This one, published in our gradeschool newsletter in its mimeographed glory, must have made the golden moon turn blue:
Oh, wonderful, wonderful moon
I wonder why you don't shine at noon.
Are you a pretty lamp in the sky
Or just a round ball up high?
If you are a guide to me at night
Please don't go away from my sight.
Hey, my teachers didn't think that was too bad. For soon after that was published, I was "commissioned" to write customized poems for special occasions. One "Red Cross something something Day," the class orator recited this earthshaking masterpiece to a young audience. An audience of one awed pupil (who lipsed the lines as they were being recited onstage) and 997 blank-faced others.
Red Cross, ah, the organization
That is loved and honored by the whole nation.
You helped the Filipinos and soldiers in war
Ah, you're the help that God has bore.
Red Cross, you'll die never
For you, you are the nation's saver
---------------- (Sorry forgot the unforgettable lines that ended this disaster of a poem. Pang Red Cross talaga?!)
In high school -- season of sexual awakening, crushes, and "uy, may gusto" contagion -- my verses were that of a bright-eyed girl starting to think the world revolved around one special boy. A boy whose specialness was simply in making the mistake of sending her her first cellophane-wrapped bunch of Valentine flowers.
I keep each rose you gave me and every night in bed
I kiss its faded petals as I kissed your lips so red
One way they make me happy but another they make me sad
For they speak of a love that was lovely but now has turned to naught.
You've gone away, gone far away beyond my reach
And now I'm sure you'll never come back sweet
So each night as I count the stars with a pillow on my cheek
I hold each rose you gave me and kiss it as I weep.
I wrote more love-sick inanities in first year college.
They say that you care, I hope you do too
But to say you won't dare, is it true, is it true?
You talk about the weather each time you come a-calling
But the sweet words you say never, though deep down I am waiting.
True love can speak, true love can sing
If yours is not weak, let it ring, let it ring.
Ring it low and sweet, music to my ear
Then loud and hard ring it, that all the world may hear.
Now, tell me if I hadn't every reason to want to hang or bang my head in shame when at 12, Bonch (my youngest daughter) showed herself capable of writing such as this:
I curse the clock for being slow
I curse it too for being fast.
Indulge my nostalgic mood and wait for Part 2 -- Growing in My So-Called Poetry. That is, if no one heckles Part I. Please don't ask if that's a promise or a threat.