Sunday, March 21, 2010

54. Winslow Smudge

In addition to being World Down Syndrome Day, today is also World Poetry Day. And so it is a most fitting day to reveal my alter ego, Winslow Smudge. Regular readers of Down With Oz know that I have written a few poems, but those few poems aren't the whole story. All my life I have had odd little thoughts bouncing around in my head. I haven't ever recognized them for what they are. But since Ozzie's birth, I have come to realize that they are little bits of poetry. Recently I decided to stop ignoring these thoughts, and instead to start breathing life into as many as I can. And so I secretly created another blog: The Conservatory for Flittering Thoughts. I write there under my pen name, posting poems as they come to me. Happy poems, silly poems, sad poems. Poems about life, poems about loss. Some of my poems are about Down syndrome. I don't post them on this blog, because I don't feel that they belong here.

I plan on illustrating some of these poems, eventually. My ultimate goal is to get an agent and publish a book. So if any of you are literary agents, send me an email.

If you have children, I recommend clicking on the "Poems for children" section in the right-hand column. My own kids love them. I hope yours do, too. I'll sign off with one of my poems. Enjoy:

Brother Nature

I'm Mother Nature's brother
I'm a dirty rotten guy
Not as well known as my sister
Though I give it my best try

I'm mischievous and devious
My list of exploits long
I tinker with my sister's work
Until I get it wrong

Ever marveled at the platypus's
Bill, webbed feet and fur?
I mixed a duck and beaver
With a shake and then a stir

I put the hump upon the camel
Pressed the nose of the poor pug
Put the prickles on the porcupine
So he could never hug

I locked away the lowly turtle
Deep inside his boxy shell
Honked the horn of the rhinoceros
Though I don't think he could tell

Yes I'm a dirty rotten scoundrel
I admit this fact of course
Scrubbed the stripes right off a zebra
That's how I made the horse

I broke the mole's eyeglasses
Told the goose that it could sing
Plucked the feathers from the fruit bat
Gave the honeybee its sting

Stretched the neck of the giraffe
And then I stole the monkeys' pants
Stripped the peahen of her plumage
Hid the uncles from the ants

I like trickery and mischief
And I'm quite the gifted thief
You'll find traces of my handiwork
Wherever there is grief

I laundered the flamingos
With a bright red kneehigh sock
And I crammed those extra teeth
Into the mouth of the poor croc

Yes I'm a schemer and a rascal
But I don't get a fair shake
For if I hadn't swiped that lizard's legs
We wouldn't have the snake

So next time you stare in wonder
As a flying squirrel takes flight
You should thank old Brother Nature
For providing such a sight

Monday, March 15, 2010

53. Wounded

Like clockwork, once a month an idea for a post finds me.

Yesterday I walked into Wal Mart. The McDonald's at the front of the store was shut down, and I walked over to the greeter to ask what happened to it. I quickly realized that he had some sort of slight mental disability. But what struck me was his eyes. He had trouble making and maintaining eye contact. This man was a decade older than me, and he timidly looked down at my shirt while we spoke. He looked wounded.

As I walked away, I thought about Ozzie. I thought about how I will make it my life's goal to ensure that he never has that wounded look in his eyes.

And in case anyone is wondering, they are replacing the McDonald's with a Subway.