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Poetry: Joe and the Young Man. An exercise in emotional stability

Updated on March 18, 2016

Friends Forever - pix from my family photos

From my childhood poetry collection

We influence others on a daily basis without realizing it. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. We must learn to think before we speak.

This poem was written by a boy in his early teens after witnessing how easily some people were influenced by others around them. It appears that nothing has changed much in that department over the last 50+ years.

This old poem was forgotten until reading a hub by {the-man-with-no-pants} that was emotionally moving. So this is in deference to his hub. Link provided below. Please take the time to visit his page and find out why.


There was a young man, with vivacity to lend,
Who was laughing and gay, wherever he went.
People were amazed, and wondered in dismay,
If at them he was laughing, but nothing he'd say-

  • And off he would stroll on his merry way.

When questioned by onlookers, why he was laughing,
He'd reply in his usual, very smug fashion -
"What's amusing to one such as I" he would say
"May not make others laugh this way".

  • And off he would stroll, on his merry way!

"Tis no concern of yours" to them he would yell,
"For I may be thought foolish, if I were to tell".
"What's amusing to one such as I", he would say -
"May not make others laugh this way".

  • As off he would stroll on his merry way!

Now at this same time, a guy named Joe
Was incessantly obsessed, with grief and woe.
At the slightest remark, he'd break down and cry,
With no apparent reason, all wondered why.

  • With a tear and a sob, he'd stroll on by!

People were curious, little did they know,
Why Joe was weeping and carrying on so.
So they chanced to ask him, first they'd say "HI!".
Then they asked, was there dirt in his eye?

  • With a tear and a sob, he'd stroll on by!

Folks were hurt by his strange sad way.
They wondered, did he cry, for something they'd say?
He'd cast them off, with merely a sigh,
Into his life, nary a one could pry.

  • With a tear and a sob, he'd stroll on by!

Now the young man from Midwent, one sunny morn,
Chanced to meet Joe, all sad and forlorn.
The young man, with smile, from ear to ear,
And poor sad Joe, eyes filled with tear,

  • Chatted as they entered a pub for a beer!

Joe, in his usual, very sad way,
Seeing him laugh without reason, did say,
Why is it you laugh and carry on so?
Your reason for joy, I do not know.

  • How can you laugh at friend and foe?"

Upon this, the young man, as always did yell,
"I may be thought foolish if i were to tell.
What's amusing to one, such as I" he would say -
"May not make others laugh this way".

  • And he started to go, on his merry way.

Before the young man could go but a foot,
He returned, by Joe's words, he was hooked.
"Tis true as you said," Joe wisely did say,
"What make you laugh, may not affect others that way.

  • Tho' by not explaining, you will have to pay".

"For sooner will everyone believe you insane,
If they think your laughing is all in vain.
For how do you know what a person will say,
Unless he knows why you are laughing that way?

  • And they can never know, unless you say!".

For the very first time, the young man ceased to laugh.
As he stood quite amazed, Joe's words still amass.
Then slowly he spoke, between each of Joe's sighs:
"If you're such a wise, advice giving guy,

  • Why haven't you allowed your own eyes to dry?".

He asked Joe why, he was cranky and snappy,
Joe confessed he was sad, 'cause he couldn't be happy.
He tried and he tried to make himself gay,
And he tried again harder, to chase woe away.

  • All this and more, to the young man, Joe did say!

The young man listened, his face did not smile.
Joe's sad, touching story, his mind did beguile.
Joe told the young man, at his story's end,
He'd no longer need cry, if he had a friend.

  • If only one person his ear would lend!

At this the young man, so wisely did say:
"Never need you cry again, aft this day.
My ear, to your tale, i did willfully lend,
Though but a short time, I became your friend,

  • So your tears, in the future, away you can send!"

Now this was the last time, a tear Joe would drop,
As was the first time, the young man's laughing did stop.
Each one well rid of his problem, commenced thinking.
And as the young man strolled off, a tear he was blinking.

  • And Joe's face, no longer sad, with a smile, started crinkling!

by d.william 11/30/2011

(One of my Favorite Groups) Let's stay together

© 2011 d.william


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    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Beautiful cats and your poetry is sublime. Friendship is so important for a happy life....Thank you..

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      thanks for commenting. I had 7 cats and 4 dogs. Unfortunately they were all about the same age, and passed away one after the other. I only have one cat and 2 little dogs remaining and they too are all the same ages. Each one i lost was like losing a child. Too much sadness, but lots of wonderful pictures and memories.

    • Lucy Fuentes profile image

      Lucy Fuentes 6 years ago from Bronx, Newyork

      they look like my kitty kats nice!!!!!