ExhibitsSpoken Word & Art › Curious Rhymes for Precarious Times by Bob Barancik

Read by Mimi Rice, veteran Tampa Bay actress and radio theater producer.
Listen to an interview with Mimi

Some learn the hard way
others go by the book.
Some stop to listen
but don’t bother to look.
Some sport a broad smile
some wear a tight frown.
Others climb ever higher 
and never fall down.
Some lives are charmed 
and just go with the flow.
Others drop by the wayside
lost in worry and woe.

He made an adult choice —
by following his mother’s voice.
She made a mature decision —
by conforming to her father’s vision.
They hoped to join the grown-up group —
and run round and round the well-trod loop.

We are the author’s of life’s possibilities
and scribblers of its impossibilities.
We are editors of our daylight hours
and intermittent readers of our creative powers. 

I never thought
it would ever end.
I expected twists 
and turns
and nasty bends.
I always believed
she was here to stay —
Then her life
just passed away.

Do the dying need a book
about how to cry and where
to look?
The Bible is liable to get
it wrong.
We all must write 
our own swan song.

Make a big splash
and a mad dash —
to finish first.
Eat all you want
and quench 
your great thirst.
Make a proud boast
and offer a toast —
to yourself.
Anoint yourself king
of mountains and seas.
Start issuing orders
and royal decrees.
Be fancy and free
and sing the libretto 

How did the wise man
become so poor?
How did the fool
become cocksure.
How did the world
become such a mess?
Can we be happy
living on less?

There is a critic 
in every brain
who strangles joy
and sows seeds of pain.
Every mistake
gets major attention.
Creative ideas 
are put in detention.

A man was mistaken for an ATM —
by friend, family, and marketing men.
They stole his PIN and knew his date of birth,
total net worth, and where he’d been.
He tried to click “delete/delete” —
but all he got was “beep/beep/beep” —
And a poorly printed paper receipt.

After a joke — laugh.
After a concert — clap.
After an elegy — weep.
After a day’s work — sleep. 

What we sow
Isn’t always
What we reap.
What we hold
Isn’t ours 
to keep.

Good or bad
Crazy or sane,
the end of the story
is always the same.
Wealthy or poor
Famous or not,
We confidently preen—
and head out the door.

What if God goes bankrupt
and must go looking for a job?
What if Job gets lucky
and has no need to sob?
What if heaven’s gate opens
to both sinners and saints?
What if life can be lived
without the usual complaints!

That was then
and this is now.
Now say “goodbye”
and take a bow.

An Interview with Mimi Rice


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