My Sneaky Cousin

She put in her clothes,

Then thought she’d get

A free bath here

At the launderette.

So round she goes now,


Lookin’ clean—

But not too happy.

~Shel Silverstein 

Noise Day

Let’s have one day for girls and boyses

When you can make the grandest noises.

Screech, scream, holler, and yell—

Buzz a buzzer, clang a bell,


Laugh until your lungs wear out,

Toot a whistle, kick, a can,

Bang a spoon against a pan,

Sing, yodel, bellow, hum,

Blow a horn, beat a drum,

Rattle a window, slam a door,

Scrape a rake across the floor,


Use a drill, drive a nail,

Turn the hose on the garbage pail,

Shout Yahoo—Hurrah—Hooray,

Turn up the music all the way,

Try and bounce your bowling ball,

Ride a skateboard up the wall,

Chomp your food with a smack and a slurp,


One day a year do all of these,

The rest of the days—be quiet please.

~Shel Silverstein


I look to the left,

I look to the right,

Before I ever

Move my feet.

No cars to the left,

No cars to the right,

I guess it’s safe

To cross the street . . . .

~Shel Silverstein

Diving Board

You’ve been up on that diving board

Making sure that it’s nice and straight.

You’ve made sure that it’s not too slick.

You’ve made sure it can stand the weight.

You’ve made sure that the spring is tight.

You’ve made sure that the cloth won’t slip.

You’ve made sure that it bounces right,

And that your toes can get a grip—

And you’ve been up there since half past five

Doin’ everything . . . but DIVE.

~Shel Silverstein

Needles and Pins

Needles and pins,

Needles and pins,

Sew me a sail

To catch me the wind.


Sew me a sail

Strong as the gale,

Carpenter, bring out your

Hammers and nails.


Hammer and nails,

Hammer and nails,

Build me a boat

To go chasing the whales.


Chasing the whales,

Sailing the blue,

Find me a captain

And sign me a crew.


Captain and crew,

Captain and crew,

Take me, oh take me

To anywhere new.

~Shel Silverstein

Morgan’s Curse

Followin’ the trail on the old treasure map,

I came to the spot that said “Dig right here.”

And four feet down my spade struck wood

Just where the map said a chest would appear.

But carved in the side were written these words:

“A curse upon he who disturbs this gold.”

Signed, Morgan the Pirate, Scourge of the Seas.

I read these words and my blood ran cold.

So here I sit upon untold wealth

Tryin’ to figure which is worse:

How much do I need this gold?

And how much do I need this curse?

~Shel Silverstein

No Thank You

No I do not want a kitten,

No cute, cuddly kitty-poo,

No more long hair in my cornflakes,

No more midnight meowing mews.


No more scratchin’, snarlin’, spitters,

No more sofas clawed to shreds,

No more smell of kitty litter,

No more mousies in my bed.


No I will not take that kitten—

I’ve had lice and I’ve had fleas,

I’ve been scratched and sprayed and bitten,

I’ve developed allergies.


If you’ve got an ape, I’ll take him,

If you have a lion, that’s fine,

If you brought some walking bacon,

Leave him here, I’ll treat him kind.


I have room for mice and gerbils,

I have beds for boars and bats,

But please, please take away that kitten—

Quick—‘fore it becomes a cat.

Well…it is kind of cute at that.

~Shel Silverstein