A Giraffe Lullaby & Isolation

The prompt for Poetics: Kafka for Kids, from Amaya at dVerse, is to use one of the provided quotes by Franz Kafka as the basis for a children’s nursery rhyme. In using the line “I do not see the world at all; I invent it,” I am taking a slight departure from the nursery rhyme route to show you something I wrote several years ago.

While my children were in middle school, Craig Frazier was their music instructor. He also was a volunteer docent at the Buffalo Zoo, and he produced a CD of animal-themed music as a fundraiser for the zoo. One of the tracks is titled “A Giraffe Lullaby,” and I wrote lyrics to accompany it.

Griffis Sculpture Park, East Otto, New York

A Giraffe Lullaby

Come lay your head on my shoulder
and I will tell you
all the things you can look forward to

Now close your eyes
and dream dreams of what you want to be

The ones that you love will be there
to walk beside you
in your dreams as you slumber tonight

All of the leaves in the trees
will hang low for you


Come lay your head on my shoulder
and I will tell you
all the things you can look forward to

All of the leaves in the trees
will hang low for you
and be as many as stars in the night

The stars in the night

A few years back, I asked my daughter and her friends to sing “A Giraffe Lullaby,”
so that I could record their vocals with the music.


And now for something in a totally different direction.
At the end of the prompt, Amaya included a Kafka quote with which she could well relate.
Well, so can I, at times. So, I’ve used that quote to create a cross-out poem.


No memory,
nor experience.
I have nothing,
know less.
What I do know is beyond
me, my thoughts a wall.
The essence, incoherent.
Thinking, scarcely.

Ken Gierke

44 thoughts on “A Giraffe Lullaby & Isolation

  1. Creative how you constructed that erasure poem with such a short, albeit rich, quotation! Thank you very much for sharing your poem with your daughter and friends singing. Was that you playing piano? The melody was sweet and perfect for lulling a heavy-lidded child into dreamland. Are you from Buffalo? My mom is from the Amherst/Williamsville area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The music is from the CD created to raise donations for the zoo. I laid the vocals over it and gave the mp3 to Craig Frazier, the music teacher who wrote the instrumental.
      I grew up in Tonawanda, moved to North Tonawanda when I married in ’75, and moved to Missouri in 2012 to be with someone special. We were married in 2017, at the lighthouse in Erie, PA, which worked well for my children living in the Cleveland and Buffalo areas.


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