Saturday, July 29, 2023

from Maggie Smith

The Air Force Lament (Tune - The Battle Hymn of the Republic)

Mine eyes have seen the days of men who ruled the fighting sky
With hearts that laughed at death, who lived for nothing but to fly
But now those hearts are grounded, and those days are long gone by
The Air Force's gone to hell

My bones have felt their pounding throb, a hundred thousand strong
A mighty airborne legion set to right the deadly wrong
But now it' s only memory, it only lives in song
The Air Force's gone to hell

I have seen them in their T-bolts, when their eyes were dancing flame
I've seen their screaming power dives, that blasted Goering's name
But now they fly like sissies and they hang their heads in shame
Their spirits shot to hell

Once they flew B-26's through a living hell of flak
And bloody dying pilots, gave their lives to bring them back
But now they all plan ping pong in the operations shack
Their technique's gone to hell

The lordly flying fortress and the liberator too
Once wrote the doom of Germany, with contrails in the blue
But now the skies are empty, and our planes are wet with dew
And we can't fly for hell

You have heard your pounding 50s blaze from wings of polished steel
The purring of your Merlin was a song your heart could feel
But now the L5 charms you with its moanin, groanin squeal
And it won't climb for hell

Have you ever climbed a lightening up to where the air is thin?
Have you stuck her long nose downward, just to hear the screaming din?
Have you tried to do it lately, better not you'll auger in
And then you'll sure catch hell

Hap Arnold built a fighting team that sang a fighting song
About the wild blue yonder in the days when men were strong
But now we're closely supervised for fear we may do wrong
The Air Force's gone to hell

We were cocky bold and happy when we played the angel's game
We split the blue with buzzing, and we flew our way to fame
But now that's all forgotten and we're all so goddamn tame
Our spirits' shot to hell

One day I buzzed an airfield with another reckless chap
We flew a hot formation with his wingtip in my lap
But there's a new directive and we'll have no more of that
Or you will burn in hell

Mine eyes get dim with tears when I recall the days of old
When pilots took their choice of being old, or young and bold
Alas I have no choice and will live to be quite old
The Air Force's gone to hell

But smile awhile my pilots though your eyes may still be wet
Someday we'll be in heaven where the rules have not been set
And God will show us how to buzz and roll and really let 
The Air Force fly like hell

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Late Fragment ― Raymond Carver, from the book A New Path to the Waterfall

 And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?

 I did. 

And what did you want? 

To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.” 

Monday, August 15, 2022

my sister got a kick out of the limericks I posted and made up a couple for fun and sent them to me

Into the bathroom I go, 
to greatly lighten my load
I sat on the pot
my guts hurting a lot
"We're out of TP" I was told

Shopping Day

Arrived at Walmart to roam
being low on food that I own
looked into my purse
in dismay I burst
I left the damn list at home

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Dorothy Parker's 1st book was of 300 poems, here's one that's just stunning

 The sun's gone dim
and the moon's gone black
For I loved him, 
and he didn't love back

Dutch writer Gerard Nolst Trenité’s 1920 poem “The Chaos” is a polemic on the senselessness of English pronunciation

Dearest creature in creation 
Studying English pronunciation,
 I will teach you in my verse 
 Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy, 
Make your head with heat grow dizzy; 
 Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear; 
 Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet, 
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it! 
 Just compare heart, hear and heard, 
 Dies and diet, lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain 
(Mind the latter how it's written). 
 Made has not the sound of bade, 
 Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you 
With such words as vague and ague, 
 But be careful how you speak, 
 Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via 
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir; 
 Woven, oven, how and low, 
 Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Say, expecting fraud and trickery: 
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore, 
 Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles, 
 Missiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing, 
Same, examining, but mining, 
 Scholar, vicar, and cigar, 
 Solar, mica, war and far.

From "desire": desirable-admirable from "admire", 
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier, 
 Topsham, brougham, renown, but known, 
 Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone, 

One, anemone, Balmoral, 
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel. 
 Gertrude, German, wind and wind, 
 Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather, 
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather. 
 This phonetic labyrinth Gives moss, gross, 
brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured 
To pronounce revered and severed, 
 Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul, 
 Peter, petrol and patrol?
Billet does not end like ballet; 
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. 
 Blood and flood are not like food, 
 Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet, 
Which exactly rhymes with khaki. 
 Discount, viscount, load and broad, 
 Toward, to forward, to reward,
Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet? 
Right! Your pronunciation's OK. 
 Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, 
 Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Is your r correct in higher? 
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia. 
 Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot, 
 Buoyant, minute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision, 
Now: position and transition; 
 Would it tally with my rhyme 
 If I mentioned paradigm?
Twopence, threepence, tease are easy, 
But cease, crease, grease and greasy? 
 Cornice, nice, valise, revise, 
 Rabies, but lullabies.
Of such puzzling words as nauseous, 
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious, 
 You'll envelop lists, I hope, 
 In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? 
You'll have it! Affidavit, David, davit. 
 To abjure, to perjure. 
Sheik Does not sound like 
Czech but ache.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven, 
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven. 
 We say hallowed, but allowed, 
 People, leopard, towed but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover, 
Between mover, plover, 
Dover. Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, 
 Chalice, but police and lice,
Camel, constable, unstable, 
Principle, disciple, label. 
 Petal, penal, and canal, 
 Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,
Suit, suite, ruin. 
Circuit, conduit 
Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it", 
 But it is not hard to tell 
 Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron, 
Timber, climber, bullion, lion, 
 Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, 
 Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour 
Has the a of drachm and hammer. 
 Pussy, hussy and possess, 
 Desert, but desert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants 
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants. 
 Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb, 
 Cow, but Cowper, some and home.
"Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker", 
Quoth he, "than liqueur or liquor", 
 Making, it is sad but true, 
 In bravado, much ado.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger, 
Neither does devour with clangour. 
 Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt, 
 Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Arsenic, specific, scenic, 
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic. 
 Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close, 
 Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.
Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle, 
Make the latter rhyme with eagle. 
 Mind! Meandering but mean, 
 Valentine and magazine.
And I bet you, dear, a penny, 
You say mani-(fold) like many, 
 Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier, 
 Tier (one who ties), but tier.
Arch, archangel; pray, does erring 
Rhyme with herring or with stirring? 
 Prison, bison, treasure trove, 
 Treason, hover, cover, cove,
Perseverance, severance. 
Ribald Rhymes (but piebald doesn't) with nibbled. 
 Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
 Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.
Don't be down, my own, but rough it, 
And distinguish buffet, buffet; 
 Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon, 
 Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.
Say in sounds correct and sterling 
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling. 
 Evil, devil, mezzotint, 
 Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)
Now you need not pay attention 
To such sounds as I don't mention, 
 Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws, 
 Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

Nor are proper names included, 
Though I often heard, as you did, 
 Funny rhymes to unicorn, 
 Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.
No, my maiden, coy and comely, 
I don't want to speak of Cholmondeley. 
 No. Yet Froude compared with proud 
 Is no better than McLeod.
But mind trivial and vial, 
Tripod, menial, denial, 
 Troll and trolley, realm and ream, 
 Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.
Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. 
Surely May be made to rhyme with Raleigh, 
 But you're not supposed to say 
 Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.
Had this invalid invalid 
Worthless documents? How pallid, 
 How uncouth he, couchant, looked, 
 When for Portsmouth I had booked!

Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite, 
Paramour, enamoured, flighty, 
 Episodes, antipodes, 
 Acquiesce, and obsequies.
Please don't monkey with the geyser, 
Don't peel 'taters with my razor, 
 Rather say in accents pure: 
 Nature, stature and mature.
Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly, 
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly, 
 Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan, 
 Wan, sedan and artisan.
The th will surely trouble you 
More than r, ch or w. 
 Say then these phonetic gems: 
 Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.
Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham, 
There are more but I forget 'em- 
 Wait! I've got it: 
Anthony, Lighten your anxiety.
The archaic word albeit 
Does not rhyme with eight-you see it; 
 With and forthwith, one has voice, 
 One has not, you make your choice.
Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger; 
Then say: singer, ginger, linger. 
 Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge, 
 Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,

Hero, heron, query, very, 
Parry, tarry fury, bury, 
 Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth, 
 Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.
Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners, 
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners 
 Holm you know, but noes, canoes, 
 Puisne, truism, use, to use?

Though the difference seems little, 
We say actual, but victual, 
 Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, 
Leigh, eight, height, 
 Put, nut, granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer, 
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer. 
 Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late, 
 Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.
Gaelic, Arabic, pacific, 
Science, conscience, scientific; 
 Tour, but our, dour, succour, four, 
 Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit, 
Next omit, which differs from it 
 Bona fide, alibi 
 Gyrate, dowry and awry.
Sea, idea, guinea, area, 
Psalm, Maria, but malaria. 
 Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean, 
 Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian, 
Dandelion with battalion, 
 Rally with ally; yea, ye, 
 Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!

Say aver, but ever, fever, 
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver. 
 Never guess-it is not safe, 
 We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.
Starry, granary, canary, 
Crevice, but device, and eyrie, 
 Face, but preface, then grimace, 
 Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging, 
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging; 
 Ear, but earn; and ere and tear 
 Do not rhyme with here but heir.
Mind the o of off and often 
Which may be pronounced as orphan, 
 With the sound of saw and sauce; 
 Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.
Pudding, puddle, putting. 
Putting? Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting. 
 Respite, spite, consent, resent. 
 Liable, but Parliament.
Seven is right, but so is even, 
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, 
Stephen, Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk, 
 Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.
A of valour, vapid vapour, 
S of news (compare newspaper), 
 G of gibbet, gibbon, gist, 
 I of antichrist and grist,
Differ like diverse and divers, 
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers. 
 Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll, 
 Polish, Polish, poll and poll.
Pronunciation-think of Psyche!- 
Is a paling, stout and spiky. 
 Won't it make you lose your wits 
 Writing groats and saying "grits"?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel 
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale, 
 Islington, and Isle of Wight, 
 Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don't you think so, reader, rather, 
Saying lather, bather, father? 
 Finally, which rhymes with enough, 
 Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??
Hiccough has the sound of sup... My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

Friday, January 21, 2022

limericks quite unusual

The limerick is furtive and mean;
You must keep her in close quarantine,
Or she sneaks to the slums
And promptly becomes
Disorderly, drunk and obscene.

— Morris Bishop

It needn’t have ribaldry’s taint
Or strive to make everyone faint.
There’s a type that’s demure
And perfectly pure,
Though it helps quite a lot if it ain’t.

— Don Marquis

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

— Anon.

A bather whose clothing was strewed
By winds which left her quite nude,
Saw a man come along,
And, unless I am wrong,
You expected this line to be rude.

— Anon.

There was a young lady … tut, tut!
So you think that you’re in for some smut?
Some five-line crescendo
Of lewd innuendo?
Well, you’re wrong. This is anything but.

— Stanley J. Sharpless

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Rhymes for unrhymable words, by Willard R. Espy


It is unth-
inkable to find
 A rhyme for month
 Except this special kind.

The four eng- 
 Wore orange


Love’s lost its glow?
 No need to lie; j
- ust tell me “Go!”

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Street Girl, and The End of the Line, written by Bonnie Parker, of Bonnie and Clyde fame

You don't want to marry me honey,
 Though just to hear you ask me is sweet;
 If you did you'd regret it tomorrow
For I'm only a girl of the street.
Time was when I'd gladly have listened,
 Before I was tainted with shame,
But it wouldn't be fair to you honey;
Men laugh when they mention my name.

Back there on the farm in Nebraska,
 I might have said yes to you then,
 But I thought the world was a playground;
Just teeming with Santa Claus men.
So I left the old home for the city,
To play in its mad, dirty whirl,
Never knowing how little of pity,
 It holds for a slip of a girl.

You think I'm still good-looking honey!
But no I am faded and spent,
Even Helen of Troy would look seedy,
If she followed the pace I went.
But that day I came in from the country,
 With my hair down my back in a curl;
Through the length and the breadth of the city,
There was never a prettier girl.

I soon got a job in the chorus,
With nothing but looks and a form,
I had a new man every evening,
And my kisses were thrilling and warm.
I might have sold them for a fortune,
To some old sugar daddy with dough,
But youth called to youth for its lover,
There was plenty that I didn't know.

Then I fell for the "line" of a "junker",
 A slim devotee of hop,
And those dreams in the juice of a poppy;
Had got me before I could stop.
But I didn't care while he loved me,
Just to lie in his arms was a delight,
But his ardour grew cold and he left me;
In a Chinatown "hop-joint" one night.

Well I didn't care then what happened,
A Chink took me under his wing,
And down there in a hovel of hell -- I
 laboured for Hop and Ah-Sing
Oh no I'm no longer a "Junker",
The police came and got me one day,
 And I took the one cure that is certain,
That island out there in the bay.

Don't spring that old gag of reforming,
A girl hardly ever goes back,
Too many are eager and waiting;
To guide her feet off of the track.
A man can break every commandment
And the world will still lend him a hand,
Yet a girl that has loved, but un-wisely
Is an outcast all over the land.

You see how it is don't you honey,
I'd marry you now if I could,
I'd go with you back to the country,
But I know it won't do any good,
For I'm only a poor branded woman
And I can't get away from the past.
Good-bye and God bless you for asking
 But I'll stick out now till the last.

Bonnie Parker, better known from Bonnie and Clyde fame

For more of her incredible poetry, see

You’ve read the story of Jesse James
Of how he lived and died
If you’re still in need of something to read
Here’s the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow Gang,
I’m sure you all have read
how they rob and steal and those who squeal
are usually found dying or dead.

There’s lots of untruths to these write-ups
They’re not so ruthless as that
Their nature is raw, they hate all law
Stool pigeons, spotters, and rats.

They call them cold-blooded killers
They say they are heartless and mean
But I say this with pride, I once knew Clyde
When he was honest and upright and clean.

But the laws fooled around and taking him down
and locking him up in a cell
‘Til he said to me, “I’ll never be free,
So I’ll meet a few of them in hell.”

The road was so dimly lighted
There were no highway signs to guide
But they made up their minds if all roads were blind
They wouldn’t give up ’til they died.

The road gets dimmer and dimmer
Sometimes you can hardly see
But it’s fight man to man, and do all you can
For they know they can never be free.

From heartbreak some people have suffered
From weariness some people have died
But all in all, our troubles are small
‘Til we get like Bonnie and Clyde.

If a policeman is killed in Dallas
And they have no clue or guide
If they can’t find a fiend, just wipe the slate clean
And hang it on Bonnie and Clyde.

There’s two crimes committed in America
Not accredited to the Barrow Mob
They had no hand in the kidnap demand
Nor the Kansas City Depot job.

A newsboy once said to his buddy
“I wish old Clyde would get jumped
In these hard times we’d get a few dimes
If five or six cops would get bumped.”

The police haven’t got the report yet
But Clyde called me up today
He said, “Don’t start any fights, we aren’t
working nights, we’re joining the NRA.”

From Irving to West Dallas viaduct
Is known as the Great Divide
Where the women are kin, and men are men
And they won’t stool on Bonnie and Clyde.

If they try to act like citizens
And rent a nice flat
About the third night they’re invited to fight
By a sub-gun’s rat-tat-tat.

They don’t think they’re tough or desperate
They know the law always wins
They’ve been shot at before, but they do not ignore
That death is the wages of sin.

Some day they’ll go down together
And they’ll bury them side by side
To few it’ll be grief, to the law a relief
But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Gen George Patton's reincarnation poem "through a glass, and darkly"

Through the travail of the ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
I have fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star.

In the form of many people
In all panoplies of time
Have I seen the luring vision
Of the Victory Maid, sublime.

I have battled for fresh mammoth,
I have warred for pastures new,
I have listed to the whispers
When the race trek instinct grew.

I have known the call to battle
In each changeless changing shape
From the high souled voice of conscience
To the beastly lust for rape.

I have sinned and I have suffered,
Played the hero and the knave;
Fought for belly, shame, or country,
And for each have found a grave.

I cannot name my battles
For the visions are not clear,
Yet, I see the twisted faces
And I feel the rending spear.

Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
In His sacred helpless side.
Yet, I've called His name in blessing
When after times I died.

In the dimness of the shadows
 Where we hairy heathens warred,
I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
We used teeth before the sword.

While in later clearer vision
 I can sense the coppery sweat,
Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.

Hear the rattle of the harness
 Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
 See their chariots wheel in panic
 From the Hoplite's leveled spear.

 See the goal grow monthly longer,
 Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
Hear the crash of tons of granite,
 Smell the quenchless eastern fire.

Still more clearly as a Roman,
 Can I see the Legion close,
As our third rank moved in forward
And the short sword found our foes.

 Once again I feel the anguish
 Of that blistering treeless plain
When the Parthian showered death bolts,
And our discipline was in vain.

 I remember all the suffering
Of those arrows in my neck.
Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
As I died upon my back.

Once again I smell the heat sparks
When my Flemish plate gave way
And the lance ripped through my entrails
As on Crecy's field I lay.

 In the windless, blinding stillness
Of the glittering tropic sea
I can see the bubbles rising
Where we set the captives free.

Midst the spume of half a tempest
 I have heard the bulwarks go
When the crashing, point blank round shot
 Sent destruction to our foe.

 I have fought with gun and cutlass
 On the red and slippery deck
 With all Hell aflame within me
 And a rope around my neck.

And still later as a General
 Have I galloped with Murat
 When we laughed at death and numbers
Trusting in the Emperor's Star.

 Till at last our star faded,
And we shouted to our doom
 Where the sunken road of Ohein
 Closed us in it's quivering gloom.

So but now with Tanks a'clatter
Have I waddled on the foe
Belching death at twenty paces,
 By the star shell's ghastly glow.

 So as through a glass, and darkly
 The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
 Many names, but always me.

And I see not in my blindness
 What the objects were I wrought,
 But as God rules o'er our bickerings
It was through His will I fought.

 So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
 Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.

Monday, July 8, 2019

For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon Source: The London Times (1914)

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
 Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
 Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

some songs have had interesting lyrics too... like "Little Red Riding Hood" by Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs

Who's that I see walkin' in these woods?
Why, it's Little Red Riding Hood
Hey there Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are looking good
You're everything a big bad wolf could want

Listen to me, Little Red Riding Hood
I don't think little big girls should
Go walking in these spooky old woods alone

What big eyes you have
The kind of eyes that drive wolves mad
So just to see that you don't get chased
I think I ought to walk with you for a ways

What full lips you have
They're sure to lure someone bad
So until you get to grandma's place
I think you ought to walk with me and be safe

I'm gonna keep my sheep suit on
Until I'm sure that you've been shown
That I can be trusted walking with you alone

Little Red Riding Hood
I'd like to hold you if I could
But you might think I'm a big bad wolf so I won't

What a big heart I have
The better to love you with
Little Red Riding Hood
Even bad wolves can be good
I'll try to be satisfied just to walk close by your side
Maybe you'll see things my way before we get to grandma's place

Owooooooo I mean baaaaaa!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

flour sack underwear

When I was just a maiden fair, Mama made our underwear;
With many kids and Dad’s poor pay, We had no fancy lingerie.
Monograms and fancy stitches, Did not adorn our Sunday britches;
Pantywaists that stood the test, Had ‘Gold Medal’ on our breast.
No lace or ruffles to enhance, Just ‘Pride of Bloomington’ on my pants.
One pair of panties beat them all, For it had a scene I still recall —
Harvesters were gleaning wheat, Right across my little seat.
Rougher than a grizzly bear, Was my flour-sack underwear.
Plain, not fancy and two feet wide, And tougher than a hippo’s hide.
All through Depression each, Jill and Jack wore the sturdy garb of sack.
Waste not, want not, we soon learned, That a penny saved is a penny earned.
There were curtains and tea towel too, And that is just to name a few.
But the best beyond compare, Was my flour sack underwear.


sent by Harold Fox to

Home Life Of Geniuses

"A WOMAN ought to be careful who she marries," said Mr. Dooley.

"So ought a man," said Yr. Hennessy, with feeling.

"It don't make so much diff'rence about him," said Mr. Dooley. "Whin a man's marrid he'a a marrid man. That's all ye can say about him. Of course, he thinks marriage is goin' to change th' whole current of his bein', as Hogan says. But it doesn't. After he's been hooked up f'r a few months he finds he was marrid befure, even if he wasn't, which is often th' ease, d'ye mind.

Th' first bride iv his bosom was th' Day's Work, an' it can't be put off.

 They'se no grounds f'r dissolvin' that marriage, Hinnissy. You can't say to th' Day's Wurruk: 'Here, take this bunch iv alimony an' go on th' stage.' It turns up at breakfast about th' fourth month afther th' weddin' an' creates a scandal.

 Th' unforchnit man tries to shoo it off, but it fixes him with its eye an' hauls him away fr'm the bacon an' eggs, while the lady opposite weeps and wonders what he can see in anything so old an' homely. It says, 'Come with me', an' he goes.
 An' afthes: that he spends most of his time an' often a good deal of his money with th' enchantress. I tell ye what, Hinnissy, th' Day's Work has broke up more happy homes thin comic opry. If th' courts would allow it, many a woman cud get a divorce on th' groun's that her husband cared more f'r his Day's Work thin he did f'r her.

 'Hinnissy varsus Hinnissy; corryspondint, th' Day's Work.' They'd be evidence that th' defendant was seen ridin' in a cab with th' corryspondint, that he took it to a picnic, that he went to th' theatre with it, that he talked about it in his sleep, an' that, lost to all sense of shame, he even escorted it home with him an' introduced it to his virtuous wife an' innocent children. So it don't make much diffrence who a man marries. If he has a job, he's safe.

 "But with a woman 'tis diff'rent. Th' man puts down only part of the bet. When he's had enough of the conversation that made him think he was talking with all intellectual joyousness, all he has to do is put on his coat, grab up his dinner pail an' go down to th' stoops, to be happy though married.

But a woman, I tell ye, bets all she has. A man don't have to marry, but a woman does.

Ol' maids an' clergymen do the most good in the world an' we love them for the good they do. But people, especially women, don't want to be loved that way. They want to be loved because people can't help loving them no matter how bad they are.

Th' story books that ye give ye'er daughter all tell her 'tis just as good not to be married. She reads about how kind Dorothy was to Lulu's children an' she knows Dorothy was th' better woman, but she wants to be Lulu. Her heart, an' a cold look in th' eye of the world an' her Ma tell her to hurry up.
Arly in life she looks for the man of her choice in th' tennis records; later she reads the news from the militia encampment; thin she studies the social register; further on she makes herself familiar with Bradsthreets' reports, an' finally she watches the place where life preservers are hangin'. ..

Now, what kind of a man ought a woman to marry? She oughtn't to marry a young man because she'll grow old quicker then he will; she oughtn't to marry an old man because he'll be much older before he's younger; she oughtn't to marry a poor man because he may become rich an' lose her; she oughtn't to marry a rich man because if he becomes poor she can't lose him; she oughtn't to marry a man that knows' more then she does, because he'll never fail to show it, an' she oughtn't to marry a man that knows less because he may never catch up. But above all things she mustn't marry a genius.

A floorwalker, perhaps; a genius never. .. I tell ye this because I've been readin' a book Hogan give me, about the devil's own time a genius had with his family. A cap of industry may have trouble in his fam'ly till there isn't a whole piece of china in the cup¬board, an' no wan will be the wiser f'r it but th' hired girl an' th' doctor that paints th' black eye.

But every body knows what happens in a genius's house. Th' genius always tells the bartender. Besides he has other geniuses callin' on him an' 'tis the business of a genius to write about the domestic troubles of other geniuses so posterity'll know what a hard thing it is to be a genius.

 I've been readin' this book of Hogan's, an' as I tell ye, 'tis about th' misery a wretched woman inflicted on a poet's life. " . Our hero,' says th' author, 'at this tJeeryod contracted an unfortunate alliance that was destined to cast a deep gloom over his career. At th' age iv fifty, after a life devoted to the pursuit of such gaiety as geniuses have always found necess'ry to solace their evenings, he married a young an' beautiful girl some thirty-two years his junior.

 This wretched creature had no appreciation of literature or literary men. She was frivolous an' light-minded an' evidently considered that nothing was really literature that couldn't be translated into groceries.

Never shall I forget th' expression iv despair on th' face of, this godlike man as he came into Casey's saloon one starry July evenin' an' staggered into his familiar seat, holdin' in his hand a bit of soiled paper which he tore into fragments an' hurled into the coal scuttle. On that crumpled parchment findin' a somber grave among th' disinterred relics iv an age long past, to wit, th' cariboniferious or coal age, was written th' ever-mem'rable poem: "Ode to Gin."

 Our frind had scribbled it hastily at th' dinner iv th' Betther-thin¬Shakespeare Club, an' had attimpted to read it to his wife through th' keyhole iv her bed¬room dure an' met no response fr'm th' fillystein but a pitcher iv wather through th' thransom. Forchnitly he had presarved a copy on his cuff an' th' gem was not lost to posterity. But such was th' home life iv wan iv th' gr-reatest iv lithry masters, a man indowed be nachure with all that shud make a woman adore him as is proved be his tindher varses: "To Carrie," "To Maude," "To Flossie," "To Angebel," "To Queenie," an' so foorth.
Napolean Bonapart in his celebrated "Mimores," in which he tells everything unpleasant he see or heerd in his frinds' houses, gives a sthrikin' pitcher iv a scene that hap~ pened befure his eyes.

 "Afther a few basins iv absceenthe in th' reev gosh," says he, "Parnassy invited us home to dinner. Sivral iv th' bum 7ivonts was hard to wake up, but fin'lly we arrive at th' handsome cellar where our gr-reat frind. had installed his unworthy fam'ly. Ivrything pinted to th' admirable taste iv th' thrue artist. Th' tub, th' washboard, th' .biler singin' on th' fire, th' neighbor's washin' dancin' on the clothes rack, were all in keepi,,' wit:" 'eh' best ideels iv what a pote's home shud be. Th' wife, a faded but still pretty woman, welcomed us more or less an' with th' aSliistance iv sivral bottles iv paint we had brought with us we was soon launched on a feast iv raison an' a flow iv soul. Unhappily befure th' raypast was con-eluded a mis'rable scene took place. Amid cries iv approval, Parnassy read his mim-rable pome intitled: "I wisht I nivir got marrid." Afther finishin'in a perfect roar of applause, he happened to look up an' see his wife callously rockin' th' baby. With th' impetchosity so charackteristic iv th' man, he broke a soup plate over her head an' burst into tears on th' floor, where gentle sleep soon soothed th' pangs iv a weary heart. We left as quietly as we cud, considherin' th' way th' chairs was placed, an' wanst undher th' stars comminted on th' ir'ny iv fate that condimned so great a man to so milancholy a distiny. "

 'This,' says our author, 'was th' daily life iv th' hero for ten years. In what purgatory will that infamous woman suffer if Heaven thinks as much iv geniuses as we think of oursilves. Forchnitly th pote was soon to be marcifully relieved. He left her an' she marrid a boor¬jawce with whom she led a life iv coarse happiness. It is sad to relate that some years afterward th' great pate, havin' called to make a short touch on th' woman f'r whom he had. sacrificed so much, was unfeelingly kicked out iv th' boorjawce's plumbin' shop.'

"So, ye see, Hinnissy, why a woman oughtn't to marry a janius. She can't be cross or peevish or angry or jealous or frivolous or anything else a woman ought to be at times f'r fear it will get into th' ditchn'ry iv bio-graphy, an' she'll go down to history as a termygant. A termygant, Hinnissy, is a woman who's heard talkin' to her husband after they've been married a year. Hogan says all janiuses was unhappily marrid. I guess that's thrue iv their wives, too. He says if ye hear iv a poet who got on with his fam'ly, scratch him fr'm ye'er public lib'ry list. An' there ye ar-re."

"Ye know a. lot about marriage," said Mr. Hennessy
"I do," said Mr. Dooley.
"Ye was never married?"
 "No," said Mr. Dooley.
"No, Then I say, give three cheers. I know about marriage th' way an astronomer knows about th' stars. I'm stud yin' it through me glass all th' time."

 "Ye're an astronomer," said Mr. Hennessy; "but," he added, tapping himself lightly on the chest, "I'm a star."

"Go home," said Mr. Dooley crossly; "before th' mornin' comes to put ye Gut."

 F. P. DUNNE (" Mr. Dooley")

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Listen, O drop, give yourself up without regret,
and in exchange gain the Ocean.
Listen, O drop, bestow upon yourself this honor,
and in the arms of the Sea be secure.
Who indeed should be so fortunate?
An Ocean wooing a drop!

It was paraphrased as this in the movie Victoria and Abdul

Listen, little drop, give yourself up without regret
and in return you will gain the ocean.
Give yourself away
and in the great sea you will be secure.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, and simply as Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic  1207-1273

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Lays of Ancient Rome

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods."

Lays of Ancient Rome is a collection of narrative poems, or lays, by Thomas Macaulay

The Lays were composed by Macaulay in his thirties, during his spare time while he was the "legal member" of the Governor-General of India's Supreme Council from 1834 to 1838. He later wrote of them:

The plan occurred to me in the jungle at the foot of the Neilgherry hills; and most of the verses were made during a dreary sojourn at Ootacamund and a disagreeable voyage in the Bay of Bengal.[

Thursday, December 14, 2017

roses are red

Roses are red,
that much is true,
 but violets are purple,
 not fucking blue.

They are indeed purple,
 But one thing you’ve missed:
 The concept of “purple”
 Didn’t always exist.

Some cultures lack names
 For a color, you see.
 Hence good old Homer
 And his “wine-dark sea.”

A usage so quaint,
 A phrasing so old,
 For verses of romance
 Is sheer fucking gold.

So roses are red.
 Violets once were called blue.
 I’m hugely pedantic
 But what else is new?

My friend you’re not wrong
 About Homer’s wine-ey sea!
 Colours are a matter
 Of cultural contingency;

Words are in flux
 And meanings they drift
 But the word purple
 You’ve given short shrift.

The concept of purple,
 My friends, is old
 And refers to a pigment
 once precious as gold.

By crushing up molluscs
 From the wine-dark sea
 You make a dye:
 Imperial decree

Meant that in Rome,
 to wear purpura
 was a privilege reserved
 For only the emperor!

The word ‘purple’,
 for clothes so fancy,
 Entered English
 By the ninth century

Why then are voilets
 Not purple in song?
 The dye from this mollusc,
 known for so long

Is almost magenta;
 More red than blue.
 The concept of purple
 is old, and yet new.

The dye is red,
 So this might be true:
 Roses are purple
 And violets are blue

While this song makes me merry,
 Tyrian purple dyes many a hue
 From magenta to berry
 And a true purple too.

But fun as it is to watch this poetic race
 The answer is staring you right in the face:
 Roses are red and violets are blue
 Because nothing fucking rhymes with purple.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Submarine Sailor, rest your oar

Sailor, rest your oar
When your final dive is made, and your battery's running low,
You'll know there lies a boat for you many fathoms here below,
With your annunciators jammed on full and your depth guage needles bent,
Your accumulator's dry of oil and your air banks all are spent,
It's then you get to wonderin', "is my life's boat rigged for dive?"
Your guessing drill commences, "am i dead or still alive?"
You pace the flooded decks with scorn and curse the flaws of man.
Into realms of rex you've stepped, and here you'll make your stand.
To live your life, as sailors must, at the bottom of the sea.
There's one you'll have to reckon-that one, my friend, is thee.
Will your conscience do you justice when the final muster's in?
Did you lead the kind of life you should in every port you've been?
The answers to these questions and many, many more,
Are locked in the hearts of sailormen from Cannes to Singapore.
So, when your day for mast rolls 'round. the choice is up to you,
Sailor chart your course of life right now. chart it straight and true.
Now's the time to flood your tanks and trim up 'fore and aft.
It's a trifle late when the klaxon sounds to square away your craft.
Your final billet lies below, on "old ocean's" floor.
So, be ready when that last word's passed.
Sailor, rest your oar!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Once you've learned to correctly pronounce every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer
. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks

The Raven

There once was a girl named Lenore
And a bird and a bust and a door
And a guy with depression
And a whole lot of questions
And the bird always says “Nevermore.”

Footprints in the Sand

 There was a man who, at low tide
Would walk with the Lord by his side
Jesus said “Now look back;
You’ll see one set of tracks.
That’s when you got a piggy-back ride.”

Response to ‘This Is Just To Say’

This note on the fridge is to say
 That those ripe plums that you put away
 Well, I ate them last night
They tasted all right
Plus I slept with your sister. M'kay?

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

There once was a horse-riding chap
Who took a trip in a cold snap
He stopped in the snow
But he soon had to go:
He was miles away from a nap.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

There was an old father of Dylan
Who was seriously, mortally illin’
“I want,” Dylan said
 “You to bitch till you’re dead.
“I’ll be pissed if you kick it while chillin’.”

I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud

There once was a poet named Will
Who tramped his way over a hill
And was speechless for hours
Over some stupid flowers
This was years before TV, but still.

The Sea

She was rich and of high degree;
A poor and unknown artist he.
"Paint me," she said, "a view of the sea."
So he painted the sea as it looked the day
That Aphrodite arose from its spray;
And it broke, as she gazed on its face
Into its countless-dimpled smile.
'What a poky, stupid picture!" said she;
I+I don't believe he can paint the sea!"
Then he painted a raging, tossing sea,
Storming, with fierce and sudden shock,
Wild cries, and writhing tongues of foam,
A towering, mighty fastness-rock.
In its sides, above those leaping crests,
The thronging sea-birds built their nests.
"What a disagreeable daub!" said she;
"Why, it isn't anything lib the sea!"
Then he painted a stretch of hot, brown sand,
With a big hotel on either hand,
And a handsome pavilion for the band
Not a sign of the water to be seen
Except one faint little streak of green.
"What a perfectly exquisite picture!" said she;
"It~s the very image of the sea!"

Ev A L. OGDEN. -The Century Magazine, December, 1881.