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Sol's Poetry

My grandfather Sol, who began Bay Bloor Radio 72 years ago, was also a poet. I’m delighted to be able to share this part of Sol's legacy with you. Sol's books "Of the Bird, Flying" and "Nicholas Tickle Us" are available for sale both in-store and online. Here are some of my favourites.

- Danu Mandlsohn


If You’re Different

If you’re different, don’t worry or care,
Be round, when the whole world is square,
For the great fun of you
Is there’s just one of you,
And that makes you precious and rare.

Be prepared to stand up and to fight,
For the fact that there’s black and there’s white,
Though they’re ten million strong,
They can all be quite wrong,
And you all alone, can be right.

When you’re holding the truth hold on tight,
Protect it with all of your might,
When they all march astray,
On two dumb feet of clay,
Be the only one left, who is right.

So be different, don’t worry or care,
Be round, when the whole world is square,
For the great fun of you
Is there’s just one of you,
And that makes you precious and rare.

The Plus Factor

What have you added to life today,
And what have you merely taken away?

Have you loosed the smallest word of praise,
To penetrate the blacks and greys?

Have you shared a joy, have you calmed a fear,
Have you held your tongue and opened your ear?

Have you raised a window, unlocked a door,
Have you taken less, and given more?

Have you touched a hand, have you patted a back,
Have you helped a lost soul find the track?

Have you shared some food, have you poured some wine,
Have you put at your door a welcome sign?

What have you added to life today,
And what have you merely taken away?


Excerpts from "Of the Bird Flying" published 1983


Of the Bird, Flying

When life has limitation,
Life a tied wing,
In exultation
I can still sing,
Not of the cord, tying,
But of the bird, flying.

High Flyer

A veteran of flights
These days am I,
Who afraid of heights,
Have learned to fly.

And fancy free
Through waves I skim,
Who afraid of sea,
Have learned to swim.

In similar fashion,
As hawk turned dove,
Who afraid of passion,
Have learned to love.

I take the breath,
Affirmative,
And afraid of death,
I learn to live.

Peppie

"Every marriage is best in tune,
When the wife is May and the husband June."
My marriage started out that way,
I was June and my wife was May.
Now the years have made me wise and sober,
A pure rendition of October,
Ready to sit before fire and ember,
With a gracious wife who is now September.
But she won’t stay put, she is full of starch,
She’s May and April – going on March!

The Cautious Businessman

He never acts
Till he gets the facts,
Then he checks again
For the pure and the plain,
After which he’ll test
From hell to breakfast,
Search cover to cover
Some fault to discover.
He wants the certainty
Of the fait accompli,
And he won’t jump
Till he feels the plain plump
Of the whole naked rump.
He checks designs
Right up to the nines,
And will only employ
The real Mccoy,
No ifs or buts
From soup to nuts,
The absolute positive
Primary causative,
The primitive actual
Whole hog factual,
The full flotilla
The whole megilla.
He mixes them all
In a great big stew,
Then asks his wife
What he should do.

Till Death Do Us Part

Any polygamy plan
Will never excite me or wow me,
I’m just a one woman man :
That’s all my wife will allow me.

Obstinate Aubrey

Obstinate Aubrey
Won’t be led,
Stiff is his neck,
And stiff his head.
He won’t give an inch,
Just sits on the fence,
In the face of facts
And common sense.
He always stands pat,
Won’t listen to reason,
Perverse and unyielding
Whatever the season.
Hard-bitten, inflexible,
Firm in his mind,
Fanatic, dogmatic,
Pigheaded and blind.
A bull-headed donkey,
A shortsighted ass,
Bigoted, contrary,
Sullen and crass.
We just don’t get along,
Unto death we will fight,
Because he’s always wrong,
And I’m always right.

Poor Memory

I know a young fellow named Paul
Who cannot remember at all,
His memory’s so rotten
He has even forgotten
What it is that he cannot recall.

Disappointment

I once got my wish
And gave mermaids a whirl,
But the wrong half was fish,
And the wrong half was girl.

Hold High Your Head

Hold high your head amid this mortal muck,
The others need not know your feet are stuck.


Excerpts from "Nicholas Tickle Us" published 1985

Fishing

You can’t catch a fish
With a wish,
You have to use bait,
………….and wait.

Edward Jones

A skinny man,
named Edward Jones,
Was nothing but
a bag of bones.
He filled himself
with ice cream cones,
And now he’s known
as Cold Bones Jones.

Music

Sometimes music makes me laugh,
Sometimes it makes me cry,
Sometimes it stretches me
like a giraffe,
Or squashes me down like a fly.
But one thing sure it always does,
It never leaves me the way I was.

Sometimes music makes me run,
Sometimes it leaves me seated,
Sometimes it makes me feel
I have won,
Sometimes I feel defeated,
But one thing sure it always does,
It never leaves me the way I was.

Sometimes music makes me do,
Sometimes it lets me think,
Sometimes I’m captain,
and all of the crew,
Sometimes a poet with pen and ink.
But one thing sure it always does,
It never leaves me the way I was.


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