The Poetry of Wayne Edwards

WE

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

by Wayne Edwards


My mother said, as I crawled into bed,
“Don’t let the bedbugs bite.”
I haven’t a clue of what I can do
But I’ll put up one heck of a fight!

Are bedbugs as big as a guinea pig?
Would they rather bite girls, or boys?
Do they wait in the dark with a knife and a fork
Or hide in the box with my toys?

Do they find it a treat to chew on my feet,
Or dine on my elbows and knees?
Or is it true that they bring a whole crew
To bite me wherever they please?

If I can catch one, it just might be fun
To put it on eBbay for sale;
Or it might be cool to take it to school
To use for my next show and tell. 

WE

No-See-Em Bugs

by Wayne Edwards


I got bit on my leg
By a no-see-em bug,
While I was out digging
In a place where I dug.

When I went to show Mom
My no-see-em bug bite,
She kissed it and said,
“It’ll soon be alright.”

Although they are tiny
And keep out of sight,
Those no-see-em bugs
Sure know how to bite!

You can’t see no-see-ems
There’s not much you can do.
If you itch but see nothing,
Then you have them too!

WE

Dill Pickle Stew

by Wayne Edwards


Now Frank was a fellow who lived all alone,
In a cave that was dark, with no telephone.
There were crickets and spiders, and red ants galore,
That lived on the ceiling the walls and the floor.

Frank lived all alone, but everyone knew.
How he fed all the bugs on dill pickle stew.
And everyone said, when people came calling,
They left in a hurry with all those bugs crawling.

Now Frank was not clean, his cave was a mess.
It could have been neater, he was first to confess.
But the spiders and crickets and red ants were neat;
When they came in from outside, they wiped off their feet.

Then a stranger came calling, the first they had seen;
The bugs asked in unison, “Sir, are your feet clean?”
“My feet?” said the stranger, his friendliness gone,
“Of course they are not but I’ll keep my shoes on!”

When they asked him his name, he said, “GooGaLee”,
In a voice sounding much like those guys on TV.
His voice, they decided, was really so good
That he could sell nickels that were made out of wood.

So they sat by the fire and ate dill pickle stew,
And took turns spinning yarns from midnight ‘til two.
It seems GooGaLee had come here from Mars
To check on the weather and look at new cars.

He explained as he spoke to Frank and his pals,
“There are no roads on Mars, there’re only canals.”
So he and his sister, or mother or brother,
(On Mars it is hard to tell one from the other)

Had decided that he should come here to see
If the things were all true, that they saw on TV.
‘Cause Earth’s silly programs and weird TV stars
Can be seen quite clearly on their TVs on Mars.

So he’d picked tonight to come down and see
If Earth’s cars were really like those on TV.
He had brought lots of money (it just looked like rocks.)
That he carried tied up in three pairs of socks.

Then Frank told the stranger about Earth’s TV;
That the things that you buy are not what you see.
That the guy on the set, who sold all those used cars,
Was long thought by many, to have come here from Mars.

GooGaLee was excited, his eyes were a-popping.
“First thing tomorrow, will you take me car shopping?”
So the spiders and crickets and red ants and Frank
Put on their best clothes and went to the bank.

They took the Mars’ money (it just looked like rocks)
To the president’s office wrapped up in the socks.
He looked at the bugs, GooGaLee and then Frank
And thought that it must be some sort of prank.

“Mars’ money’s exchange rate is really quite low.”
The president said, as if he’d really know.
But liking the looks of Frank and his crew,
He gave them his car that was almost brand new.

“And if there’s a market up there for used cars,
Give me a ring when you get back to Mars.”
Now Frank had made sandwiches from left-over stew,
So they climbed in the car that was almost brand new.

Then GooGaLee said, “Roll the windows up tight,
Fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a long flight.”
Though Earth cars can’t fly, as everyone knows,
He said, “Cross your fingers, your pinchers and toes.”

Now ‘reverse’, in Martian, we all know means fly.
When he shifted to “R” they shot up through the sky.
The trip took ten days or a week, maybe two.
When they got up to Mars, they were all sick of stew.

So they sat down to eat at GooGaLee’s house.
Where they dined on fried chicken or was it fried mouse?
And they all drank too much of the sweet MaLiMoo,
That forms on Mars plants every morning like dew.

After dinner their host said he’d show them around
Though Mars has no city or village or town.
They all live in caves with their friends and their pals
And go swimming each morning in the Martian canals.

But the thing they most like, on the planet called Mars,
Is watching commercials from Earth about cars.
And they all adopt names to use, when they play,
Like Lincoln and Mercury and of course Chevrolet.

Now Frank had been welcomed with kisses and hugs
But the Martians admitted they didn’t like bugs.
So the crickets and spiders and red ants with Frank
Decided that they would play a neat prank.

The red ants built ant nests in the shape of small cars
While the spiders spun webs to string the guitars
That the crickets had made, while sitting around
And surprising to all, they made a great sound.

They found a big box, that was five feet by three,
And cut out the front to look like a TV.
The crickets and spiders played eight string guitars
While the ants in the box told lies about cars.

The Martians all said that they loved the commercial
That the bugs had performed without a rehearsal.
So the Martians all built their own TV frames
And invited the bugs to play for their games.

The American car names were used past their quota
So the Martians told Frank they would call him Toyota.
They asked him to stay there on Mars, with his crew,
And teach them all how to make dill pickle stew.

So he bought a new cave, with a large screen TV,
Where he watches commercials with his pal GooGaLee.
And the banker on Earth bought fifteen new cars;
He got rich selling rocks that he claimed came from Mars.

WE

Wouldn’t it have been nice if we could have personally picked out which animals Noah was to have carried on the Ark? In my case, fireants would never have made the cut.

Scientists are discovering more and more that every living creature has a place in the ecology. Even some mosquitoes are pollinators. I think that it would be difficult, however, to sell a dog on the importance of fleas and when I’m working in the garden, there are several other different types of bugs that I think we could get along without.

In drawing the illustration for A Dog’s Lament, I indicated who the guilty one might have been who smuggled the fleas aboard.

A Dog’s Lament

by Wayne Edwards


He took a bull and he took a cow.
He took a boar and of course a sow.
He took two dogs and a couple of cats;
He even took mice and a pair of rats.
He took grasshoppers and honey bees;
But why in the world did Noah take fleas?

WE

The Villanelle, possibly one of the most difficult forms of poetry, was invented in 16th century France. It contains nineteen lines and employs a specific rhyme scheme; aba aba aba aba aba abaa. The first and third lines are repeated throughout the poem. The six verses are set up as follows. It’s fun; try one yourself.

Refrain 1 (a)
Line 2 (b)
Refrain 2 (a)

Line 4 (a)
Line 5 (b)
Refrain 1 (a)

Line 7 (a)
Line 8 (b)
Refrain 2 (a)

Line 10 (a)
Line 11 (b)
Refrain 1 (a)

Line 13 (a)
Line 14 (b)
Refrain 2 (a)

Line 16 (a)
Line 17 (b)
Refrain 1 (a)
Refrain 2 (a)

WE

Nightie-Night

by Wayne Edwards


It’s time to tell you nightie-night,
No more tales and lullabies.
Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Sandman will win, no use to fight,
So hug my neck and close your eyes.
It’s time to tell you nightie-night.

It’s time for me to dim your light.
Now dream of chocolate cake and pies.
Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

You’re such a cuddly little sight.
Now hush your giggling and sighs.
It’s time to tell you nightie-night.

Now let me tuck you nice and tight.
I’ll wake you when it’s time to rise.
Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

You’re fighting sleep with all your might.
The sun goes down as daylight dies.
It’s time to tell you nightie-night,
Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

WE

World’s Best Cowboy

by Wayne Edwards


I am the world’s best cowboy,
I am the best of the best.
I’ll sit tall in the saddle,
I’ll ride old trails in the west.

I’ll rope the meanest wild bulls.
I’ll ride like the wind all day
And when I’ve roped all the bulls,
I’ll feed my horse lots of hay.

I’m going to name him Paint.
He’s s’posed to be a surprise
But I’ll be sneaking a ride
As soon as the first coat dries.

WE

The Brown Paper Bag Cowboy

by Wayne Edwards


“The Brown Paper Bag Cowboy
Is the low life I’m looking for.”
The sheriff yelled out loudly
As he walked into the bar.

“He has a brown bag for a hat,
He wears paper pants and shirt.
He has high-top paper boots
And goes by the name of Bert.”

“What’s Bert wanted for, Sheriff?
Your poster says alive or dead.”
“It’s that paper outfit he wears;
He’s a rustler!” the sheriff said.

WE

When you read Tennies, try to capture, once more, the magic that kids feel when they put on that brand new pair of tennis shoes. There was no better feeling of lightness and speed, than when you first wore them. You felt as if you could run faster than anybody unless, of course, they had new tennis shoes too.

Remember when tennis shoes cost five dollars a pair? Maybe you’re not as old as I am. There were no little lights that flashed when you walked and there was no little pump with which you could adjust the height or firmness of the soles. Back then tennis shoes were not a status symbol. You didn’t have to worry about getting mugged by someone just because they wanted your shoes and you could buy an automobile for what you pay for a pair now.

Come to think of it, where I went to school, you usually kept your tennis shoes in your gym locker. The rest of the day you wore shoes or cowboy boots. Any girl would have been caught dead rather than wear them outside of gym class, and no one wore them to church.

Tennies

by Wayne Edwards


Now I can jump
And I can fly.
I can almost
Reach to the sky.

Ol’ Superman’s
Not good as me,
From gravity
I’ve been set free.

I know that I
Can outrun Mike
Even riding
His brother’s bike.

They must have cost
Lots of pennies;
Mommy bought me
BRAND NEW TENNIES!

WE

Bacon Tree

by Wayne Edwards


With the cowboy’s thick Jewish accent,
I could understand one word in three.
He warned, “Don’t go up da mountain trail
Because up dere ees a bacon tree.”

My horse was very tired and hungry,
He wouldn’t last the trip around.
And a “bacon tree” would be the least
Of all of the dangers I had found.

The Indians came from everywhere,
Why didn’t the old cowboy warn me?
Then I heard him call from down below,
“It vas a ham bush, no bacon tree!”

WE

  When I Grow Up

by Wayne Edwards


My folks began asking,
When I was about three,
“Sonny, when you grow up
What do you want to be?”

I answered, “A fireman
Or maybe a cowboy.”
Or what was at the time
My most favorite toy.

At five, when the circus
Came rolling into town,
I decided that I
Wanted to be a clown.

And then an astronaut,
When I became seven,
I’d explore all the stars
And maybe find Heaven.

Then nothing could limit
My wildest teenage dream,
I’d be an athlete
On my favorite team.

But now here at my desk,
As anyone can see,
All of my childhood dreams
Have still eluded me.

The only hope I have
When I begin to fret
Is I’m not yet grownup
As I’m going to get.

WE

Mule Math

by Wayne Edwards


The old man was going to die
But first he thought he’d have some fun.
He had seventeen high priced mules.
He’d leave several to each son.

His oldest son, his favorite,
He’d leave most of the mules to him.
He chuckled as he wrote his will,
Half of the seventeen for Jim.

His middle son was frivolous,
From all the things that he had heard.
But he was still his middle son,
So he would leave John Boy a third.

To Little Tim his youngest son,
He’d give the fewest mules to him.
How would his sons divide the mules?
He laughed and wrote, “One ninth for Tim.”

Now Uncle Harry, a wise man,
Heard what his sibling had done.
He saddled up his mule, Old Queen.
He’d go and spoil his brother’s fun.

He told all of his three nephews,
“Just put my mule in with the lot.
Dividing eighteen is easy
Dividing seventeen is not”.

One half of eighteen mules is nine
And that’s how many goes to Jim.
John Boy’s one third now becomes
twelve.
Two mules, one ninth, are left for Tim.

Now if you add nine, six and two
The total will be seventeen.
So Uncle Harry saddled up
And rode home on his mule, Old Queen!

WE

Lost Dollar

by Wayne Edwards


Three old men met at a hotel,
Each looking for a place to stay.
Each man had only ten dollars
And that is all that they could pay.

Now the clerk’s mistake was honest,
At least that’s what we must assume.
But he charged them thirty dollars
For a twenty-five dollar room.

The manager, an honest man,
Then gave five dollars to the clerk.
“Return this to the men,” he said,
“And be more careful in your work.”

The clerk was not a world-class brain,
He couldn’t divide five by three.
He thought, “I’ll give them each a one
And keep the other two for me.”

While each paid ten originally,
One dollar back made each pay nine.
And nine times three is twenty-seven,
The total they had paid in kind.

The clerk’s two dollars, that he kept,
Although it’s just a little bit,
Brings our total to twenty nine,
After we add up all of it.

Now one thing keeps me up at night,
The thing that I most want to know,
Will someone out there please tell me,
Where did the other dollar go?

WE

This is an old riddle that has been circulating around for a long time. Some of the hints may be a little dated, so keep that in mind as you try to solve it. Ruth and I rewrote it and I changed the rhythm to match my particular style.

I imagine the person who originated the riddle has long ago departed this earth. One particular hint would date it sometime in the 1800’s. Don’t be too quick to look for the answer but if you must give up it is included somewhere in the forward to The Difference.

The Riddle

by Wayne Edwards


Adam, God made out of dust,
To make me first He thought He must.
So I was made before the man
To answer God’s most holy plan.

A living being I became
And Adam gave to me my name.
I from his presence then withdrew
And more of Adam never knew.

I did my Maker’s law obey
Nor ever went from it astray.
Around the globe I go in fear
But seldom on the earth appear.

For plans that only God did see,
He put a living soul in me.
Though I was free of any sin
He took from me the soul again.

And when from me the soul did flee
I was again as God made me.
My brothers walk beneath the sun
But no legs have I with which to run.

But without hands or feet or soul
I travel far from pole to pole.
And many people young and old
By my death did light behold.

No right or wrong can I conceive
Nor can the scriptures  I believe;
Although my name therein is found
They are to me an empty sound.

No fear of death doth trouble me,
Real happiness I’ll never see.
To heaven I shall never go
Nor to Hell way down below.

So search your Bible if you care
Four times my name is written there.
King James’ the version you must use
The other ones would just confuse.

WE

Mabel’s Jigsaw Puzzle

by Wayne Edwards


My ditsy blonde-haired neighbor called,
This morning on the telephone;
She had bought a jigsaw puzzle
That was too hard to do alone.

She told me the puzzle pieces
Were too irregular and small,
She had tried for several hours
Before she’d given me a call.

I enjoyed jigsaw puzzles
So I was glad that she called me,
“When we get the puzzle finished,
What is the picture going to be?”

“It’s supposed to be a rooster,
At least that’s what the picture shows,
But from the looks of the pieces
I think that Heaven only knows.”

When I went next door to help her,
I felt sorry for poor Mabel;
She had emptied the whole box out
Spread across her kitchen table

She says she’d like to finish it,
She doesn’t care how long it takes.
But no one can make a rooster
From a pile of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes!

WE

Puzzle

by Wayne Edwards


You could see he was proud,
There was no need to ask
‘Cause in only two weeks
He’d completed the task.

The puzzle was finished
With much praise from his peers.
They had all read the box
It said, “Two to four years.”

WE

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