Daya Callan Collections



Poems by Daya Callan

The Encounter | The Gold Band | Only A Drop of Honey | The Competition
The Shoe of the Drummer


Based on a story from Folk Tales of India

A Rolls Royce was purchased by someone
who thought he would go for a ride.
He proudly got into his new car
to drive through the green countryside.

Then fifteen miles out of the city
he drove down an old winding trail.
But somehow he got a flat tire
because he ran over a nail.

He had not a tool to repair it
so he thought he might borrow a jack
from a farmer who lived down the roadway.
He would use it and bring it right back.

But then he began to imagine:
'the farmer may ask for a fee.
What if he asks for five dollars?
Not five! I will give him just three.'

'But what if he asks for ten dollars!!??
Not ten! That is simply too high!
Well, then, I will give him five dollars
and with that, I will tell him, "Goodbye!!"'

'And what if he wants to go riding?
He'll say that he's bringing his crew!
Not at all! I simply won't have it
in my car that's so perfectly new!'

'He'll want to bring all of his children,
his wife and his chicken and dog.
And then he'll go out to the pig pen
and bring back that beast of a hog!'

'Those kids will be all different ages.
They'll be dripping ice cream on the floor
and drooling their lollypop gooket
on the windows, the seats and the door!'

'They'll come with their hair full of head lice
and their shoes will be covered with mud!
In their hands will be sodas and gumdrops!
They'll look like those cows chewing cud!'

'That chick will go clucking and flying
and flutter its feathers about
and soil my new car with its droppings!
And I tell you, I really will shout!'

'That dog will bark over my shoulder
and probably chomp on my neck!
That pig will start snorting and squealing
and that chicken will give me a peck!'

And down the road marched the car owner,
enraged, he continued to spew,
"Not at all!! I simply won't have it
in my car that's so perfectly new!!!"

Now meanwhile the farmer was eating
a wonderful dish he prepared
and said to himself, "How delicious!
And more than enough to be shared!"

He hadn't the foggiest notion,
as he ate that delectable snack,
that just down the road came a madcap
wanting to borrow his jack.

"Those kids," the madman continued,
"will scream that they want to get out!!
And I'll be so dreadfully frantic
I'll crash my new car!! There's no doubt!!!"

And up to the door of the farmer
the man stood there ready to sue.
"Not at all!!! I simply won't have it
in my car that's so perfectly new!!!!"

The farmer then heard a loud knocking
and thought, "Well now, isn't this nice!
I will have someone who will join me
at this meal of spiced dumplings and rice!!"

The farmer then opened his front door
to invite the dear guest to have lunch.
But the furious man on the doorstep
gave the farmer a glorious punch!




Based on a story from Folk Tales of India

There once was a man in a village
who lived his whole life very poor.
He watched over time as his neighbors
were able to have more and more.

He noticed in yearning and envy
as they continued to buy many things -
new carpets, silk clothing and trinkets
especially those glittering rings.

He decided to gather his savings
to buy for himself something new.
So, the bright idea to acquire
shimmering gold grew and grew.

And so, finally, after great hardship
of scrimping and saving for years,
he purchased a ring of great value
to go out and show to his "peers".

But no one, just no one, would notice
the bright ring he had on his hand,
Though he flit his finger quite often
in hopes they would see his gold band.

He grumped and he grouched and he grumbled
and stomped himself home in a mood.
He slammed all the doors and the windows
and his neighbors said, "Isn't he rude!"

But later all that was forgotten.
Someone had screamed, "FIRE!" outside.
And neighbors from every street corner
came running, their work left aside.

Each person brought buckets of water,
then ran to the well to get more
in an effort to put out the fire
before that house burnt to the floor.

The man also joined all his neighbors
to put out the fire and flames.
Who knows whatever would happen
when people start placing their blames.

Now, someone, while dousing the fire,
somehow had noticed his band
and praised him with great admiration
and said he must look at his hand.

The man proudly turned to his neighbor
and said with a cumbersome heart,
"I wouldn't have burned down my house here
had you noticed my ring from the start!"




Based on a story from Folk Tales of India

It was only a droplet of honey
that fell on the shopkeeper's floor.
Some antlings then gathered around it
to eat it, you can be sure.

A lizard saw them all huddled
and darted to capture his prey.
He wanted to gobble those antlings
before they'd go running away.

The shopkeeper's cat that observed this
jumped from a tall table top
to pursue a delicate favorite,
so he could sit licking his chop.

A customer's dog then came tearing
across the crowded shop floor
causing the cat to go leaping
creating a pompous uproar.

The shopkeeper told the dog owner,
"You'd better tie up that bad dog,
Or I will go right out the door now
and find for myself a big log!"

The dog owner glared at the merchant
and raised a clenched fist in the air,
then told him, "Watch your big mouth, or,
you'll be left on the floor 'neath a chair!"

The merchant's friends came to the rescue
grabbing the dog owner tight
and thought they would pummel this cheek bone
to make everything turn out right.

But, the dog owner's pals would not have it
and came to the rescue a spell.
So, the gang began a big battle
wrecking shop items as well.

They fell over tables and shelving
and broke many items and more
all due to a droplet of honey
that fell on the shopkeeper's floor.




Based on a story from Folk Tales of India

There once was a grampa bedridden
whose grandchildren were asked to attend
to his feet a little each evening
in hopes that his tiptoes would mend.

The sister had chosen the left foot,
while her brother had favored the right,
and each spent some time every evening
so Grampa could sleep through the night.

Both children became very somber,
as they busied themselves with their chore.
Maintaining a serious humor,
they kept their eyes glued to the floor.

The brother would push his twin sister
just enough so she didn't have space
and the sister would pinch her twin brother
then show him her ugliest face.

The sister would snarl at her brother
and say nasty things in his ear.
And he would return the same favor
all the while, calling her, "Dear".

Now it happened one day that the brother
was detained by a call on the phone
and couldn't attend to Grandfather
so his sister was left on her own.

And so, with all her attention,
she massaged the left as before,
but never would care for the right foot.
That was her twin brother's chore.

And though she felt this rather strongly,
Grandfather could not really tell,
so he edged the right a bit closer
in hopes she'd massage it as well.

But pulling away from the right foot,
she yanked the left far, far away
causing Grampa to go flying,
his limbs in complete disarray.

Incensed by the nerve of the right foot,
she expressed daggered words even more,
while Grampa, no longer bedridden,
was lying upon the cold floor.

Her brother then came in the doorway
and saw what she did to the right.
In revenge, he then picked up the left foot
and gave it the same dreadful plight!

Grandfather then shouted quite sternly,
"My Dears! Do you see what you've done?
Each foot that you're bent on abusing
is attached to the very same one!"




Based on a story from The Arabian Nights

A drummer took pride in his frugally ways
and maintained the same pair of shoes.
Each time they would wear
he'd have leather and steel
attached to the holes by some glues.

Thus, after a time, those shoes had become
most cloddish and clumsy to wear.
And as a result
he walked with a thump
causing town's people to stare.

It came to a point that the drummer was mad
at a shoe that gave him a pain.
And so with disgust
he pulled that shoe off
and swung it with such a distain.

It clunked with a bang on a scientist's roof
that happened to live right next door.
The roof was so weak
it collapsed with the shoe
and knocked everything to the floor.

The scientist went to find out what it was
that made such a crash of a sound.
And there he did see
a great heap of the roof
with tables and viles on the ground.

And thus, he decided to clean it all up
and set up his lab again there.
But under it all
was the drummer's big shoe
revealed by its cloddish repair.

That neighbor petitioned the drummer to court
and told what was under that stack.
The judge hearing this, gave the drummer a fine
then handed the drummer's shoe back.

The drummer was irked and disgusted by this
and marched himself right out of court.
He stomped down the road
and passing a drain
threw his shoe there in retort.

Now the drain that he chose was a great passageway
that led to the court of the King.
The shoe clogged the drain
which created a flood
inside a palatial wing.

The attendants who rushed to look for the cause
in midst of sweltering summer,
found in the pipe
that big, ugly shoe
"This is the shoe of the drummer!"

Again he was called by the Great Magistrate.
His payment was very severe.
Then back again came
that same wretched shoe.
Now, surely, the message was clear!

The drummer then took that shoe to the judge
and asked him to draw up a pact,
and in it to state
that the shoe was not his
and the court would acknowledge this fact.

The Justice then told in great lengths to this man
that this could never be done.
"The shoe is inert
and unable to sign
this plan we must certainly shun."

The drummer took hold of that cloppidy shoe
and left in a state of distress.
He hacked up the shoe
in big pieces and parts
and made a glorious mess.

He picked up a chunk and hiked down the road
passing the homes of the rich.
He swung that piece high
up over a bridge
right into a deep drainage ditch.

It caused a deluge for the residents there.
Who could have ever been dumber??!!
The people then searched
and finding that piece, said,
"This is the shoe of the drummer!!!"

When the drummer received a message from friends
that the court had a noose in the air,
he ran far away
and to this very day
no one has discovered just where.

So when your roof leaks or your drains need repair,
or you are in need of a plumber,
take a good look
where the trouble exists
you might find the shoe of the drummer!






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