Updated date:

The Thunderbolt Kid, a Poem

John is a freelance writer, ghost-writer, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing

The Thunderbolt Kid

The Thunderbolt Kid

The Thunderbolt Kid

Cody McGee was no ordinary child,

He was filled with a drive that is rare,

To help anyone who appeared in distress,

Risk his life with scarcely a care.

He greeted each day with vigour and vim,

Head down he would charge straight ahead.

Nothing deterred Cody from his goals,

He became more determined instead.

A battered old jersey his favourite attire,

But what made it simply the best

Was the stunning thunderbolt of gold

Embroided across the chest.

Young Cody was known for his jersey

He wore it in all that he did,

So, the nickname he gained not surprising,

They called him “The Thunderbolt Kid.”

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Extreme selflessness was his superpower

But no mask or cape did he need,

For, The Thunderbolt Kid was well known in his town,

A real superhero indeed.

When someone was bullied he'd rush to their aid,

They'd cry, "It's The Thunderbolt Kid!"

Cody would just put his hands on his hips,

The bully with haste having fled.

"My dog has gone missing!" " My cat's up a tree!"

"My assignment is long overdue."

The Thunderbolt Kid will be there in a flash,

There was nothing that he wouldn't do.

It doesn't take much, you don't need superpowers,

Just a simple desire to do good.

You too can be like The Thunderbolt Kid,

And if you think not, then you should!

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

Off the Shelf

Well. it's been a while but I decided to resume my Off the Shelf series. For those who don't know already this is where I choose a book from my bookshelves and use the title as inspiration for a poem or article.

This time I chose a book called The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. This is a fun-filled memoir of Bill's time as a kid growing up in 1950's America. I certainly enjoyed the read and I'm sure many of you will too, as well as relate. I find Bill’s writing to be tongue in cheek, with sometimes dry, easy flowing humour that I just love.

I was fortunate to source my copy of the book from a second hand store for the bargain price of $2.00. Happy days!

Bill Bryson says about this memoir on the back cover, “Growing up was easy. It required no thought or effort on my part. It was going to happen anyway. So what follows isn’t terribly eventful, I’m afraid. And yet it was by a very large margin the most fearful, thrilling, interesting, instructive, eye-popping, lustful, eager, troubled, untroubled, confused, serene and unnerving time of my life. Coincidentally, it was all those things for America, too.”

© 2019 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 14, 2020:

Thank you for reading this Niks. I am glad you found te poem an enjoyable read, and liked the video too.

Niks from India on July 14, 2020:

You are highly creative John. I liked the poem as well as the video. I'm Impressed by the Thunderbolt Kid.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 08, 2019:

Hey, Chris. Thank you for reading this and for the kind comment. So glad you are enjoying the series.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on May 07, 2019:

John, Keep up the "Off the Shelf" series. That was good. You are such a good writer. Keep entertaining us.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 03, 2019:

My bookshelves are bottomless (or seem so) Mike. I am a book addict, so I can't stop picking up more every time I go to a second-hand shop. It does give me plenty of material for inspiration. Yes, this was fun to write, glad you enjoyed reading.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on May 03, 2019:

Hello John - This was an enjoyable piece of writing. You had fun writing it I am sure. We had fun reading it. You have one heck of an inspirational book shelve.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 26, 2019:

Thanks you Brother Sean! What more can I say? Your comments alone always inspire me.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on April 26, 2019:

"Extreme selflessness was his superpower."

What can I say more, my dear Brother? You said it all with a line!

Thank you for being you!

I send you my Love!


John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 22, 2019:

Yes Dana, most superheroes do set good examples and stand up for what is right. Some go overboard though. We can all be superheroes if we try.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on April 22, 2019:

What I like about superhero's is that they set good examples and morals for our youth such as, standing up to bullies and justice. Those are seeds being planted for a strong foundation.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 22, 2019:

Thank you MsDora. I always try to convey a message or lesson in my poetry and hope it is a pleasant read. Glad you enjoyed this.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 22, 2019:

Again, the moral of the story is good for all ages and for all times. Excellent poetry teaching lessons we all need. Thanks!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 19, 2019:

Hi Li-Jen. No we don’t need a cape or even superpowers. We just need to do what’s right.

Li-Jen Hew on April 19, 2019:

The thunderbolt kid, a simple and meaningful poem with positive vibes. You explain that we don't need a cape to save the day. Thanks for the kind reminder.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 19, 2019:

That’s a nice thing to say Flourish, but I do always strive to improve so I hope I am getting better with practice.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 19, 2019:

Hi MizB, yes I can relate to a lot to Bill’s childhood too even though I grew up in a different country. Glad you enjoyed the poem too. Thank you for commenting, as always.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 19, 2019:

I swear I think you’re getting better! Well done!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 19, 2019:

Sounds like Bill Bryson grew up in my day. Like it or not, growing up happened anyway. Great poem, John. You have some good thoughts here. As always your writing is great, my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 19, 2019:

Thanks Liz. I have so many books but it is not always easy to choose a book title that i feel is suitable, or at least my muse does.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 19, 2019:

Thank you Shauna. I appreciate that comment and glad you found the poem uplifting. Yes, the book is a good read.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 19, 2019:

Great idea for inspiration from a book title. Lovely thought-provoking poem and an interesting book review too.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 19, 2019:

John, I love your poem. It's uplifting and happy, a much needed break from the collective gripes, groans, and bemoans of our world.

The book that inspired this fun poem sounds like a really good read.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 19, 2019:

Yes, you are right Lorna. I called on my childhood for this one. We certainly do need more Thunderbolt Kids today. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lorna Lamon on April 19, 2019:

There is a real sense of childhood hero's about this poem John and its message is just as important today, in a world where we need a few more Thunderbolt Kids.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 18, 2019:

Such a wise comment, PoetikalyAnointed. Yes, we certainly need to turn that thinking around and not be afraid to be “the good guy” and go out of our comfort zone to help others.

PoetikalyAnointed on April 18, 2019:

Hi John,

I dig the poem very much and I agree with the ending. We can all be a "superhero" on some level, without the hoods, costumes and shades.

I think most people want and have the ability to do good but society does not encourage it. We're like little rats in a maze, forced fend for ourselves to reach the finish line, which breeds selfishness. There's penalities of being the "good guy" these days

Gotta reverse this thinking...

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 18, 2019:

Thank you, Ruby. Yes, when looking for inspiration I sometimes use song titles,more get an idea from something I have seen on TV, but most often recently I turn to my bookshelves..I have so many books I’ll never run out of material. You should try it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 18, 2019:

Glad this book appeals to you Linda. Thanks for sharing Phoenix Jones, I will check him out for sure.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 18, 2019:

Hi Rinita, great to see you. Yes, it has been a while. I was hoping all was ok with you. It is all good here. I am glad to hear you also have this book on your shelf, and yes we all need to be more like Cody. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 18, 2019:

Hi Harish, yes you and me both. I also l used to love playing the hero or super hero as a child as well. Thank you for your great comment.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 18, 2019:

I find that you selecting a book from your shelf and writing a poem from it is intriguing.. Hum I might try doing that too. I loved yours John.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on April 18, 2019:

OK, I need to find a copy of this book. I'm glad you selected this one from the shelf. In my part of the world, we also had a real-life superhero. Do a Google search on Phoenix Jones.

Rinita Sen on April 18, 2019:

I had to rush to this poem on seeing the title. Finally a book that's common to our shelves. We could all try to be a little bit more like Cody, which was the point of your illustrative poem.

Been a while, John. I am yet to catch up with some of your other recent writes. Hope all's been well with you.

Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on April 18, 2019:

Wow John , what a beautiful poem and what a boy Cody ! In my childhood , I used to admire and emulate boys like Cody. We badly need such heroes. Very enjoyable read ! Thank you dear friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 18, 2019:

Hi Elijah, well apart from the name The Thunderbolt Kid and the jersey the poem is only very loosely based on anything in the book, but it is certainly worth reading. Cheers.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on April 18, 2019:

Now, Bill, I shall have to get Bill Bryson's to see what inspired such of an exquisite work to heroism. It is quite an interesting interpretation of what you gleaned from Bryson's memoirs. Thanks for sharing it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 18, 2019:

Yes, Pamela. I don't remember much of the 50s but 60s life was much simpler too. Thank you for reading and enjoying my poetry.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 18, 2019:

Live seemed so simple in the 1950s. The Thunderfolt Kid is a great name and I truly enjoyed your poetry.

Related Articles