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~Dedicated to all victims of bullying, which include girls
& boys of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds.  (That includes me too.)~

Yvonne was very, very, very happy.
She loved her mother.
She loved her brother Phillip.
And she loved swans.
Oh, did she ever love swans!

She loved the way they looked
With their smooth, fluffy feathers,
And colorful beaks of orange, yellow and red.
She would watch them for hours
As they glided over water
In the pond at the park.

Her favorite thing was when two swans
Would get close, ever so close,
Head to head, forming a heart
With their beautiful, curved necks.

Her next favorite thing was
When baby swan cygnets
Would bunch together,
Closely following behind their mother.

She loved swans so much that she
Made a song about them.
Yvonne called it her Swan Song.

“Oh, lovely swan, as you swim in the pond,
Your baby cygnets play—I could watch them all day!
Whatever I do, when I think about you
I wonder if you think about me too!”

Yvonne sang her swan song
All the way to school in the morning
And all the way back home in the afternoon.

Yvonne loved school too.
She was a very good student.  
She studied hard for her tests.
Her grades were very good.
Her teachers were impressed.
Yvonne was helpful to her classmates.
And she was very, very, very happy.

One day a new kid showed up at school.
His name was Harry, and he seemed kinda cool.  
The teacher welcomed Harry to the class
And told everyone to be nice to him.
Harry was a little bigger than most of the kids.
And Harry didn’t smile.  He didn’t say a word.

Harry sat at the empty desk next to Yvonne.
Yvonne was excited about making a new friend.
“Hi, Harry.  I’m Yvonne.  Pleased to meet you.”
“Shut up!” Harry said.  “Leave me alone.”
Yvonne wondered why Harry was so mean.
In fact, he looked rather scary.
“Scary Harry” thought Yvonne.

Every day Yvonne and her friends would try to be nice to Harry.
Every day, Harry would be mean to them.
The only kids Harry liked were the bully kids,
The ones who were mean like Harry.
Harry was bigger and meaner.
Soon all the bullies were following him.

Every day they would pick on different kids.
One day they started picking on Yvonne.
Scary Harry taught his bully friends
An awful poem about Yvonne.  
They would shout it out when Yvonne came to school
And they would shout it out when she left for home too.

“Yvonne sang her swan song
She worked so hard all-day long.
When she came home she fell down
'Cause her legs didn’t have any bones!”

Yvonne was very hurt by their horrible, hateful poem,
And she would cry and run away as fast as she could.
Scary Harry and the bullies would laugh and laugh
And keep shouting it over again and again.

They also made up an awful poem
About Yvonne’s brother Phillip.

“Her brother’s name was Phillip.
He had such big wide hips.
When he tried to drink from a straw he couldn’t
'Cause his mouth didn’t have any lips!”

Yvonne was no longer very, very, very happy,
She felt fear, stress and sadness all the time.
Fear made her not want to go to school.
Sadness made her stop acting like her true self.

She no longer wanted to go to the park to see the swans.
Stress left her stomach in knots.
She found it hard to sleep.
What could she do?  
What would you do if this happened to you?

Yvonne did not want to be a tattletale,
But decided it would be best to tell her mother.
Yvonne told her everything.
About the new kid, Scary Harry, and the bully kids;
About them bullying her and her friends;
About the awful poems about her and Phillip;
About her fear of going to school;
About her sadness over not wanting to see the swans;
About the stress leaving her stomach in knots.
She told her mother everything,
And then she cried and cried and cried.

Her mother wept with her, and when the time was right she asked,
“What do you do when they bully you?”
“I start to cry and then run away” sobbed Yvonne.
“What do you WANT to do when they bully you?”
“I want to hit them hard and make them stop!”

With loving eyes, her mother replied
“Yvonne, I am so sorry for you.  But I know exactly what you should do.”
“Really?” Yvonne asked between sobs.
“Really!” responded her mother.  “Listen closely.”
Placing her hands gently on Yvonne’s shoulders,
Her mother kindly looked into Yvonne’s eyes and said:

“You can beat a bully without using your fists,
If you don’t react to their bullying.  
If you don’t react, the bullies will lose interest.
Don’t retaliate, or be mean to them,
Because that will only add to the problem.
Act confident, don’t be afraid.  
Bullies notice when you’re afraid.

Walk away, don’t run.  
It shows you have self-control,
Something the bullies don’t have.
Don’t walk to school alone.  
Walk with a friend.

Since bullies love secrecy, tell someone.  
Tell a teacher, just like you told me.
Even though you may feel like a tattletale,
You shouldn’t have to face it alone.”

Yvonne hugged her mother long and hard.
She was so happy she had finally told her mother.
“Let’s go to the park and see the swans” her mother said.
Yvonne, her mother and Phillip went, and had a wonderful time.
Yvonne felt like singing her swan song again,
So she sang it loud and strong
In the park by the pond and all the way home.

“Oh, lovely swan, as you swim in the pond
Your baby cygnets play—I could watch them all day!
Whatever I do, when I think about you
I wonder if you think about me too!”

The next day at school,
When scary Harry and the bully kids
Shouted the awful poems,
Yvonne remembered everything her mother had told her.
She even told her friends, so they would know what to do.
And she told her teacher too.

It didn’t take long before the bullying slowed down.
Scary Harry eventually stopped being as scary.
Yvonne was once again very, very, very happy.

She loved her mother more and more each day.
She loved her brother Phillip.
She loved her school too.
And she loved swans.
Oh, did she ever love swans!
4/24/2018 - Poetry form:  Narrative - This poem is dedicated to all victims of bullying, which include girls & boys of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. (That includes me too.) - Copyright © Mark Toney | Year Posted 2018
You won't remember all the fuss you
cause, my precious microcosm

This strange bewildering exhausting
global economy you dwell in

Apparently the lease expired and your time has come

Driven by grievance more than strategy

It sets the stage for fireworks and confusion

In one dizzying morning into afternoon

I'm searching for who to blame

Histories on the episode may well spend a chapter on
your mother's unhinged notions née crazy talk

It becomes clear in real time how the risks
of an escalating trade war

give a centimeter, take a centimeter

And the fraying of longstanding ties

Could quickly outpace the ability to evict you

As your mother, the normal first responder
to your distress, I can do

Absolutely nothing about it but push

In what seems a shoot-first approach to such
a delicate moment

The escalation, the unpredictability, the erratic
nature of developments

Is central to what is going on

Something is breaking

That something is me!

Our world is on edge

Looking for a sign of what to do next

The labor market drops and you're crowned
a royal pain

Peace is found, it's proportional

And by all measures you're quite hale
quite beautiful!

This offsets the damage of a messy exit

The disconnect I incessantly prayed for offers
melancholy over relief

In our opening act you're already moving
away from me

While the female body is a powerful tool

It cannot provide a settled rule book for
such internal battle

Still, this adventure, scary and catastrophic as
it was, is well-suited to the wonders that I am

For that I'm grateful to my Creator

The lesson of the last several hours is that forces are unfolding
that we can't do much to contain

We're merely nesting passengers en route to
a foreign destination
Ashes of my son
in this bottle
wash ashore
to remind us the years are fragile
and too quickly they're no more

Strands of my daughter
on this brush
remain a lovely brunette
and a none-too-kind truism:
we begin to die from the very outset

A stone's throw is all we have
Faraway moon,
as a young child
I could see your smile,
taste your cheese,
see your old man,
touch you with my finger.

Fascinating moon,
as a young adult
I could sense your pull,
bathe in your romantic beams,
pledge my love,
reach for the stars!

Most faithful moon,
in my waning years
as life's orbit decays,
I am in awe of your loyalty,
amazed by your true colors,
reassured by your changing tides.
Continue to reflect life's light,
as other young children
see your beautiful smile,
taste your curious cheese,
see your kind old man,
touch you with their imagination...
as other young people,
sense your magnetic pull,
luxuriate in your romantic beams,
pledge their undying love,
seek out distant horizons...

most faithful, fascinating, faraway moon
10/18/2019 - Poetry form: Free Verse - Copyright © Mark Toney | Year Posted 2019
Some cry climate change
Other's say they're deranged.
As the conflict evolves
All our lives are involved.
Who's right or who's wrong?
What's the difference?
What's the true future view,
Is there more we can do,
Before we become past tense?

We ask what, what of our children?
As they grow and we show them a future with no guarantees.
What, what of our children?
Why do they have to pay for our past generations' misdeeds?

There's so much confusion
Over lies and collusion.
Years teaching them right
Lessons lost overnight.
They see others lie with impunity.
What's wrong becomes right
Simply blow out the light
Darkness perverts civility

We ask what, what of our children?
As they grow and we show them a future with no guarantees.
What, what of our children?
Why do they have to pay for our past generations' misdeeds?

No!  What of our children?

What?  Why do you lie?
True science deny!
What of our children?

What?  Why do you fight?
Wrong becomes right!
What of our children?

What?  Why do you hate?
It's almost too late!
What of our children?

What of our children?
What of our...?
What of...?
What...?
?
4/21/2019 - Poetry form:  Lyric - Inspiration for this poem came from "Hell is For Children," by Pat Benatar. Copyright © Mark Toney | Year Posted 2019
yasmin Oct 11
If only we would all cry when we’re sad
Ask for help when we need it
Wave and smile at every stranger
Play and play when we awaken

If only we would understood
that the answer to life is
to never grow up.
Translated by Przemyslaw Musialowski 10/5/2019

Sitting on the perch the rooster boasted:
soon the king of swimmers I'll be
and laurel wreath I will get:
Cos the champion of champions I am in this respect!
The hens, excited, clucked in admiration,
small yellow chicks silently listened in awe,
oinking happily were the piglets,
and the ducks? Like crazy they laughed!

Wieslaw Musialowski 10/15/2001
Friends, I am asking for your understanding, because all my translations must be proofread and corrected. Poems are hard to translate (even in free verse translations). The original is rhymed. Regards.
A B Faniki Oct 9
My little son plays football in a little league
his coordination is of a new born foal, his colleagues
on is almost the same as his
yet they score a lot of goals
This amazing feat I never see in any league.
© A B Faniki 10/9/2019 all right reserved . This poem is a limerick inspired by kids playing football.  There age ranges from 4  to 6
Caroline Oct 8
Every day, I'm just trying to make it.

Things fall apart constantly.
Cracks appear in solid walls and
The wolves wait at the door
For a weak moment to pounce
And demand
What I don't have to give.

I'm holding us together by the skin of my teeth
I'm holding them up
With broken limbs
And the whole thing is shaking
Like some snow globe
Whose glass is too **** thin
And on the inside is the most beautiful scene.

I can easily see what it would look like
Painted across the firmament.
I can easily see what it will look like
In pieces on the pavement
Snow flakes and
Little hopeful stars
Smashed into the dirt

When the thing is tossed like trash
Because fate doesn't really give a ****
And it is all up to us
Alone
To walk that road
Alone
And make it
Or don't.

My little one is fevered and laying across my knees
And I remember the time he was hooked to machines
And the medical industry never blinked
When the bill was more than our income for a year.

The powers that be really don't care.

All of these little ones deserve a hero.

How easy it would be to talk myself up,

But the honest to God truth is,

I don't know if I can be one.
Yet, for my babies,
I'll die trying.

Dedicated to all of the mommies and daddies who fight to keep the wolves away from the hearts of little ones. They see you fighting for them, and in that, they know they're loved <3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYdvxBxHX2U
Yesterday I found my heart teetering
on the tops of your fingertips.
I was attempting to walk across a tight rope
from my chest to yours without falling.
Ev'ry word you spoke was a gust of wind
pulling me closer to falling and I spoke
my own words to stabilize my legs.
But I knew the tragedy of one slip,
If I said something too strongly or
or I didn't listen well enough,
stumbling off the rope was inevitable;
whether I hit an unknown bottom
or kept falling down the rabbit hole
the result would be the same.
My heart, broken on impact,
the force of gravity tenfold
because the value of my love for you
is everything times ten to the tenth power.
I cannot really fathom a shattered heart right now,
but I'd imagine its something like--
Humpty Dumpty on steroids falling
from the moon instead because someone
accidentally mixed up the two children stories.
Humpty Dumpty jumped over the moon
and shattered every piece of himself on the way down.
For the kings men would never find him again
And I would never be able
to put the pieces back together.
...Hey, ******, ******...Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
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