday

That’s beCause the World to Them’s still new
And they Haven’t “Learned” to Cloud their view
An adVantage Over Me and you
So why don’t We let them Take the lead And be our Guides


Posted for dVerse Open Link Night.  Come on out and share your own poetry, or read the works of some other great poets!

The Leprecon Book (The Leprechaun Book)

I’ve never had a guest post before, but when my six year old son wrote “The Leprecon Book”, I decided that I simply must share this!  His spelling is…well…about as good as a six year old’s spelling usually is, so I’ve included a “translation” as some of his words might be difficult to decipher otherwise.

The Leprechaun Book By:  Leodegan Ens

Illustrated by Leodegan

The Leprechaun scurried away!!!

Towards the pot of gold

But the GOLD!

Where was the gold?

Of course, it was in his pocket  (Ha Ha Ha)

The Law of Childhood

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a law that applies to children.  OK, there are many laws that apply to children (and the same laws often apply to adults too, but they are especially applicable to kids).

I have two boys.  the younger of whom would describe himself as “Four and three-quarters years old”  Apparently 4 and a half won’t cut it!  Yesterday, as we were grocery shopping, he spied the watermelons.  He LOVES watermelon.  So he was instantly asking if we could buy some.  Now, we haven’t had this particular fruit for a while, so my wife and I agreed that this would be a good choice for dessert for that evening’s supper.

So we sat our boys down for a highly nutritious supper of corn-dogs (contain the food groups of imitation meat, over-processed starchy vegetable, and most likely some sort of dairy byproduct) and then watermelon for dessert.

Now.  Let me back up a few days…on Sunday, we got together with my wife’s family to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Since we probably won’t have the chance to get together with my in-laws again for a while, we also celebrated my two sons’ upcoming birthdays.  My mother-in-law keeps us well stocked with new outfits for my ever-growing kids, so these gifts of garments do a great deal to keeping us out of the poor-house!

Back to yesterday’s supper:  My younger son ate his supper and greatly enjoyed his watermelon.  My wife and I were out of the room at the time that he consumed his dessert, but when he was finished, he came into the room where we were.  It was at this point that we realized: “he’s wearing one of his new shirts!”  It had been a white shirt with blue stripes.  Now it was a white shirt with blue stripes and LARGE pink stain.

So…the law of childhood that we realized at this point is this:  “The age of the article of clothing worn is always inversely proportionate to the messiness of the meal consumed”

OR, you could take from this the following parenting tip:  “If your 4-year-old is wearing a new shirt, it’s a good idea to remove it before he starts eating watermelon!”