Remastered Wizard of Oz Sonnets

A few years ago I wrote sonnets for the main actors from the Wizard of Oz: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr. I’ve remastered them to post on this blog.

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A Sonnet for Judy Garland

You were gorgeous but they didn’t realize

As they made you up to be like others,

If they only had looked into your eyes

Past the girl next door and seen the mother.


You, their ugly duckling, little hunchback

Became film history for them but not

Because of them; their whips could only crack,

And break the skin.  Your wounds someday would clot.


But scars of insecurity remained

The memory of caps to cover teeth,

Breasts bound up with tape, your curves contained

Denial of the woman grown beneath.


Addictions formed to bare the acting blitz

Self-overdosage of barbiturates.

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A Sonnet for Ray Bolger


Limbered vaudevillian dancing Broadway

Down its yellow bricked road to film and fame;

Stopping to get strung up, stuffed with hay,

Discovers that he always had a brain.


A Friend to Judy Garland ‘til the end

Unrivaled master of the stage and screen

Life could never break him when it bended

Ray sold vacuums, insurance before scenes.


Though they said his legs were made of rubber

He stood tall against his bladder cancer,

Never wavering or blubbering as

The straw man might – Ray found questions answered.


He went to heaven in his straw suit clad

His heart had courage and was ironclad.

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A Sonnet for Jack Haley


A Clanking Clattering Collection of

Caliginous Junk devoid of a heart,

That proved his self more capable of love

Than those who never suffered, ripped apart.


The vaudeville song and dance comedian

Possessing both the gruff and gentle voice

To get his way, while read to children,

As fans from generations still rejoice.


Replacing Ebson with an eye infection

He tin soldiered on, not turning back

Working past a silver, cursed complexion,

Acting ‘til the day he had a heart attack.


His testimonial is still clickin’

Within the cased heart forever tickin’

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A Sonnet for Bert Lahr


Your love for Mercedes was complex,

But you had endless courage on your side

To overcome her pain, mental affects

And seek another one to lie beside.


Her, your Mildred, grew impatient waiting,

Causing you to lose two different mates,

As she married, reduced your heart to skating

On thin ice, pounding on its ribcage gate.


But, as all great love stories will tell us

You won her back despite demanding work

And travel that you needed for success

In the dust and grime, show business murk.


Though your record doesn’t show a scion –

You were never man, you were a lion.

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