Home | Poems | Plays | Short Stories | Essays | Children's Stories | Children's Poems | German | Photographs | Autism Appreciation | Contact

Horses Can Fly (Children's Poems)


Numbers

One woman had two pillows,
three daughters and four sons,
around her house five willows,
and in that house six nuns.
The nuns had seven roses
they got from eight young men;
they blew their nine red noses
and tried to count to ten.


Counting Rhyme

One, two, three, four,
who is knocking at the door?
Five, six, seven, eight,
someone who is far too late.
Nine, ten, eleven, twelve,
he can open it himself.


Dealing with Fear

When I’m afraid of something, what’s
the way I deal with it?
I dress it up in polka dots
and sandals that don’t fit,
I grab its head and squeeze it in
a pink Tyrolean hat,
and then I look at it and grin,
‘I was afraid of that?’


School

You hate to go to school? - I know that feeling,
I was a child myself. You see no need,
but learning is a gift that people fought for
for many years until they did succeed.

Long time ago the children of rich parents,
from Ancient Egypt, India, Greece and Rome
until the sunset of Victorian England,
were taught by private teachers in their home.

All other children spent their childhoods working
in mines, in fields or in a factory hall,
and there they stayed and worked as they grew older
until they were too old to work at all.

You’ll be grown up much sooner than you reckon
and work or study, and most certainly
school is a better place to spend your childhood
than some dark coal mine, wouldn’t you agree?


Thinking

When people tell you you should think,
they are quite right, and it is nice
to be reminded now and then:
to think is always good advice.

It is a power we should use
more often when we act or chat;
although our brains were made to think,
most adult brains aren’t used for that.

So if somebody says to you
that you should think, it should be done;
but if they tell you what to think,
run, run as fast as you can run!


The Wolf Cub

‘Do as the leaders tell you,’
the wolf said to his son,
‘or else they might expel you,
for that’s how things are done.

‘Make sure you never trigger
their anger and stay back,
and you, as you grow bigger,
may head your own small pack.’ -

‘I’ll go my own direction,
a brave lone wolf,’ he growled.
‘Without the pack’s protection?’
his fearful mother howled.

‘It may be hard to swallow,
but this is what I need:
I wasn’t born to follow
and have no urge to lead.’


Think and Question

Mankind’s ability to think
which helps us in exploring
and understanding this great world
sure isn’t worth ignoring.

People have always looked at things
to find out how they function
and where they came from, and how these
are working in conjunction.

And when they’re stuck and having doubts
about their contribution,
they’re asking questions which will bring
them close to a solution.

But there are some who just make up
a story, mostly shouted,
and claim their story is the truth
and never can be doubted.

And there are some who just believe
those tales and don’t know better
and say, ‘Well, that’s the way it is,’
before they close the matter.

Don’t fall for stories others tell
and follow my suggestion:
Do not believe a single thing
you’re not allowed to question!


Twinkle Twinkle Dinosaur

Twinkle twinkle dinosaur,
I don’t know what you are for.
Up above the world you fly
like a dragon in the sky;
twinkle twinkle dinosaur,
I don’t know what you are for.

Twinkle twinkle little train,
you are not an aeroplane,
up above the world so high
like an engine in the sky;
twinkle twinkle little train,
you are not an aeroplane.

Twinkle twinkle little truck,
how I wonder why you’re stuck
up amongst the clouds so high
like a walrus in the sky;
twinkle twinkle little truck,
how I wonder why you’re stuck.


Think About It!

The king unto the tsar declared
'A war without an end!'
but then he scratched his chin and said,
'But all my money's spent;
now that I come to think of it,
I'll rather have a friend.'

A man came to the store and said,
'I need a kitchen sink;
but for his homework after school
my boy may need some ink;
now that I come to think of it,
I'll rather have a drink.'

A well-dressed woman said, 'I want
some cleaner for our flat;
or maybe I should get a bit
of baby food instead;
now that I come to think of it,
I'll rather have a hat.'

A girl went to the shop and said,
'I need some killer weeds,'
but then she bit her lip and said,
'Or was it daisy seeds?
Now that I come to think of it,
I'll rather have some sweets.'


The Fubby Wizard

Patricia went to sleep one evening
and heard a noise; she raised her head
and nearly almost got a fright when
a stranger stood beside her bed.

A fubby wizard stumbled over
his untied laces with a grin;
Patricia smiled, and then she asked him,
‘How in God’s name did you get in?’

He looked around like he was wondering
if it was him she meant, ‘I say,
of course I entered through the keyhole,
or do you know a better way?’

‘That is impossible,’ she told him.
‘It’s not,’ the wizard looked askance;
‘next thing you’re trying to convince me
that flowers cannot sing and dance!’

‘Of course they can’t,’ the girl asserted,
‘they’re only plants; I think you’re mad!’ -
The wizard snapped his crooked fingers,
and every flower turned its head.

And while the wizard was conducting,
they linked their leaves or danced alone;
the little daisies sang soprano,
the crimson rose sang baritone.

Encouraged by the other flowers,
the shy magnolia sang along,
and if the wizard hadn’t joined them,
it would have been a lovely song.

He smugly smiled and told Patricia,
‘This is a night you won’t forget!
I wonder, are there any other
things that you don’t believe in yet?’

She took a while to think about it,
and as she thought, she slowly curled
her locks, ‘I don’t believe in horses
that fly with me around the world!’

A horse was peeping through the window;
Patricia climbed its back, and then
it spread its mighty wings and carried
her through the air - their flight began!

She grasped its mane, and in the moonlight
she saw the forests and the hills,
the plains and fields, the brooks and rivers,
the meadows and the watermills.

And soon they reached the big blue ocean
with many islands on their way,
she saw the whales that swam around them
and dolphins playing in the bay.

When suddenly the sun was rising
Patricia got a little fright,
‘It’s day already, and my parents
will wonder where I spent the night!’

But then she smiled, for she remembered,
as she enjoyed her magic ride,
that when it’s night, the sun is shining
upon the planet’s other side.

And over jungles, over deserts
they flew and over many a hill.
Then it got dark again; she shivered,
for at the pole the air grew chill.

When they came home, she told the wizard
a lot about her wondrous flight,
but then she pondered, and she asked him,
‘Why did you visit me tonight?’

The wizard scratched his matted sideboard
and pointed at his worn-out shoe,
‘I heard you’re able to tie laces,
and that is something I can’t do.’


Little Old Lady

Little old lady climbed up a tree,
little old lady, weak as can be.

Little old lady got up the trunk,
little old lady, still full of spunk.

Little old lady, poor little wench,
little old lady sat on a branch.

Little old lady leant on a twig,
little old lady, losing her wig.

Little old lady reached for the sky,
little old lady thought she could fly.

Little old lady fell off the tree;
little old lady, wish you were me.


Grumpho and Egghead

Grumpho and Egghead were at play,
and Egghead wondered what they should
do next. ‘Where will we go today?
Let us pick berries in the wood!’ –
‘No,’ Grumpho said, ‘let us play ball
down at the beach with Jane and Paul.

Soon, being one another's friend,
they realised they had to reach
a compromise, and in the end
they both picked berries at the beach.
As for the berries, they found none,
but still they had a lot of fun.

Grumpho and Egghead


The Germs

A germ is very very small –
so small it can’t be seen at all.

But it is there, and it is quick,
and when it stings, it makes you sick!

Germs love the country and the town
and can make elephants break down.

And they love dirt: they live on streets,
in dustbins and on toilet seats.

A million germs once sat around
a toilet, waiting to be found.

And soon enough a little boy
came in, and they all jumped for joy!

The germs with all their little friends
hopped on his fingers and his hands.

They danced and told how they would bring
him pain and illness with their sting.

One said, ‘I’ll sting his throat, I think,
so he can’t swallow food or drink!’

Another said, ‘I’ll sting his eye
and make it hurt so bad he’ll cry!’

‘I’ll give him fever, and I’ll drain
his body, so he’ll cringe with pain!’

‘I’ll sting his stomach in a way
that he will vomit night and day!’

But then the germs began to shrink:
the little boy went to the sink.

‘No soap! No water!’ they all screamed,
but no one heard their cries, it seemed.

And so the germs went down the drain
and to the sewers with the rain.

They went downstream and finally
were swept into the deep blue sea.

But they’ll be back again some day,
to sting or to be washed away.


Scary Tales

Hundreds of years ago some people
who didn't like to watch things grow
were tired of all the children asking
things they themselves would never know.

A lot of them then made up fright'ning
tales that you still can hear today
that meant to scare them, so the children
would not ask questions but obey.

Thousands of years ago when people
built the first cities, in the crowd
some wanted to be kings and rulers,
but all the others laughed out loud.

And so they made up tales to scare them
of gods who made them kings - one day
they'd kill all doubters, so the people
would not ask questions but obey.

But if we just refuse to listen
to tales that scare us needlessly,
then we'll be free from horror stories
and free from fear - forever free!


Children's Day

On Mother's Day and Father's Day
you put us children on the spot -
we have to bring you gifts and say
we're grateful to you in every way,
whether you earned our thanks or not.

Would it not be the proper thing
to hold a Children's Day as well,
to thank us for the joy we bring
into your lives, the songs we sing,
the smiles we smile, the tales we tell?

We don't want much: an afternoon
spent at the venue of our choice,
a handmade present and a tune,
a cake and maybe a balloon -
a day on which we have a voice!


The Lost Sheep

When it was Emma’s bedtime,
mum tucked her in before
she told the well-known story
of the Lost Sheep once more.

‘A shepherd had a hundred
sheep, and when one got lost
he didn’t rest until he
retrieved it at all cost.

‘Why do you think the little
sheep left his company
and that of all the others?’ -
‘She wanted to be free!’

‘No, sheep don’t look for freedom;
it just had lost its way,
and so the shepherd searched for
the one that went astray.

‘Why do you think it mattered,
since ninety-nine were left?’ -
‘She was his Sunday dinner
of which he was bereft.’

‘No, it’s because he loved it
he went out in the cold
to find the sheep and safely
return it to the fold.

‘If only one is missing,
Jesus will make a fuss:
the Good Lord is our shepherd,
and he loves all of us.’

But Emma told her mother
before she went to sleep,
‘The Lord is not my shepherd,
because I’m not a sheep!’


God

You kids have Oz and Peter Pan,
so do not think it's odd
that grown-ups, too, need fairytales,
and they created God.

Some say he rules with love, and some
say with an iron rod:
the grown-ups need their fairytale,
so they invented God.

Some will grow out of it, some won't,
but you should know the score:
let grown-ups have their fairytale,
but you should grow up more.


The Ghost

This evening Tiddles counted sheep,
and very soon he fell asleep
with just his heartbeat in the room:
(-) Boom! (-) Boom! (-) Boom! (-) Boom!*

But he wakes up and turns around
because he hears a spooky sound.
Is someone else inside the room? -
Ba-boom! Ba-boom! Ba-boom! Ba-boom!

So he’s hiding deep under his blanket and sheet,
and he feels how his heart starts to quicken its beat.
He’s afraid that a ghost may have entered the room;
Ba-ba-boom! Ba-ba-boom! Ba-ba-boom! Ba-ba-boom!

Then he turns on the light and sees
the curtains moving in the breeze.
There is no ghost inside the room -
Ba-boom! Ba-boom! Ba-boom! Ba-boom!

So Tiddles counts his sheep again,
and soon he falls asleep again
with just his heartbeat in the room:
(-) Boom! (-) Boom! (-) Boom! (-) Boom!*

* (-) indicates a pause of one syllable in length

The intention of the poem is to point out how rhythm relates to (and derives from) the heartbeat, and how it can get faster with increasing excitement/activity.


© Frank L. Ludwig