Wild and Free: The Coffee Bean
I long for the days when I grew wild and free,
the days when the humans just liked to drink tea!
I’d ripen in sunshine, then fall to the ground:
by dying and drying my life would rebound.
From inside my shell I would send forth a sprout,
and after some seasons I’d be free to tout
a bush full of offspring all looking like me.
Beans, coffee beans, yes, a real family tree!
But woe to me now as I’m looking around,
trapped in glass grinder about to be ground
and put in some basket and scalded to death
with no chance to sprout or to leave a bequest!
A beverage most humans don’t think twice about,
unless by poor planning they must do without ...
but please think of me who was once wild and free,
and free me by switching and drinking just tea.
Cause for Alarm
Her grandmother’s grandmother worked on a farm,
while her grandmother’s mother became a schoolmarm.
Her grandmother was a first woman in space
with whom her own mother continually raced.
The daughter, herself, was the cause for alarm
when she just decided to work on a farm.
Betty Jean and Betty Lou
Betty Jean and Betty Lou scarcely know now what to do
to stop the leaven in their bread from rising up above their heads!
It's growing high and wide and deep – now it's oozing 'round their feet!
They try to run and cry for help, but ev'n 'fore they'd yelled or yelped,
the dough had bubbled, covering them – trapping all their cries within.
But still, the oven can be used! They light its flame and watch amused
as heat from opened oven door bakes the bread from roof to floor.
But the air – too hot and dry – made the pair of Bettys die.
In the days and weeks to follow many folk came to that hollow
where the House of Gingerbread had been baked just as I've said.
Poor Betty Jean and Betty Lou, Betty Crocker cries for you!
Had you but read that gingerbread's baked with powder, you'd not be dead.
The moral is not hard to see: "Carefully read each recipe!!"
But if you don't, then please don't wail if you end up in some fairy tale.
Jungle creatures round him cried as their keen eyes did him spy –
this was not his habitat, Birds dropped doo-doo on his hat.
Laughing Monkeys made him cry as his fist shook in the sky,
“I am here to help your land! You don’t seem to understand!”
Then a Toucan said curtly from the shadows of a tree,
“I think, Mister, that you should leave our jungle, leave our wood.
‘Tis your kind who robs from us that which God gave to our trust.
When you’re here then we’re not free. Go back home and leave us be!”
Then cried man in full disgust, angry that they would not trust
his intentions, pure and good, “God gave man your trees for wood!”
Yes, the Toucan saw through him, knew the reason he came in
to their jungle, to their wood: he sought all the wealth he could.
Then a Tiger from the deep made him bleat like frightened sheep;
turning tail and running ‘way, vowing he’d be back some day.
Now that jungle is a farm with big tractors and big barns.
Stopping progress, jungle tried; in the end they had to die.
Now survives the strongest race – that’s the one with human face –
but the human heart is gone as the weak are trampled on.
Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
Burning as the jungle creeps
Into mem’ry – all hearts weep.
How sad that in the world there are
trees which children never see;
but sadder still by very far
are kids who never climb a tree:
Who trapped in walls of cities are
all buckled up in hurried cars
watching passing trees through glass
like a zoo trip with a class.
While in a backyard far away
I sense a tree does pine to play:
hoping wind will blow today
a flock of strapping kids his way.
I know that in the world there are
many many many trees.
And still, of these, the best by far
is this one simply called my tree.
His leaf can make a nation glad -
it's painted red on Canada's flag!
He's called "Maple" in Grown-upese,
but has a name among the trees -
in his tongue with colored sounds,
his name means "Nests are Found."
Lifting robins from the ground,
guards them so they're safe and sound. His
bark scares foes, his branches sing
the melody of youthful springs;
his roots are toes, his seeds are wings
that pinch your nose without a sting.
Muscles for branches, arms so tough,
so swing, swing as long as you please!
He bends limbs down just low enough
that you can catch them with great ease.
His leaves provide a canopy,
a tent of heaven's sweet supply
where you can play day after day
or sometimes go there just to cry.
But best of all, up in my tree
a kid can be a thousand things:
a princess in the land of dreams,
the maker of five magic rings,
a captain of a ship at sea,
a starling that can sweetly sing,
the hero who sets captives free,
... whatever imaginings bring.
So if you're stuck in city homes
unable to climb up a tree,
hold tight the branches of this poem
and come and climb my tree with me.
In search of the next rhyme!
My poetry sprouted in China, grew in Siberia and matured in Saudi Arabia.
Remember, don't B Grim!