Bernie Memes

I’ve really enjoyed the memes of Bernie Sanders, taken from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s Inauguration on Wednesday. I was tempted to create my own memes of Bernie, so here they are. Bernie’s mittens are fantastic, and they look very warm.

Bernie Sanders meme of 12 Angry Men
Bernie Sanders meme of ironworkers eating lunch on girder over New York City
Bernie Sanders meme of Overlook Hotel photo from The Shining movie
Bernie Sanders meme of The Sound of Music

Carnival Pitches

The guy in the cage
with the painted face and overalls
taunts us to try to knock him down,
throw a ball at the circle target,
a hit would drop his seat and
plunge him into the water tank,
which may or may not quiet him.

The guessing man calls out to test his guesses:
your weight, your age, or birthday month.
I’m guessing the most popular choice
is birthday month, since you’d be sharing
your answer on a microphone,
with lots of people walking by.
If he’s wrong, you get your pick of a prize.

Prizes are all around:
colorful stuffed animals
hanging from booths where
game vendors also call out:
try to climb Jacob’s Ladder, shoot
out the red star, pop a balloon, swish
a basketball. “It only costs a dollar,”
they say, and “just take a gander
at these wonderful prizes.”

I play some games, but I don’t
knock down all the stacked cans,
and the rings don’t land on the pegs.
I’m disappointed by not winning
at least one of the stuffed animals,
with their friendly smiling smiles.
But then I ride the Ferris wheel
and the turning swings ride and
the tall slide and much more, and
smiling smiles are on my face.

Sure, it would’ve been neat to win
a stuffed buddy, but when I return home
and hug my stuffed buddies,
the disappointment is gone
and the day is complete.

Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. Included in my book, The Dancing Fish.

Clowns on Jupiter

Arriving at Jupiter’s orbiting spaceport,
we struggle to overcome our grogginess
to regain some of the enthusiasm
we felt when we blasted off
from Earth for this journey.
Then that enthusiasm had to retreat,
as medicated drowsiness took over
for our long sleep through space.

Now that we’re here,
I catch sight of one of Jupiter’s
79 moons, and I try to
remember all their names—
Ganymede, Europa, Callisto, Io,
Sponde, Kale, Pandia, Carpo—
but I fall far short.

The spaceport’s odd welcoming committee
are clowns goofing around to make us smile,
to help us wake from our long sleep
and introduce us to this wondrous planet.

But something sinister’s in their looks,
as if they want to know our intentions
because they don’t trust us.

Clowns on Jupiter
staring at me.
Eyes like daggers.
Eyes like daggers.
Eyes like daggers.

Exhaled relief arrives as
we settle into our taxi
and ride to the hotel area,
checking ourselves
for puncture wounds.

Thankfully finding none,
we turn our attention
to other matters:
unpacking our bags and
getting ready for the tourist ship
that will take us to the Great Red Spot,
a storm that’s been raging on the planet
for at least 400 years.

Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. Included in my book, The Dancing Fish.

The Dancing Fish

Illustration of fish dancing on surface of the ocean, as a lighthouse's light provides a spotlight

As you know, during the ocean’s day,
schools of fish swim and play.
When the sun lowers to the west,
most of them slowers to rest.
As the day switches to night,
a lighthouse switches on its light,
and Jonah swims to the surface
for fun of a different purpose.
He inhales deep, holds it in,
leaps from the water with a spin,
then he dances on waves
that become the stage he craves.
Wearing a top hat,
twirling a cane like an acrobat,
Jonah tap dances on fins,
jitterbugs with wide grins.
The lighthouse’s moving beam
makes a spotlight supreme
that Jonah follows extra quicks
while performing his tricks.
Jonah puts on a good show,
seen not just by the fish below,
also by Bob the lighthouse keeper,
with his astounded peepers.
Bob told people of the dancing fish,
but they said, “Oh sploshy splish,
you were just dreaming.
Your imagination was gleaming.
Fish do no such thing,
just like they don’t sing.”

What about you, dear reader?
Of frolicking fish, are you a believer?

Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. Included in my book, The Dancing Fish.

A full-color version of this drawing is available on T-shirts and other products on my Redbubble store.

Your Oar


Which to pick?
Your or you’re?
But then,
the choice
can be such a bore.

Better to choose
your oar
when you’re paddling your canoe upstream,
and you better paddle extra quick
when you’re chased by the wild boar
who, surprisingly and inexplicably,
leaped onto a Jet Ski
which, presumably,
he had kept hidden in the bushes
for this purpose of chasing his prey.


Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. Included in my book, The Dancing Fish.

Dancing Fish Contest

Announcing The Dancing Fish Contest!

If you like reading playful poems with illustrations, this is your chance to win a book of them! I’m celebrating the publication of my latest poetry book, The Dancing Fish, with a FUN CONTEST where I’ll be giving away 6 signed paperback copies.

Entering is EASY! Put on your creative hat and draw an underwater creature, then post an image of it on Twitter or Instagram. Draw a swordfish or shark, an octopus or jellyfish. The medium is up to you: pencil, paint, or digital artwork. And the style is up to you: silly or serious, realistic or abstract.

Tag your post with #DancingFishContest and include me, @dwilliamswriter, to be sure that I see your post. You don’t have to follow my Twitter or Instagram account to enter the contest, but jump on board if you like!

Some questions you might have buzzing in your brain:

When will this groovy contest start and end?
The contest starts today (Friday, January 15, 2021) and ends on midnight (U.S. eastern time zone) Friday, January 29th.

How are the winners chosen?
At random. Here’s how it’s going to play out: As the entries come in, I will write your name on a note and put it in a bowl. On Saturday, January 30, each of my two daughters will cover their eyes and pick out three names. I’ll announce the winning entries on my Twitter and Instagram pages.

Can I enter multiple times?
Yes. So the more drawings you post, the more notes with your name will be placed in the bowl.

Is there an age restriction to enter?
Nope. If you’re 1 year old and finger-paint a fish on paper, then a parent or guardian can upload an image of the artwork. (By the way, if you’re 1 year old, congrats on being able to read this!)

I don’t live in the United States. Can I still enter?
You bet! It would be neat to see foreign entries. I will ship books to international winners.

How will entrants know if they’ve won?
I will contact the winners through direct message on Twitter or Instagram, wherever they posted their image. I will ask for your name and address, so I can sign and send the book to you. The books will be shipped by USPS media mail. If you don’t hear from me on January 30, you can figure that you haven’t won.

I’m looking forward to seeing your artwork of underwater creatures!