“Little Willie rhymes are light verses including an indifferent or cheerfully inappropriate response to a gruesome act of violence in a quatrain form attributed to Harry Graham (1874–1936). The earliest was included among the Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes published in 1898 under Graham’s pen name Col. D. Streamer while he was serving in the Coldstream Guards.”
Many of the tragedies occurring non-stop in these little verses reflected perils and pitfalls of the age. I thought it would be fun to update this genre with some new quatrains. And I wanted to give Willie a sister, Little Willa. Why should one’s sex or gender limit one’s ability to be a demon? And then, of course, they could work together sometimes in their nefarious play…or be at war with each other.
It’s understood that this is mere mordant satire of social mores and nothing more. If you are allergic to violence in near-nonsense verse, then best not read on. However, if you enjoy light verse in a dark vein, then I hope you find this a guilty pleasure.
If you are a publisher who would be interested in putting out a book of these, feel free to contact me. This is a shot in the dark, and I will probably just end up preparing a manuscript down the road and seeking out the specialty presses I think might be interested in this silly genre of grisly verses. Of course, a target readership being selected would mean many verses in the sampler below would not fit. The book could go more innocent or darker, depending on the perceived age of theoretical readers. Many of the verses included below would obviously not be candidates for inclusion, since I did share a few here appropriate only for mature readers (based on subject matter and language). Probably best to go with the most innocent, goofy verses. I would be adding many more verses once the direction of any such book was established. Kindly do not contact me if you are a vanity press or someone seeking to ask me to spend money in any way. (I repeat: in any way.) I have vultures practically in my backyard. Turkey vultures, a.k.a buzzards, love my town for some reason. So I don’t need any looking for stringy bits online.
Little Willie on the seesaw
Jumped off to watch the fate of Mee-maw.
Down she flew and smacked the ground.
Her dentures made a wondrous sound.
Where’s Grandma? No one can find her.
And why does Willie have that grinder?
“Come tomorrow,” Will spreads around,
“Grandma’ll be cheaper by the pound.”
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -
Fasting Willie, growing faint,
Sees things there that really ain’t.
Will stares madly like a gorgon.
His body digests its second organ.
Little Willie, eating raw paste,
Finds he really loves the weird taste.
“Really, Will, please get a clue,”
Says Mother, spooning sauteed glue.
Little Willie, night snowmobiling,
Left his buddies shook and reeling.
He didn’t see that barbed wire thread.
Someone pick up Willie’s head.
Little Willie, what a moppet,
Saw a train and tried to hop it.
Half of Willie made the train.
The rest is lying in the rain.
Will donated sis to a CHARITY box.
It took five hours to break the locks.
“Will has the philanthropic feeling,”
Said Mother, sipping her Darjeeling.
Little Willie, drinking paint,
Can’t handle it, and starts to faint.
Mother is a wise old-timer,
Corrects: “Will, Start by drinking primer.”
Little Willie told the truth
In that small confessions booth.
I guess he sins like you and me.
But he gave the poor priest P.T.S.D.
Little Willie told a story
Of his hopes for Purgatory.
That’s Will for you, completely silly.
In Hell, they name streets after Willie.
Spiteful Willie, on a crowded flight,
Opened the door in the dark of night.
A steward was sucked out like a putz.
“Tell me again,” laughed Will, “we’re out of nuts.”
Little Willie, quite nastique,
Made a bomb with some plastique.
He shook it too much, being spastique.
Will exploding was just fantastique.
Little Willie, with some bile,
Served his sister bad reptile.
The turtle soup that did her in
Was filled with moldy terrapin.
Ever since second or third grade,
Willa wishes to be a mermaid.
She knows it’s not for everyone,
But drowning sailors seems such fun.
Little Willie tailed the girl and guy
Until all three were rather high.
What Will did next to Jack and Jill
Is why this place is Hamburger Hill.
Willie was told of the fraternal bond
And how he should cherish his brother Sean.
So he locked bro in dad’s safe for security
To await the age of bond maturity.
Little Willie teased a grey recluse
Until the spider bit his finger.
Now Willie is a bright chartreuse.
We hope the color doesn’t linger.
Willa lashed Willie to a sled,
Then whipped him through snow until quite dead.
Honest mistake: while shopping for clothes with Mrs. McClusky,
She’d heard Mother call Will “somewhat husky.”
The Patron Saint of Tetanus,
Little Willie put a rusty nail
On each bus seat without fail.
Such very special specialness!
Little Willie tailed Jack and Jill
Unseen up that famous hill.
While unnamed in that nursery rhyme,
Willie actually did the crime.
Little Willie, quite a terror,
Put a painting in the mirror.
When Mother went to fix her hair,
She saw Medusa hissing there.
Little Willie, quite contrary,
Decided to kiss Typhoid Mary.
Will burned up at 104.
Salmonella’s quite a bore.
Little Willie, pantless, floating by.
At a birthday bash, gave gas a try.
Sucked helium from ten balloons.
That’s him up there, mooning the Moon!
Willie read Willa’s unlocked diary.
Some of the entries were quite fiery.
He learned her secret crush was Bobby.
Also, that arson is her hobby.
Little Willie was nipped by a bat.
Little Will told no one that.
Little Willie bit ten kids today.
They say his rabies won’t go away.
Little Willa in Mother’s tea
Stirred in lovely antifreeze.
Mother was slow to start, winter mornings,
But now she wakes with her motor purring.
Little Willie said to Willa
My crime was actually quite vanilla.
They put me behind iron bars,
Orchid you not, for stealing flowers.
Will beat granny with an iron clock
And, really, no reason or rhyme.
The judge said “An eye for an eye”
And gave Willie hard time for hard time.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Little Willie went to sea.
He learned he loved to mutiny.
Five captains he tossed into the brine
For softer pillows and better wine.
Willie has hallucinations.
Willie has heart palpitations.
He ate wild mushrooms without hesitation.
Now Will is set for reincarnation.
Seeing a weather balloon stuck in a tree,
Will grabbed it, as he set it free.
Now Willie floats across the land,
Meteorologically, with one free hand.
Poor Willie, forced to babysit,
Found he did not care for it.
He sold the baby for an iPhone.
When Mother cried, he said, “Oh, why moan?”
Willa gave Willie an alligator.
It was small at first, but not so much later.
It ate some kids; lawyers needed paid.
Willie started a fund drive: “Gator Aid.”
Willie whispered in Willa’s ear.
Her right eye leaked a sister’s tear.
There went her sibling-shared defense.
Willie turned state’s evidence.
Willa wanted Cathy’s doll,
But she wouldn’t share at all.
Where Cathy’s gone is not apparent,
But Willa’s the doll’s new smiling parent.
Father had a heart attack,
Crashed down upon the kitchen floor.
Willie told Willa, “Dial 911,
If a mass is blocking the icebox door.”
Willie and Willa dig on a beach.
Brother and sister are burying Teach.
C Minus seemed an unfair grade.
“A++!” says Willa, when the headstone’s laid.
First cousin Grace was a terrible yeller
‘Til Willa buried her in the cellar.
Says Willa, in her recent letter,
“First cousins, once removed, are better.
For Christmas, Willa gave Will a brand new hammer.
By New Year’s Day, he was in the slammer.
She wrote her brother: “Will, I’m done.
That was for home improvements. Not for fun.”
While mother takes her long gin naps,
Willa goes through all her apps,
Sends racy photos to the scariest men.
Let’s see if Mother drinks again.
On the Fourth of July,
Will launched his baby brother into the sky
Tied to a rocket. Sang the jerk:
“Baby, you’re a firework!”
Willa dated little Egan
But soon grew tired of his lectures vegan.
He just seemed such a tiresome martyr.
She turned him into “Egan Tartare.”
Willa was used to all straight A’s
And Mrs. Glomp gave her two Bs.
Willa disapproved of her teaching praxis
And put a hive in her car. Voila! Anaphylaxis!
Grandma gave Willa a great big hug.
Willa bent over and pulled the plug.
Grammy laughed and gave a snort:
“Sweetie, I’m not on life support!”
Willie, forced to see a shrink,
Really made an awful stink.
Soon, the analyst disappeared.
But Will was found to have his beard.
Willa designed a lovely necklace
With a dangling jewel of blue, so bright.
Loose in the evening, but as you slept,
It tightened and tightened all night.
Willie left the peanut butter
Lidless in the yard. What a nutter!
Others later spooned the Jiff.
Grandma died slowly, cursing C-diff.
Willa made her science teacher’s car a killing jar,
To show her trapped teacher the butterflies’ horror.
“It isn’t nice to flutter in such a place,
is it, Mrs. Green, why just look at your face!”
Willie, as a zombie child,
Found flesh really much too mild.
If the hot sauce wasn’t near,
Will’d eat less than half an ear.
Willa lashed Willie to a sled,
Whipped him through snow til nearly dead.
From Anchorage he pulled her sled, to Nome.
Mother was irked when she got home.
Willie, playing in Father’s lab,
Cloned himself with modern toys.
Dad griped. Mom said, “You’re such a crab.
You know boys will be boys will be boys will be boys will be boys…..”
“Cloning is quite a pill,”
Mother said. “Think of all those Billies.
The mere thought of cloning Will
Gives me the willies.”
Will testily threw teacher in the grave,
Then threw his exam clock, after.
“Now time’s on your side, Teach,” Will said,
And Willa chimed in laughter.
Willa pushed Ashton into waves from a cliff
Because she tired of lectures on pronouns.
Willa said with a sad sniff,
“Gosh. I hope they/them/their is soon found.”
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -
Grandpa croaked, “My feet are cold!
Cover them, child!” He hacked a long wheeze.
Willa stared daggers as she fitted on his toes slipper mold
That grew upon the floor like cheese.
Little Willie in the park
From a tin forked tuna after dark.
First one cat appeared, then dozens came.
Now on a stone carve Willie’s name.
Little Willie’s an Eagle Scout,
But his Boy Scout troop went missing.
He’s been questioned, day in, day out,
But his only reply is hissing.