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Edward Lear

There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, 'I'm afloat! I'm afloat!'
When they said, 'No! you aint!'
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

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There was a man who lived a life of fire

There was a man who lived a life of fire.
Even upon the fabric of time,
Where purple becomes orange
And orange purple,
This life glowed,
A dire red stain, indelible;
Yet when he was dead,
He saw that he had not lived.

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There was a man with tongue of wood

There was a man with tongue of wood
Who essayed to sing,
And in truth it was lamentable.
But there was one who heard
The clip-clapper of this tongue of wood
And knew what the man
Wished to sing,
And with that the singer was content.

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Once there was a man

Once there was a man -
Oh, so wise!
In all drink
He detected the bitter,
And in all touch
He found the sting.
At last he cried thus:
'There is nothing -
No life,
No joy,
No pain -
There is nothing save opinion,
And opinion be damned.'

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There Was A Man

There was a man
My father said
Who walked on water
Saying he was the Son of God.

There was a man
My father said
Who taught of love and peace
Healed the sick and raised the dead.

There was a man
My father said
Who gave his life for us
And died nailed to a cross.

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There was a man who fought fire with fire

There was a man
Who fought fire with fire
When it came to the sexual art
And he was no stranger to being burnt
And the burning of others.
It was par for the course
Do unto other
And he did time and time again
Until the fire caught him unprepared
By something as simple as a rubber
And now as his body grows thin
So to do his flame flutter in a thin wind
Of a body under attack.

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There Was This Man

and there was this man who
blamed himself for not making good
in his life

fortune seems to be elusive
his home shattered by a quake
lest he expected it
his family vanished in the plague

the dumb makes it on top
the mediocre thrives so well as leaders
and the childish makes it to the throne of greatness
others whom he thinks are lower than him made it to fame

he is good and wise and well educated
surely luck was not on his side
or perhaps he did not pray enough....

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There was a man and a woman

i
There was a man and a woman
Who sinned.
Then did the man heap the punishment
All upon the head of her,
And went away gaily.

ii

There was a man and a woman
Who sinned.
And the man stood with her.
As upon her head, so upon his,
Fell blow and blow,
And all people screaming, "Fool!"
He was a brave heart.

iii

He was a brave heart.
Would you speak with him, friend?
Well, he is dead,
And there went your opportunity.
Let it be your grief
That he is dead
And your opportunity gone;
For, in that, you were a coward.

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There was a man

There was a man with a golden crop.
Started to see, the growth he had did stop;
Over a few months he noticed as he did look,
A cricket pitch, was now he saw it over took.

There was a lady of almost 60, and in a mood,
She looked in the mirror, found her chin growing a brood;
She tried to pull each new hair till it came out,
But a few weeks later, two no three, new ones came about.

These two met for a cuppa, and a sweet,
And spoke of their problems on their seat;
She said to him why is it to me, such a bother,
I'll soon need to shave, I'm not a guy I'm a mother.

He agreed, and started to laugh, at the situation,
That he also had a problem, a hair complication;
Then she said why do you laugh, it's no joke you know,
But; soon saw why he thought it was fun, said o blow.

He said dear girl, as we get older, I'm losing my locks,
But you sweet ladies start growing a beard so why the knocks?
From the younger generation, that we see everywhere,
After all one day it'll happen to them as well, and see if we care.

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As There Was No Other Option 2

...........When I blasted the earth with all life on it
There began a phase of silence in the solar system.
God ' the almighty ' further said, ' What next? '
I stared at him and asked, ' What do you mean? '
And a greater silence surrounded us next.

He said, 'Brother, your act leaves me null and void,
Along with this end you know, my relevance has been lost'.
I retorted, 'Your relevance was never my concern
And I have just righted a wrong done by causes unknown'.
God 'the almighty ' fumed within I knew, but He kept mum.

I said, 'Listen, the origin of life wasn`t an error,
As a choice wasn`t there within the first organism
And life had no pretentions of the kind.
Then, you weren`t there to create a relevance'.
You were not there as none thought and spoke of you'.

I said, 'Listen, then emerged the man the supreme
And he invited you into his lobby to wrong many a right.
Religions and their scriptures had you fattened....
Men and women and the old and the young
Sang hymns and your relevance got a glitter'.

Life on the planet was a mixture of pleasure and pain
And there blew the winds of disaster of might and wealth.
Crumbling the castles of ' civilization and humanity'.
Emerged many animals that crushed the hapless,
Still there were you, man said, everywhere signifying no relevance'.

I said, 'Listen, the pathos and the plight of the flora and the fauna
Spread over millenia necessitated my emergence.
From nothingness have I emerged thanks to you,
With blind eyes you saw your ghost pouncing somewhere'.
God 'the almighty' was disintegrating, the image was silent.

The planets minus the earth still revolved round the Sun
And there was an end to the dual notions of
The Great creation and The big bang.
The Milky way and the galaxies lingered on..
God 'the almighty' withered into the nothingness.

As there weren`t minds to think, nor mouths to speak next
The final philosophy of silence began and
I wasn`t there anymore for the work had been done.

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Walt Whitman

There Was A Child Went Forth

THERE was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of
the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red
clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs, and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the
mare's foal, and the cow's calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire of the pond-
side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there--and the
beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads--all became part
of him.

The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month became part of
him; 10
Winter-grain sprouts, and those of the light-yellow corn, and the
esculent roots of the garden,
And the apple-trees cover'd with blossoms, and the fruit afterward,
and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road;
And the old drunkard staggering home from the out-house of the
tavern, whence he had lately risen,
And the school-mistress that pass'd on her way to the school,
And the friendly boys that pass'd--and the quarrelsome boys,
And the tidy and fresh-cheek'd girls--and the barefoot negro boy and
girl,
And all the changes of city and country, wherever he went.

His own parents,
He that had father'd him, and she that had conceiv'd him in her womb,
and birth'd him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that; 20
They gave him afterward every day--they became part of him.

The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes on the supper-table;
The mother with mild words--clean her cap and gown, a wholesome odor
falling off her person and clothes as she walks by;
The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, anger'd, unjust;
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture--the
yearning and swelling heart,
Affection that will not be gainsay'd--the sense of what is real--the
thought if, after all, it should prove unreal,
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time--the curious
whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets--if they are not flashes
and specks, what are they? 30
The streets themselves, and the façades of houses, and goods in the
windows,
Vehicles, teams, the heavy-plank'd wharves--the huge crossing at the
ferries,
The village on the highland, seen from afar at sunset--the river
between,
Shadows, aureola and mist, the light falling on roofs and gables of
white or brown, three miles off,
The schooner near by, sleepily dropping down the tide--the little
boat slack-tow'd astern,
The hurrying tumbling waves, quick-broken crests, slapping,
The strata of color'd clouds, the long bar of maroon-tint, away
solitary by itself--the spread of purity it lies motionless in,
The horizon's edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh
and shore mud;
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now
goes, and will always go forth every day.

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There was a great cathedral

There was a great cathedral.
To solemn songs,
A white procession
Moved toward the altar.
The chief man there
Was erect, and bore himself proudly.
Yet some could see him cringe,
As in a place of danger,
Throwing frightened glances into the air,
A-start at threatening faces of the past.

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Then There Was You!

clouds hanging, frozen still,
banging the tool shed door.
sunlight colors the morning

with a hundred things to do.
cars speed by going nowhere,
the railroad tracks are empty.

the old store building creaks,
the windows boarded over.
the ghosts of small town heroes

going to and fro unseen.
a different world, a different me,
and then there was you!

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There was a farm near a river

There was a farm
near a river
where on patrol
we sometimes had to get provisions.

A commandant stayed there
and he was a real patriarch
that read out of the Bible in the evenings,
gave biltong away from a barn
and his wife
could cook the best Boer food,

but we had to cross the river
which teamed with crocodiles
and hippopotamuses
which could snap a boat in two

and when we walked to that farm
we couldn’t wait
to get there.

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If There Was Forever

What would life be like
If the promises of forever
Like time or existence
Outlived our spoken words.

With the parrots we marry
We will live for eternity
The quarrels and arguments
Which are often silly
Will become part of us.

Those married to hyenas
Must get used to their appetites
Or take that to be the norm.
Food will always be ready
It’s good if she’s greedy!

Those tied to cats
Will have to pamper them
They’ll be shopping daily
And who can ask for more?
Men like shopping after all!

Its good there’s no forever
Because if there was
It will be torment after
Torment, fight after fight.
God is certainly a man!

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There Was A Time

There was a time when the wide world
seemed immense, when every tree
was gigantic, streams were like rivers
with something celestial
that touching my eyesight
when I was but a child

but now as a man
it’s with different eyes that I look
and although things have taken
their normal size
there are still things that are sublime
that I at times comprehend.

The rainbow with its bright colours
that arc above the earth,
has a kind of magic
which science explains,
but still there’s a kind of mystery
that nothing can really measure.

The rising sun that paints the sky
and clouds in its loveliness,
even the moon and stars
have an own influence
on feelings, on well being
as if in their presence they can bless.

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Ever since there was sun and stars

If you wipe away those tears
And look back over all of those years
You will find not a surer kind of love
Ever since there was a sun and stars
Above to warm the blood in our hearts
"Forever you" I've been in love
"Forever you" I've been in love
I've been there in love for you

You will find not a surer kind of love
You will find every wish
You've only been thinking, dreaming of
Oh, dream of me!
Like I'm dreaming of you again…

Oh when the winter raps its cloak
Around your heart
I will always be there to warm
And shelter you
"Forever you"
"Forever you"
From the cold and dark
Sure as a fire is burning in your heart
"Forever will I be"
Tracking back in the melting ice
And snow
It's never easy but if you love me
You will discover and find the old me
And I will be
Sure to follow you
"Forever you"
For all eternity
Because of what you have meant to me.

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There Was One

There was one a-riding grand
On a tall brown mare,
And a fine gold band
He brought me there.

A little, gold band
He held to me
That would shine on a hand
For the world to see.

There was one a-walking swift
To a little, new song,
And a rose was the gift
He carried along,

First of all the posies,
Dewy and red.
They that have roses
Never need bread.

There was one with a swagger
And a soft, slow tongue,
And a bright, cold dagger
Where his left hand swung-

Craven and gilt,
Old and bad-
And his stroking of the hilt
Set a girl mad.

There was one a-riding grand
As he rode from me.
And he raised his golden band
And he threw it in the sea.

There was one a-walking slow
To a sad, Iong sigh.
And his rose drooped low,
And he flung it down to die.

There was one with a swagger
And a little, sharp pride,
And a bright, cold dagger
Ever at his side.

At his side it stayed
When he ran to part.
What is this blade
Struck through my heart?

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There Was a Saviour

There was a saviour
Rarer than radium,
Commoner than water, crueller than truth;
Children kept from the sun
Assembled at his tongue
To hear the golden note turn in a groove,
Prisoners of wishes locked their eyes
In the jails and studies of his keyless smiles.

The voice of children says
From a lost wilderness
There was calm to be done in his safe unrest,
When hindering man hurt
Man, animal, or bird
We hid our fears in that murdering breath,
Silence, silence to do, when earth grew loud,
In lairs and asylums of the tremendous shout.

There was glory to hear
In the churches of his tears,
Under his downy arm you sighed as he struck,
O you who could not cry
On to the ground when a man died
Put a tear for joy in the unearthly flood
And laid your cheek against a cloud-formed shell:
Now in the dark there is only yourself and myself.

Two proud, blacked brothers cry,
Winter-locked side by side,
To this inhospitable hollow year,
O we who could not stir
One lean sigh when we heard
Greed on man beating near and fire neighbour
But wailed and nested in the sky-blue wall
Now break a giant tear for the little known fall,

For the drooping of homes
That did not nurse our bones,
Brave deaths of only ones but never found,
Now see, alone in us,
Our own true strangers' dust
Ride through the doors of our unentered house.
Exiled in us we arouse the soft,
Unclenched, armless, silk and rough love that breaks all rocks.

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There was a Boy

There was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs
And islands of Winander!--many a time,
At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills,
Rising or setting, would he stand alone,
Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake;
And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth
Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,
That they might answer him.--And they would shout
Across the watery vale, and shout again,
Responsive to his call,--with quivering peals,
And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild
Of jocund din! And, when there came a pause
Of silence such as baffled his best skill:
Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung
Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise
Has carried far into his heart the voice
Of mountain-torrents; or the visible scene
Would enter unawares into his mind
With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
Its woods, and that uncertain heaven received
Into the bosom of the steady lake.
This boy was taken from his mates, and died
In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.
Pre-eminent in beauty is the vale
Where he was born and bred: the churchyard hangs
Upon a slope above the village-school;
And, through that church-yard when my way has led
On summer-evenings, I believe, that there
A long half-hour together I have stood
Mute--looking at the grave in which he lies!

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You See...There Was Just Too Many Of Us!

I smell my grandmother's molasses cookies.
Deep dish apple and peach pies.
And grape preserves she would make.
And my own mother's beautiful hair,
Before she grayed.
And 'overnight'...
Seemed to have aged.

As I sit and reminisce.
About so many things I miss!

I see my grandfather,
Working in the backyard.
In the shed.
Where he 'diagnosed' the engine...
Of an old truck.
With every part of it laid in pieces.
Each of them,
Carefully spread to keep them near.

'Don't...
Move,
A thing!
Or pick it up...
Because you're curious!
I got my eye on ya! '

I hear my father say...
'It is time to get your haircut, boy.
And when you sit in that barber's chair...
You bet not make a fuss!
And don't say nothing to annoy! '

I remember my aunts and uncles...
Rushing to pick apples, grapes and pears.
From an old pig farm,
Where Chappelle Gardens now sits.
In a neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut.

I remember this as if yesterday!
And the whippings we all shared.
Regardless...
Of who or who was not actually there!
No one was spared.

'I don't care who did what!
All of you are getting it! '
My grandmother would say!

I remember rolling my eyes...
With wishes I could run away!

~Grandma, I didn't do anything.
It was her! ~

*No it wasn't it was him! *

**No it wasn't it was them! **

You see...
There was just too many of us!
And my grandmother didn't really care.
She just wanted all of us to know...
The punishment she dealt,
Would be quick.
Honest.
And fair!


Note:
Dedicated to my wonderful family.
When we (many of us) all lived in either Stowe Village,
And/or Bellevue Square.
Tenement projects.
In separate buildings AND apartments.
Back in 'the day'.

Love you!

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