The Alphabet Sonnets

When my kids were pre-teens, I got a wild idea to write a collection of sonnets for them.  But not just any sonnets, oh, no, that would be too easy!

I decided to write 26 acrostic sonnets - each one with a line starting with a letter of the alphabet.

They enjoyed having the Alphabet Sonnets read to them, for a while, and then they got put away with other "childish things."  But I'm hoping to someday resurrect these gems and have them published as a children's book.  For several years I even had a real-life bona-fida literary agent taking them out (okay, including the project in his occasional mass mailings to publishers...)

For now, here they are!

(Shh- don't tell the publishers I'm giving it away for free on the web!)

the letter a

"A is for Apples," so Aaron began --
An aardvark is he, our guide in this land.
Adventurous Aaron's task in this part?
Aligning each line the right letter start.
Asserting the ABC's written in
Acrostics appropriately lends him
August authority, letters in tow;
Ask him of characters, as he would know!
Assembled sonnets, abba to zither,
Abacus in hand, twenty-six hither;
Alphabet singer, sing alphabet songs,
Applying accented notes short and long --
Attendance audaciously laudable,
Affection aboundingly audible.

the letter b

Bilbo the bruin, brashly tattooing
Beats and beatitudes upon the banks,
Booming and wooing, brightly soft shoeing --
Brenda his bear beauty beaming in thanks.
Brawny was Bilbo, toes to his elbows,
Bright and bodaciously brave, bold and brass.
Blameless was this beau, Bilbo would fair go
Boston to Borneo to please his lass.
But for the bucks to buy for her honey,
Boldly hed ask her to marry him please;
Broken in heart and bereft of money --
Bees and their pollen made poor Bilbo sneeze!
"Boyfriend," said Brenda, "don't bum on this thing.
"Brother, I've honey - just buy me the ring!"

the letter c

Cathy is craftily cooking a cake,
Careful to measure and make no mistake.
Cakes made by Cathy are often strange fare --
Commonly oddities are found in there!
Continual trials yield curious ends
(Consider the cakes she springs on her friends!)
Cumin and curry, some cinnamon, too,
Chestnuts and chicken all go in this stew.
Cubeb and cucumber, cuckoopint blue,
Cornstalk and coconut, to name a few.
Collecting her efforts, could Cathy dare
Carry her cakes to competing at fairs?
Curiously, Cathy's cakes always won
'Cause nobody dared to try to eat one!

the letter d

Did I mention the dromedary, who
Does in his one hump along with him bring
Dinner for many days, water there too?
(Down in the desert, refreshment's the thing.)
Dollars for drachmas, the fellow's a pain
Despite having diet always at hand.
Doggedly does he annoy and complain --
Darling, his temper you hardly could stand!
Dare not you confuse him with the two-humps;
Do this in peril of your good clothing.
Dignity often this fellow harrumphs,
Deigning never to disguise his loathing.
Drill it in your mind, for if you forget,
Don't you know, this camel just loves to spit!

the letter e

"Expect surprises," Eli surmises
(Ever the practical elephant, he).
"Each brand-new sunrise, truthful, my old eyes
Encounter sights I can hardly believe."
"Examples," he chimes, "come up all the time;
Exactly like clockwork wonders occur.
Ezekiel best arrives in my mind --
Embodying whimsy, you will concur.
Elfin was Zeke -- not just in stature -- was
Every bit elf from his head to his toe.
Eccentrically chosen, picked just because
Elephant ridden by elf, you must know,
Enchantingly marched, the head of parades --
Everyone smiled and remembered for days."

the letter f

"Funston," the fly said, "you are, I do fear,
Full ready to eat me if I draw near."
"Felix," Funston the frog did reply, "I
Feel you have reason for wondering why;
For fairly a long while you and I knew
Functional law compelled me to eat you --
Frankly, if I were you, I would beware." 
"Friends, you say?"  Felix asked, flying with care.
"Flatter you not, Felix, you don't appeal --
Faith, but I do not see you as a meal."
Fuzzing and buzzing, Felix considered.
Finally, frog asked:  "Join me for dinner?"
From Felix the fly there was no reply,
For Funston had eaten Felix the fly.

the letter g

Ghosts!  I hate ghosts!  They frighten me nightly --
Gray, green, or ghastly, nicely or nasty,
Galloping, giggling, slowly, fastly,
Groaning and shrieks, done rude or politely.
Get out, go away, is what I say.  Each
Glance from a spirit or glare from a wraith
Gives goosebumps, shivers and shakes to my faith.
Gross goblins taunting me just out of reach --
Greatly I shake hearing bumps in the night.
Glumful and careful I head to my bed
Grave and determined to fight off the dread;
Going to sleep now I turn out the light.
Gone are the ghosts with the dawning of day;
Good thing for me I can wish them away!

the letter h

How do I love thee? Let me think a bit
(Hardly a topic to rush, you'll admit).
Horrifically great, like haddock love worms,
Harpy bats love being thought taciturn,
Horny toads love flies, hamsters love big wheels,
Hammerhead sharks love eating toes for meals,
Himalayan monks love dreaming of heat,
Honeybees love making nectar taste sweet,
Honking geese love heading up big parades,
Hoopoe birds love singing bright serenades,
Howling monkeys so love causing troubles,
Hippopotami love blowing bubbles.
Highfalutin love, you've got to agree;
Higher than highest is my love for thee!

the letter i       

I've got a friend who's just slightly insane;
If you've not met Ivan, let me explain:
Impudent, insolent, sometimes just rude,
Ill-versed in etiquette, hopelessly crude,
Insistently mischievous always --
Immeasurably he livens my days.
Inside or outside, where challenges wait,
Insanely he leaps through the jaws of fate.
Innumerable the times I have called
Invoking Ivan when parents, appalled,
Irately berate for something I've done.
"Innocent!" I cry, "For Ivan's the one!"
In short, the perfect companion, my friend --
Imaginary Ivan is pretend.

the letter j

Jump up and fall down, make a silly noise,
Jiggle like a worm under bedtime toys,
Jog in place, make a face, lie down and think,
Jolly well ask for some water to drink,
Jerk back the covers and remake your bed,
Join in, sing the song that plays in your head,
Joust with a monster, pretend a bassoon,
Jest with your teddy bear, joke with the moon,
Journey in your mind past stars on a race,
Jaunt beyond Jupiter's bright, smiling face,
Jubilantly ask where we get the sky,
Joyfully listen close and then ask, "Why?"
Juggle your pillows in a pretend fight --
Just don't believe it's time to say "good night."

the letter k

Knurled and knotted, all twisted and gathered,
Kept in a box, the lid somewhat tattered --
Karma and fortune, chance, kismet and fate,
Kinks in good plans, complications in state,
Kindness and cruelty, laughter and sighs,
Kisses and curses all therein reside.
Kinetic frenzies, languid, lost summers,
Kangaroo punches, beats of odd drummers,
Kettles of fine fish intended to fry,
Knapsacks all loaded with wonder and why,
Kibitzers, scorners, supporters and hope,
Kudos and critics, some kinks in the rope,
Knowledge and magic and loving and strife --
Keep all in your heart -- for all this is life.

the letter l

Linda the ladybug was quite verbose,
Lecturing anyone who dared draw close.
Lunching on lavender leaves she'd expound,
Latching on anything to make a sound.
Legend would tell she outtalked a parrot.
Loan her a secret?  Know she will share it.
Lacing her language with words much too queer,
Little believing that no one cares hear.
Ladybugs ladylike? Not quite this one!
(Luckily ladybugs have tiny lungs.)
Loony old Lindaloo, verbose and long,
Limber of tongue, won't admit when she's wrong,
Lambasting, libeling, language galore --
Let me assure you this lady's a bore.

the letter m

Mealtime is served, now dinner is ready,
Muster your appetite, pull up some chairs!
Mounds upon mounds of sauce and spaghetti,
Mangos and oranges, strawberries and pears,
Meatloaf and sauce and dressing and turkey,
Melonball salad and applesauce, too,
Monkey-foot doughnuts, fresh homemade jerky,
Mom's famous everything-else-in-a-stew,
Macaroni and cheese, turtle surprise,
My famous peach cobbler, desserts galore,
Mustard and ketchup and custard and pies,
Muffins and cookies and whipped cream and more...
Mm, what a meal! The food was delicious!
My, what a mess!  Whose turn to do dishes?

the letter n

Noble intent and the best laid of plans,
Nail all the details down with your own hands,
Negotiate trouble, plot a straight course,
Navigate wisely, stay hard to the source,
Needle the compass and hold the path through,
Name your desire and always stay true,
Neither a liar nor braggart obey
(Nine times of nine they will lead you astray),
Next to the wheel keep a map and a light,
Near to your heart keep the truth and delight.
No matter how hard you try planning things,
Nitpicking ninnies can ruin your dreams;
Negative thoughts always force you below --
Never but never let them tell you no.

the letter o

Oy!  If you'd seen all the things that I've seen
Over and under and all in between:
Oxen in dance halls swirling a nightful,
Ospreys at checkers jumping delightful,
Outrigger kayaks with oryx at strokes,
Oysters a-spy in long, wrinkled dark cloaks,
Opulent opals glowing metallic,
Old English sheepdogs speaking in Gaelic,
Ostriches spelling "sincerely" and "proud,"
Owls hooting secret owl secrets out loud.
Outrageous mysteries twinkle and gleam;                
Out there adventures are seldom as seem!   
Oh, all the wonders, the treasures, the wealth --
Ought you not sleep now and see them yourself?

the letter p

Placed upon street signs, written on doorposts,
Printed on place mats underneath French toasts,
Provided with forms at government stores,
Posted at racetracks and nailed on church doors --
Poems writ by the princess in her own hand
Popped up like posies all over the land,
Perfectly rhyming and witty in thought,
Practically legend these poems she had wrought.
People provided this pleasure exclaimed,
"Petunia the poet ever shall reign!"
Perhaps on occasion the prince complained,
"Passing out poetry seems somewhat vain."
Princess Petunia politely proclaimed,
"Poetry simply resides in my veins!"

the letter q

Quarantined was the fox, down with the flu,
Quivering, shivering, sniffling too.
Quite understandably you might just snort;
Quasi-believable is his report.
Quoth he to me, "I enjoyed a visit,
Queen of the quarks, looking so exquisite;
Quadrillion times smaller than I could see.
'Quack,' she said -- that's how I knew it was she."
Quarrel with him not; foxes rarely lie.
Quash any doubt, stop your wondering why;
Quarks can appear when you're not in good health.
Q.E.D., I do believe it myself.
Quantum mechanics won't stay in a box;
Quickly the quark jumped the ailing brown fox.

the letter r

Rare for a goat was our Riley McGee --
Rakish and ravishing, devilish he;
Replete in tails and a top hat (brand-new),
Rip-roaring through, he's a hullabaloo!
Rascally Riley could often be found
Racing about (he's the talk of the town),
Running with brother rat Rodney and pal
Ree (the wild reindeer) with Rhoda, his gal.
Riley would dream up adventures and more,
Romping about causing trouble galore.
'Round dusk Riley always ended his day;
Reality sadly got in the way.
Reluctantly Riley goodbye must bid;     
Retire he must, 'cause he's still a kid!

the letter s

"Simply the best," said Sally with zest, to
Simon the simian over their tea.
"Surely you know we snakes don't have toes!  Who
Says apes ain't funny?" she chortled in glee.
Seldom do monkey and asp coincide;
Something of Sally made Simon stutter.
Seeing her made him all jelly inside;
Sally to him was like bread to butter.
Searching about for a way to impress,
Seeking a gift that would bring her a smile,
Surreptitiously he bought her a dress -- 
Silver and lace with a train for a mile.
Still something was missing, Simon could tell;
So he had bought her the red shoes as well.

the letter t

Tired, so tired, I must take a rest;
Today is now ending as sleep descends.
Tomorrow I'll run, discover new ends;
Tonight, though, I'll sleep -- yes, sleeping seems best.
There are some dreams that need my attending,
Thoughts I left moored on the edge of a cloud,
Things I considered (but never too loud) --
These I should tend to, dreams that need mending.
Tossing my day at the foot of my bed
Troubles left outside next to the back door,
Trials left postponed till I face them once more
(This time, I think, they're best left neglected).
Though I have miles, and promises to keep,
Thanking my Maker, I drift off to sleep.

the letter u

Upon my word, you must try to conceive;
Undo your skeptic -- try to resist it!
Until I saw it I wouldn't believe
Under the sun such creatures existed!
Up in the hills of the flatlands it walks,
Ugly, this beauty, it crawls on six hands,
Unsettling stares from ten eyes on stalks,
Ultramarine nose with purple-green bands.
Unlikely, you say? There's more, I swear! An
Unpleasant body with polka-dot streaks,
Ubiquitous shading, orange, blue and tan,
Unicornlike, but the horn is beneath!
Usually there's no reason to fear her --
Unless you find it's only a mirror.

the letter v

"Voom voom va-room" said Vira the viper,
Vivaciously Vira, vulpine was she.
Virtually viewed you might just not see her --
Vertically challenged, this snake, verily!
Vacationing on the isle Consuela
(Vaunted for sights every snake just must see),
Vira had come from deep Venezuela;
Vagabondlike she tramped down to the sea.
Vainly she tried finding passage across;
Vast waters stretched between her and her dream.
Verging on tears Vira surveyed her loss;
Vowing to get there she launched on a scheme --
Valentine's Day left a box by the pier;
Vaulting inside she just surfed over there.

the letter w

When we hear the clear warbles of angels
Wafting and weaving their songs in the night,
Washing past weariness, pain and dangers,
Watchfully floating them way out of sight;
When webs of wonder weave on neon skies
Waterworks weathering wavering winds,
Wishes and hopes and farewells and goodbyes,
Wave after wave drifts again and again.
When wakeful hours slip wearily by,
Warranting yawns in the wan moonlit air,
Waning and waxing and whispering sighs,
Waltzing to sleep wearing never a care;
When warm, loving hands extinguish the light,
We say bless you all, and to all good night.

the letter x

Xavier the armadillo (of genus
Xenurus to be precise) believed from
Xenogenesis he sprang; between us
Xenial grace compels, should he say some
Xanadu spells drive him lemminglike to
Xenomania, then so say ya.  On
Xmas eve Xavier leaves to find a few
Xanthine-colored flowers; with neon
Xenon as his light, he seeks for the herb
Xanthisma with a map made in perfect
Xylographic print; but when weather blurb
Xerotic winds predict, then home looks best.
Xibalba-like his bed does Xavier find;
X's of flowers dance in Xavier's mind.

the letter y

Y'all must know the yellow yak, the yak in
Yonder yellow sack, the sack of knitted
Yards and yards of yarn, decor of maudlin
Yucca-plant prints, paisley patterned fitted.
Yet the yak, with patient eyes, peers from his
Yellow sack surprised, as yellow jackets,
Yelping dogs and yucca moths buzz and biz
Yodel and yip and just make some rackets!
Yesterday the yellow yak dreamed free, planned,
Yearned upon his back, sleeping in an un-
Yaklike repose, when the yeoman came and
Yelled and put him in the sack, just for fun --
Yes, even his toes, his nose, and his rings.
You can't be too careful about these things.

the letter z

Zoologists know the trouble I know,
Zealously trying to keep to the form;
Zooming and zipping to find words that go --
Zestfully starting with zed isn't norm!
Zebras are laughing at me to my face,
Zinnias blooming all over the place,
Zigzagging zebu all join in my race,
Zenith the highest point I see in space.
Zwieback in hand I snack while I work on,
Zephyr a wind blowing in from the west,
Zodiac zones with zithers of zircon,
Zeros are dancing as I pass the test!
Z doesn't happen too often for me --
Zounds, but it's hard starting everything Z!