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SOME STORIES FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT

August 15, 2012

Hopefully, you will find these poems amusing.  I don’t think they are fall on the ground funny, maybe not even laugh out loud, but they might make you smile.  

I’m never quite sure what to say about the poems, poetry, the writing process, but at this point, I’m leaning toward less is better, and if a reader wishes more information, please feel free to ask.  Feedback of any kind is welcome. I think these particular poems pretty much speak for themselves; the first three, which are persona poems, are longer than my usual because they tell a story–one, very likely, you already know. But,… I have always loved the idea of taking on the identity of a supposed villain or maligned character and giving the tale a twist.  

    ***    ***    ***    ***    ***

BEANS
First of all, you realize

the beans were magic;

the cow was sold on false pretenses

too tough for meat–which I don’t eat–

too old for milk–at most,

worth a pittance for glue and leather

but do they ever tell you that?

Oh, no.  I’ve been made the villain

and I suppose you’re satisfied.

Still, the beans

the beans were magic.

Second, the harp was mine.

The boy padded the story with hens–

but as I’m sure you recall, golden eggs

belong to the goose.  In some versions

of the tale, Jack alleges his father

traveled to my country, laden with gold,

the harp and other treasures which I stole

and then ate the man for dinner.

False accusations! I deny them all and will

refute them one by one:

No one ever came here until Jack–

a fluke of that cursed beanstalk which

only grew that way because his mother

dumped those beans out the window

and they landed all together.

And the beans were magic

that much of the story is true.

Well.  I don’t eat men–no meat at all–

despite my size–meat is too heavy

a food for one who walks about on clouds.

And treasures: I’ve enough in the scenery:

the play of light and shadow, sunrises, sunsets

the grandeur of the storm.  The stars at night

so bright so close–I could pick

a handful any time.  No, I’ve no desire
for gold and such,
no business down-below and

it’s only there I might have a need for coin.


But the harp, tuned to the wind,

the harp was mine.

I don’t know why Giants are always

cast as the villains of the piece. 

We have such bad PR.  Perhaps it comes

from being a minority, or the natural

shyness we have around your kind.

Or it could be our loud voices; the thunder thing,

habits we’ve acquired with our reclusive

wandering about on clouds all day.

But, in this event the wrong must be

attributed to Jack: 

he climbed that damn beanstalk


invaded my home, messed up my oven,

which had never held a thing except souffles–

vegetarian souffles–


Not unlike many another Englishman,

off adventuring claiming all the eye beheld

for self, for king, for that mirror image god

you profess belief in–conveniently

blind to those already there– But Jack

was in and out, as nice a second story job

as you’ll ever see, removing

the only thing of value I own:

the harp, my harp, if you recall.  

Then zip down the beanstalk,

at which point afraid of my thunder,

he took an axe and cut the stalk out

from under me.  Therefore,

he got to tell the tale.

Still, on one point we do agree:

The beans:    they were magic.

    ^^^    ^^^    ^^^    

HENNY PENNY REMEMBERS
On retrospect, I may have been too hasty:

it appears the sky was not

in imminent danger of collapsing

on our heads that day.

Malthus was also mistaken, he spoke too soon.

Taken to a logical conclusion,

the views of those who ridiculed both him and me

favor the continuation of things as they are  

do what you want, have as many babies as you please:

somehow, somewhere food and a place

for them to stand will be found.

Naturally, the sky will remain.

And it will be good for the economy.

Alarmists are heard crying

about the destruction of the rainforests.

However, my detractors want you to know,

that after cutting and burning

for thousands of years, we still

have trees.  We should, I suppose

be especially sensitive to the need for loggers

in the USA to have jobs; the economy requires

us to recall that the sky has not yet fallen and

there are still miles and miles of trees.

The timber companies tell us since they plant

more than they harvest, the forests

will go on forever.  Certainly,

they will last our lifetime, but in the event,

unlikely as that now appears, we do run out

of commercial lumber, we may expect

science will have discovered how

to grow cornstalks that can double for trees

and require the services of loggers for

the harvest every year.

In the meantime, we can subsidize those

endangered family farmers who will

some day be needed to grow our wood,
by
making California add corn alcohol

to their gasoline.  Have to keep that oil

flowing.  Not only is it good for the economy,

but it will clean our air, too.

Yes, the wonders of science:

whatever the problem, we can count on it

to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat 

and provide us with some miraculous solution: 

synthetic salmon, artificial trees

feed the worlds billions with algae and yeast–

Scientists have assured us that the sky

is not expected to fall.  And although some of them

worry about the ozone layer, global warming

the effects of pollution, others will flatly respond

those environmentalists and their fellow extremists

are just a bunch of Henny-Pennys,

and bad for the economy.

I resent the imprecation, the deprecation. 

While I will admit the sky seems

to have remained mostly intact,

there have been warnings, indeed,

holes in the ozone, and, I submit,

that if no one pays attention we are likely

to one day find ourselves up to our eyebrows

in large chunks of sky-blue rubble.

    ^^^    ^^^    ^^^

WORDS FROM THE WOLF
 
So, I’m sittin’ there
in the middle of the afternoon
just huffin’
and, I hate to admit, puffin’
but no matter how much
air I inhale,
                        I can’t seem
to bloooow their house down.
 
Darnation, carnation!
I bust my chops
splinter the insides of my lungs
and all my effort seems
to go up in, like,
                smoke.
 
Now don’t you go making me out
to be a villain here.
Heck, I’d be a regular hero
if you didn’t keep fillin’ little kids
heads with all those silly stories.
 
See, you got me all wrong:
I’m just tryin’ to make me a livin’ here,
keepin’ this place smellin’ sweet, too.
Three little pigs–kinda cute–
but get a big bunch of ’em together–
    Hoo–eee!     
                See, hero,
keepin’ our space clean.
 
And if you haven’t gone all
vegetarian on me, your mouth waters
at the thought of spare-ribs
    slabs of bacon,
            well smoked ham–
 
Hey, any cool cat will tell you the same:
we’re carnivores, got them canine teeth
fangs, maybe, but they’re meant for meat
        and I mean to get me some.
 
Right now, I’m plum out o’ breath.
Just let me think on this a bit.
Tried the chimney bit, cross that one off.
            Salesman, no,
            sheep’s skin, didn’t work.
 
Think I’ll just lay here on their door step
            a while ‘n nap
    one of em’s bound to come out
                sooner                        or later.
 
I hear tell
lean meat’s better for you anyway.

    ***    ***    ***    ***    ***

The last two poems, both much shorter, which could be considered persona poems, too,   are for my husband.  The first happened more than once, in fact, it happened most every night for a few weeks.  I can’t recall if the gun-slinger finally realized supposed heroes don’t shoot someone who has their hands up, or Daddy refused to continue playing.

The second, of course, is for love.  I hope they will also make you smile.

    ***    ***    ***    ***    ***

 
THE RITES OF DYING VIII
“Stick ’em up, Daddy,” our youngest

at three uses his finger

to pretend a weapon.

Daddy obliges, raises his hands.

            “Bang! Bang!

            You’re dead!”

The dead guy attempts reason,

“I had my hands up…”

The gun-slinger hero won’t hear it,

            “I shot you. You’re dead.

            You can’t talk.  Fall over.”

Daddy gets cross.

Logic is being ignored.

There are rules to this game.

The handy little shooter

becomes hysterical.

Rules belong to the one with the gun.

Logic has nothing to do with it.

    ^^^    ^^^    ^^^

ANOTHER ENCHANTMENT

I always thought I was

a frog

or maybe a toad–

not that there’s anything

inherently wrong

with amphibians–

but would you want to be one?

It never occurred to me

that I was a princess under a spell–

except as a child

hoping I’d been given

to people who weren’t my parents

because we didn’t live in a palace

they weren’t rich 

and we didn’t have any maids–

nothing to do with pollywogs,

enchanted or otherwise…

But you believed

I was a Princess

in spite of everything

and all the evidence to the contrary.

So, I became one.

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2 Comments
  1. Amazing!! What an awesome talented writer! I hope you are doing well.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. It makes the effort to do the posts well worth while.

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