Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor
During the years we were running the inn, Dick Yeaw and his much better half, Linda Cooper, would bring Elderhostel hiking groups to the inn several times a year. These groups were made up of about twenty frequently cantankerous seniors who pretty much took over the inn, hiking during the day, studying Robert Frost before dinner, then (thankfully) toddling off to bed by about eight o’clock. In addition to being a hiking guide, Dick taught literature and was and is a poet.
Dick had an eightieth birthday party a couple of weeks ago. Guests were forced to write something if they wanted anything to eat or drink. My contribution follows (with apologies to A. A. Milne – and to Dick, I suppose).
(Disobedience)Dick Dick Yeaw Yeaw Writer of poetry Took great Care of his hikers, Though nearly 83. Dick Dick said to his hikers, “Hikers,” he said, said he: “You must never go up The Chandler Ridge, If you don’t go up with me.” Dick Dick Yeaw’s hikers Said they were playing bridge. But Dick Dick’s Sneaky old farts Were climbing up Chandler Ridge. Dick Dick’s hostile elders Said to each other, said they: “That cranky old man Doesn’t think we can Get to Chandler Ridge today.” Dick Dick Put up a notice, “LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED TWENTY SENILE HIKERS SEEM TO HAVE BEEN MISLAID. LAST SEEN EATING TWIGS AND PEEING BEHIND A TREE. THEY GAVE UP THEIR BRIDGE TO CLIMB UP THE RIDGE. BRING BACK MY HIKERS TO ME.” Dick Dick Yeaw Yeaw (When things were looking dim) Told the Forest Rangers Not to go blaming him. Dick Dick Said to the old fools, “Old fools,” he said, said he: “You must never go hiking on Chandler Ridge without consulting me.” Dick Dick Yeaw’s hikers Haven’t been heard of since. Forest rangers searched and searched, They dusted the trees for prints. Dick Dick Yeaw Yeaw Said to a man he knew: If old folks go up The Chandler Ridge Well, what can anyone do? (Now then, very softly) D.D. Y.Y. W. Poetry Took great C/O of his H***** Though nearly 83. D.D. said to his H***** “H*****,” he said, said he: “Listen up Mateys, I may be eighty But never disobey me.”
And here is one of his poems, reprinted here without permission. (Tough shit, Dick.)
Just Jazz?Swinging sounds dying red sun Jabbering clinking sighs of leisurely listeners Another afternoon of Tootful tones The proud pianist balloon eyes streaming DRIVES the mocking melody While the regal bassist CHIMES IN with long silky fingers sliding out the humming tune And the propelling sparkplug of rhythm tastefully brushes this JAMMING noise around our tired, lonely hearts to raise us to these fast notes before they drop, vanish into the afternoon SUNSET