Extreeeeeeeme Phonemes of Shel Silverstein

Yes, I invented “trick or treat” so you could fill your mouth with sweets –

Candy bars and lemon drops, marshmallows and Tootsie Pops,

Butterscotch and bubble gum.  Hold out your hand – they’ll give you some

Chocolate kisses, Jujubes, sour balls and jelly beans,

Have a cake – some cookies, too.  Take a couple – grab a few

Peppermint sticks and Mary Janes, licorice ropes and candy canes.

Slurp some soda, munch a pie, don’t let those M&M’s go by,

Chew that toffee, munch those treats, let that carmel spoil your teeth.

Then come see me, I’ll be here – I’m your friendly dentist, dear.

{The One Who Invented Trick or Treat – p. 13}

V01/a/ candy

V02/i/ trick

V03/o/ chocolate

V04/u/ bubble gum

V05/e/ jelly bean(s)

V06/a_e/ cake

V07/I/ I’m (I am)

V08/o_e/ rope(s)

V09/u/ Jujubes

V10/ea/ treat

V11/a/ bar(s)

V12/oo/ Tootsie

V13/ou/ mouth

V14/oi/ spoil

V15/ur/ slurp

• • •

“I’m so hungry I could eat a horse,”

Said Polly in the park.

Ol’ Dobbin, grazin’ nearby,

Overheard her rude remark.

He shook his mane and pawed the ground,

He raised his noble head,

He snorted and looked down at her,

And this is what he said:

“I’ve been ridden, I’ve been driven,

I’ve been raced around a track,

I’ve been photographed with little

Whiny kiddies on my back.

I’ve pulled wagons through the winter,

I’ve pulled sleighs and I’ve pulled sleds.

I’ve pulled plows in sticky summers

With flies buzzin’ ’round my head.

I’ve been whipped and I’ve been beaten,

I’ve been called a such-and-such –

But to think of being eaten,

Well, boy, that is to much!

And when I get insulted,

My appetite runs wild,

And now I fell so hungry that…

I could eat a child.”

{How Hungry Is Polly?}

V01/a/ appetite

V02/i/ kid> kid(d)(ie)(s)

V03/o/ Polly

V04/u/ hungry

V05/ea/ head

V06/a_e/ mane

V07/i/ child

V08/o_e/ horse

V09/u_e/ rude

V10/ea/ beat(en)

V11/aw/ paw(ed)

V12/u/ pull(ed)

V13/ou/ ground

V14/oy/ boy

V15/er/ her

• • •

Nothing to do?

Nothing to do? Pour some ketchup in your shoe.

Go to the TV and give it a kick. Scream or hollar – take your pick.

Bang a drum and clang some bells.  Pinch the baby till he yells.

Take a poop; forget to wipe.  Find mom’s computer and try to type.

Twirl around until you fall.  Draw a picture on the wall.

Turn the laundry inside-out.  Sing a song, then loudly shout.

Put some marbles on the stair.  Glue some stuff in Sister’s hair.

Dig some dirt, pack it firm, then plop in on a garden worm.

Suck your thumb and slam the doors.  Pull out all the dresser drawers.

Bask in the sun.  Get nice-n-hot.  Find the shade to cool a lot.

Catch the cat and bite his ear.  Soak your toes in Uncle’s beer.

Eat some crackers, spill some crumbs, get them up with chewing gum.

Fill your pockets full of soot.  Paint the bottom of your foot.

Take your grandpa’s watch and boil it.  Throw the car keys down the toilet.

Wet your pants in Daddy’s lap, now go upstairs and take your nap!

{For a Rainy Afternoon, adaptation – p. 175}

V01 – lap, nap

V02 – kick, pick

V03 – hot, lot

V04 – crumbs, gum

V05 – bells, yells

V06 – stair, hair

V07 – wipe, type

V08 – doors, drawers

V09 – do, shoe

V10 – ear, beer

V11 – fall, wall

V12 – soot, foot

V13 – inside-out, shout

V14 – boil it, toilet

V15 – firm, worm

• • •

Transparent Timmy –

Maybe you knew him,

Everybody could

See right through him.

We saw his heart

Beatin’ in there.

We saw his lungs

Breathin’ air.

We saw his kidneys,

We saw his liver,

We saw his bones

And nerves aquiver.

We saw what he opted

For lunch today.

We saw the coin

He swallowed last May.

But when we found

Why his stomach hurt,

We sent Tim

To put on his shirt.

{Transparent Tim – p. 33}

Use Shell’s illustration, minus the cat, so kids can sketch their own answer.

V01/a/ last

V02/i/ kidney(s)

V03/o/ opt(ed)

V04u/ lung(s)

V05/e/ sent

V06/ai/ air

V07/igh/ right

V08/o_e/ bone(s)

V09/ough/ through

V10/ea/ beat(ing)

V11/ea/ heart

V12/u/ put

V13/ou/ found

V14/oi/ coin

V15/er_e/ nerve(s)

• • •

The Police Department

Changed their garments

And became the Please Department,

And instead of clubs and cuffs,

Saying Please was quite enough.

  • “Please stop breaking down that door.”
  • “Please stop robbing that jewelry store.”
  • “Please stop smashing that computer.”
  • “Please stop stealing that motor scooter.”
  • “Please stop shooting off that gun.”
  • “Please stop forging checks for fun.”
  • “Please stop ripping off those tires.”
  • “Please stop setting thing on fire.”

And if they needed more persuasion,

They took ’em down to the Please Station

Where the friendly Chief of Please

Said Please, Please, Please

On bended knees.

And they stopped all crime with ease

By politely saying “Please.”

So the next time that you’re feelin’ blue

‘Cause someone points a gun at you

While they’re robbin’ your apartment,

Just call your friendly Please Department.

{Call the Please – p. 133}

V01/a/ smash(ing)

V02/i/ rip(p)(ing)

V03/o/ rob(b)(ing)

V04/u/ club(s) and cuff(s)

V05/ie/ friend(ly)

V06/a/ station

V07/i_e/ quite

V08/o/ police

V09/ew/ jewelry

V10/ea_e/ please

V11/a/ apartment

V12/oo/ took

V13/ow/ down

V14/oi/ point(s)

V15/er/ persuasion

• • •

I don’t know how anything’s done.

Does the earth turn or is it the sun?

Is electricity made by a kit?

Are star twinkles just the reflection of light?

How thunder is made and how engines run –

I don’t know how anything’s done.


I don’t know where anyplace is.

Is Baltimore next to Cadiz?

Is Maui in North or in South Carolina?

Do you pass Duluth on the highway to China?

I sure hope we have an open-book quiz

‘Cause I don’t know where anyplace is.


I don’t know how anything’s spelled.

Does lovely have three or four L’s?

Don’t you spell ewe with a Y or a U?

It’s time for exams and I’m not feeling well,

‘Cause I don’t know how anything’s spelled.


I don’t know who anyone was.

Was Charlemagne King Arthur’s cuz?

Was Abraham Lincoln the prince of Tibet?

Was Duke of Troy Queen Isabel’s pet?

I sure hope they don’t ask questions, because

I don’t know who anyone was.

{I Don’t Know – p. 176}

V01/a/ ask

V02/i/ twinkle(s)

V03/o/ not

V04/o_e/ done

V05/a/ anything, anyplace, anyone

V06/a/ Abraham

V07/i_e/ kite

V08/ow/ know

V09/u_e/ Duke

C39+V09/ewe/ ewe

V10/e/ because

V11/a/ Arthur’s

V12/oo/ book

V13/ou/ South

V14/oy/ Troy

V15/ear/ earth

• • •

There was a funky donkey and a spunky monkey.

They were sittin’ by the railroad track.

Said the funky donkey to the spunky monkey,

“I’m goin’ off to somewhere and I won’t be back.”

Said the spunky monkey to the funky donkey,

“If you wait for a minute or two,

I’ll go say good-bye to the frivolous fly,

And I’ll come along with you.”

Said the spunky monkey to the funky donkey,

“This road looks long and wide,

So if you’ll just pick me up and carry me awhile,

I’d sure be much obliged.”

Said the funky donkey to the spunky monkey,

“I was gonna ask the same of you.

So we’d better just wait till we get it straight

As to who’s gonna carry who.”

Now the funky donkey, he ain’t goin’ nowhere

‘Less somebody carries him,

And the spunky monkey won’t carry no donkey,

So their future is awfully dim.

And they’re still sittin’ back by that railroad track,

They’ll loiter till the moon turns blue,

But they ain’t gonna ride, ’cause they just can’t decide

As to who’s gonna carry who.

{Stubbornness – p. 44}

V01/a/ ask

V02/i/ dim

V03/o/ donkey

V04/o/ monkey

V05/a/ carry

V06/ai/ wait

V07/y/ fly

V08/oa/ road

V09/o/ who’s (who is)

V10/e/ we’d (we had)

V11/awe/ awe > aw(-)ful(ly)

V12oo/ good-bye

V13/ow/ now

V14/oi/ loiter

V15/ur/ turn(s)

• • •

Spaghetti has so many uses,

It can be used for whips or nooses,

It makes great backstraps for papooses,

Or leashes, when you’re walking gooses.

It makes a perfect slingshot sling,

It makes a great cat’s cradle string,

A jumpin’ rope, a scooter tire,

A bouncy acrobatic wire,

A boxing ring, where you can spar,

Six twangy strings for your guitar.

And though it’s droopy, warm, an wet,

It makes a lovely tennis net.

And as suspenders it’s just fine

For holdin’ pant up (yours, not mine).

A string to fly your red balloon,

A wall hook for your telephoon,

Hair ribbons, neckties, or boot laces,

Reindeer reins for reindeer races,

A wig to fit a silly queen,

A curly beard for Halloween.

And it can make a coiled lasso.

In fact, there’s nothin’ it can’t do.

Oh – and you can eat it too.

{Twenty-eight Uses for Spaghetti}

V01/a/ backstrap(s)

V02/ui/ guitar

V03/o/ box(ing)

V04/u/ suspend(er)(s)

V05/e/ necktie(s)

V06/ei/ rein(s)

V07/i_e/ wire

V08/o_e/ rope

V09/oo_e/ noose > noos(-)(es)

V10/ea/ leash(es)

V11/a/ Halloween

V12/oo/ hook

V13/ou_e/ bounce > bounc(-)(y)

V14/oi/ coil(ed)

V15/ur/ curl(y)

• • •

I was settin’ at this restaurant

When the waiter came up and said, “What do you want?”

I looked at the menu – it looked so nice

Till he said, “Let me give you a little advice.”

He said, “Spaghetti and potatoes got too much starch,

Pork chops and sausage are bad for your heart.

There’s hormones in chicken and beef and veal,

Bowl of ravioli is a dead man’s meal.

Bread’s got preservatives, there’s nitrites in ham,

Artificial coloring in jellies and jam.

Stay away from doughnuts, run away form pie,

Pepperoni pizza is a sure way to die.

Sugar’s gonna rot your teeth and make you put on weight.

Eggs are high cholesterol, too much fat in cheese,

Coffee ruins your kidneys and so to teas.

Fish got too much mercury, red meat is poison,

Hot dogs and bologna got deadly red dyes,

Vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides.”

So I said, “What can I eat that’s gonna make me last?”

He said, “A small drink of water in a sterilized glass.”

And then he stopped and he thought for a minute,

And said, “Never mind the water – there’s carcinogens in it.”

So I got up from the table and walked out in the street,

Realizin’ there was absolutely nothing I could eat.

So I haven’t eaten for a month and I don’t feel too fine,

But I know that I’ll be healthy for a long, long time.

{Food? – p. 166}

V01/a/ fat

V02/i/ kidney(s)

V03/o/ rot

V04/oo/ blood

V05/e/ pesticide(s)

V06/eigh/ weight

V07/i/ nitrite(s)

V08/o/ hormone(s)

V09/u/ ruin(s)

V10/e/ preservative(s)

V11/a/ carcinogen(s)

V12/u/ put

V13/ou/ out

V14/oi/ poison

V15 /er/ mercury

• • •

The elephant played second base,

And the laughing hyena played third.

The two little leeches sat out in the bleachers,

Quite shocked by the language they heard.

The kangaroo leapt and the crocodile wept

Because they would not let him play.

And the ring-tailed rat, he kept swinging the bat

Till the poor bat flew up and away.

The oyster was fit with a fielder’s mitt,

But couldn’t catch a fly at all,

As the octopus pitched and the hen sat and twitched

And tried to hatch the ball.

The porcupine umped and the kangaroo jumped

As the snail was out stealing third

On a throw from the snake just in time to awake

The sleeping Palatapus bird.

The trout, he struck out, but the yak took a whack

And hit one out into the lake.

A homer… it’s gone…   No, the pelican yawned

And swallowed the ball my mistake.

{The Ball Game – p. 47}

V01/au/ laugh(ing)

V02/i/ mitt

V03/o/ shock(ed)

V04/u/ ump(ed)

V05/e/ elephant

V06/a_e/ game

V07/y/ hyena

V08/o/ porcupine

V09/ew/ flew

V10/ee/ leech(es)

V11/aw/ yawn(ed)

V12/ou/ would

V13/ou/ trout

V14/oy/ oyster

V15/ear/ heard

• • •

I asked for a hot dog

With everything on it,

And that was my huge mistake,

‘Cause if came with a parrot,

A bee in a bonnet,

A gold coin, a book, and a rake.

It came with a goldfish,

A ball and a fiddle,

And dirty old front porch swing,

And a mouse in a mask –

That’s the last time I ask

For a hot dog with e • ver • y • thing.

{ Every Thing On It – p. 10}

V01/a/ ask(ed)

V02/i/ fiddle

V03/o/ bonnet

V04/a/ was

V05/e/ everything

V06/a_e/ rake

V07/i_e/ time

V08/o/ goldfish

C39+V09/u_e/ huge

V10/ee/ bee

V11/a/ ball

V12/oo/ book

V13/ou_e/ mouse

V14/oi/ coin

V15/ir/ dirt(y)

• • •

You’ve spilt your milk.

Oily pasta’s on your chair.

There’s tapioca in your nose

And broccoli in your hair.

Applesauce is on every wall!

Look, nothing’s on your spoon!

I’m thinking now perhaps you tried to

Feed yourself too soon.

{Too Soon – p. 15}

V01/a/ tapioca

V02/i/ milk

V03/o/ broccoli

V04/u/ dump(ed)

V05/e/ every

V06/ai/ chair

V07/y/ try > tr(-)(ied)

V08/o_e/ nose

V09/oo/ spoon

V10/ee/ feed

V11/a/ pasta

V12/oo/ look

V13/ow/ now

V14/oi/ oily

V15/er/ perhaps

• • •

Those scratchy marks there on the wall, they rise until they get this tall.

They show how short I used to be, and Mama keeps reminding me

The way my dad would really dread to place a ruler on my head

as I stood there.  He first hesitates, then marks a spot to void past dates.

She says it’s OUR proud history.  She laughs and smiles with glee to see

Those scratchy marks upon the wall.  (I don’t yet understand at all!)

{Wall Marks – p. 27}

Note from Jz:  Shel Silverstein’s original poem has the child watching the mother cry, realizing inevitable physical growth/maturity, and with both parents apparently suffering from the recognition that they are being outgrown.  My version flips those dynamics.  Our children are not really “ours” and never were.  Although the mother’s beloved child may indeed WANT the parent(s) to exist exclusively to be “wind beneath wings” (read Shel’s THE GIVING TREE), although the child may indeed WANT continuing offerings of unconditional support for every real or imagined need (as appropriately provided to a helpless infant or toddler), my poem has the mother willingly, purposefully cutting the umbilicus.  My poem portrays a joyfully smiling mother, thinking about the promise of continuing emancipation and emotional maturity.  Why not?!  Why would any person in any way be willing to eviscerate another soul’s god-given initiative for independence?

V01/a/ dad

V02/i/ history

V03/o/ spot

V04/u/ understand

V05/e/ yet

V05/ea/ head

V06/a_e/ place

V07/i_e/ smile(s)

V08/o/ short, don’t (do not)

V09/u/ rule(r)

V10/ee/ keep(s)

V11/a/ mark(s)

V12/oo/ stood

V13/ou/ proud

V14/oi/ void

V15/ir/ first

• • •

I used to be Santa’s helper,

But I got fired tonight.

Just ’cause I broke the music box

By hooking the spring too tight,

Just ’cause I tried all the fancy cupcakes

And licked all the candy canes,

Just ’cause I dropped those porcelain dolls

Down from the Tinker Toy crane,

Just ’cause I drove the ‘lectric train

So fast it jumped the rails,

And wiped that purple finger paint

All over the sailboat sails,

And just ’cause I squeezed

The little stuffed dog

Till he gave a little stuffed yelp,

Santa had the nerve to say

I wasn’t too much help.

{Santa’s Helper – p. 29}

V01/a/ Santa

V02/i/ finger

V03/o/ doll(s)

V04/u/ cupcake(s)

V05/e/ yelp

V06/a_e/ cane(s)

V07/i_e/ fire(d)

V08/o/ porcelain

C39+V09/u/ music

V10/ee_e/ squeeze(d)

V11/a/ all

V12/oo/ hook(ing)

V13/ow/ down

V14/oy/ toy

V15/er_e/ nerve

• • •

Although I cannot tell your face

If you enjoy tehse poems awhile,

Somewhere from some far-off place

I see you looking – and I smile

{Years From Now, adaptation – p. 9}

V01/a/ cannot

V02/i/ if

V03/o/ off

V04/o/ from

V05/e/ tell

V06/a_e/ face

V07/i_e/ smile

V08/o/ poem(s)

V09/ou/ you

V10/ea/ year(s)

V11/a/ although

V12/oo/ look(ing)

V13/ow/ now

V14/oy/ enjoy

V15/our/ your

• • •

Joe:  “Happy New Year!”

Animals:  “Happy Zoo Year!”

Panda:  “Happy Bamboo Year!”

Candymaker:  “Happy Jujube Year!”

Fashionista:  “Happy Foo Foo Year!”

Dancer:  “Happy Ballyhoo Year!”

Traveler:  “Happy Adieu Year!”

Sick kid:  “Happy Ah-choo Year!”

Kittens:  “Happy Mew Year!”

Critters:  “Happy Loo-Loo Year!”

Philosopher:  “Happy Worldview Year!”

Mystic:  “Happy Woo Woo Year!”

Dog:  “Happy Poo-Poo Year!”

Doctor:  “Happy Flu Year!”

Clockman:  “Happy Cuckoo Year!”

Gossip:  “Happy Who’s Who Year!”

Scholar:  “Happy Peer Review Year!”

Skunk:  “Happy Pee-Yoo Year!”

Hungry:  “Happy Chew-Chew Year!”

Lovers:  “Happy Deja Vu Year!”

Terrorist:  “Happy Voo Voo Year!”

Chef:  “Happy Cordon Bleu Year!”

Legislators:  “Happy Judicial Review Year!”

Therapist:  “Happy Break-through Year!”

Baby:  “Happy Goo-Goo Year!”

Trainman:  “Happy Choo-Choo Year!”

Painter:  “Happy Blue Year!”

Makeup artist:  “Happy Redo Year!”

Barefoot man:  “Happy Shoe Year!”

Child:  “Happy Scissors-n-Glue Year!”

Librarian:  “Happy Overdue Year!”

Scientists:  “Happy Tried-and-True Year!”

Sightseer:  “Happy View Year!”

Ghost:  “Happy Boo Year!”

Coach:  “Happy Follow-through Year!”

Musician:  “Happy Kazoo Year!”

Beautician:  “Happy Shampoo Year!”

Brewmaster:  “Happy Brew Year!”

Pool players:  “Happy Cue Year!”

Seeker:  “Happy Pursue Year!”

Detective: “Happy Clue Year!”

Teacher:  “Happy How-To Year!”

“Happy Who-Knew Year!”

Priest:  “Happy Taboo Year!”

Artist:  “Happy Draw/Drew Year!”

Party-goers:  “Happy Hullabaloo Year!”

Carpenter:  “Happy Nails-n-Screws Year!”

Aussie:  “Happy Kangaroo Year!

Owl:  “Happy Too-whoo Year!”

Cowboy:  “Happy Yahoo Year!”

Cow:  “Happy Moo Year!”

{Happy New, adaptation – p. 49}

All poems from EVERY THING ON IT – ISBN 978-0-06-199816-4