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Where the Sidewalk Ends

Shel Silverstein

  Where the Sidewalk Ends

  Shel Silverstein


  If you are a dreamer, come in.

  If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,

  A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...

  If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire

  For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.

  Come in!

  Come in!


  THE ACROBATS I'll swing

  By my ankles,

  She'll cling

  To your knees

  As you hang

  By your nose

  From a high-up


  But just one thing, please,

  As we float through the breeze-

  Don't sneeze.


  MAGIC Sandra's seen a leprechaun,

  Eddie touched a troll,

  Laurie danced with witches once,

  Charlie found some goblins' gold.

  Donald heard a mermaid sing,

  Susy spied an elf.

  But all the magic I have known

  I've had to make myself.


  HOMEMADE BOAT This boat that we just built is just fine-

  And don't try to tell us it's not.

  The sides and the back are divine-

  It's the bottom I guess we forgot....




  I MUST REMEMBER I must remember ...

  Turkey on Thanksgiving,

  Pudding on Christmas,

  Eggs on Easter,

  Chicken on Sunday,

  Fish on Friday,

  Leftovers, Monday.

  But ah, me-I'm such a dunce.

  I went and ate them all at once.

















  ICKLE ME, PICKLE ME, TICKLE ME TOO Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too

  Went for a ride in a flying shoe.


  "What fun!"

  "It's time we flew!"

  Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

  Ickle was captain, and Pickle was crew

  And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew

  As higher

  And higher

  And higher they flew,

  Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.


  Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too. Over the sun and beyond the blue.

  "Hold on!"

  "Stay in!"

  "I hope we do!"

  Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

  Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too

  Never returned to the world they knew.

  And nobody

  Knows what's

  Happened to

  Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.


  CAPTAIN HOOK Captain Hook must remember

  Not to scratch his toes.

  Captain Hook must watch out

  And never pick his nose.

  Captain Hook must be gentle

  When he shakes your hand.

  Captain Hook must be careful

  Openin' sardine cans

  And playing tag and pouring tea

  And turnin' pages of his book.

  Lots of folks I'm glad I ain't-

  But mostly Captain Hook!


  HUG O' WAR I will not play at tug o' war.

  I'd rather play at hug o' war,

  Where everyone hugs

  Instead of tugs,

  Where everyone giggles

  And rolls on the rug.

  Where everyone kisses.

  And everyone grins.

  And everyone cuddles.

  And everyone wins.




  IT'S DARK IN HERE I am writing these poems

  From inside a lion.

  And it's rather dark in here.

  So please excuse the handwriting

  Which may not be too clear.

  But this afternoon by the lion's cage

  I'm afraid I got too near.

  And I'm writing these lines

  From inside a lion.

  And it's rather dark in here.

  22 22



  OURCHESTRA So you haven't got a drum, just beat your belly.

  So I haven't got a horn-I'll play my nose.

  So we haven't any cymbals-

  We'll just slap our hands together.

  And though there may be orchestras

  That sound a little better

  With their fancy shiny instruments

  That cost an awful lot-

  Hey, we're making music twice as good

  By playing what we've got!


  FLAG One star is for Alaska ...

  One star is for Nebraska ...

  One star is North Dakota ...

  One star is Minnesota...

  There are lots of other stars,

  But I forget which ones they are.


  My skin is kind of sort of brownish

  Pinkish yellowish white.

  My eyes are greyish blueish green.

  But I'm told they look orange in the night.

  My hair is reddish blondish brown,

  But it's silver when it's wet.

  And all the colors I am inside

  Have not been invented yet.


  THE LOSER Mama said I'd lose my head

  If it wasn't fastened on.

  Today I guess it wasn't

  'Cause while playing with my cousin

  It fell off and rolled away

  And now it's gone.

  And I can't look for it

  'Cause my eyes are in it.

  And I can't call to it

  'Cause my mouth is on it

  (Couldn't hear me anyway

  'Cause my ears are on it),

  Can't even think about it

  'Cause my brain is in it.

  So I guess I'll sit down

  On this rock

  And rest for just a minute....


  JOEY Joey Joey took a stone

  And knocked




  And whoosh! it swizzled

  Down so hard,

  And bloomp! it bounced

  In his backyard.

  And glunk! it landed

  On his toe!

  And the world was dark,

  And the corn wouldn't grow.

  And the wind wouldn't blow.

  And the cock wouldn't crow,

  And it always was Night,



  All because

  Of a stone


  LISTEN TO THE MUSTN'TS Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child.

  Listen to the DON'TS

  Listen to the SHOULDN'TS


  Listen to the NEVER HAVES

  Then listen close to me-

  Anything can happen, child,

  ANYTHING can be.


  JIMMY JET AND HIS TV SET I'll tell you the story of Jimmy Jet-

  And you know what I tell you is true.

bsp; He loved to watch his TV set

  Almost as much as you.

  He watched all day, he watched all night

  Till he grew pale and lean.

  From "The Early Show" to "The Late Late Show"

  And all the shows between.


  He watched till his eyes were frozen wide, And his bottom grew into his chair.

  And his chin turned into a tuning dial.

  And antennae grew out of his hair.

  And his brains turned into TV tubes.

  And his face to a TV screen.

  And two knobs saying"vert."and"horiz."

  Grew where his ears had been.

  And he grew a plug that looked like a tail

  So we plugged in littleJim.

  And now instead of him watching TV

  We all sit around and watch him.


  EARLY BIRD Oh, if you're a bird, be an early bird

  And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.

  If you're a bird, be an early early bird-

  But if you're a worm, sleep late.


  SKY SEASONING A piece of sky

  Broke off and fell

  Through the crack in the ceiling

  Right into my soup,


  I really must state

  That I usually hate

  Lentil soup, but I ate

  Every drop!

  Delicious delicious

  (A bit like plaster).

  But so delicious, goodness sake-

  I could have eaten a lentil-soup lake.

  It's amazing the difference

  A bit of sky can make.


  THE FARMER AND THE QUEEN "She's coming," the farmer said to the owl.

  "Oh, what shall I, what shall I do?

  Shall I bow when she comes?

  Shall I twiddle my thumbs?"

  The owl asked, "Who?"

  "The Queen, the Queen, the royal Queen-

  She'll pass the farm today.

  Shall I salute?" he asked the horse.

  The horse said, "Nay."

  "Shall I give her a gift?" he asked the wren.

  "A lovely memento for her to keep?

  An egg or a peach or an ear of corn?"

  The wren said, "Cheap."

  "But should I curtsy or should I cheer?

  Oh, here's her carriage now.

  What should I do?" he asked the dog.

  The dog said, "Bow."


  And so he did, and so she passed, Oh, tra lala lala,

  "She smiled, she did!" he told the sheep.

  The sheep said, "Bah."


  PANCAKE? Who wants a pancake,

  Sweet and piping hot?

  Good little Grace looks up and says,

  "I'll take the one on top."

  Who else wants a pancake.

  Fresh off the griddle?

  Terrible Theresa smiles and says,

  "I'll take the one in the middle."


  SMART My dad gave me one dollar bill

  'Cause I'm his smartest son.

  And I swapped it for two shiny quarters

  'Cause two is more than one!

  And then I took the quarters

  And traded them to Lou

  For three dimes-I guess he don't know

  That three is more than two!

  Just then, along came old blind Bates

  And just 'cause he can't see

  He gave me four nickels for my three dimes.

  And four is more than three!

  And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs

  Down at the seed-feed store.

  And the fool gave me five pennies for them.

  And five is more than four!

  And then I went and showed my dad.

  And he got red in the cheeks

  And closed his eyes and shook his head-

  Too proud of me to speak!


  US Me and him

  Him and me.

  We're always together

  As you can see.

  I wish he'd leave

  So I'd be free

  I'm getting a little bit

  Tired of he.

  And he may be a bit

  Bored with me.

  On movies and ladies

  We cannot agree.

  I like to dance

  He loves to ski.

  He likes the mountains

  I love the sea.

  I like hot chocolate

  He wants his tea.

  I want to sleep

  He has to pee.

  He's meaner and duller

  And fatter than me.

  But I guess there's worse things

  We could be-

  Instead of two we could be three.

  Me and him

  Him and me.


  I'M MAKING A LIST I'm making a list of the things I must say

  for politeness.

  And goodness and kindness and gentleness,

  sweetness and rightness:


  Pardon me

  How are you?

  Excuse me

  Bless you

  May I?

  Thank you


  If you know some that I've forgot,

  please stick them in your eye!


  ME AND MY GIANT I have a friend who is a giant,

  And he lives where the tall weeds grow.

  He's high as a mountain and wide as a barn,

  And I only come up to his toe, you know,

  I only come up to his toe.

  When the daylight grows dim I talk with him

  Way down in the marshy sands,

  And his ear is too far away to hear.

  But still he understands, he 'stands,

  I know he understands.


  For we have a code called the "scratch-tap code," And here is what we do-

  I scratch his toe ... once means, "Hello"

  And twice means, "How are you?"

  Three means, "Does it look like rain?"

  Four times means, "Don't cry."

  Five times means, "I'll scratch you a joke."

  And six times means, "Goodbye," "Goodbye,"

  Six times means, "Goodbye."

  And he answers me by tapping his toe-

  Once means, "Hello, friend."

  Two taps means, "It's very nice to feel your scratch again."

  Three taps means, "It's lonely here

  With my head in the top of the sky."

  Four taps means, "Today an eagle smiled as she flew by."

  Five taps means, "Oops, I just bumped my head against the moon."

  Six means, "Sigh" and seven means, "Bye"

  And eight means, "Come back soon, soon, soon,"

  Eight means, "Come back soon."

  And then I scratch a thousand times.

  And he taps with a bappity-bimm.

  And he laughs so hard he shakes the sky-

  That means I'm tickling him!


  RAIN I opened my eyes

  And looked up at the rain.

  And it dripped in my head

  And flowed into my brain.

  And all that I hear as I lie in my bed

  Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

  I step very softly,

  I walk very slow,

  I can't do a handstand-

  I might overflow.

  So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said-

  I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.


  TWO BOXES Two boxes met upon the road.

  Said one unto the other,

  "If you're a box,

  And I'm a box.

  Then you must be my brother.

  Our sides are thin.r />
  We're cavin' in.

  And we must get no thinner."

  And so two boxes, hand in hand.

  Went home to have their dinner.

  42 42



  TRUE STORY This morning I jumped on my horse

  And went out for a ride.

  And some wild outlaws chased me

  And they shot me in the side.

  So I crawled into a wildcat's cave

  To find a place to hide,

  But some pirates found me sleeping there,

  And soon they had me tied

  To a pole and built a fire

  Under me-I almost cried

  Till a mermaid came and cut me loose

  And begged to be my bride.

  So I said I'd come back Wednesday

  But I must admit I lied.

  Then I ran into a jungle swamp

  But I forgot my guide

  And I stepped into some quicksand,

  And no matter how I tried

  I couldn't get out, until I met

  A water snake named Clyde,

  Who pulled me to some cannibals

  Who planned to have me fried.

  But an eagle came and swooped me up

  And through the air we flied,

  But he dropped me in a boiling lake

  A thousand miles wide.

  And you'll never guess what I did then-


  44 44


  BOA CONSTRICTOR Oh, I'm being eaten

  By a boa constrictor,

  A boa constrictor,

  A boa constrictor,

  I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor,

  And I don't like it-one bit.

  Well, what do you know?

  It's nibblin' my toe.

  Oh, gee,

  It's up to my knee.

  Oh my.

  It's up to my thigh.

  Oh, fiddle.

  It's up to my middle.

  Oh, heck.

  It's up to my neck.

  Oh, dread,

  It's upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff...


  HECTOR THE COLLECTOR Hector the Collector

  Collected bits of string,

  Collected dolls with broken heads

  And rusty bells that would not ring.

  Pieces out of picture puzzles,

  Bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,

  Twists of wires, worn-out tires.

  Paper bags and broken bricks.


  Old chipped vases, half shoelaces, Gatlin' guns that wouldn't shoot.

  Leaky boats that wouldn't float

  And stopped-up horns that wouldn't toot.

  Butter knives that had no handles,

  Copper keys that fit no locks.

  Rings that were too small for fingers,

  Dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.

  Worn-out belts that had no buckles,

  'Lectric trains that had no tracks,

  Airplane models, broken bottles.

  Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.

  Hector the Collector

  Loved these things with all his soul-