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Verymerryville - A Poetic Tale

Prologue

"Verymerryville" is really a social commentary disguised as a quaint poetic tale. I think it portrays an important message of happiness and contentment overcoming greed and the lure of money.

When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need.'

— Dalai Lama
Source

Verymerryville

Now let me tell you all a tale,

And explain it if you will,

About the people of a town

Called Verymerryville.


The townsfolk all were happy,

They had no cares or woes.

All they needed was provided,

Nowhere else they had to go.


The Mayor's name was McHappy

And he loved his little town.

His generous caring nature

In fact, gained world renown.

Source

No money lined rich pockets

In Verymerryville,

For the only currency people had

Were needs that they could fill.


The council got together,

And the wise old Mayor decreed

That every resident be trained

In a skill the town would need.


Even Peggy Littlefoot

Who was born without big toes,

Could spin the most amazing yarn

That made all the people's clothes.

The town was self-sufficient,

And provided for itself.

It used renewables for fuel,

And local products lined the shelf.


Because no-one had money

There was no theft or crime.

Anything or service needed

Could be bartered with your time.


Unfortunately time moves on,

And sometimes much too fast.

Mayor McHappy was old and Ill,

The time came for him to pass.

Source

The council was thrown in a spin,

A leader they must choose.

But that was easier said than done,

McHappy had big shoes.


Now greed is never far away

And it raised its ugly head,

The moment that it realized

The famous Mayor was dead.


One day a salesman came to town

Peddling goods they'd never seen,

And the Verymerryvillians,

Their wide-eyes brightly beamed.

But the people had no money

To buy these wordly goods.

They tried to barter services,

Fruit, vegetables, and wood.


And the salesman wouldn't have it,

He'd only deal in cash,

So the council held a meeting,

Their decision was quite rash.


They agreed that Verymerryville

Would give real currency a try.

The salesman had convinced them,

He sold things they had to buy.

He told them about money,

Its advantages and such,

And he gave the people credit

Until they had too much.


The salesman made his fortune,

Left the townsfolk all in debt.

His evil plan was now in place,

But he wasn't finished yet.


He offered to become the Mayor,

And the council had no choice,

For now they were financial slaves

And no longer had a voice.

So "Dollar Bill" became the Mayor,

It really was a shame,

For the town of Verymerryville

Would never be the same.


While the Mayor's fortune multiplied

All the people were in debt.

When gambling was introduced

Their dependence was now set.


But all were not as gullible

As Dollar Bill had thought.

They didn't want their town destroyed

So against the Mayor they fought.

Contentment consists not in adding more fuel, but in taking away some fire.

— Thomas Fuller

A rebellion started in the streets,

The city bank was raised,

The new Mayor's residence was burned,

McHappy's name was praised.


The bonfire burnt for days on end,

All the money used as fuel.

Dollar Bill fled from the town,

And those he took for fools.


The people went back to old ways,

Bartering for their needs.

The town of Verymerryville,

Now a garden free of weeds.

Source

© 2016 John Hansen

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Comments 64 comments

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 2 months ago from Oklahoma

There's more to life than the almighty dollar.

As usual, very insightful.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you, Larry. You were quick off the mark this time. Once you are reliant on the dollar it is difficult to give that up.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois

First, let me say that the first picture is so serene and happy. I want to live there! Your story / rhyme is so cleverly worded and it conveys a wonderful message. I've read about the time when bartering was practiced and people existed well. That old credit card is evil.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 months ago

This is fantastic, John, and what truths to behold! Our old pioneers practiced bartering, as you Australians probably did, and it was a workable system. Few people went hungry and homelessness was unheard of. Your poetry is great as well as your thoughts. I love your opening statement by the Dalai Lama and your photos. BTW, bartering in the U.S.A. is taxable under our income tax laws. Isn't that ridiculous? How about in your country?


sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 months ago from Norfolk

Nice one Jodah

I believe it is poetry day today so I thought I just had to stop by to say I enjoyed your contribution to this special day.


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

A very beautiful tale with a great message. People need to be content with whatever they have for happiness in life. As you told, greed makes to long for more with no stop at all. There are so many tales from which people should learn those good messages inherent in them and practice them so as to lead a happy and peaceful life.

Thanks, John, for sharing this wonderful tale in such nice lines. The images and video are also very appealing.


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 2 months ago from United States

I liked your town and its people were great. If this was true then we would never have to worry again about what tomorrow might bring. Very imaginative and what a grand utopia.Well done, my friend. whonu


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

Wonderful read. You story in poem is a message we all need to hear.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

I won't lie to you. I wish we had a little more money. Still, I totally agree with the spirit of this poetic tale and, of course, it is exquisitely written.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello John, I am not sure Henry Hazlitt of Economics in One Lesson, would agree but it is still a nice thought. Debt has trapped almost the entire population here. I sure could not have gotten away with not working for ten years had I been in debt at the start of the journey. Great poem. I liked the accompanying artwork. And of course Bill is right, a little more money would be OK.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Welcome to Verymerryville, Ruby. Oh, if life could be so simple. Glad you enjoyed this tale.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi MizB. Yes, our old pioneers bartered also, and there are small pockets of the community that still do. My wife and I used to be part of a "LETS" group where everyone bartered for points that they could exchange for other goods and services. I think it was suppose to be taxed but hard to police.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I didn't know it was Poetry Day, Sally, so thanks for making me aware. It is always a pleasure to have you drop by one of my hubs though.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for the great comment, Venkat. Glad you enjoyed the poetry, images and video. It is a pity the world doesn't look for the simpler solutions to its problems.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I do wish this town existed, Whonu. I could be happy there.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks, Lori. Yes, I do feel this message is important. Unfortunately the world just wants more more more.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Living in this world, Bill, I wish we had a bit more money too. But it,s good to dream.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Mike, your economics teacher would have given me a fail for even thinking like this. You are right that debt has tracked most of the population..same here too. Glad you liked the d'Arcy W Doyle artwork.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 months ago from LOS ANGELES

This poem reminds me of the scripture -proverbs 22:7) The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender. I had to learn this lesson the hard way with credit card debt. I was blinded by greed swiping that card as if the money was free. All was good until I got in financial troubles and the credit card bills became a burden, my blessing turned into one of my worst nightmare when I was hounded by creditors. Don't get me wrong good credit is important but you must be careful not to be greedy because you can be rich and employed today and broke and poor tomorrow.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I like this! It reminds me of some of Dr. Suess's themes, and the rhythm and rhyme make it fun to read


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Dana, thankyou for sharing your unfortunate experience. We need to learn from our mistakes, don't we? Yes, Provrbs 22.7 has a very similar message.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you enjoyed this, Rebecca. I don't mind being compared to Dr Seuss in the least. His books were an inspiration to me as a child.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 months ago from southern USA

Love this poem so much, John! You have your creative juices flowing here to tell such a tale with a great message for all. I agree with Rebecca, in that I was reminded of Dr. Suess' rhymes. I live in a very small town now and love it. I was shocked when I went to a hair place to have my hair cut and everyone knew everyone and she did such a great job and only charged me $10.00! I felt so guilty about the low cost I just gave her a $20.00 because she styled it and all. I was so stunned that I repeated it outloud $10.00!!! LOL Just in the very next city about 7 miles away you can get a cut for $15.00. But in the big city an hour away it will cost you at least $35.00 to $.50.00 if they blow dry it and style it. Nevermind color and perms go on up into the hundreds. So, my point in all of that is that in a small town you get great service at a low price and they don't think it's low but fair.

Perfect choice of artwork too. As I get older, I realize I don't need so much "stuff" and I am happy too LOL.

Blessings


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi, Theresa. It is good to have you read this tale and enjoy the message. It is funny that in the big city where there is lots of competition the prices are high, but in the small town where there is little competition they charge less because they don't want to rip people off and they rely on repeat business. Glad you liked the artwork, and it reminded you of Dr Seuss too.


word55 profile image

word55 2 months ago from Chicago

Very interesting! A happy beginning and happy ending! I loved it! Way to go John...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi there. Al. Thanks for reading this tale. Glad you loved it.


Glenis Rix profile image

Glenis Rix 2 months ago from UK

Oh, dreams of an ideal world. Sound like Verymerryville is a commune


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

It does sound a bit like an alternative lifestyle commune, doesn't it Glenis.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 months ago from Riga, Latvia

A most delightful tale. That is a town I would enjoy living in. My best and most peaceful days are days spent at home and not spending a dime.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 months ago from New Delhi, India

Wonderful poem and beautiful message for everyone!

I loved your town and it's beautiful people. Sometimes I really wish I lived in such a place.

As always you excel in weaving the words into an excellent poem!

Thank you!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 months ago from london

Nice poem, kind of like the rhythm of William Tell. Greed, a big one and yes, we need the right leaders or things will go horribly wrong. Nice tale.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 months ago from TEXAS

So well done, John. If I may be honest, I love every bit of it, except the destructive rebellion. Not sure how else it could be dealt with at that point and am VERY happy for the outcome, that it turned out well and good and just order was restored. But do hope the main lesson is to not give in to the one's desires and an evil force in the first place so that violence is needed to set it right.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Rasma. It is my kind of town too, and I too enjoy days best when I can sit at home writing, rather than spending


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Chitrangada. Thank you for visiting Verymerryville. I am glad you enjoyed your stay, and thank you for your kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Manatita, the right leader can make or break a town or country. We need one who rules with compassion and love of his fellow man, not blinded by dollar signs and the profits of rich corporations.


Faith- 2 months ago

Absolutely Fantastic and shows a great awareness of our current days woes. Enjoyed wondrously and fully. Keep it up. your poems demonstrate very well the worth of Good Morals.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you, Faith. That kind comment is much appreciated. I guess this poem is rather like a parable, isn't it?


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I love your poem and your message, John. The poem is a great social commentary and a cautionary tale as well.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Alicia. I'm glad I was able to convey the message I wanted successfully.


annart profile image

annart 2 months ago from SW England

Lovely pics! And you tell the tale so well. It was entertaining, thought provoking and had a happy ending. Would that life was always so! Well done, John.

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi, Ann, good to see you. By your comment I guess this ticked all the boxes. Thank you, and who doesn't love a happy ending?


annart profile image

annart 2 months ago from SW England

Certainly did. I don't like to miss any of your hubs so I'm still trying to read older ones too.

Who indeed! Some poor sad folk I suppose but not many! Looking forward to catching up on your inspiring hubs.

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Cheers, Ann. I hope the move went well and you now have time to write more fantastic hubs.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 months ago from Victoria, Australia

What a delightful way to say it! Great poem and I love your choice of images, too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you, Blossom. Glad you enjoyed this.


annart profile image

annart 2 months ago from SW England

Not moved yet, still doing up the other property. It might take a while as it's extensive work but it will be great when it's finished, as they say! We're just plodding slowly and trying not to wear ourselves out. 3 weeks in France gave us a good breathing space so now it's onward and upward!

Ann


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Excellent expression of a very honest principle. Important stuff to ponder. I like how your poetry reads, a nice rhythm.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Eric, you get your message across very effectively in your Sunday sermons, whereas my soap box or pulpit is through poetry. Thanks for reading and kind comment.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 months ago from Texas

I've been busy so I haven't read many hubs lately, especially this weekend since I was in a wedding. But this one is brilliant and worth the read any time! I am impressed. You have a true gift. Poetic prose and story telling. . .songs. . .You are so versatile.

By the way, if you care to know, the Eric Church song about his home town is about a break up, but it fits your poem well. I like your perspective on it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Well, I can't ask for a better comment than that, Shanmarie. So, I appreciate that deeply. I had problems finding a song I felt suitable to include on this. I actually had decided on another but came across the Eric Church one and liked it. Even if the subject of the song is about a breakup (I guess the town had a breakup with the new mayor) I wanted to include it, and the name fit well.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 8 weeks ago from The Caribbean

Great message, Jodah. A Bible quote comes to mind: "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Thanks for the reminder so wonderfully penned in this poetic commentary.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

MsDora, thank you for reading and sharing that very appropriate Bible quote.


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 8 weeks ago from New England

Great poem, Jodah. Love the story, illustration and music. Would love to live in Verymerryville. ~:0) If the market falls just before the election, I think many citizens might strongly consider this tale an allegory and inspiration for action!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Seafarer Mama, thanks for that generous comment. Yes, I would love to live in Verymerryvile too, and the way this election is shaping up nothing would surprise me. It very well could become an allegory.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 8 weeks ago from Dubai

A great poem with an important message. Glad people went back to their old ways, they are the best.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes, Vellur. I often think the old ways are the best. Not spoilt by commercialism.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 7 weeks ago

Oh John, this is beautiful, and what a lesson against the lust for money, but it is the "love of money" that is the root of all evil.

I am glad this has been published on LetterPile.

Blessings my friend


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for that lovely comment, Shyron. It is greatly appreciated. Yes, money is the "root of all evil" as they say.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 7 weeks ago from Central Florida

I want to move to Verymerryville! I've always said whoever invented money was a real ---hole.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Shauna. I'll be one of your neighbors.


norlawrence 6 weeks ago

Thanks for the great poem. The pictures are also great. Thanks for sharing it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading Norma, and for the kind comment. Glad you liked it.


Lawrence Hebb 5 weeks ago

I heard John D Rockefeller was once asked "how much money is enough?"

His reply was "just $1 more!"

Great poem, and oh for such a place!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

That saying is so true for many people, and is probably how many millionaires got to be where they are.. always wanting that one dollar more. Thanks for reading, Lawrence.

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    Jodah profile image

    John Hansen (Jodah)699 Followers
    277 Articles

    John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.



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