The Man Who Loved Being Green--A Tribute to Jim Henson

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He made puppets in high school

Then tried a different track

With Studio Arts in college

But a puppetry class called back

A degree in Home Economics

And a hit called "Sam and Friends"

Where he made his alter ego

Using materials that felt more like him

The way they talked, the way they moved

Freeing them up from strings

He still had his doubts, so to Europe he went

Where puppets were art, not mere things

Returning he dated and married his Jane

Who had helped him with the "Sam" show

Making commercials got him his start

And his "muppet" vision would grow

Going beyond what mere humans could do

Entertainment for everyone

Children would laugh, but so did adults

For the puppet world's favorite son

So Muppets, Inc went to New York City

Jane home with three of their five

He hired Jerry and Oz to write and perform

And Muppets, Inc started to thrive

Rowlf on a network show

Playing piano regularly

Short films like "Time Piece"

Nominated by the Academy

Then one day a lady

From Children's TV

Asked him to create characters

and a Sesame Street

Big Bird and Kermit

Oscar, Bert and Ernie

Cookie Monster and Elmo

And the game host Guy Smiley

The Muppets were separate

At first but soon joined

The humans and skits

And a new thing was born

The Muppet Show followed

But America was skittish

Would this new thing catch on?

So he turned to the British

Miss Piggy and Kermit

Gonzo the Great

Fozzie Bear, Rowlf and Beaker

The Swedish Chef we all ate

Up and clamored

For more and for more

Dr. Teeth, Electric Mayhem

Let Animal out the door

They conquered the Brits

America, the world

And when it couldn't get better

"The Muppet Movie" unfurled

61st grossing movie of all time

For the man who would be green

His workers saw him as Kermit

The most likeable boss ever seen

He agreed with the comparison

"He can say what I hold back"

The way Kermit ran the muppet show

Was this man's friendly tact

A shy gentle boss

With a "whim of steel"

Never saying "I don't like"

"Hmmm" or "Lovely" and made you feel

In the presence of greatness

A wizard of art

Making a "Rainbow Connection"

From the mind to the heart

Like his creation

"Do not try, do"

He inspired us and showed us

How to make dreams come true

©Winsome Publishing 2011, All rights reserved

This is a tribute to Jim Henson who is the only one to have a Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame as himself and another one alongside as his alter ego, Kermit the Frog

Nominated for an Oscar 1979 Best Song

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Comments 21 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

I thought this was a tribute to Al Gore, Winsome. Delighted to learn instead it's an ode to Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. He was a genius. Nice poem and I love the Wilkins Muppets commercials.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Doc, he influenced us all more than we know. He wanted to make his art approachable and let it push our abilities to communicate. May we at HP do as well.

Thank you for stopping by, it is always a pleasure. =: )


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Interesting...your poem, and my reaction. I usually like intense, moody, dark, full of yearning type poems. So I surprised myself by really liking this, and it is a very nice tribute to Jim Henson. Thanks for posting it.

Sadly, I write about one poem every three years (mostly I do academic or historical writing) but I posted my last one, Sipo Matador. Thanks again for a good poem.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi PH, I'm surprised too. I usually write very different poetry, but I had only one original photo handy which I shot with one hand driving past Jim Henson's Studio and it occurred to me that I hadn't given the man a proper eulogy.

Thank you for your gracious comment. If you want dark and twisty, try my When Love Won't Come. =:)


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

How fitting to create a tribute to Jim Henson with poetry. I really enjoyed it. He was truly a genius and I always wanted to be a muppeteer; even auditioned way back when, but alas, never made it.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hello Hillary, what fun that would have been--mixing it up with all those lovable muppets. You could have been Janice on the Electric Mayhem Band. I would have enjoyed being Grover, he was my favorite. I thought it was cool that Jim lobbied to get Frank Oz nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Yoda in Star Wars.

Thank you for the great comment, so glad you liked it. =:)


Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

Incredible hub. I loved it. Very informative and fascinating. I never knew Muppets did coffee commercials...


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Phoebe, you are more than kind. Yes, the commercials proved to mainstream money that Henson's kind of puppetry could grab an adult audience and that gave him the leverage he needed to make it into a Disney-like career. His kids sold it to Disney--I hope they keep the uniqueness of the characters. =:)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Don't forget Oscar the Grouch and the Count. They were my favorites. Oscar was so funny and sarcastic. Great tribute poem to Jim Henson.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Becky, I did mention Oscar above, just not as Grouch and you are right about the Count. Every time I would count around a child I would go into my Count impression and laugh. They were so delightful.

Thank you for the visit and the kind words. =:)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Winsome - sorry I missed this one:) loved Jim Henson - in middle school we had the puppeteer club - if you joined you made a puppet of your choice (previously made by Henson) and a couple of shows were done each year. This so reminded me of all that fun! Up and everything!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi RH, I can see you as a puppeteer, I bet you made a great one. He really changed puppetry forever.

Thank you for stopping by to pay homage to a gentle show biz giant. =: )


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Love this! I love the muppets. Muppet Christmas Carol is one of my favorite films ever. See also: Muppets take manhattan. see also: Muppets in space


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha I'm glad you like them, I do too. The fact that adults can get so much enjoyment out of what is essentially a super puppet show just illustrates his genius and creativity. We all admire people like Dickens who can create characters in books, but for Jim to invent them, design them and then express them so realistically is hugely impressive.

Thank you for the visit and the warm support, I really appreciate it. =:)


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 5 years ago from USA

What a forever poem for a forever memory! I LOVED it!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi RA, so glad you enjoyed it. As Kermit said: "I've got a dream too, but it's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with."

Thank you for reading and your kind support. =:)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

have you seen the new film yet?


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

No, but I want to. Have you had a gourmet PB&J on 23rd Street yet? =:)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

no. don't make it that way often


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States

Cool guy, cool tribute!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you angela_michelle, we need more entrepreneurs like Jim who have so much heart that others fall all over themselves striving for excellence. =:)

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