“I like my name pronounced by your lips in a grateful, happy accent.” ~ Charlotte Brontë
WHY I CHANGED MY NAME
by Phyllis Wax
My father-in-law calls me Lois,
his other son’s wife.
Mail comes addressed to
Phyllis R. or Phyllis M. Wax.
I don’t have a middle initial.
My daughters call me Mom,
my sons-in-law Mother.
To my grandchildren I’m Meme.
To the waitress at the diner
I’m Honey or Dear.
Some people confuse me
with my good friend. To them
Today the mailman brought
some coupons for Yolanda Wax.
I kind of like that.
Please call me Yolanda.
~ as posted at Your Daily Poem, October 2021
Had a good laugh reading Phyllis’s Yolanda’s poem. Talk about being able to relate!
Who hasn’t been called all kinds of different names? Maybe we’ve been given special nicknames by family or friends (Auntie Ella called me “Jade,” Lindsay called me “Eloise,” Tanita calls me “jama-j”). Perhaps our significant others use pet names or terms of endearment (Len calls me “Lulu,” “Curly Top,” “Cutie,” or “Shirley” — I call him “Digby”).
Of course many names are shortened for ease or familiarity: “Bob/Bobby” for Robert, “Dick” for Richard, “Liz/Betty/Betsy” for Elizabeth, “Sam” for Samantha. I’ll never understand “Jack” for John or “Harry” for Henry, though. Why not name him Jack to begin with?
“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy donuts. And that’s kind of the same thing.” ~ Anonymous
They’re calling me again. I donut know why I can’t resist them.
Ring, filled, glazed, powdered, frosted with sprinkles — they’ve perfected their siren song. At least I’m not alone in this. 🙂
THE YEAR I LIVED ACROSS THE STREET FROM A 24-HOUR DUNKIN’ DONUTS by Edwin Romond
Each day of each month
like Odysseus with his sirens
I’d hear pastries calling, “Come over! Come over!”
and I’d picture glazed and blueberry
doughnuts, almond croissants and cinnamon
coffee rolls, apple fritters and chocolate
scones, and I feared an international crisis
if I ever said no to a Bavarian cream.
Sometimes at night with the moon white
as a powdered sugar munchkin
I’d wake and worry there was one
lonely toasted coconut doughnut left
in a tray all by himself and charity
would demand I get dressed, cross the street
and eat him. Oh, that year of Christmas
tree cookies, Old Glory sprinkles
on 4th of July muffins, and the faith
inspiring Ash Wednesday hot cross buns
that made me thank God for counter girls
who saved my seat by the window, bakers
who took midnight requests, and for Macy’s
who sold expandable stretch waist jeans.
~ This poem first appeared in The Stillwater Review
Since Dunkin’ Donuts originated in New England, it’s fitting that I had my first official DD there — in Bedford, New Hampshire, to be exact.
We were newly married and visiting Len’s family. I remember my father-in-law raving about DD’s coffee and chicken noodle soup. He never mentioned the donuts, though. It seems going out for DD coffee on a Saturday morning was THE thing to do.
We often stayed at Len’s brother’s house, and one morning Len picked up a box of munchkins for breakfast. Up until then, my little nephew — he might have been 2 or 3 years old at the time — had never eaten donuts in any form. Of course he LOVED them, calling them “Nonuts.” We didn’t know then that my SIL had been restricting his sweets. Oops.
So my first Dunkin’ Donut was actually a plain glazed munchkin, and I’ve been hooked ever since. They’re small and (you gotta admit) cute. There’s less of a guilt factor too. Whoever decided to call those donut holes “munchkins” was absolutely brilliant. Such an adorable name. There might even be scientific proof that eating munchkins makes you cuter. 😀
I love Romond’s poem because it’s so relatable. Though I’ve never lived right across the street from a donut shop, just having a Dunkin’ Donuts in the same town is dangerous enough. My highly refined donut radar can pick up those siren signals within a 30 mile radius, at least. So whenever I hear the cry of a cruller, the moanings of a marble frosted, or the lamentations of a long john, I feel it is my civic duty to come to the rescue. I know they long to be eaten. I just want to make them happy.
I would certainly not want to be the last and lonely toasted coconut donut left on the tray. Poor thing. I may be cowardly with some things, but putting donuts out of their misery isn’t one of them. Mine, like Mr. Romond’s, is a noble calling.
What’s your favorite donut? 🙂
The lovely and talented Tara Smith is hosting the Roundup at Going to Walden. Take her a chocolate frosted donut and check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere this week. Have a nice weekend (eat lots of DONUTS)!
The death bell rings.
Everyone knows what
the death bell brings . . .
It’s time for class. You’re in the place
where goblins wail and zombies drool.
Welcome, you’re just in time.
Monster School is in session — come right in and meet the gang!
These just might be the scariest, spookiest students ever — a class where nobody blinks twice about the odd hairy eyeball on the floor or having a teacher who’s a screaming banshee.
Strangely enough, when you read about them, these spirited scholars seem to feel freakishly familiar. 🙂
In her newest children’s book Monster School (Chronicle Books, 2018),poetry wizard Kate Coombs has conjured up 18 fangtastic poems just perfect for some Halloweenish fun. Illustrated by Georgia cartoonist Lee Gatlin (who professes to love drawing monsters most of all), this cauldron of creepiness will cast you under its spell and tickle your skeletal funny bone.
Written in a variety of poetic forms, the mostly rhyming poems introduce us to some very interesting pupils, two weird teachers, and one voracious class pet.
Take “Fernanda Kabul” (please) — she has a way of instilling dread at the mere mention of her name. Part brat, part bully, and a vengeful liar, this “terrible, heartless” dressed-all-in-black “princess of hex” thrives on terrorizing her classmates:
One time Josh was laughing at something I said and she thought he was laughing at her. By the time she was finished he wasn’t a kid: He was three inches long. He was covered with fur.
It all depends on who’s roasting it and how you order. Here’s to the many flavors of language, elevating the seemingly mundane into art, and having the appetite for a tasty serving of wit on rye.
COUNTERMAN by Paul Violi
What’ll it be?
Roast beef on rye, with tomato and mayo.
Whaddaya want on it?
A swipe of mayo.
Pepper but no salt.
You got it. Roast beef on rye.
You want lettuce on that?
No. Just tomato and mayo.
Tomato and mayo. You got it.
. . . Salt and pepper?
No salt, just a little pepper.
You got it. No salt.
You want tomato.
Yes. Tomato. No lettuce.
No lettuce. You got it.
. . . No salt, right?
Right. No salt.
You got it. Pickle?
No, no pickle. Just tomato and mayo.
Yes, a little pepper.
Right. A little pepper.
Right. No pickle.
You got it.
Roast beef on whole wheat, please,
With lettuce, mayonnaise and a center slice
Of beefsteak tomato.
The lettuce splayed, if you will,
In a Beaux Arts derivative of classical acanthus,
And the roast beef, thinly sliced, folded
In a multi-foil arrangement
That eschews Bragdonian pretensions
Or any idea of divine geometric projection
For that matter, but simply provides
A setting for the tomato
To form a medallion with a dab
Of mayonnaise as a fleuron.
And — as eclectic as this may sound —
If the mayonnaise can also be applied
Along the crust in a Vitruvian scroll
And as a festoon below the medallion,
That would be swell.
You mean like in the Cathedral St. Pierre in Geneva?
Yes, but the swag more like the one below the rosette
At the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.
☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: I am a huge coffee fan. I love the taste of a nice dark roast, and I appreciate all of the good news lately about the health benefits of coffee. My go-to coffee is San Francisco Bay Organic Rainforest Blend. My wife and I make a pot of it every morning, and I like it with a couple of tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: My most recent book is Believe it or Not, My Brother Has a Monster, illustrated by David Slonim, published by Scholastic in 2015. My next book is an anthology of over 140 poems entitled One Minute Till Bedtime, with brand new poems from more than 130 children’s poets from around the world. It will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in November 2016.
☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Easily my favorite food-related children’s book is William Cole’s hilarious anthology, Poem Stew. It’s a collection of humorous poems about food that is now, sadly, out of print, though used copies are easy to find online.