The Alphabet of Awful Children

(This poem was inspired by The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Edward Gorey’s most iconic alphabet book. I am a big fan of his work (as was my mother), and the following is my own homage to EG.)

A is for Alice,

Who pooped in a pot,

Then blamed the whole thing on her big sister, Dot.

B is for Beaumont,

Who stole from the store,

Hid all his loot, then went back for more.

C is for Carol,

Who once on a dare,

Put French onion dip in her mom’s underwear.

D is for Donna,

Who answered the phone,

“Everyone’s dead—please leave us alone.”

E is for Edward,

A liar and sneak

Who hid a dead mouse in a sock for a week.

F is for Fergus,

Who ate his own snot,

And left his bag lunch in his locker to rot.

G is for Gertie,

Who still sucked her thumb

And scratched, in public, her pimply bum.

H is for Hoover,

Whose teeth were pea-green,

And whose hands smelt of places they shouldn’t have been.

I is for Ivy,

Whose toenails were long,

And poked out her shoes as she shuffled along.

J is for James,

Who spat in the chowder,

Then blamed his brother, and couldn’t be prouder.

K is for Kendall,

Who picked at his face,

And left bits of skin all over the place.

L is for Lola,

Whose rank, rancid breath

Hastened the class turtle’s imminent death.

M is for Mitchell,

Who threw up a frog,

That hopped on the floor and was et by the dog.

N is for Nicholas,

Who feasted on flies,

And secretly snuck them into blueberry pies.

O is for Octavia,

Who sculpted with Spam,

And topped her creations with nasty toe jam.

P is for Pete,

Who cheated and lied,

And bragged of his exploits with unseemly pride.

Q is for Queenie,

Sneaky and sly,

Who doctored the family dinner with lye.

R is for Roland,

Whose armpits were smelly,

And liked to pick lint from the hole in his belly.

S is for Selwyn,

Who peed in the hall,

All down the stairs, and all up the wall.

T is for Tilly,

Whose glasses were smeared,

And was fully as weird as originally feared.

U is for Ulrich,

Who farted while sneezing,

And set the whole household and neighbors to wheezing.

V is for Victoria,

Who flicked boogers at teachers,

And laughed as they shrieked, the unfortunate creatures.

W is for Wendell,

Who whimpered and whined,

And pouted and fussed while the family dined.

X is for Xander,

A fractious young man,

Who ate jalapenos straight out of the can.

Y is for Yolanda,

Whose odor atrocious,

Made all her clothes stink something ferocious.

Z is for Zenita,

Who barfed in the sink,

And left the whole mess, all curdled and pink.

When in Doubt…

When you are in deepest doubt

As to what the world is all about

And as to where our place is—

Know this: your eyes are always where your face is.

As long as both are looking forward

And do not see anything untoward

Then think not on the bad things,

The disturbing and the what-if things—

They will sort themselves out

I have no doubt.

And when troubles come our way

And there is nothing hopeful to say,

Then let’s push on and let go the worry

The angst, the heartache, and all the flurry—

*This, too, shall pass,

So raise your glass

To future joy and gladness

Sandwiched thickly between any hurt and sadness.

If you have spoken too quickly,

Laid on your sorrows too thickly

It was most likely best to say it

To the right person and pray it

Will work out for the best

As we are often put to the test

Of life’s ups and downs,

Smiles and frowns—

Just believe that your words came to the right ear

With no judgement, worry or fear—

Love divine is always with you

Pure and powerful, strong and true.

Sleep well, sleep deeply

And know that you are loved completely.

*From Wikipedia:

This too shall pass” is an English-language adage reflecting on the evanescence, or ephemerality, of the human condition. While the general sentiment is often expressed in wisdom literature throughout history and across cultures, this particular phrasing appears to date to the early 19th century, appearing in a collection of tales by the English poet Edward Fitzgerald. It was notably employed in a speech by Abraham Lincoln before he became the sixteenth President of the United States.

Fitzgerald’s usage of the phrase is in the context of a retelling of a Persian fable. Some versions of the fable, beginning with that of Attar of Nishapur, add the detail that the phrase is inscribed on a ring, which has the ability to make the happy man sad and the sad man happy.