I misdropped the dictionary

Broken type by Javier Garcia - 254383498_b43198c5cc_o

I misdropped the dictionary
From the high topwobblest shelf
Now all the words are scatterfied
I’m absofoof beside myself

I simply known’t what to do
About this diffish puzzlication
It’s almost too incomprehandle
Such a mixcombobulation!

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The Museum Elephants

Elephant in Rotunda of Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Within the murmurous expanse
Beneath the bas-relief-ringed dome
The taxidermied elephants
Reign over their eternal home:

With tiles for the grass-giving earth;
For sun-burnt destinations, walls.
Eight times a week, the monkey mirth
Of school groups echoes through the halls

While in and out the galleries
Architectonically discrete
The docents’ high-toned rhapsodies
Contend with sounds of scuffling feet.

And once a month someone comes in
Brushes the dust from wrinkled skin
Sweeps cobwebs from the painted skies
And polishes the glittering eyes.

 

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“You can’t teach a rhinoceros tricks”

durer_-_rhinoceros

“You can’t teach a rhinoceros tricks,” he had explained in his brief and vigorous style.
Brave New World

You can’t teach a rhinoceros tricks
You can’t teach her to play dead or dance
Though you whip or reward her, malign or implore her,
She won’t fetch, beg, speak or shake hands.

You can’t teach a rhinoceros tricks
Not because she’s not worthy or fun
The rhinoceros goes where she wants to go
And will do what she always has done.

Try to teach a rhinoceros tricks
The results uniformly are gruesome
And the worst thing of all is, it’s quite possible
It may end up with her teaching you some.

 

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U, u: Unassuming Unicorns

Unicorns all kinds.jpg

The unassuming unicorns united underground
Upthrusting their umbrellas with an ululating sound;
Their umbrage unassuaged, they undertook an upward run
Emerging all unbidden underneath an umber sun.

 

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No magic, child

girl shelves 16356126231_78bca1661c_z

There is no magic, child.
No mysterious stranger
awaiting the proper stormswept night
on which to introduce you to your destiny.
Your mother and father
are really your mother and father.
There are words for everything.
Behind every bookcase is only a wall,
and the walls are solid walls
and behind them only two by fours
plaster and pink insulation and thick wires
through which ordinary currents pulse invisibly.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely usual
to have been born to people
about whom you know nothing
and who have secrets they themselves will never fathom.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely mundane
to live side by side
with the passionate electricity
that lurks behind your bedroom walls.

There is no magic, child,
since the world is just the world
and there are words for everything
even if the ones you will someday require
may be in a language no one living speaks.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely ordinary
for entire peoples to spring up
and sing for a hundred years
only to vanish with their only traces
to be found in a bookcase
with a solid wall behind it
while within the wall seethes
the invisible electricity
that powers the screens and machines
that belong to the parents
who are really your parents.

There is no magic, child.
The stranger who will appear
some unexceptional day
and make truths of wishes
you never even knew you were capable of

is no more mysterious than you.

 

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All Quiet for the Queen (a prequel)

(Being an account of the Peculiar Events leading up to the Monstrous and Notorious Tragedy of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds who were martyred by being baked into a pie; and of the Warning previously issued to all Fowl within the Royal Earshot, which these aforementioned Blackbirds roundly ignored, to their own Detriment and Ultimate Demise; written by one, Witness to the Aforesaid Events.)

800px-four_and_twenty_blackbirds

Go quietly, quietly! Quell every sound,
You geese in the air and you quails on the ground!

You ducks with your querulous ducklings in tow,
You may go as you like; only quietly go.

No quacking; no quarreling; quash every cry;
Not a chirp from you blackbirds who quarter the sky!
The queen is asleep:
If you cease not to peep
She’ll awake and demand you be baked in a pie!

 

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The Limerick-an Constitution: Article I

The Constitution of the United States (A Limerick Cycle)

Preamble and Article I

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Preamble

The Union we hereby decree
Shall be Just, Blessed, Tranquil, and Free.
We establish, ordain it,
And herein explain it,
Presuming you all will agree.

Article I.

Section 1.

The power for all Legislating,
Resolving, and also Debating,
Inheres in the Senate
And the Representat-
ives, as we’re herein designating.

Section 2.

Representatives each State supplies
Proportionally to its size.
(There’s provision for Slaves
And for Indian braves,
But that language no longer applies.)

Representatives serve for the space
Of two years, then must run a new race.
If one of them dies
Their Governor supplies
Us another to serve in his place.

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The Prince Who Succeeded in Slaying the Giant (A Cautionary Tale)

Danger - Falling Giants
The Prince was bold, the Prince was brave,
The Prince was young and strong,
All of these things he was, and yet
He did not live so long.

The Prince sought the Princess’s hand;
The King, to try his skill,
Commanded, “Slay the giant!”
And the Prince, he said, “I will!”

The giant’s name was Fumblegrunt
The largest of that race –
Full thirty yards he measured,
From his feet up to his face!

All night they fought, and then all day;
All afternoon as well;
Until at last the brute was slain
– And then, of course, he fell.

For Fumblegrunt was huge and strong,
And ugly and appalling;
And heavy, too, as the Prince found, who
Reckoned without his falling.

So once you’ve slain the giant –
Though your heart be filled with pride –
O once you’ve slain the giant,
Don’t forget to step aside.

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“When I Wear These Shoes”

4239147705_12f8e369ae_o PS“When I wear this hat”
I said
“I can read your mind”

“That’s nothing”
she said
“When I wear these shoes
I can read
your feet”

 

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