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Marbles 'n Jeans

Updated on August 5, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

Iron-On Patches on the legs of worn blue jeans

Little boys just can’t seem to stay clean

Playing games with marbles for “keeps” in the dirt

So you lose a few cat’s eyes, who gets hurt?

Mama complained of marbles; so tough on clothes

We kept shoot ‘em; playin’ a game called “holes”

Ragged jeans torn and worn; knees that were raw

But we didn’t notice; our minds were on our taw

The “taw” was your favorite shooter for the game

Rolling real straight and true with a deadly aim

It was the most precious marble in one’s bag

Play for keeps, lose your taw…buddy, what a drag!

Mama called it “gamblin’” and she said it was a sin

But we didn’t believe it since we put no money in

It was many years later when the truth came to us all

Gamblin’ is gamblin’ even if you only lose a marble ball

Marble games seem to go by the wayside with technology

The kids no longer play with them in the dirt under trees

Now they play video games just as much as they please

And Mama sure is happy that their jeans still have knees

©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved

20 April 2012


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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Deborah Brooks...Mama put a many a patch in my old jean knees! Thanks Debbie. WB

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Oh mommas always took care of everything didn't she? wonderful poem Wayne.

      voted up



    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @RealHousewife....There are many memories of things that have fallen by the wayside...kind of sad. Thanks much, Kelly. WB

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I remember playing marbles:) Terrific poem WB! Good thing you didn't put your money in! lol

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Gypsy48...Glad I could bring back some memories for you with this one. He was ambitious with that bucket! Thanks much. WB

      @Ruchira..Good point! LOL! Thanks much! WB

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Wayne...if the "lady" was a tomboy then marbles sure fit her criteria ;)


    • Gypsy48 profile image


      6 years ago

      This wonderful poem reminded me of my son when he was a little boy. He had a big bucket of marbles that he would lug around when playing marbles with his friends. Well done Wayne! voted up

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Movie Master...I would bet that most of them do not know. Thanks much, Lesely. WB

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I wonder if the kids today know what marbles are?!

      This bought back memories, loved it and voting up.

      Best wishes lesely

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @AudreyHowitt...Glad I could bring back some memories...thank you! WB

      @Just Ask Susan...Life was a lot simpler back then it seems but we worked harder to be entertained. That worked out for me! Thanks much. WB

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This brought back great memories not only in my own childhood but that of my sons too. Loved to play marbles. Great poem Wayne!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Loved this and it brings back memories for me--I think I went through a pair of pants every week--

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      I spent part of a year in the Phillipines in the mid-70's. The impact of the US culture from WWII was still very inevident in many things My favorite was the dressed up military jeeps converted to taxis called "jitneys". Many had been hot-rodded with big V-8 engines, etc. I longed to own one but had to settle for an old beat up 57 Chevy. No marble playing on that outing! LOL! WB

      @Minnetonka Twin...Imagination, like conversation face to face, is falling by the wayside for these younger generations. Along the way their are losing their ability to differentiate between word choices and the spelling is atrious...all in the name of progress and technology. In actuality, we are being dumbed down by it in many ways. Thanks much! WB

      @breakfastpop...Well, thank you so much. That means a lot coming from you...a cook and a writer as well...that's talent...truly! WB

    • breakfastpop profile image


      6 years ago

      Loved your poem and the video. You re truly amazing and oh so talented. Up and awesome.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      It is sad that you don't see kids playing marbles these days. I bet today's mom would rather see jeans with holes than on those darn computers, iphones etc...

      I loved the picture you put on this hub!

    • SilentReed profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      We also play marbles here in the Philippines.Probably brought over by Americans like the sport of Basketball when the islands where still a colony of the U.S. This brings back nostalgic memories of my youth...scrape knees,fights when someone welsh on a bet.Playing truant,coming home with a shiner and disproving looks from parents.:)

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @FitnezzJim....So true, so true...we have to understand the rules before we play the game. Thanks much, Jim. WB

    • FitnezzJim profile image


      6 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Coincidences can be amusing. I found myself wondering the other day about the title to a song. When I asked around it turned out that the song was Kenny Rogers 'The Gambler'. The folks I asked then asked me If I was planning to write something about the recent Secret Service fiasco. Didn't we all play marbles as kids?

      Marbles (or any other form of gambling) can be fun, as long as you keep it straight when you are playing for 'funzies', and when you're playing for 'keepzies'. The observer who catches you at it ain't gonna know the difference, and may be motivated to not care.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Genna East...Thank yo for those nice words, Genna...I do appreciate them. Glad I could conjure up some memories for you and so glad your dad made you learn to read! LOL! WB

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Awwww…this reminded me a little of my own childhood. I was a little bit of tomboy for a while back then…climbing trees -- and we had our marbles, too. Dad wouldn’t let us watch television until we knew how to read. I thought this was terribly unfair at that time, but I thanked him, often, later in life.

      Your wonderful style of poetry is your own, Wayne, and like your other poems, this one “gets in” and stays there. Thank you for bringing back those sweet days. :-) Up +.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Ruchira...I never knew marbles were so connected with the ladies...lots of comments on the game here from them. Thanks much! WB

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Wayne, you brought back my childhood. As a kid, loved playing with marbles and often my pockets would get torn by their weight. loved it!

      voted up indeed!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @fpherj48...Two years ago I would not have attempted it in any public forum. I started writing it humorously first then really got interested as I realized the power it had to affect my other writing word choices. You should go for it! Thanks much! WB

      @Eiddwen...Thank you and so glad you enjoyed it! WB

      @Poohgranma...You still got the lingo going with "dead-eye" and "steely"....glad I could bring back those memories. WB

      @Vellur...We live in a time when kids spend little time outdoors. Mom use to have to make us come in after the sunset...we just did not want to give up the day. Thanks much. WB

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant Wayne and thanks for sharing.

      Take care and enjoy your weekend.


    • Poohgranma profile image


      6 years ago from On the edge

      Am I the lone female who spent hours enjoying this game as well much the boys did? I was a dead shot with my "steely" and never lost it but did capture many of my friends beautiful marbles. I remember having a special leather bag that I kept them in and I'd tie the strings of the pouch to a belt loop of my jeans, much like the tribal headhunters displayed their bounty ... HA HA Thanks for the wonderful memories. You brought them to life for me with your poem!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Great poem, nowadays marbles have become history. Kids are addicted to video games and ofcourse the jeans last longer.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Wayne.....When and if I begin to actually ATTEMPT to write've gone above and beyond & this has gotten out of hand!! LOL!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Gypsy Rose Lee...I too loved all the colors of the marbles...they were fascinating just to look at all together. As for the game of Jacks...write me off. That game and the paddle with the ball hooked to it with a rubber band totally evaded my physical skills! LOL! Loved the comment about getting back up off the floor...brought mind that old commercial..."Help! I've fallen and can't get up!" Thanks much. WB

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. Thanks for the memories.I remember little boys rolling marbles about and then having someone shout that they'll make someone fall. You tell it so well. Didn't play with marbles but had many of them just cause I liked those many colors. My game was jax and ball. Those little cross like pieces you threw out and then had to grab up and catch the ball at the same time. Couldn't do that know even if I wanted to and besides wouldn't be able to get up off the floor. lol

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @teaches12345...We are ever changing and it is very doubtful that marbles will make its way back. At the same time, I hope we find the same level of individual imagination that we knew. If not, our younger generations may have problems getting beyond the present without virtual assistance. Thanks much. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @writer20...Thank you!

      @fpherj48...There is no greater compliment for me that what you have said. I too would not have spent any time on poetry had it not been for my friend, ralwus...he changed my perspective on it almost without saying a word. Poety has great power because each word is selected for a function...You see that now and I am so glad that you take the time to read my writing. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      rahul0324....Thank you, thanks for taking the time to read my post. WB

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I remember sewing patches on my son's jeans due to playing on the floor with marbles and other toys. Yes, it seems that video games do not allow for such creative play as much. Great poem and thanks for sharing.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Wayne.....I don't know how you do this...but you do and you do it better than most!...You are responsible for getting me hooked on poetry, which had always been last on my list. Hmmmm, inspiring an old gal to step out of her comfort zone?.....seems like quite a talent in itself.

      All I can say is, when I find myself sitting on a front porch, watching a group of neighborhood boys play marbles, complete with action & colors &'re definitely doin it right! UP+++

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Good memories had here in a great poem. Voted up.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 

      6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Another simply beautiful one here! Reminded me of my childhood when I used to jump into the mud, play all evening and then hide from ma, to nervous to get caught!


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