Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Street Girl

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

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.

Booker T Washington

A year or two before his death, that great man, Booker T. Washington, made an address in a small town in Georgia. When he had finished a distinguished looking old confederate soldier pushed forward to the platform his face aglow with enthusiasm. "Professah Washington," he declared, "I want to do now what I nevah thought ah'd be doin'; I want to shake yoh hand and pledge you my support in the great work you are doin'. That was the best speech I evah heard in mah life and you are the greatest man in the country today."

Thursday, December 24, 2015

T'was the Night Before Christmas-Submarine Style

T'was the night before Christmas, and what no-one could see,
The men with the dolphins were under the sea.
Most of the crew was flat on their backs,
Snoring and dreaming all snug in their racks.

Those men on watch were making their rounds,
Some manning the planes or listening for sounds.
Back in maneuvering or down in the room,
They all hoped the oncoming watch would come soon.

I'd finished some PM's whose time was now due,
And hoped for some sleep, even an hour or two.
Against better judgment I took a short stroll,
And found myself wandering into control.

The Nav had the Conn, the COW was in place,
The COB had the Dive and a scowl on his face.
The helm and the planes were relaxed but aware,
The QM and ET were discussing a dare.

To comply with the orders the Nav told the Dive,
To bring the boat up with minimum rise.
The orders were given and soon they were there,
At periscope depth with a scope in the air.

The QM confirmed our position with care,
The broadcast was copied, we brought in some air.
The Nav on the scope let out a small cry,
He shook his head twice and rubbed at his eyes.

He looked once again to find what it was,
That interrupted his sweep and caused him to pause.
Try as he might there was nothing to see,
So down went the scope and us to the deep.

I asked what it was that caused his dismay,
He sheepishly said, "I'm embarrassed to say."
It could have been Northern Lights or a cloud,
Or a meteorite he wondered aloud.

But to tell you the truth I guess I must say,
Whatever it was it looked like a sleigh.
And though it passed quickly and never was clear,
I almost believe it was pulled by reindeer.

We laughed and teased him and I got up to go,
When our moment was broken by "Conn, Radio."
They told us a message was just coming in,
We looked at the depth gauge and started to grin.

"Radio, Conn, I feel safe to say,
Your attempt at a joke is too long delayed.
If it had been sooner it might have been neat,
But I doubt we're receiving at four-hundred feet."

"Conn, Radio, you can come down and see,
We're not playing games to any degree."
I headed aft with nothing better to do,
Surprised by the fact it was still coming through.

It stopped and was sent to control to be read,
The Nav read it slowly and scratched at his head.
Then again he began but this time aloud,
To those that now waited, a curious crowd.

"To you Denizens of the Deep and men of the sea,
Who risk your life daily so others stay free.
I rarely have seen you on this, my big night,
For far too often you are hidden from sight.

But purely by luck I saw you tonight,
As your scope coaxed the plankton to glow in the night.
And lucky for me I've finally won,
The chance to say thanks for all you have done.

I know that you miss your families at home,
And sometimes you feel as if you're alone.
But trust what I say and I'll do what's right,
I'll take something special to your families tonight.

Along with the gifts I'll take to your kin,
I'll visit their dreams and leave word within.
They'll hear of your love, and how you miss them,
I'll tell them that soon you'll be home again.

It might not be much I know that is true,
To thank you for all the things that you do.
But I'll do what I can, while you do what's right,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight."

By Sean Keck

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Forgive Me When I Whine, Red Foley

Today, upon a bus, 
I saw a girl with golden hair.
I envied her, she seemed so gay,
and wished I was as fair.

When suddenly she rose to leave, 
I saw her hobbled down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
And as she passed... a smile.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 legs, the world is mine

I stopped to buy some candy. 
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd do no harm.

And as I left, he said to me, 
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you. 
You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He did not know what to do.

I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew,
he couldn't hear.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Beneath the Faded Word By Peter Thomas.

"It sat out in the shearing shed for 30 years or more,
With cobwebs, dust and binder twine, and sheep dung on the floor.
An old and rusted Lockwood kept its secrets from my eyes,
A cabin trunk of leather, there since 1945.
I asked my dad, who owned it and what we kept it for,
He replied, “It’s Uncle Basil’s, that he brought back from the war.
So don’t you bloody touch it, or I’ll tan your bloody hide!”
But that only made me more intrigued to see what was inside.
I wondered at its mysteries and the secrets that it hid,
Beneath the faded word “Tobruk” stencilled on the lid.
Near Wilcannia, where only hardy cattlemen will go,
Uncle Basil had a station, Baden Park, near Ivanhoe.
A strong and gentle man, who once rode the Birdsville Track
Just to prove he wasn’t hampered by the shrapnel in his back.
So I stood alone and weighed it up; which would I decide,
Should I leave the memories undisturbed, or take a look inside?
I knew I had to take a look to see what it’d hold.
Medals? Spoils from the war – silver, jewels or gold?
The old man went off fishin’ of a Sunday with Bob Gray,
So if I was gonna do it – that would have to be the day.
I started out determined – I was done by ten past two.
With half a broken hacksaw blade, I cut the padlock through,
But even as I opened it, the truth was plain and clear,
The old trunk held no gold or jewels, there was no treasure here .
A pile of letters tied with string, an old moth eaten flag,
A rusty metal helmet and mouldy webbing bag,
A cup made from a jam tin, an emu feathered hat,
And a newspaper clipping with the title “Desert Rat”,
Some photos of the pyramids – a rusty bayonet,
An IOU – Jack Carmody – two quid ( a two-up bet).
I folded out a faded map as the day began to wane,
Foreign places like Benghazi, Tobruk, El Alamein.
Then I came upon a satchel and a little leather book
And a photo of some young blokes – so I took a closer look.
It was 20 young recruits, their faces tanned and worn
From places like Cohuna, Moama and Bamawm.
Farmers, shearers, stockmen off to fight a noble war,
For the empire in a foreign land they’d never seen before.
And scrawled across the bottom, in writing rough and coarse,
Twenty names below the words, the Echuca Boys – Light Horse.
I turned the photo over, and there upon the back
Were words that sent a chill through me, and made my mouth go slack.
A solemn list of 20 – the fate of each the same.
Every one but Uncle Basil had a date beside their name,
Some said April ’43, some said June /July.
A record from our history, the date that each had died.
I turned back to the photo and looked in every face,
And written over each one was a month, a year, a place.
A grinning, sun-bronzed soldier’s face, each now with a name
Like November 1943 – the words El Alamein.
I wonder did they think, as they sailed across the foam,
That amongst them only one – Uncle Basil – would come home?
Recorded in that little book – I remember to this day –
A record of their actions and how each had passed away,
A mortar shell out on patrol; a sniper in the night;
A landmine took one’s legs off – he died before first light
. The death of each was brutal, the reality was stark.
Forty pages written there, I finished just on dark.
I slowly closed that record of the men who kept us free
And turned to see my father, standing silently.
He didn’t do his block as I expected that he would,
He just said, “Come on pack it up, I reckon that we should.”
So with loving care we packed away the treasures from the past,
When I came upon the photograph – it was put aside ‘till last –
And with new respect and love, I recorded there his fate.
Next to Uncle Basil I wrote April ’68.
Yeah, Dad and I we packed it up and put it back again
And wrapped it in a bit of tarp, to keep it from the rain.
We never spoke about it or discussed what I had read.
I reckon that was his way, to respect those men long dead.
There’s a statue of a digger in most every country town,
And a list of names of locals, who fought with great renown.
And now, when I go by, I remember what I read,
Sitting on the floor out there, in our old shearing shed.
And I think of Uncle Gordon, lost somewhere on Ambon,
Uncle Jack on the Kokoda and, in England, Uncle John.
I remember still that photo, with sadness and remorse,
That mob of grinning faces, the Echuca Boys – Light Horse.
In a cemetery near Ivanhoe lies a bloke who’s left his mark,
Basil Thomas, of Echuca, Tobruk and Baden park."

Found on

Brothers of the Phin


Chanced upon a sailor once with an emblem on his chest.
It appeared to be two angry sharks on a trash can for a rest.

His white hat was wrinkled and dirty;... his neckerchief tied too tight
 and he had only one eye open as he staggered through the night.

He was young and scrawny and wiry; with knuckles cracked and oozing.
I could tell from the way he looked and smelled he'd spent the night boozin'.

But as he pulled abreast, he squared his hat and said "Sir, do you have a light?
 I'm due back aboard by quarter to four Or the COB will be settin' me right."

As I fumbled around for my lighter he pulled some smokes from his sock
"and I'll be damned lucky to make it," he muttered 'Cause I'm steamin' against the clock."

Through the flame of my well-worn Zippo I could see a smile on his face.
"But, you know -- it was damn well worth it. That 'Bell's' is a helluva place."

He sucked the smoke deep down in his lungs and blew smoke rings up towards the moon Then he rolled up his cuffs, pushed his hat to the back and said "Maybe there'll be a cab soon."

In spite of the time he was losing He was wanting to shoot the breeze
So we sat on the curb, like two birds on a perch as he talked of his life on the seas.

I asked about the thing on his chest and he looked at me with a grin.
Then he squared his hat, snubbed out his smoke and said "I'm a Brother of the 'Phin."

"I'm one of the boys who go under the sea where the lights from above don't shine;
Where mermaids play and Neptune is king and life and death intertwine."

 "Life on a boat goes deep in your blood and nothing on earth can compare
to the feeling inside as she commences a dive going deep on a hope and a prayer."

"I've sailed some fearsome waters down below the raging main
and I've heard that old boat creak and groan like the wheels of a railroad train."

"It's the one place on earth where there ain't no slack where you don't have more than you need; where each man is prince of his own little space and each lives by the submarine creed."

"There ain't much I've done in this fickle life that would cause other men to take note,
But I've walked in the steps of some mighty fine men who helped keep this country afloat."

"They slipped silently through the layers down below that raging main while up above enemy men-o'-war laid claim to the same domain."

"Brave sailors were they
 in their sleek boats of steel s
ilently stalking their prey
 and closing in for the kill."

"They died as they lived unafraid, proud and free
 Putting all on the line to secure liberty."

"Their bones now rest in glory down in Neptune's hallowed ground
But their souls stand tall at the right hand of God Awaiting the klaxon's next sound."

"So, it's more than a 'thing' that I wear on my chest It's a badge of the brave, proud and true.
 It's a tribute to those who have gone here before riding boats that are still overdue"

"It's the "Dolphins" of a submariner worn proudly by the few
who've qualified at every watch and touched every bolt and screw."

"They know the boat on which they sail like they know their very soul
and through the fires of hell or the pearly gates they're ready for each patrol."

"But when in port they take great sport standing out from all the rest.
 For deep inside they burn with pride for the dolphins on their chest."

Then he stood erect, squared his hat and pulled his neckerchief down to the 'V'
He rolled down his cuffs, put his smokes in his sock and squinted back towards the sea.

"I can hear them diesels calling So I'd best be on my way.
We'll be punchin' holes in the ocean when the sun peeks over the bay."

As I watched him turn and walk away I felt honored to know such men.
for they bring life to Duty, Honor, Country these "Brothers of the 'Phin."

*** Larry Dunn July 2003

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vegetarian's Nightmare by Baxter Black

Ladies and diners I make you, A shameful, degrading confession.
A deed of disgrace in the name of good taste, Though I did it, I meant no aggression.

I had planted a garden last April, And lovingly sang it a ballad.
But later in June beneath a full moon, Forgive me, I wanted a salad!

So I slipped out and fondled a carrot, Caressing its feathery top.
 With the force of a brute I tore out the root! It whimpered and came with a pop!

Then laying my hand on a radish. I jerked and it left a small crater.
 Then with the blade of my True Value spade, I exhumed a slumbering tater!

Celery I plucked, I twisted a squash! Tomatoes were wincing in fear!
 I choked the Romaine, It screamed out in pain, Their anguish was filling my ears!

I finally came to the lettuce, As it cringed at the top of the row.
With one wicked slice I beheaded it twice, As it writhed, I dealt a death blow.

I butchered the onions and parsley. My hoe was all covered with gore.
I chopped and I whacked without looking back, Then I stealthily slipped in the door.

My bounty lay naked and dying, So I drowned them to snuff out their life.
I sliced and I peeled as they thrashed and they reeled, On the cutting board under my knife.

I violated tomatoes, So their innards could never survive.
I grated and ground ‘til they made not a sound, Then I boiled the tater alive!

Then I took the small broken pieces, I had tortured and killed with my hands.
 And tossed them together, heedless of whether, They suffered or made their demands.

I ate them. Forgive me, I’m sorry. But hear me, though I’m a beginner.
Those plants feel pain, though it’s hard to explain, To someone who eats them for dinner!

I intend to begin a crusade For PLANT’S RIGHTS, including chick peas.
The A.C.L.U. will be helping me too. In the meantime, please pass the blue cheese.