Things Were Much Stranger Then!
( EveryChild's Rebuttal. )
So you think that the world now is strange,
and as soon as you get used to things as they are
there's a change!
You believe that all turns in a spellbinding carrousel
going from Strange into Stranger & Stranger
as if it were being done by magic?
and that then, without taking a rest,
it all takes one more spellbinding turn
into things still stranger
(and without even so much as a whit
of purpose or of logic)...?
You don't really know even the half of it:
The Child's Rebuttal:
All that now is in fad
... used to be so very mad
that it was a true bewilderment
Chairs could be ants back then
--and simply by chance.
Spiders were flipping tables then!
made of some hairless sable.
Penguins wore military paper pants!
And this was because although now-
adays nothing is what it now is
without there being a good reason why it's what it is,
things back then were the things they were
merely & purely by chance!
Purely by chance, mind you, back then
if a polliwog learned to dance
(over & above smoking enameled logs)
... that was that: He did!
Indeed, by pure strokes of chance,
things were stranger still
for, fishes whistled through the high-Cs
with all of their watered gills!
and cows, which now give us milk
(with such utter purpose, naturally),
once wove purple and grimy silk
out of sheer ignorance
(yes, completely by chance)
Hippos were birds back then
singing on branches so fine that they snapped
at the slightest off-key note
(turkeys might slip on),
or simply because of the least knee slapped
(keeping time) up there
like some flock of heavily bubble-headed fools
Purely by (sheer, dumb) chance,
things were yet stranger:
Baseball was a real 'mental' danger then
because baseball caps were teeth!
Faces (yes, faces) were made of a painfully sticky
soft cheese (by the rules of chance)
Cats which now have such solid reasons
to chase balls of cotton & mice & rats
(and who now seldom wear any custom-made hats
of ice)... once were artistic weasels
all, quite by chance, doing their runs
over easels (instead of on shoes)
Shoes themselves were but ooze
(out of chance)
and made toes squish! squish! squish!
for the easel weasels like uneasy fishes
atop dishes of licorice
& straightened-out rainbows
(over black-jeweled iced pish)
All sloshy galoshes
(which now live but for rain)
were just ashes back then
and hanged out (all day long)
upon brilliantly sparkling chains
By a natural sort of a chance,
way back then things were stranger than that
even, for the scorpion was a diplomat
and brought people together
to gulp down pink clouds (very raw) of
cooked in buttered spoonbill
feather shredders of straw!
Even lather was not any better
(it was all whipped cream back then)
and thin chances were dense
... in the extreme
Anyone who was anyone back then
HAD to flap both ears
(merely counting to ten)
Bugs were as big as are present-day dogs!
while... coincidences showed
absolutely no intelligence
(whatever) at all
But stranger things were the rage:
Trees wore sweaters made of cashmere
instead of the cheaper (and home-spun)
leaf-foliage they now sport
Pigs walked upon small capital letters
and tossed off the world's great capitals
(right into the trash trough of history)
with a quite rude curt snort
Horses all went around about on wheels
(instead of on hooves) back then
as if they had all been just
Trojan automobiles (the lot of them)
while automobiles themselves
--all the real ones--
were as crummy as Stone Age pills.
Fires were but fever chills back then.
Fingernails... Kleenexes all (every one)
although they did clean up,
instead of just scratching at
all of the fine, fine, fine messes that
people still got each other into back then.
But things were so very different
back then, that even the fattest whale living
was but the little thin pen with which
all of the Universe writes its songs
upon wave after wave ... after wave!
Toasts back then, instead of
just being buttered, were all
rather slick otters floating--out of water yet!
Back then every boat was a coat
which flowers wore, just by chance,
like a door to some far-away land's ocean shore
where the sea is but only a thought
in the mind of the goat that became (later on,
out of chance) our own playfully cute platypus
Combs that now mind our dear hair so much,
then were eagles each one--and quite bald
(only they just didn't care
or take care of any of us).
Igloos were kangaroos
& carried people about
while they all hopped & flew
--very, very frozen with doubt!
And parrots, the dears, as they all still do
to this very day (all of them)
ate & eat with their feet on purpose
(only they did so by chance back then)
but even more so (considering
every last one was a charming and endearing
and eternally-tapdancing squid).
Centipedes raced over tracks
just like modern day trains (or quite nearly,
for back then they were all on time)
Back then, too, all of our brightest people
always swallowed whole eggs
squared off (and all rounded up
mostly to keep down their stupid-chicken fears).
Fingers we now wear on hands,
quite on purpose,
back then were pearl strands (just
by chance) worn on ankles of people this rankled,
or were glued into endless and endless rows
to make only one single fishing pole.
Bad manners then,
though, had a quite good excuse
(since they had no more purpose back then
than they do at the present).
Even so, it was not a good time to be living in
back then... when, instead of just giving in,
losers would beat you up
(whether you were thin or small
which, naturally, all the winners were).
Back then legs & arms
which appear at your side now (on purpose)
slightly below your ears... well, back then
they were all cabbages and burlap sacks!
Sardines were but gum sticks then;
although they did still come in packs
--but this was strictly by chance.
But, ice-cream had a horrid look to it
back then, by chance, for it's now so 'good'
precisely because they make it that way on purpose.
Cakes also had a quite dreadful stench.
And the tastiest meal was a fluke
... and not just merely by chance, too.
perfectly deafening French!
and the owl was an icky and slimy eel
which instead of asking, "Who?"
actually snitched on you
and made you feel worse than blue
(if none of it was true especially).
But all even Stevens were,
rather, an odd bunch of crazy lunatics
and noses (which now hold eye-glasses up
on purpose), back then were the odd leg out
upon dozens and dozens of those five-legged elephants
made of molasses (with sawdust stuffed throughout)
which porpoises with only three eyes --or more--
love to gossip about so much.
Not to mention that stinker
the crocodile, who
back then flew like a bee!
and knew only one
Now, aren't you glad you don't have to live
back when boys grew into ten-story tall toads
all (of'em) instead of into men,
and girls turned into nothing but fresh oxygen
whenever the clock struck at ten?
Back then kittens
were born with a sting big-as-pickle!
All galaxies were as tiny as peas.
And, by chance, every Whole Thing
(that one knew of) was just only a piece!
Happy faces, back then, wore
rather a sad (and sick) sickle
in place of their now much more appropriate
(and healthy) grins
while everybody who now speaks so well
was an oyster (mute each & every one
inside its always clammed-up little shell)
"It was horrible! Bad."
The more numbers one had
the less everything plus everything
plus (all would add up to):
"Ah, terrible! Terrible! Icky."
Teachers were awfully picky back then.
And NEVER forgave you
if you were ... "Too bad!"
Back then mules were brains
--just brains (all by themselves)
a slight memory of which even your brain
still stubbornly even now retains!
So you can be happy that you live now
(and don't have to go dance with a cow
all day); or pull out your hair after lunch
--which must hurt--
just to make some uncomfortable chair
... even though, to be truthful now, not all
(and not everything) that was different then
was THAT bad,
"Temper! Temper!" made nobody mad.
People with money (actually) paid taxes back then!
And the world's worst emperors, tyrants
and kings were but only so much ear wax.
Dinosaurs were quite little
purple lollipops--the whole whining lot of'em
(and not just the one).
YESes and NOs were all
tiny fun dots made of snow tied up
in melting and nuzzling knots
around the warmest of our whimsicalnesses.
School buses were raindrops in dreams!
And, back then, you could send out your tongue
to the store to taste sweets and more sweets
and more sweets (all day long) without having to pay
and with but only a slight bit of bother,
when you had to reel your long, long, long tongue
all-strung-out (in again).
And, in fact, back then the whole world
(instead of being just round or just flat)
was rather a bit less just than just curled!
Children like you and like me were all squirrels
playing forever atop the tallest tree in the world
(which wasn't at all that bad, really,
except that we had to deal with more nuts
up there... by a lot).
But the thing you may feel
might perhaps make you ill
was that school was always a dried up lake,
and, those who went to it, all wet!
(since that was how they filled it up).
--So no doubt about this
now: Back then everyone must have been
a little bit of a drip.
So we who are now plain & obvious
(on purpose) and do all we can
to remain with a purpose at hand,
our feet planted upon steady ground
we're all glad (are we not?)
that the odd world 'by chance'
has now vanished at last forever!
( After all--If we are, are we not? )
At least, it's all happily gone away
perhaps until... we who were lemurs and fish
once, speaking (every one) bubbles & gibberish
turn into snowflakes again
and bounce Winter-to-
Fall atop Summer's so very bright afterglow
and after the Spring's most brilliant returning
Everything that was once so in style,
by some chance or another,
and which everyone loved (for a while)
all so much... all's become now
so very, very self-disciplined:
We have come down to earth!
For, with time, everyone comes back down to earth
and, once down here, laughs (with a purpose)
about how high everything was we once climbed
without any purpose at all whatever
--just only by chance!
So next time you believe it's all
strange and odd now, just
remember how odder and stranger things were
back when they had no purpose at all!
And you too might laugh then
quite on purpose
(at) how--strange, strange, strange, strange
as it all once was--it all now only looks
out of perfectly innocent beautiful books
(like this one)
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