ADVENTURES OF ISABEL
By Ogden Nash

Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel didn't care
The bear was hungry, but bear was ravenous,
The bear's bigmouth was cruel and cavernous,
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel now I'll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry,
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly keep the bear up.

Once in a night as black as pitch
Isabel met a wicked old witch.
The witch's face was crossed and wrinkled,
The witch's gum with teeth were sprinkled.
Ho, ho, Isabel! The old witch crowed,
I'll turn you into an ugly toad!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry,
She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.

Isabel met a hideous giant,
Isabel continued self-reliant.
The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
He has one eye in the middle of his forehead.
Good morning, Isabel, the Giant said,
I'll grind your bones to make my bread.
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel, didn't scream or scurry,
She nibbled the Zwieback she always fed off,
And when it was gone, she cut the Giants head off.

Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
He punched any poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor's talk was of costs and chills
And the doctors Satchel bulged with pills.
The doctors said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.
Isabel, Isabel didn't worry,
Isabel and scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concocter,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.


BY MYSELF
by Eloise Greenfield

When I'm by myself
And I close my eyes
I'm a twin
I'm a dimple in a chin
I'm a room full of toys
I'm a squeaky noise
I'm a gospel song
I'm a gong
I'm a leaf turning red
I'm a loaf of brown bread
I'm a what whatever I want to be
An anything I care to be
And when I open my eyes
What I care to be
Is me


DREAM VARIATIONS
a Langston Hughes

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me -- --
That is my dream!


To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance, Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening...
A tall, slim tree...
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.


Knoxville, Tennessee
by Nikki Giovanni

I always like summer best
you can need fresh corn
from daddy's garden
and okra
and greens
and cabbage
and lots of barbecue
and buttermilk
and homemade ice cream
at the church picnic
and list to
Gospel music
outside at the church
homecoming
and go to the mountains with
your grandmother
and go barefooted
and be warm
all that I'm
not only when you go to bed
and sleep


THE CROCODILE
by Lewis Carroll

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining Tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin!
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gentle smiling jaws!


TREES
by Sgt. Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

I tree whose hungry mouth this press
Against the earth sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
Who intimately lives with rain,

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


FOR WANT A NAIL
(traditional Mother Goose rhyme)

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost,
For want of a horse, the rider was lost,
For want of a rider, the battle was lost,
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.


JIMMY JET AND HIS TV SET
by Shel Silverstein

I'll tell you the story of Jimmy jet -- --
and you know what I tell is true.
He loved to watch his TV set
almost as much as you.

He watched all day, he watched all night
Till he grew pale and lean,
From some "The Early Show" to "The Late Late Show"
and all of the shows between.

He watched till his eyes where frozen wide,
And his bottom grew into his chair.
And his chin turned in to it tuning dial,
And antenna grew out of his hair.

And his brain turned into TV tubes,
And his face to a TV screen.
And two knobs saying "VERT." and "HORIZ."
Grew where his ears had been.

And he grew a plug that looked like a tail
So we plugged in little Jim.
And now instead of him watching TV
We sit around and watch him.


FIRST THANKSGIVING OF ALL
Will by Nancy Byrd Turner

Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,
And Patience (very small),
Stood by the table giving thanks
The first Thanksgiving of all.
There was very little for them to eat,
Nothing special and nothing sweet;
Only bread and little broth,
And a bit of fruit (and no tablecloth);
But Peace and Mercy and Jonathan
And Patience, in a row,
Stood up and asked a blessing on
Thanksgiving, long ago.

Thankful they were their ship had come
Safely across the sea;
Thankful they were for hearth and home,
And kin and company;
They were glad of broth to go with their bread,
Glad their apples were round and red,
Glad of mayflowers they would bring
Out of the woods again next spring.
So Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,
And Patience (very small),
Stood up gratefully giving thanks
The first Thanksgiving of all.


ELETELEPHONY
by Laura Richards

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant -- --
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone -- --
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)

Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee -- --
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)


FATHER WILLIAMS
by Lewis Carroll

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on you head -- --
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back somersault in at the door -- --
Pray, what is the reason for that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment -- --one shilling the box -- --
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth," and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak -- --
Pray how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one
would hardly suppose
That your eye was a steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose -- --
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father. "Don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!"