Can’t Find Her Purse

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CAN’T.

This is such a bendable word. CAN’T may means “I’m not able to…” CAN’T may mean “I’m not allowed to….” (Remember teachers of years gone by pointing out CAN NOT versus MAY NOT?)
CAN’T may be stretched to mean “I won’t, so drop it!” or we may use CAN’T as a brush off because I don’t want to bother. And there’s the temporary kind of CAN’T that affects us all from time to time.
Since this humorous verse by Edgar Guest echoes one of my theme songs at this point in my life, “I can’t remember,” it will be my response to the prompt.

THE LOST PURSE

I remember the excitement and the terrible alarm
that worried everybody when William broke his arm
and how frantic Pa and Ma got only just the other day
when they couldn’t find the baby ‘cause he’d up and walked away,
but I’m sure there’s no excitement that our house has ever shook
like the times Ma can’t remember where she’s put her pocketbook.

When the laundry man is standing at the door and wants his pay
Ma hurries in to get it, and the fun starts right away.
She hustles to the sideboard, cause she knows exactly where
she can put her hand right on it — but alas! It isn’t there.
She tried the parlor table and she goes upstairs to look
and once more she can’t remember where she put her pocketbook.

She tells us that she had it just a half an hour ago,
and now she cannot find it though she’s hunted high and low;
she’s searched the kitchen cupboard and the bureau drawers upstairs,
and it’s not behind the sofa nor beneath the parlor chairs.
She makes us kids get busy searching every little nook,
and this time says she’s certain that she’s lost her pocketbook.

She calls Pa at the office and he laughs, I guess, for then
she always mumbles something ‘bout the heartlessness of men.
She calls to mind a peddler who came to the kitchen door
and she’s certain from his whiskers and the shabby clothes he wore
and his dirty shirt and collar that he must have been a crook,
and she’s positive that fellow came and got her pocketbook.

But at last she always finds it in some queer and funny spot,
where she’d put it in a hurry and had somehow clean forgot;
and she heaves a sigh of gladness and she says, “Well, I declare,
I would take an oath this minute that I never put it there.”
And we’re peaceable and quiet till next time Ma goes to look
and finds she can’t remember where she put her pocketbook.

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

 

When Night Comes Down

The Word of the Day challenge for today is TWILIGHT.
I’m going to respond with this thought provoking verse by Edgar Guest:

NIGHT

When night comes down
to the busy town
and the toilers stir no more,
then who knows which
is the poor or rich
of the day which went before?

When dreams sweep in
through the traffic’s din
for the weary minds of men,
though we all can say
who is rich by day,
who can name us the rich man then?

It is only awake
the proud may take
much joy from the stuff they own,
for the night may keep
her gifts of sleep
for the humblest mortal known.

By day held fast
to creed and caste,
men are sinner and saint and clown.
But who can tell
where the glad hearts dwell
when the dreams come drifting down?

.
From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

How To Be A Captain

The Word of the Day Challenge this morning is LABOR.
This interesting poem by Edgar Guest will be my response.
If you want the position, you gotta earn it. 🙂

HOW TO BE A CAPTAIN

“I’d like to be the captain of a ship that sails the sea;
I’d like to wear that uniform,” a youngster said to me.

Said I: “Let’s ask the captain what a youngster has to do
who wants to be the master of a vessel and its crew.”

So up we went to see him, with this question on our lips:
“What is it captains have to do before they get their ships?”

There was a twinkle in his eye as unto us he said:
“Well, first I tugged at anchor chains until my hands were red;

I scrubbed the decks and learned the ropes and trundled bales below;
I washed the dishes for the cook, but that was years ago

I carried slops and polished brass when I was young like you.
There wasn’t anything about the ship I didn’t do.

I stokered and I learned to oil, and in a year or two
they let me take my trick at wheel, which I had longed to do,

And well I mind the happy lump that came into my throat
The day they made me Number One of the Number Seven boat.

I served as petty officer for several years or more
and by and by, as second mate, a uniform I wore.

And when I’d learned a little more–I don’t recall the date
My captain recommended me to be the vessel’s mate.

So when you see a captain in his braided uniform
it means that he’s been tried below, and tried above in storm.

He’s had many years of service in the crow’s nest and the hold,
and worked his way through grease and dirt to get that braid of gold.”

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company

Almost on Time

The Word of the Day prompt this morning is ALMOST. We’ve had a lovely week weather-wise, but our predicted high for today is only 4 C, so we can assume our Indian summer is almost over. Today we’re going to visit family two hours south of here, before the snow flies and traveling gets iffy.

Here’s another story of ALMOST.

THE OLD, OLD STORY

by Edgar Guest

I have no wish to rail at fate,
and vow that I’m unfairly treated;
I do not give vent to my hate
because at times I am defeated.
Life has its ups and downs, I know,
But tell me why should people say
whenever after fish I go:
“You should have been here yesterday”?

It is my luck always to strike
a day when there is nothing doing,
when neither perch nor bass nor pike
my bated hooks will come a-wooing.
Must I a day late always be?
When not a nibble comes my way
must someone always say to me,
“We caught a bunch here yesterday”?

I am not prone to discontent,
nor over-zealous now to climb;
if victory is not yet meant
for me I’ll calmly bide my time.
but I should like just once to go
out fishing on some lake or bay
and not have someone mutter: “Oh,
you should have been here yesterday!”

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
c. 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

On Breaking & Replacing

Lego + quote

ONE BROKEN DREAM
by Edgar Guest

One broken dream is not the end of dreaming,
One shattered hope is not the end of all,
Beyond the storm and tempest stars are gleaming,
Still build your castles, though your castles fall.

Though many dreams come tumbling in disaster,
And pain and heartache meet us down the years,
Still keep your faith, your dreams and hopes to master
And seek to find the lesson of your tears.

Not all is as it should be! See how littered
With sorry wreckage is life’s restless stream.
Some dreams are vain, but be you not embittered
And never cry that you have ceased to dream!

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company

pick up pieces quote

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning was BROKEN.

What Goes Around…

Like Calls to Like

by Edgar Guest

If you walk as a friend you will find a friend
wherever you choose to fare,
if you go with mirth to a far, strange land
you will find that mirth is there.
For the strangest part of this queer old world
is that like will join with like,
and who walks with love for his fellow men
an answering love will strike.

Here each of us builds his little world,
and chooses its people, too;
though millions trample the face of earth,
each life touches but the few.
And the joy you’ll find as you venture forth
your fortune or fame to make,
lies not in some stranger’s power to say,
for it’s all in the joy you take.

If you walk in honor then honest men
will meet you along the way,
but if you be false you will find men false,
wherever you chance to stray.
For good breeds good and the bad breeds bad;
we are met by the traits we show.
Love will find a friend at the stranger’s door
where hate would find a foe.

For each of us builds the world he knows,
which only himself can spoil,
and an hour of hate or an hour of shame
can ruin a life of toil.
And though to the farthermost ends of earth
your duty may bid you fare
if you walk with truth in your heart as a friend,
you will find friends waiting there.

From The Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co