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Mark Toney Oct 2019
~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
glimmers of bright lambent light
flitted over the vast lake
they were like ballerinas
imitating swans
Donna Jul 2019
Today I went park
with my son , we saw Swans and
lovely Willow Trees
Such a lovely walk *** ❤️
Logan Robertson May 2019
a million goose eggs

her first toe loop and axel

suddenly a swan

Logan Robertson

5/01/2019
To all those that never gave up.
Noah Apr 2019
I bounce on the ground
I hear the crowds deafening sound.
Someone picks me up and drops me on their boot
Towards another man’s hands is my route
He takes me in his chest like a baby
And with his boot sets me free
I soar through the blinding light
I hear and see the crowd ignite
My bruises ****
But the crowd's joy makes me heal
I am hurt
But in the umpire’s hands, I am happy
And Then
It all starts again
My first one. Hope you like it. Go the swans
Christine Locke Nov 2018
Autumn
There are swans in the backyard, she said
Beyond the fence.
They landed yesterday, alabaster; leaves and grasses
Growing golden, all the same
White behind trees’ garnet sheen, white under sky’s azure
What are they, I asked
They are migrants, hiding in the grass.

Reeds greeted me
Water rippled to me
Clouds shaded me
The wind graced me.

Winter
You were blinded when they left, she said
White on white.
They walk on the ice and swim, unfrozen; feathers and sky,
White light, all the same.
White against the clouds hung low, white against the snow
Where are they, I asked.
They are resting, preparing under drifts.

Reeds rotted under me
Ice supported me
Clouds drifted over me
The wind chilled me.

Spring
They don’t mind the rain, she said.
Heavy clouds, swollen pond.
Black swan lands to rest, unwelcome; defense and violence,
Wings, web, beak: all the same.
Black with white on the water go, Black flight up to storms.
What happened, I asked.
Mother’s cygnets safe, floating under wings.

Sprouts crept to me
Downpours drenched me
Clouds threatened me
The wind bore me.

Summer
They’re strong swimmers now, she warned.
Long, lithe necks, feathering wings.
Cygnets departing soon, as I will too; flight and move,
Higher, stronger, farther: all the same.
The water blued as green reeds grew, Mayflower truck backed in,
We’re ready? I asked.
Feather cast offs lift, drifting onto cartons.

Cat tails waved to me
Waterlines deserted me
Clouds moved on with me
The wind led me.
Merry Jul 2018
The Black Swan enchants the funeral march
Dancing on a mirror
I stand and watch from the mire
She is elegance and grace

The White Swan dispels the misery
With arrogance dire
He spreads his wings
And unfurls his lies

He speaks of heaven and paradise
Whilst black feathers condemned
To brimstone and hellfire
For death is evil

But the Black Swan
She dances on
The natural course of life
Is unto death, after all

I step onto the lake
Sinking into the aching feelings
With mud and water at my ankles
I stare out into the abyss

The swans dance
Like ballerinas
Eternal
And I break the mirror

Clean, pristine and without error
The still water breaks
Ripples and ripples
Natural discordance in the halcylon realm

I turn my back
On the funeral march
The dreary procession
Ignoring black wings

I turn myself
Onto the dancer before me
She smiles, serene,
And offers condolences

The Black Swan
And the White Swan
Continue their dance
And I continue my staring
Meg Howell Mar 2018
Fragile hands,
Weathered and cracked,
Grasping onto the neck of the swan
They are tough,
Yet, all the while, their reach is gentle,
And they glide with the swan to the pond’s lively middle

Up

Up they go

   Ricocheting off the dancing beads of
      water
    
       doing the tango,
          
         the salsa,

            and, at last,

               ballroom.
Lyn-Purcell Sep 2017
Lovers by the lake
Fragrant scent of loving grace
Swans fly with sweet cries
© Poem by Lyn-Purcell
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