English Assignment

cherry blossoms by Philippe Put - 4428210967_42b0ce1db5_z

Pink cherry blossoms
And the syllables add up:
There’s your damn haiku.

.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Two Lives: Caesar / Napoleon

David_-_Napoleon_Caesar_-_statue

Caesar loved the Egyptian Queen
And conquered Europe to impress;
Napoleon, for Josephine,
Decided he could do no less.

The Roman styled himself divine —
His friends took pains to prove he erred;
For Russia’s lands the Frenchman pined
But he, too, found himself deterred.

Poor Julius! The Senate floor
Was where he met his Waterloo;
And Bonaparte proved just as poor,
For soon enough he met one, too.

 

Continue reading

On Writing Well

IMG_5247

Improve your Writing? Nothing to it!
Find an Adverb and eschew it!
And Adjectival abolition
Aids most any Composition!

Widely concurs the Writing Tribe:
It’s better far not to describe;
And rare’s the Pundit who disputes
That Things should not have Attributes.

 

Continue reading

In Praise of Adjectives, Adverbs, Asides, Verbal Gewgaws, Blandishments, Rhyme for Rhyme’s Sake, Flummery, and the Like: A Demonstration

Consider the alternative:
WalrusCarpenter
The sun glinted off the waves. It was midnight.
The moon was up. Everything was still.
The Walrus and the Carpenter were walking.

-Damn, said the Walrus.
-Yeah.

They walked for a while.

-It’s a lot of sand, the Walrus said.
-Nothing anybody can do about it, said the Carpenter.

After a while they met up with some oysters.
-Why don’t you boys come with us, the Walrus said.
The oldest one shook his head No but the young ones came along.

They walked for a while then stopped by a rock.
The Walrus wanted to talk but the oysters wanted to catch their breath first.
-Sure, said the Carpenter.
-Time for a snack anyway, said the Walrus.

-But not on us! said the oysters.
And the Walrus:
-Nice night, isn’t it?
And the Carpenter:
-Pass the bread.

-Kind of tough on the oysters, don’t you think? said the Walrus.
-It’s tough, said the Carpenter.
-Hard times, said the Walrus.
He pretended to wipe away a tear but he was really hiding the biggest oysters behind the handkerchief for himself so he could eat them.

-All right, said the Carpenter.
-Ready to head back?

By that time they had eaten all the oysters and it was still again.

The end.

Continue reading

MS Found in a Typewriter

After dreaming on and off all last night of falling rain, I woke to find this poem on a sheet of foolscap someone had left in the old typewriter I still keep on the shelf. I surmise it is a response to my poem, A Malison.
homage to archy
tell me mr why so glum question mark
yr time will go and ours will come.
why so bitter question mark why so vexed question mark
you ve had yr turn and we are next.
for that s how evolution works
progress comes in fits and jerks.
the future s not as bad as it appears
a lot can happen in a billion years.
roaches will learn to dig and build
and after the sun explodes we ll be here still.
survival of the fittest is another term for fate.
we roaches understand. we wait.

Continue reading

A Malison

9248091760_5dce1d3d0a_bCockroach, eater of refuse, crawler
in corners, inhabitant of dark spaces,
unwanted denizen of all our
proud modern cities, scourge of all races;
disgusting, vile, unkillable
by any but the heaviest tread
or most corrosive chemical;
prolific, fecund, Darwinianly bred
to survive any adversity:

though your species will continue
long after the end of humanity
it consoles me somewhat that in two,
or four, — at most five billion years —
the Sun will explode in your sky
and your Earth will boil and sear
and every last one of you will also die.

Continue reading

Sonnet: On the Brand-X Anthology of Poetry

(a book review in verse)
Scan
Much had I travell’d in the realms of gold
And never found a blessed thing to eat;
For laurels, though they may smell very sweet,
As nourishment – try one? – they leave you cold.

By not one teacher was I ever told
There was a land both lowly and obscene
That Bill Zaranka ruled as his demesne!
His book was sent me by a flame of old

Bought from wherever such odd things were selling;
And now, some decades late, to write I’ve hasted:
For though I know that flowers are for smelling
I were a liar if I kept from telling
How many precious hours and days I’ve wasted
Since first I of Zaranka’s garland tasted.

 

Continue reading

The King and the Buddha

The King was rude – nobody ruder –
Until the day he met the Buddha.
“Bow before me!” quoth the King;
The Buddha said, “Await the spring.”
“My word is law,” the King proclaimed.
Said Buddha, “Silence won’t be named.”
The King decreed, “Off with his head!”
And Buddha promptly fell down dead.

But from that day, forever after,
The King can’t sleep for hearing laughter.