Guest poem submitted by Sally Canzoneri:
(Poem #686) Nicholas Cricket
Nicholas Cricket plays every night in the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band. Moonlight glows and summer wind blows, rabbits come dancing on tip-tippy toes. The music is just so grand! Nicholas Cricket plays with all his might in the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band. Little Lake shines and Little Stream winds, peep-peep-peepers come dancing through the vines. The music is just so grand! Nicholas Cricket is a banjo picker in the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band. Crickets play fiddles and guitars with middles curvy and round as a rantum riddle and ducks come dancing ducky-hey-ducky-diddle. The music is just so grand! In the blue blue night when the moon is bright underneath the leaves of summer if we're quiet and quick we can find Cricket Nick and the washboard strummers and the slap-a-spoon drummers and the crick-crick-crickety kazoo hummers. We can dance all night 'til the rosy dawn comes. The music is just so grand! Ladybugs strut and toads sashay, moths and mantises wing their way, snap-turtles swing and grasshoppers sway while Nick and the crickets just play and play. The music is just so grand! All the Bug-a-Wugs grow sleepy and still and go back with the moonlight under the hill. Back to the trees the peepers pop, back to the hollow the rabbits hop, back to the willows the weary ducks waddle and back to our beds our tired legs toddle to dream as Little Stream winds its way into tomorrow. The music was just so grand! The music was just so grand! The music was just so grand!
"Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey" put me in mind of "Nicholas Cricket", a poem that also celebrates the joys of an all night jazz session. The poem is the text of a children's book with wonderful illustrations by William Joyce, but the poem can stand on its own. Joyce's illustrations have the look of one of those elegant thirties movies, with the band playing in the kind of night club Nick and Nora Charles would frequent. I grew up in rural Vermont where the summer nights are full of the sounds of insects and animals. Part of what was so delightful about the nights in a place like that is the sense that a wonderful show is going on out there in the night, and that you can sneak in on the performance if you sit still and listen. Maxner captures that, as well as the delight of being swept up in a great jam session. I don't know more about Maxner, other than this book. Like all really good "picture books" this one is as enjoyable for adults as it is for children and is one that you can read aloud over and over without growing tired of it. Sally Canzoneri.