Monday, February 10, 2014

A Labor of Love: The Owen Poems

My granddaughter, Kalyn, will turn thirty this week, and just over a month later her son, Owen, will turn four. When Kalyn was Owen's age and spent the day or night with me, I loved making up silly rhymes and singing them to make her giggle. She thought they were funny enough that they became a routine part of our time together. To this day she remembers all the words to one song that started out simply as lunch menu suggestions:

You can have pimento cheese
Or ABC's & 123's,
I'm begging you on bended knees,
Please don't make me eat green peas.

Actually, I love green peas; she's the one who didn't.

I don't get to spend as much time with Owen as I did with Kalyn, but during the recent holidays I saw him enough to know that he's developed a pretty good sense of humor. The boy likes a joke. I could tell that by the way he laughed uproariously every time he used the words, "chicken eyeball," which he did repeatedly on Christmas Day.

A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me that one way to build a closer relationship with my great-grandson between visits would be to send him letters. That was the start of the Owen Poems. Since then I've been making up short verses and "borrowing" photos from Google images to illustrate them. My plan is to send him a new poem--or something--every week or ten days until he loses interest.

With a little help from his mama, a clearly excited Owen called me after he got this first one:

You'll have no trouble guessing what the illustration is on this next one I'm mailing today:

Owen Poem #2
Owen Asks the Body Question

Owen suggested, "Pick only one thing:
From your hair to the tips of your toes,
What part of your body do you like the best?"
Claire answered, "My eyes, I suppose."
Nicholas said, "I would pick my right arm
Because of the cool way it throws."
Jonathan said, "I can wiggle my ears,
so I think I'm gonna choose those."
Emily's choice was her curly red hair,
And Anthony? He picked his nose.

Rounding out the first three (all I've written so far) is this one:

Owen Poem #3
Up and Down

A dog named Up and a duck named Down
once walked together into town.
They walked along a railroad track
and didn't bother looking back
until a whistle made Up shout,
"A train is coming! Down, look out!"
The train was moving very fast,
but just before it roared on past,
the friends did what they had to do:
down Up jumped and up Down flew.

What about the pre-schoolers you know? What kinds of things do they find funny?


  1. These are brilliant. I'm certain Owen will treasure these when he is older!

  2. I see a children's book in the making!


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