I know every guy reading this–well almost every guy–was once this 6-9 year-old boy overlooking the world from the high diving board at the town pool. I can promise you, I did not write this poem using second-hand information. I have to tell you, too, reading this poem almost cools me off. It is hot out there! Fall is in the air though, so I’ll submit this to Poetry Palace’s Poet’s Rally #51 today, and hopefully put a fitting cap on this long hot summer! Enjoy!



The girls all scream and curse me

The boys threaten bodily harm

Soaked one and all from my cannonball

I toss them some toothless charm


Six years of age and afraid of nothing

I scramble up the high ladder again

Stand on the board overlooking the world

Drying fast in a hot summer wind


A glorious day I’m thinking

Looking down at the sparkling pool

In the shallow end, little brothers        

Horsing ‘round and acting the fool


Ah, but the audience below me

Jealous disdain in their eyes

Shouting and calling me names

Tis my bravery they truly despise


Without warning I leap from the board

As one they gasp at my daring

I fly through the air, grinning wide

No teeth in the front, but not caring


I hit the water with a solid kerplunk

Knees hugged up tight to my chin

When I break water to a chorus of insults

I know I’ve soaked them all again


Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn



  1. Raivenne said

    Oh Charles! How completely endearing, cherubic and yet watching to snatch you by your scruffy little neck!!! 😀 I love this!

  2. Very good. It made me smile….


  3. Love it, Charles! Reminded me of my brother! Great humor and perfect scene painting!

  4. Oh- the memories of past summers in Southern California when the temp. would draw many a cannon balls from the pools. Fun poem Charles. Thanks for leaving the link to the fast moving, flowing poem.

  5. Sherry Mashburn said

    Definitely a guy thing!

  6. blitzken said

    Haha, that’s great fun! Breaking water sounds about as popular as breaking wind. 😉

  7. toss them some toothless charm,

    love the line, your words are so very divine.

  8. Sometimes, deep and heavy poetry fail to convey the simplest nuances of life; the poem is really nice, and simple. A good read, all in all.

  9. Ah, this capture the essence of childhood devilishly.

  10. terri0729 said

    Oh Charles, too cute! I was that daring once and did a belly smacker that knocked the wind out of me and I sank like a rock to the bottom of the pool. I recovered just as the lifeguard was preparing to dive in after me, lol. I came up red faced and sulked back to my beach towel. Guess that was the end of the highboard for me. Loved it. Blessings, Terri

    • Hey, Don’t beat yourself up. We all did some belly flops. I can just see you though. Too funny!
      Thanks for stopping by. Always appreciate and enjoy your comments!

  11. kez said

    cool and yes it did make me laugh ! oh to be 6 again, carefree days ! Thank you and once again for your kind comments

  12. I like it, Charles! 🙂 Awesome rhyming!

  13. ticklyturtle said

    Haha. I love this! I saw the child going at it, looking very happy. ^_^

  14. What a brave and naughty, daring little boy. LOL
    What a fun read, too.

  15. Miss Kitten said

    Fantastic! I love how you set the whole scene, the sights, smells, sounds, everything.

    Somehow I’m not surprised to learn that you were a cannonball kid.

    Here’s my selection for this week:

    • Well! I don’t know what to make of that comment! I think I’ll let the 6 year-old kid that still lives in my brain field it. (He gives you a toothless grin and a fist in the air!)
      Loved your poem!
      Thanks for the visit! Always get a kick out of your comments!

  16. Definitely, a boy thing … high energy – daring and carefree.
    Fun poem…

  17. oooo! this brought back some nice childhood memories 🙂 thanks for taking me back!

  18. thingy said

    Aaw, I love this. Thanks for the smile. : )

  19. Stunningly vivid. Brilliant!

  20. Morning said

    authentic talent shown here, thanks for sharing.

  21. fiveloaf said

    like an angel plunging into the water throning the rest! thanks for your visit pal..

  22. Shawn Bird said

    heh heh. I know that kid.

    Thanks for visiting I appreciate that you took the time to come by!

    • I think everybody knows that kid, Shawn. He’s been to every town pool there is!
      You are welcome, and thank you!

  23. jpdaily said

    Great! a moment of childhood fun captured and painted by words. Nicely done.

  24. Abby Kelly said

    I absolutely LOVE this! I’ve tweeted it!

  25. You are amazing and so is all of your work. I enjoyed this so much and could see a small child going at this. I hope you will be sharing more each time I come here to read bring me back again and again. Thank you for sharing

    • Thank you for the wonderful comments, Sarah! I plan to participate as much as I can.

  26. What a fabulously nostalgic story – esp. the line about drying in the wind. My skin prickled in memory at that one!

    • Thanks! I remember vividly, laying on the warm concrete, shivering, as the summer sun and breeze warmed and dried me.
      I appreciate your kind comments!

  27. Rosie said

    That’s a fun, fun read. Thank you!

  28. You must know me fairly well, to write about me so accurately. 🙂 Thanks!

  29. delightful and brilliant.


  30. mbwilliams said

    ‘Soaked one and all from my cannonball

    I toss them some toothless charm’

    Love it – simple as that! Wonderful writing – and a precious memory

  31. Caledoniapoems said

    A wonderful poem – thanks for sharing it 😉

  32. Pat Cegan said

    Fun poem, Charles. I used to do this to my sister, too. I loved to torment her. She still reminds me of that! Thanks for the sweet memory and fun poem. hugs, pat

    • Too funny, Pat. I bet you were a handful!
      Thanks for the visit and wonderful comments!

  33. Lol, I have memories of doing this myself but I was older than six. I enjoyed your poem 🙂

    • Psst. A little secret… I was older than six, too. But I had to figure a way to get that “toothless charm” line in there. Shhh… don’t tell anybody…

  34. Very charming! I love the imagery and the message in it. Dare to be daring. Thanks for stopping by Mandy Calvin’s Quill and commenting.

  35. Ector Ward said

    Brave boys with twinkling eyes grow into loving daddies. Thanks for the reminder.

  36. Oh boys will be boys…delightful write!

  37. Alcina said

    beautiful work :)..
    Keep penning!

  38. Wonderful memories brought to life in this one! Very vivid in my mind’s eye (and nothing to do with Burt Reynolds or cars at all!)! Wonderful, simply wonderful!

  39. caridwen said

    Very fun! I remember those guys, too. Not that we girls didn’t have our fair share of dousing done as well! ;op

  40. Baishali said

    it made me smile … loved it 🙂

  41. Andy said

    Hello Charles.
    What a wonderful scene you’ve set. I can totally visualize it and you creating havoc with your “toothless charm”. I was never one for swimming. After a near fatal accident as a young boy, I never went near water again, but I did find other ways to make mischief!

    Awesome as always!

    Under Blinking Stars

    • Sorry about your accident. I can’t imagine life without pools and lakes, etc.
      I appreciate the visit and comments, Andy!

  42. Beautiful!! Spent the summer taking the grandsons to the pool and you have definitely touched the emotions and memories of our summer fun. Thank you.


    • Awesome! Cherish those times! They are some of the best you will ever have!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  43. Haha! I remember that obnoxious kid who kept splashing all over the place…

    • No no no, that was that other kid.
      Thanks for the read and comment! I appreciate it!

  44. kerplunk eh? haha i love it! reminds me of the other kids in my childhood who always thought i was different coz i always dared life.

  45. ShonEjai said

    What a brave soul. You have brought a smile to my face! I loved the adventure! Thank you!

  46. magher1 said

    Very nice poem! You caught this little moment in your words perfectly 😉

  47. Nate said

    the words and the story behind the poem.. is beautiful.. 🙂

  48. Sweet! Loved it! 🙂

  49. californiabean said

    Captured a moment at the pool as a child that I remember so well – very nice.

  50. Just posted my Rally Poem … thought you might like to check it out even though I see you’ve completed the requirements.
    Thanks, Charles.

    • Thanks, Isadora!
      I will look at your poem. The link didn’t work, but I will find it.

  51. Oh man! You’re THAT kid! And there I was just getting my tan… 😀

    • oopsie! And I remember you and your teenage girlfriends tanning over there. Don’t think the grinning six-year-old didn’t sneak a glance your way!
      Thanks for the visit and fun comments, Danielle!

  52. FreeHarry said

    Very nice! An internal monologue that draws one in 🙂

  53. Charles … your poems always transport me, always!

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