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Frans Tooten


Tilburg, Netherlands

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The Reaper


Frans Tooten

He wasn't born, he will not die
Most times his gait is slow
Never was caught telling a lie
He's the ruler of down below

Once in a while he'll make speed
Working like a maddened dog
Going after the broken reed
Then he's behaving like a hog

But most often his ways are fine
Treading lightly through the world
Ticking and picking along the line
The tall and small, straight and curled

So when you'll meet him on a day
Don't be coarse nor harsh to him
Do not think he's a man astray
Coming to you just out of a whim

He's a reaper proud of his job
Please be polite, even make a bow
He didn't come to you to rob
No, he's there to let others grow

The Ballad of Jim and Bob


Frans Tooten

Slowly they walked on the open land
A shepherd and five sheep, led by his hand
Four were white, white as the shepherd's beard
The fifth was black, but none called this weird

Who wasn't there, being dead like a log
Was Bobby, the speckled sheep's dog
Three days before Bobby had died
Around his grave all six had cried

Sad tears had splashed onto Bobby's grave
He had been such fun, merry and brave
But it was Jim who cried most, even in his sleep
Bobby's most trusted friend, the ink-black sheep

Bobby's now in heaven, the shepherd had said
He's laughing again, till his eyes are red
So now wipe your tears and be a bit more clever
It's getting late and we can't stay here forever

And on they went, over many acres of land
Without Bobby who had counted them by hand
Now that was the shepherd's task, ten times on a row
But missing merry Bobby was Jim's most heavy blow

Where's heaven? he asked one day, at a stop to slake
Their thirst at the lonely shore of a big dark lake
The shepherd pointed up and then to the lake's far end
Said: once you'll see him again, when you're old and bent

After you've died you again will hear him bark
Maybe even there, at the lake's far end, you mark?
But now we have to go, without sleep you'll be too slim
They all went on, all four of the sheep, except Jim

He looked over the water, and thought deep and slow
And after a long time thinking he said: I will go
I'll walk around the lake and I will find my friend
Dear Bobby whom I loved so long, and away he went

Jim started to walk, all around the lake's long shore
Not counting the days, not feeling the rain starting to pour
He stopped when at the other side of the lake he came
And started to cry loudly a dozen times Bobby's name

>From the bushes came a rustling and Jim kept still
But when he saw who it was he lost his own will
It wasn't his dear Bobby, the speckled sheep's dog
No! it was a wolf, its jaws foaming, like a real rogue

It's you I want, the terrible beast cried out loud
I haven't eaten for days and now your time is out
A tender leg of mutton, that will be a big feast
But Jim said: Please, may I ask one thing at least?

Okay, the wolf roared, one minute, that long I can wait
Because my hunger is huge and I want sheep on my plate
Even as it's black and not white as all the others
It's the meat that counts, not colour that bothers

So put your question fast, my time is very short
My stomach now is the boss, my stomach is the Lord
One question you're allowed, not two, nor five nor seven
Is this, Jim asked shudderingly, perhaps maybe the heaven?

The wolf started laughing and hickuping and to shake
Jim stepped backwards carefully, closer to the lake
Heaven! the wolf roared, and fell laughing to the ground
Only for me that is, with mutton which will make me sound

Jim stepped into the water, till it almost reached his top
So, he asked then, you're a wolf and your name is not Bob
Bob! the wolf laughed, what a funny kind of name
Stop that mad joking, before I start to shame

He scrambled up and then he got his biggest fright
Saw that Jim had disappeared and his stomach felt tight
Far in the lake Jim swam from the wolf away
Hey! the wolf cried, come back here, and stay

But Jim swam on and at the shore the wolf did linger
Wanting to fetch Jim, but instead moving no finger
But his stomach was the boss, so into the lake he did jump
Forgetting he couldn't swim, for that he was too dumb

Help me! he started to cry, with a stifled voice
I never learned to swim, I never had a choice
Help me! dear sheep, please help me out and I will stop
To be a wolf and from then on you may call me Bob

Jim heard him calling and quickly turned around
Quiet, he cried loudly, calm down and I'll be bound
To you, but only if you promise one important thing
I'll swim you to the other side, fast like on a wing

Anything! the wolf cried, anything what's in your will
Right, the sheep said calmly, and now you'll be deadstill
You may climb my back and the promise you'll keep
Never to plunder again and never to steal a sheep

You may come with me and your name will be Bob
And your coat will be speckled, so don't sob
>From now on you care for sheep, and don't steal
And you'll be my friend, not for one day but real

I swear, the wolf said, and mounted Jim's fleece
Who swam over the lake, where his friends, out of peace
Waited together, standing frigthened and dazed
Here I am, Jim said, I have come back in a haste

This is Bob, he nodded, looks like a wolf and very brave
I have rescued him lately out of a very high wave
He will be our friend, for now and for ever
Just speckle that grey coat and he'll look clever

And he'll be just like Bobby, that dog from the past
Only more teeth, but you'll get used to that fast
So they took a brush and a big can full of paint
And speckled the wolf till he looked no more quaint

>From that day on the wolf became their very best lad
Nothing they would say to him ever made him mad
He always stayed with them and never looked grim
But the dearest to him of all was black coated Jim.

The Ballad of Jim and Bob (Sequel)


Frans Tooten

From then on it was Bob who was counting to five
Four white sheep and one black without any strife
Day after day they went, sometimes dry, sometimes wet
One morning he was counting: four and a sheep's head

All had been sleeping, as deeply as an old cat
Nothing I did hear, Bob cried loudly like mad
What vile mean beast has cornered me that tight?
Swallowing one whole sheep, in just one night?

Except the head, Jim said softly behind his hand
So obviously it was an animal of a higher stand
Maybe it has been a fox, or a cat or even a dog
He looked at Bob, who showed his teeth like a cog

The wolf looked fiercely back, straight like a ridge
I will bury it over there, he said, under that bridge
He took a bit in the head, carrying it away on his own
>From beneath the bridge came cracking of sheep's bone

The others were too much overcome by sorrow and pain
The shepherd led them to a stream, softly using his cane
Where some time later Bob joined, mad like hell
Crying: tonight I'll beat up that twerp with a yell

When he will return tonight to devour a second sheep
I surely will smash his foul body into a big heap
I will tear him apart, that I can tell you for sure
I will have him for it, I'll do him in without a cure

His bowels I'll stuff through his throat while I chant
Tear off his legs, skin him and wipe him from the land
Cut off the head, which I will put on a very high pole
Stop! the shepherd cried, I'll take watch, that's my role

And that was what he did, even as he was very tired
So after a while his eyes closed, the camp wasn't wired
Silence in the camp, the moon was shining round
At sunrise a shrieking cry was the first sound

All jumped up and all started in shock to stare
At the ground, at a little tail, woolly and fair
Now not a sheep's head, not even a drop of blood
Five bowed their heads, all hope had been cut

Jim stealthily looked up, to the end of the line
Seeing Bob, his speckles sparkling in the sunshine
His yellow eyes, flashing from left to the right
The rest of his body, now being completely tight

I'm the one to blame, said the shepherd, I fell asleep
No, I am, mumbled black Jim, I'm to blame very deep
No one heard his words, sadness makes you still
And fear for the night, breaking your will

So they moved away, over the field to its rim
Better to the lake, had been the proposal of Jim
There's a little island, all water around at that
You won't see no one there, no fox, dog nor cat

Four in ink-black water, taking a long long swim
And just like the first time, Bob on the back of Jim
After arrival they looked with eyes that shone
Green grass everywhere, other animals none

A paradise full of colours, no fighting, no strife
Missing only, the shepherd thought, is a wife
That night they were sleeping quietly in peace
The next morning cries of sorrow above the fleece

Two sheep were left, one of them black, one white
And Bob and a shepherd, his chest feeling tight
A track to the riverbank, wide like a sheep
Four hooves were floating on the water deep

So they built hovels, for everyone his own
With strong doors, making them safely alone
Then they went to bed, sleeping on a stack
That morning only one sheep, colour black

A sheep, a shepherd, a wolf, his name is Bob
A paradise of despair, three hovels and a sob
Another day more and there were only two
Goodbye, said Jim, I'm going without you

He came to the water, black like his fleece
Not without me, Bob cried, showing his teeth
He jumped onto Jim's back, urging him to speed
Taking him to the other bank between the reed

But the wolf was heavy, more heavy than before
Jim felt despair, no more friends, no more lore
Swimming became difficult, the bottom called out
Just a last stroke, one more tear and a shout

Hey! what's that? Bob cried out very loud
And he sank down, seeing only Jim's snout
Other words bubbled up, being big and slow
The lake closed above the wolf's last show

Quiet on the water, a lake without a frog
A head was floating, bitten off by a rogue
A black head swaying, big eyes staring all alone
Later and a bit farther, popping up a picked bone

So this then was the story, of wolf and of sheep
An impossible friendship, either awake or asleep
The oath of a wolf is like a cursing in the hell
Nobody will hear it, even when sounded like a yell.

Christian Sundae


Frans Tooten

Lying in my Sunday bed
I wait for an empty day
Whirling colors in my head
But outside it still looks grey

Drinking coffee as a start
Once a week a holiday
Revving up my engine's heart
But outside it still looks grey

Weaving like a spider's king
A web of colorful play
Roaring on my Honda's wing
But inside it still looks grey

Coming to a desperate stop
I order the last Sundae
Seeing how the colors slop
But inside it still looks grey

Speeding through autumn's land
Nature close at hand



Frans Tooten

I took that road with just one glance
Really didn't have no choice
Started my tour with that special prance
Hoping, knowing, I would rejoice

It was a journey with at the end
The vistas out of my dreams
Round and round I went ev'ry bend
Sure of a top, where it gleams

It was a journey of roundabouts
A trip to dreamed of delights
Outcome certain, with no doubts
Offering me the greatest heights

Heights I got, mark my word
Even half-way, far below the top
Climbing sometimes did hurt
But after all I was out to crop

When it was done, over and out
Looking down I lost my nerves
Clasped my heart, stifled a shout
Stricken by those beautiful curves



Frans Tooten

Rumbling's still far away
Muttering's in my heart
No one's here for a slay
No one with whom to start

Madness rings in my ears
Goliath starts to rise
Where is the one who bears
The land of thousand lies?

Walking with thund'ring feet
Mowing arms all around
A heart at bursting speed
A mind that went to ground

Decibel's in the sky
My goddess and my wench
She will end the big lie
The tool of my revenge

The clap comes from behind
Feels like never so strong
It renders me stark blind
Decibel, you've been wrong

Lightning, thunder and rain
There's one who will be slain



Frans Tooten

You are so different, and yet the same
But similar only on a lower scale
We consider you as the fairest game
Not knowing about the impending gale

Just like the hunter with his prey
We study you from the very start
If a competitor comes in the way
The answer will be tough and hard

You flee and stop and flee again
Looking back if the dance goes on
You know to be hunted for the pen
You seem to say: 'when we're done?'

When it's over taming can begin
Domestication it is often called
We don't doubt that we will win
The great hunter who has you walled

In a den with the name of 'Our Rest'
Containing a bed, a stove and a pan
Enough utensils for you to take behest
And for us, hunters, to say: 'woe man'.

We see you and we lust for you
Glance, prance and take a chance
Even kneel, to kiss you shoe
Asking you to grant that dance



Frans Tooten

Never I grew up like any other child
Suddenly I was different from all the rest
They told me my strength would be my zest
And I could expect wonders to be piled
Upon my fragile heart, my trembling shoulders
My parents too would benefit my ways
Love me more for the rest of my days
Guide me, protect me, be my best beholders
So I did what I do and with great success
Thousands, millions spelled down my name
I shivered, but was told it was all in the game
Had to accept it, even as my life was a mess
Wonders I got, beyond all of my dreams
A palace, estate, for my parents and me
Cars and men whom I often wanted to flee
Two kids that I don't understand as it seems
Thousands, millions spelled down my name
I got what I was promised, suddenly and fast
But my mind often wanders back to the past
With just my parents who didn't call me Fame

Summer Rose


Frans Tooten

Yesterday I felt rusty
I had a lonely mood
Now I feel more than lusty
A pirate at his loot

You told me not to worry
All will be going well
Glad I didn't hurry
'Cause then I'd be in hell

You lifted all my sorrows
't Was like a heaven's flash
Don't fret about tomorrows
You said, and don't be rash

I listened to your sayings
Still ringing in my head
And so I got the payings
Not money, you instead

You roused me from a slumber
't Was lasting for a year
Put on a lot of lumber
Not knowing how to steer

Just smiling and then winking
My mood turned upside down
't Was you who did the linking
Your name will be a noun

I took you to my condo
Stunned by the sheerest luck
You said you liked the rondo
We've time enough to hug

At last when silence entered
You stood and took my hand
I felt your love be centered
I went to Magic Land

Auburn hair on my pillow
Fragrant smell in my nose
Arms of a slender willow
Mouth of a summer rose

The Dice Man


Frans Tooten

Born by accident, lives by chance
Picks his ways with the fortune lance
Good luck is not an ending word
It's just a sigh, too often heard

He won a woman, not the first
But one without the money thirst
He got her love and lost his heart
He promised her a whole new start

He broke with dice and history
Got what he craved for: mystery
But time started its grinding work
Common shadows came fast to lurk

Now, when you want to make a bet
Visit the rouge et noir roulette
Perhaps you'll see this man, so smart
With a big smile, but with no heart

He's the dice man, king of the stake
Leaves broken purses in his wake



Frans Tooten

From the moment we moved straight
The turning point in mother earth
She was born, found her palate
Got at once that fascinating girth

It took some time to find her ways
Bones and plants, and then the stars
Most often the wizards got all nays
Or by sheer luck found common pars

Once in a time someone has luck
Hitting on the knowledge stone
Tells what he knows to the ruck
If heís lucky itíll be a short groan

ĎCause She lives in nowhere land
Home of the forgotten slaves
There she takes her all-time stand
Itís there she breaks the braves

If you want to know her games
If you wish to touch her heart
Join the blind and join the lames
She may give you just one part



Frans Tooten

When there was Nothingness in space
Only some particles, floating around
Not making just the slightest sound
Hovering silence, like before a race

And then, two met of that silent gang
Said the one: you like a mighty show?
The other one: tell me, letís have a go
They clashed, gave birth to Big Bang

>From then on it was silenceís doom
Explode, erode, anode and cathode
A most violent lot it was that abode
Merging and purging, only to groom

The start of the casting reaction troop
Water, land, as well as air and fire
In the beginning it seemed to be dire
But look what came out of the tube

Void turned into a teeming sphere
Life is bursting from down and up
Even death is a feast, for the grub
Life is running in its highest gear



Frans Tooten

I saw her on a common day
Just in a corner of lost time
Gave her a glance, a smile
She looked back, no way

I went on, my heart on fire
Trying to pick up my guts
Hesitated, meditated
Damn, why always that wire

Knew I just had one chance
So I turned, made my way
Hi, Iím Alfred, did you know
Please, donít think Iíll prance

She laughed at me, golden face
Black hair, eyes so big
Lips trembing, at least I thought
Said: donít expect to find grace

I did not find it, thatís for sure
We met and then we merged
She wasnít centerfold on earth
But oh God, how she was pure



Frans Tooten

Sixty-one is what I will get
Not one feast more in store
Finally in the Reaperís net
Was it fun or call it a bore?

Highlights I got, really true
Marriage, kids, even a boss
Didnít come out of the blue
Neither came by asian joss

Call this great goes too far
Many more went that way
Searching for that one star
In my life, which lets me pay

Turns the scales to my side
Gives my life some worth
I know who made it bright
Eighteen you gave me mirth

My last thoughts are for you
Your scent I remember well
Ever stays with me, it will do
Even if I would be sent to hell



Frans Tooten

Listen to me, listen carefully and well
Yes, you there too, and you and you
Donít go away, listen and I will tell
How much I hate you, and always will

>From when I was born I hated you all
My mother, father, the whole shebang
With my first tooth Iíve bitten the ball
Of my elder brother, that whining turd

As a teen I started to hate the other half
Those tarty patsies, slitty slackhands
Just giggling, snickering, not a real laugh
>From the belly, Ďcause it has no more room

And as an adult it even became worse
I moved to the desert, the woods, the peaks
But everywhere I met that common curse
They shoved me, barked, till I got mad

So shudder and shrivel and fear my wrath
ĎCause I decided to stay amongst the lot
Tormenting you daily will be my path
Until you beg me, stop, please, no more

Modern Times


Frans Tooten

O, how fortunate I have been
Living in these modern times
Draft or war Iíve never seen
The moneyclock ever chimes
Iíve been born in luxury land
As been foretold in the old book
On which I never laid my hand
I only know about Captain Hook
And his antagonist, the holy Pan
Fighting against the evil cheat
Something Iíll also do, if I can
Just say it and give me a lead
Till then I have to live this life
Of meat and wine, day after day
No bothering about, no real strife
Even women come as an easy lay
So praise my fate, be happy for me
Much more gold will be in store
Life is superb in historyís lee
Only one thing: it is such a bore

Sweet Sixteen


Frans Tooten

Ay am the greatest, donít you dare to deny
Ay always was and surely ever will be
Ay even in my cot never made a single cry
Ay live to my iron law: itís him or me

U must shut your mouth, cast down your eyes
U step aside when Ay come walking by
U wify instead better smile when she is wise
U slutty look up my boots, then up my fly

Ay am the greatest, on streets and in the bed
Ay am a warrior chosen to become a chief
Ay live the speedy life and Ay will never fret
Ay, wait, see a sucker on which I can relieve

U horror me and beg yur lord that Ay will pass
U say to slutty Ďthank god we are not like himí
U couldnít and if U would itíll be yur final mass
U are interred, Ay live on, tiptoeing on the rim

Ay are the greatest, at least shortly Ay will be
Ay only have to make one kill, that ugly beast
Ay know his weak spot, his nutty wify, you see?
Ay will bag hur, shack hur, use hur as my yeast



Frans Tooten

They are still moving and know how to act
Their manners are careful, not very direct
Their looks are perceptive, producing unrest
There was a time they thought to be the best

Now they are garbage, the filth of the earth
Even for a stove they donít have much worth
Still too much juices that black out the fire
But just by going on, weíll stay in the mire

I know weíre taking that same trodden path
Caught in a treadmill, called Lifeís wrath
Escape is a lottery, held on a steep cliff
You are lucky when pushed by a whiff

Yet most will go for the common stage
The pandemonium of a massive old age
Eras craved for by millions in a row
Only one question: which way to stow?

Still dreaming of your eightieth year?
Cheered by the kids and all that are dear
Itís a fantasy sounded by a fake bell
Youíll be knocking on the gates of hell



Frans Tooten

Red and purple sweep my mind
Several times a day at least
Stunned by the fact theyíre my kind
Why wasnít I born a beast?

A beast is driven by sheer desire
Knows nothing of good and bad
It goes on and stops for a wire
Instead of going completey mad

Traffic, rules, taxes and the state
They are just a nuisance every day
Others, relations, pressures to mate
I beg you, please, stay out of my way

Iím turning purple, red, infra at last
My heart is like a drilling machine
I want you, hate you, forgot the past
Repeating all over that same scene

Rage is running right through my roars
Rumbling, roasting, racking my soul
Dreaming of a life amidst the bores
Turning me mellow, making me whole



Frans Tooten

It started a million years ago
The building of the web
It turned into a steady flow
For many resulting in a trap

The end of an era has begun
Which only lasted for 5 Ks
It brought Atilla and the Hun
A lot of wars in many ways

Now the weaving has sped up
Encompassing all of the globe
Making you the glorious hub
Known by your eager strobe

But every web needs a spider
Like day is zero without night
Remember, a spider is an abider
A predator in his own right

So if you venture the triple W
Be addicted, or rather to abhor
The spider will try you to woo
Weaving another prisoner of war



Frans Tooten

You made me laugh, you made me sob
You brought me to the heavenís gate
We had many dates, never been late
You knew, as no one before, how to bob

You touched my soul, my dreaming core
That never had been really alive
Never known elation, nor strife
Before my days had been constant bore

And then we met on a lightning stage
I gave myself with all my might
Delivered my being, made my plight
To you, who put me eventually in a cage

Itís true, through its door Iíd go and come
You never forbid me to go along
But what I thought to be very wrong
Was my total obligation to be real mum

While you went on your way of the Wren
The shining standard of malehood
Turning more and more into pale wood
Like most of your so many fellow men.