Yoo-hoo. It is still National Poetry Month and today I am highlighting Shel Silverstein.
I rarely think of Mr. Silverstein without remembering Johnny Cash and that delightfully ridiculous song A Boy Named Sue.
He (Silverstein) wrote a lot of nonsensical poetry/lyrics but like all humans he was multifaceted. His writing ranged from silly to somber with something for everyone as evident in the introduction to Where the Sidewalk Ends as he seems to say “welcome all.”
If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you are a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
And we did. We opened the pages and entered the world he created and we returned again and again for the flax-golden tales that never grow old all the while wondering if he found that place Where the Sidewalk Ends…
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.