Original works of poetry, credited to author Bill Watterson are featured in Calvin and Hobbes. They have appeared in both types of syndicated strips, as well as in the original content of the book collections. Oftentimes, they are illustrated.
The poems are here featured in chronological order. Unnamed poems are titled after their first known verse.
The Dad Who Lived to Regret Being Mean to His Kid
Barney's dad was really bad,
So Barney hatched a plan.
When his dad said "Eat your peas!"
Barney shouted, "No!" and ran.
Barney tricked his mean ol' dad,
And locked him in the cellar.
His mom never found out where he'd gone,
'Cause Barney didn't tell her.
There his dad spent his life,
Eating mice and gruel.
With every bite for fifty years
He was sorry he'd been cruel.
On window panes, the icy frost
Leaves feathered patterns, crissed and crossed,
But in our house, the Christmas tree
Is decorated festively
With tiny dots of colored light
That cozy up this Winter night.
Christmas songs, familiar, slow,
Play softly on the radio.
Pops and hisses from the fire
Whistle with the bells and choir.
My tiger is now fast asleep
On his back and dreaming deep.
When the fire makes him hot,
He turns to warm whatever's not.
Propped against him on the rug,
I give my friend a gentle hug.
Tomorrow's what I'm waiting for,
But I can wait a little more.
Calvin's Good Side
And who could make my heart feel woozy?
Only thou, my fair sweet Susie.
While lying on my back to make an angel in the snow,
I saw a greenish craft appear! A giant UFO!
A strange, unearthly hum it made! It hovered overhead!
And aliens were moving 'round in view ports glowing red!
I tried to run for cover, but a hook that they had low'r'd
Snagged me by my overcoat and hoisted me aboard!
Even then, I tried to fight, and though they numbered many,
I poked them in their compound eyes and pulled on their antennae!
It was no use! They dragged me to a platform, tied me up,
And wired to my cranium a fiendish suction cup!
They turned it on and current coursed across my cerebellum,
Coaxing from my brain tissue the things I wouldn't tell 'em!
All the math I ever learned, the numbers and equations,
Were mechanic'ly removed in this brain-draining operation!
My escape was an adventure. (I won't tell you what I did.)
Suffice to say, I cannot add, so ask some other kid.
Eighty Million Years Ago
Eighty million years ago,
Back in the Late Cretaceous,
Lived the great Tyrannosaur,
A fearsome and predacious
Theropod of monstrous size!
He weighed six tons or more!
He epitomized the concept of
The killer carnivore!
His jaws had teeth like railroad spikes
With fore and aft serrations!
This dental hardware was designed
For quick eviscerations!
With thrashing bites and awful roars
The T-Rex would attack!
He was, it's clear, a savage
Imagine, then, the panic caused,
The horror and the mayhem,
When this monster came to town
And ate some folks this AM!
It was a sight few will forget!
He lunged into the crowd!
The multitude became unglued!
Their screams were long and loud!
People pushed to get away!
The elderly and small
Were trampled underfoot
By the advancing human wall!
Little Tim was on an errand
With his brother Howard.
They dawdled by the candy shop
And both boys were devoured.
A camera crew from Channel three
Arrived in town to give
A live report. At this they failed,
Because they didn't live.
At last the menace ate his fill.
The big Tyrannosaur
Stomped away to parts unknown
Where he had lived before.
Tyrannosaurs, though rarely seen,
Are certainly still around.
And no one knows just where or when
The next one will be found.
Aliens on a Mission
The aliens came
From a far distant world
In a large yellow ship
That blinked as it twirled.
It rounded the moon,
And entered our sky.
We knew they had come
But we didn't know why.
Bright the next morning,
With noisy commotion,
The ship slowly moved
Out over the ocean.
It lowered a tube
And drained the whole sea
For transport back home
To their galaxy.
The tube then sucked up
The clouds and the air,
Causing no small amount
Of Earthling despair.
With nothing to breathe,
We started to die.
"Help us! Please stop!"
Was the public outcry.
A hatch opened up
And the aliens said,
"We are sorry to learn
That you soon will be dead.
But though you may find this
We prefer your extinction
To the loss of our job."
A Letter from Santa Claus
My hands were all shaky,
My face had gone pale.
A letter from Santa
Just arrived in the mail!
It was hand-written
In old-fashioned ink pen.
It was handsomely printed
And dated twelve-ten.
"Dear Calvin," it said,
"I'm writing because
This year I've repealed
My 'Naughty/Nice' laws.
So now, I urge you:
Be vulgar and crude!
I like it when children
Are boorish and rude!
Burp at the table!
Gargle your peas!
Never say 'Thank you,'
'You're welcome,' or 'Please.'
Drive everyone crazy,
I really don't care!
Act like a jerk,
I'm changing the rules!
The bad girls and boys
Will be, from now on,
The ones who get toys!
Good little kids make me sick,
It's no joke.
Sincerely, signed Santa."
...And then I awoke.
I hate being good
(Or trying to fake it).
Six days until Christmas!
I don't think I'll make it.
My Mom and Dad
My mom and my dad are not what they seem.
Their dull appearance is part of their scheme.
I know of their plans. I know their techniques.
My parents are outer space alien freaks!
They landed on Earth in spaceships humongous.
Posing as grownups, they now walk among us.
My parents deny this, but I know the truth.
They're here to enslave me and spoil my youth.
Early each morning, as the sun rises,
Mom and Dad put on their Earthling disguises.
I knew right away their masks weren't legit.
Their faces are lined -- they sag and don't fit.
The Earth's gravity makes them sluggish and slow.
They say not to run, wherever I go.
They live by the clock. They're slaves to routines.
They work the year 'round. They're almost machines.
They deny that TV and fried food have much worth.
They cannot be human. They're not of this Earth.
I cannot escape their alien gaze,
And they're warping my mind with their alien ways.
For sinister plots, this one is a gem.
They're bringing me up to turn me into them!
Another night deprived of slumber,
Hours passing without number.
My eyes trace 'round the room. I lay
Dripping sweat and now quite certain
That tonight the final curtain
Drops upon my short life's precious play.
From the darkness, by the closet
Comes a noise, much like a faucet
Makes: a madd'ning drip-drip-dripping sound.
It seems some ill-proportioned beast,
Anticipating me deceased,
Is drooling poison puddles on the ground
A can of Mace, A forty-five,
Is all I'd need to stay alive.
But no weapon lies within my sight.
Oh my gosh! A shadow's creeping.
Ominous and black, it's seeping
Slowly 'cross a moonlit square of light!
Suddenly a floorboard creak
Announces the bloodsucking freak
Is here to steal my future years away!
A sulf'rous smell now fills the room
Heralding my imm'nent doom!
A fang gleams in the dark and murky gray!
Oh, blood-red eyes and tentacles!
Throbbing, pulsing ventricles!
Mucus-oozing pores and frightful claws!
Worse, in terms of outright scariness,
Are the suckers multifarious
That grab and force you in its mighty jaws!
This disgusting aberration
Of nature needs no motivation
To devour children in their beds.
Relishing despairing moans,
It chews kids up and suck their bones,
And dissolves inside its mouth their li'l heads
I know this 'cause I read it not
Two hours ago, and then I got
The heebie-jeebies and these awful shakes.
My parents swore upon their honor
That I was safe and not a goner
I guess tomorrow they'll see their sad mistakes.
In the morning, they'll come in
And say, "What was that awful din
We heard last night? You kept us both from sleep!"
Only then will they surmise
The gruesomeness of my demise
And see that my remains are in a heap.
Dad will look at Mom and say,
"Too bad he had to go that way."
And mom will look at Dad and nod assent.
Mom will add, "Still it's fitting,
That as he was this world quitting,
He should leave another mess before he went."
They may not mind at first, I know.
They will miss me later though,
And perhaps admit that they were wrong.
As memories of me grow dim,
They'll say, "We were too strict with him.
We should have listened to him all along."
As speedily my end approaches
I bid a final "buenas noches"
To my best friend here in all the world.
Gently snoring, whiskers seeming,
To sniff at smells(he must be dreaming),
He lies snuggled in the blankets, curled
HEY! WAKE UP, YOU STUPID CRETIN!
YOU GONNA SLEEP WHILE I GET EATEN?!
Suddenly the monster knows I'm not alone!
There's an animal in bed with me!
An awful beast he did not see!
The monster never would've come if he had known!
The monster, in his consternation,
And runs and runs and runs and runs away.
Rid of the pest,
I now can rest,
Thanks to my best friend, who saved the day.