For Jessica (A Poem & A Picture)

This is my daughter (Jessica’s) favorite poem by Shel Silverstein. I cannot count the number of times we read Where the Sidewalk Ends as she was growing up.

As I was readying to take a shot of the book nestled among jasmine a caterpillar dropped from the sky and pooped! Can you believe it? Hmph! What does he know about poetry?! Gee-sh… and I had just scraped twenty years of boogers off!

Shel Silverstein Where the Sidewalk Ends

SARAH CYNTHIA SYLVIA STOUT WOULD NOT TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT

By Shel Silverstein

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout

Would not take the garbage out.

She’d wash the dishes and scrub the pans

Cook the yams and spice the hams,

And though her parents would scream and shout,

She simply would not take the garbage out.

And so it piled up to the ceiling:

Coffee grounds, potato peelings,

Brown bananas and rotten peas,

Chunks of sour cottage cheese,

It filled the can, it covered the floor,

It cracked the windows and blocked the door,

With bacon rinds and chicken bones,

Drippy ends of ice cream cones,

Prune pits, peach pits, orange peels,

Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,

Pizza crusts and withered greens,

Soggy beans, and tangerines,

Crusts of black burned buttered toast,

Grisly bits of beefy roast…

The garbage rolled on down the hall,

It raised the roof, it broke the wall…

Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,

Globs of gooey bubble gum,

Cellophane from green baloney,

Rubbery, blubbery macaroni,

Peanut butter, caked and dry,

Curdled milk, and crusts of pie,

Rotting melons, dried-up mustard,

Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,

Cold French fries and rancid meat,

Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.

At last the garbage reached so high

That finally it touched the sky,

And all the neighbors moved away,

And none of her friends would come to play,

And finally, Sarah Cynthia Stout said,

“OKAY, I’ll take the garbage out!”

But then, of course it was too late…

The garbage reached across the state,

From New York to the Golden Gate,

And there in the garbage she did hate,

Poor Sarah met an awful fate

That I cannot right now relate

Because the hour is much too late

But children, remember Sarah Stout,

And always take the garbage out!

For JESS A Poem & A Picture

It comes as no surprise Jessica grew up to be a goofball. I thank God every day for allowing me to be her mom.

Reminder:  Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month…

Yoo-hoo It is Still National Poetry Month

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.

Come in!

Come in!

 

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.