Excerpt: ‘Toby’s Heart, It Beats For One’ by Uncle Toby

Last week when we finally got our hands on Uncle Toby’s sophomoric, rhyming collection of poetry with accompanying colored pencil sketches, which he penned in his early teens and keeps under lock and key in Mother’s house, we knew we had struck solid gold. Here is a poem from that volume, entitled Chaps For T-Bone Toby, which we think is a western theme but are not sure.

Chaps For T-Bone Toby

Poems by Toby S.


In springtime fields, the flowers bloom
Their colors bright, dispel the gloom
A sparrow flits from tree to tree
A joyous song, his melody

But Toby’s heart, it beats for one
A girl he loves, his precious sun
Her eyes like petals, soft and bright
Her laughter fills him with delight

He picks a daisy, pulls each petal
She loves me, loves me not, a riddle
But in his heart, he knows it’s true
His love for her forever new

So in the fields, with flowers bright
He asks her to be his delight
And in her eyes, he sees his fate
His first true love, no need to wait.


Toby’s Heart, It Beats For One This bad poem could be seen as a celebration of our shared humanity, as the beating of our hearts represents a commonality that transcends differences in race, gender, or culture, or as a call to empathy and compassion, reminding us that we all experience the same basic emotions and desires, and that we should treat each other with kindness and understanding. Uncle Toby is suggesting that we should recognize and celebrate our commonalities as human beings.

gloom..bloom The poet emphasizes the idea that the flowers have the power to chase away any sense of darkness or negativity, bringing light and hope to the world around them. Overall, the lines convey a sense of joy and optimism, highlighting the beauty and power of nature to uplift and inspire us, particularly during the spring season.

tree Rhymes with melody in line 4. This child was a rhyming freak.

flits As the present-day Toby to the mailbox to check for his unemployment check. He will often hum Chim Chim Cheer-ee or A Spoonful of Sugar as he goes. Sparrows also chirp.

girl…sun…petals A clumsy stanza with one too many images. The girl is most likely Toby’s childhood neighbor Barbara, who spurned his love in 1993.

Her laughter fills him with delight Uncle Toby loved it when Barbara giggled, or screamed. This was normally while she was in headlong flight with young Toby running behind her holding out a mess of worms or feces.

pulls each petal Mangling a flower instead of physically ravishing the person of his dreams, his sun (flower?), whose eyes are petals.

his fate…wait The young lover has found his soulmate and trapped her in a closet, and need no longer search for love. The lines convey a sense of destiny and inevitability in the context of a deep and meaningful romantic connection that was totally just Toby’s mistaken fantasy. The young Toby saw his T-Bone reflected in the petals that were the eyes of the sun goddess Barbara, and chose the steak over the girl.

Images generated on Stable Diffusion