To Do


To Do

I make such a todo
of the to-do
that I don’t make time
to be.

To be or not to be, ponders Hamlet.
Don’t be a do-bee, responds me (after Miss Connie).
Dooby dooby doo, croons Frank Sinatra.

Frankly, my dear,
though I don’t always like his style,
Sinatra probably said it best;
for Hamlet doesn’t even make it
through the play,
and Miss Connie (of Romper Room)
never actually said it
my way

For there’s naught quite like
a dooby-do
when you just don’t know the words–
(so much so absurd)–
when you strive to do
what you want to be
and not to be
what you do,
when your face surprises
in mirror’s light,
when your shadow seems
yet stranger in the night–
when the world swims by
in grey-green glances
stillness swarming
insect dances–
so many many hums,
and you’ve got
to sing 







A draftish sort of poem for a prompt by Fireblossom (Shay) on With Real Toads to write something involving lists.  I mean dooby here solely as the dooby that goes with doo!  I wrote the poem last night and have probably over-lengthened today–originally ending with good old strangers in the night, but that seemed a bit grim. 

Have a nice weekend, and check all the great posts at Toads. 



PS – both drawings are recycled, but old favorites–all rights reserved.




Pps– I have edited since first posting .

Explore posts in the same categories: elephants, poetry, Uncategorized

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17 Comments on “To Do”

  1. brian miller Says:

    yes, we should all sing something…think of the song of so many voices….easy to become such a doer that we forget who we are being…

  2. Brendan Says:

    A very contemporary plight, so busy doing that there’s no time for being. “Dooby dooby doo” the soundtrack of white noise, I think. I’m in there, dancing right along. 🙂

  3. you strive to do
    what you want to be
    and not to be
    what you do

    I think that way to often it’s the latter happening.. we forget to be.

  4. mood wings Says:

    Oh, man. This is sublime. I adore anything absurd.

    “Don’t be a do-bee, abjurs me” Love this. (abjures, I presume, is what you mean, however)

    The ending is great too:
    “when the world swims by
    in grey-green glances
    stillness swarming
    insect dances–
    so many many hums,
    and you’ve got
    to sing something–”

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much and especially re abjures. I kept changing the word to other things like answers and mucked it up last change. I really appreciate the catch as well as your other kind words. K.

  5. Polly Says:

    A Doobey-Doobey do lovely poem – and aw…those elephants 🙂 v.v.happy me 😀

  6. C.C. Says:

    This is a fun poem that seems light-hearted at first but that also touches on the deeper importance of considering the implications of ‘to do’ or ‘to be.’ Very enjoyable.

  7. susan Says:

    I have been missing the elephants! Perhaps they are also a to-do? Dooby do! Sometimes during choices, it’s best to let the world swing–Maybe the only context I’d accept Sinatra over Hamlet (grin).

  8. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Love everything about this – from your elephants, to the allusions and the stylish word play.

  9. coalblack Says:

    Wow. This is “draftish”? I don’t know, I love it as is! Especially

    “when you strive to do
    what you want to be
    and not to be
    what you do,”

    This is one of my favorites I have ever read of yours. All day I’ll be going “Strangers in the night, exchanging glances, shooby dooby doo, what were the chances…”

  10. coalblack Says:

    ps–I don’t always like Ole Shut Eyes’ style, either. That whole rat pack thing that so many people seem to love leaves me cold. But gosh could the man sing a song, especially on September Of My Years. But the whole raincoat over the shoulder schtick makes me roll my eyes.

  11. Marian Says:

    well, obvs the other doobie has an ie. so you’re good here. 🙂
    i like this– it’s like a cautionary tale: slow down, notice, or it all goes away. thanks.

  12. hedgewitch Says:

    Very late to this, k–sorry. The mix here is just right–the way life mixes silly with (sometimes too) serious, the way thinking too much actually makes us *less* effective, certainly less comfortable, even when more ‘organized.’ My favorite lines here are: “…when your face surprises/in mirror’s light,/when your shadow seems/yet stranger in the night–” and on to the perfect ending.

  13. A fun, seemingly light poem with a loaded message. I’m in love with your elephants. :0)

  14. grapeling Says:

    if I could sing… love the elephants, and others have picked my fave lines already, so just popping by to say, yeah, that first stanza is spot-on ~

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