Friday, October 20, 2006


From COMOCL: My First Week on the Job

I’m hopeless! When Grace told me this week that the Blue Rose Girls would like me to be a contributor to their blog, I said, “Sure!” She asked me if I’d like to post on Fridays because I’m a poetry geek. I said, “Sure!” Grace then led me through the process of how to post on the blog and asked, “Do you get it?” I said, “Sure!”

That evening I put myself to the task of deciding which poetry books to review. Eureka! I had an idea. I would write about the works of a very talented up-and-coming children’s poet. I sat down at my computer. I worked feverishly for more than two days! I wrote and wrote and wrote. I revised and revised and revised. I was nearly finished. “Yes! Yes! I CAN do this,” I said to myself.

Then, Thursday morning, I emerged from the depths of my basement office to have a cup of java—and maybe read the paper to find out what’s happening in the world. (I should have known better.) While I was reading editorials in The Boston Globe, thoughts about the piece I had written for the blog began seeping into my medulla oblongata—that’s the part of MY brain that really knows what’s going on in MY world. “So,” my medulla says to me, “that blog piece really stinks. It’s B-O-R-I-N-G! It’s way too serious. That ain’t the real you, kid!” It got me to thinking in the higher-level reaches of my gray matter, my cerebrum. Then my cerebrum says to me, “Well, actually—and I do hate to admit this—but medulla is absolutely correct this time. Just don’t tell him I said so. As medulla would inelegantly put it: ‘Go wit ya gut, kid’.”

So…here I am…again…trying to decide what to write for my very first post as the designated Cool Old Matron of Children’s Literature. Huh? What’s that, medulla? Did you have something you wanted to ask me? Yes, I’m posting on Poetry Friday. So you think I should post a poem? You know, it’s not that easy to just sit down and write a poem. You need inspiration. I’m under the gun here. I want to make a good first impression. I can’t let the Old Folk down. What would AARP say? Oh, you think I should dig out one of my old moldering poems that I wrote years and years ago? Isn’t that a cop-out? Wouldn’t I be charged with dereliction of duty by the Hot Women of Children’s Literature?

Drat! Oh dear! My chest is tightening. My right hand is beginning to cramp. My neck is aching. And my head is throbbing. What should I do? What should I do? (That’s a rhetorical question. Or should they be considered TWO rhetorical questions?) Cerebrum, HELP!!! Cerebrum states emphatically: “You’re on your own. I am done with this matter. I’ve said all I’m going to say. You will just have to figure it out for yourself.” Thanks a lot, cerebrum. Where’s the best part of my brain when I really need it?

Sounds you cannot hear:

  1. weeping
  2. the gnashing of teeth
  3. the banging of a cranium against a plaster wall

The Resolution of My Vexing Dilemma: A Poem from 1990


Oh, T. Rex was a greedy beast.
Each and every day he’d feast
On steamy stegosaurus stew,
Toasted pterodactyl, two
Tons of brontosaurus steak…
And slurp up nearly half a lake
With all its prehistoric fishes,
Which he considered most delicious.

No vegetarian dinosaur,
He’d eat his mother—and what’s more
Heinous, had no moral code.
With bulging belly, T. Rex strode.
He searched the forest, thunder-toed,
For allosaurus a la mode
With heaps of whipped triceratopping,
Which he gobbled up. Then flopping
Down beneath a tree to rest,
Rubbed his tummy—beat his chest,
Shouting, “I am T. Rex…KING!”
And then he burped like anything.
The whole world shook as T. Rex blinked.
The tree collapsed. He was extinct.

(Whew! That's done. What a relief. Maybe, I can go catch a rerun of The Gilmore Girls.)

This poem is now dedicated to my medulla oblongata.
I'll be back again next Friday with a review or two. I think. I’ll have to check with you-know-who! Or should that be you-know-whom? Boy, those nuns were sure tough on grammar!

Go nominate your favorite children's poetry book of 2006 for a Cybil Award today!


alvinaling said...

It's stressful being a blogger, no? I have to say, I'm glad you took the pressure off me posting on Friday mornings. I'll try to still post on Fridays, but probably not till nighttime.

Loved your poem!

Elaine Magliaro said...


What I wrote in "My First Week on the Job" is actually true--to a point. I had labored over my first piece, but a little voice in the back of my mind started whispering to me when I had nearly completed the post and had taken a break to drink a cup of coffee and read the paper. What I had written just seemed too dry. I thought I might need a touch of humor--and a poem.
I sat down at the computer and the words just flowed. I didn't have to work at it. Sometimes writing is like that. Unfortunately, not often enough.

By the way, I have another poem posted at Book Buds today. It was one of two winners of their FIRST WORDS contest.

Anonymous said...

Hi Elaine,
I loved that poem. Thanks for sharing it. I write in all sorts of genres, but poetry, especially for kids, is my favorite.


Nancy said...

Nicely done Elaine!

Greg Pincus said...

Welcome to the Poetry Friday thang, Elaine! I'm looking forward to more laughs, from medulas or wherever...

Anonymous said...

Very nice post, Elaine, and very cute poem. Very kid friendly!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks--Janie, Nancy, Gregory, and Kristy.

I have hundreds of poems hidden away in bins in my basement, moldering in stacks of folders, here and there and everywhere.
Now, through the blog, I can share some of them them with other poetry

And, Greg, I'm really gettin' inta the Poetry Friday thang. You keep your poems comin', too--especially them oddaptations!

Maria said...

Thank you for your poem. My son had to resite a poem about a t-rex for his class and your poem was by far the best we found. Hope it is ok that he used it.