ATTENTION IPAD USERS!
Apple doesn't like listing me as "Will Shakespeare (poetry blogger)"
to differentiate me from the other guy, although everybody else does.
They took my first book but now won't take new ones. (Go figure.)
Since Smashwords distributes my books to Apple anyway,
just go to my Smashwords author page and download EPUBs from there.
Smashwords provides samples of my books also.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Once Upon a Dumpling

Funny how a different look
can change your life. Now, take this cook…

Long ago
her ball of dough
was looking kinda lowly.

With a splat
she smashed it flat
and made a ravioli !

I think the lesson’s plain to see—
imagination’s all you knead.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Clown Car

Some of the new “city cars” remind me
of a super small clown car
that’s supposed to hold an impossible
number of clowns inside.

My bank account was empty
And my ride was ‘bout to fail
So I went down to the circus
Where the clown cars were on sale.
A salesman with a big red nose
Was making lots of deals
On a lot of little tiny cars
With little tiny wheels.

“I think,” he said, “this car’s for you.
It has a lovely horn
And it’s brand new from the factory—
The seats are barely torn.”
Then, seeing I was skeptical,
He said, “Let’s take a spin.
Just stand right here and hold your breath
Until I zip you in.”

We rumbled ‘round the circus lot
With four more folks inside
(As well as fifteen blue balloons
And a seal dressed like a bride).
“And why are all these people here?”
I asked. The salesman drawled,
“You can’t have lots of legroom
If you got no legs to haul!”

The dealers said they’d keep them all
Except one guy named Jack;
They said his presence was required
In case I had a flat.
I didn’t buy the clown car, though;
Besides a faulty clutch,
That stupid horn was far too sharp
And the rhino ate too much.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Slalom Course

When a skier "loses his edge," the literal edge of the ski
loses its grip on the snow and just skids out from under him.

Alarm sounds
            and I’m out of the gate—
bobbing and
            weaving,
                        dodging
the obstacles in my path
                        as I face the day.
         Who stuck that flag way over
there???
          I’m barely making it
through
                         but I’m still gaining speed
          and I don’t know
how I can possibly
          stay on my feet.
                                           HELP!
                          I’m afraid
          I’m losing my edge
                          and I’m about
to go down
                                            hard
          but somehow I keep going.
                          No medal
awaits me at the
                                      end of the
          day…
                          just a cup of coffee and,
           if I’m lucky,
                                      a good night’s sleep.
But at least I finished;
Some days
that’s the best I can hope for.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Cleansing Power of Soap

It’s been a while since I tried a haiku.
I’d forgotten how hard they can be…
This one took maybe fifteen tries.


Swiftly swirling suds
Gurgle their way down the drain;
Now the tub’s dirty

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tape Measure

I guess the Olympics have me thinking
more about success and failure.

The struggling runner staggers to
the line and breaks the tape.
The cheering fans hop up and down
and tell him that he’s great.
But what about the ones who lost,
the ones who fell behind?
Although they did their very best,
their treatment’s not as kind.

In any competition,
only one can take the prize
but rarely do we celebrate
the others. Is that wise?
For most of us, a victory
may not be in the cards.
Without enough encouragement
we may not try as hard.

Although the tape’s a worthy goal,
perhaps it’s not enough
to keep the whole field pushing
when the competition’s tough.
So while I’m not suggesting that
the winner get less fame,
remember there’s another part:
“…it’s how you play the game.”

Monday, February 17, 2014

Olympic Fail

On some days, things go bad for me;
On other days, it’s worse.
And when my friends are there to watch,
It makes me want to curse.
I hate to fail but I can deal
With that—it’s commonplace.
Embarrassment’s a different thing…
I don’t like losing face.

So how do our Olympians
Survive the scrutiny?
To fail in front of billions
Sounds like suicide to me!
I don’t know how they get back up
And face the test again;
I’m not sure I could do the same
If I were one of them.

So I salute the multitude
Of failed Olympians
Who slipped or took a face plant
But got right back up again.
It’s folks like them who let us see
That failure’s not the end;
It’s just a blip that happens when
You’re good enough to win.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I Don’t Heart You Anymore

Some sappy verse for Valentine’s Day.

Folks used to say “I love you”;
Now “I heart you” is the rage.
It’s tossed about so carelessly…
Perhaps this shows my age
But it feels a little insincere;
Why not just say you’re mine?
Why won’t you take a risk on me
And lay it on the line?

I know that love’s a scary thing;
You could end up rejected.
True lovers always run that risk;
A real heart’s unprotected.
A heart worn on your T-shirt’s
Not a heart worn on your sleeve
And it’s not the same commitment;
If you think so, you’re naïve.

I’m tired of being hearted.
Give me what I’m dreaming of—
Give me something more substantial
Than a bumper sticker love!
Go, feel free to heart your pizza
Or vacation or New York
But I need to hear the “L” word—
I don’t heart you anymore.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Snowman Cometh

Predictions say our biggest snowstorm in years
is headed toward us—perhaps as much as 13 inches.
[sigh] Sometimes I hate snow…

The weather is getting colder.
The weatherman says there’s a big storm comin’.
I’m really not into winter;
I don’t like my toes or my fingers numbin’!
There’s nothing that we can do;
How deep will it bury us? That’s an unknown.
Hawaii sure sounds inviting;
I’m ready to journey into the unsnown.

Monday, February 10, 2014

No Mo’ Dodo

Since I mentioned the dodo in my last poem…

The Dodo bird has been extinct
Three centuries or so.
It looked just like… well, actually,
Nobody seems to know!

Its island home was far removed
From men when sailors found it;
It might have thought its future
Possibilities unbounded!

But in a mere one hundred years
They’d shed this mortal coil
And left us little evidence
To show what we’d despoiled.

We’ve got some sketches, written notes,
And fossils, little more.
We don’t know how they sounded,
How they lived along the shore.

We muse about their social lives;
We wonder what they ate.
This dearth of information leaves
Too much to speculate.

We think the bird was three feet tall,
Some sort of giant pigeon…
But there’s one thing we’ll never know:
Did dodos taste like chicken?

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Apteryx

Technically, this is the genus of the kiwi bird but
I first learned the name from the comic strip B.C.
BTW, the kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand
and is a protected species.

Sometimes I feel like an apteryx,
A wingless bird with hairy feathers.
I flap but it’s a fruitless task;
Attempting flight results in headers.
At least I have a lot of friends
Who think my loss would be a no-no
So I’m content. Things would be worse
Had I been born a wingless dodo!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Porcelain Swirl

I never thought I’d write a verse about flushing a toilet
but we’re always up for a challenge, right?
Don’t worry, it’s not nasty in any way—the verse, that is.

It’s an oval receptacle,
Typically white,
Where things you don’t talk about
Swirl out of sight.

Just pull on the handle—
That dizzying swoosh
Ensures that your family
Won’t think you’re a douche!

If it keeps right on running,
You might need a mop;
If you jiggle the handle,
Perhaps it will stop.

Just an oval receptacle,
Typically white;
One visit can help you sleep
All through the night.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Swag

The animal kingdom is bursting with swag—
The antlers that crown all the mating-age stags,
The colorful spread of the male peacock’s fan,
And the heavy gold chains of the skirt-chasing man.

But horns help that stag in its quest for a mate
And birds flash those feathers to help them get laid.
The guys with the chains find that ladies just mock ‘em;
A pawn shop’s the place for those chains, boy—just hock ‘em!