A poem for Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That’s how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests uninvited guests,
That’s how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a cripple needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oaths,
That’s how much you’re loved by me.

–Ogden Nash (1902-1971)


Out with the old, in with the new

December 31, 2014


Happy birthday, Alfred

August 6, 2014

Alfred Tennyson was born in Lincolnshire on August 6, 1809. He knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a poet, but the road was never easy for him. Throughout much of his life he was plagued with poor health; mental illness, seizure disorders, and alcoholism seem to have run in his family. He was dogged by financial difficulties, exacerbated by his penchant for making very bad investments with what little money he had. But through it all, he continued to write. He was approaching middle age by the time he began to find success as a poet.

Tennyson’s better-known poems include Idylls of the King, a retelling of the stories of King Arthur and his knights; “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” about a British cavalry charge against Russian forces during the Crimean War; and the book-length poem In Memoriam A.H.H., which Tennyson composed over a period of seventeen years after the sudden and unexpected death of his best friend, Arthur Henry Hallam.

“Crossing the Bar” is not the last poem that Tennyson wrote, but it’s usually the final one in every collection of his poetry, since that was his express wish. Unlike the very long In Memoriam, in which Tennyson explores in detail his loss, grief, anguish, and crisis of faith after the death of his dearest friend, “Crossing the Bar” is very short and succinct: a calm acceptance of his own approaching death, and the quiet, confident hope that when it arrives, he will see his Pilot face to face.

Here is “Crossing the Bar” set to music, sung by the Hopeful Gospel Quartet.

 


Happy May Day

May 1, 2014

It was the first of May
A lovely warm spring day
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride;
But my knees were all a-flutter,
And I landed in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter
When a lady passing by did softly say:
“You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses” —

And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

(Author unknown)

 


Ballad of the Global Warming Titanic

January 5, 2014

By John Hayward.

(sung to the tune of the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song)

Now sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip
They traveled to Antarctica
Aboard a Russian ship

The chief was a global warming man
The skipper wasn’t so sure
But activists set sail that day
For a propaganda tour

The water started getting cold
The frozen ship was stuck
Their theories called for melting ice
But they were out of luck… yes, they were out of luck…

The ship ran aground on this block of unexpected ice
With embarrassment….
And skeptics too…
But we spend millions on a hoax
While movie stars
Professors and politicians
Give us contempt and bile

So this is the tale of climate change
It’s here for a long, long time
No matter how much their theories fail
Truth has an uphill climb

The government and Hollywood too
Will do their very best
To make us all uncomfortable
In our sustainable nest

No phone, no lights, no motor cars
Not a single luxury
Like Robinson Crusoe
As primitive as can be

The elites won’t join us though, my friends
They’re sure to live in style
While we give up our light bulbs
Recant your climate change denial!


A poem for Columbus Day

October 14, 2013

by Ramon Montaigne

Columbus sailed the ocean blue
Back in 1492.
He sailed across and spotted land,
A beach, and people on the sand.

He called them Indians because
He had no idea where he was,
India was just a guess.
When in doubt, declare success.

There goes the neighborhood.


Sandbox Diplomacy

September 5, 2013

From Cairo to Damascus,
From Riyadh to Bahrain,
Each time Obama dithers
He makes his weakness plain.

He cannot make decisions.
He knows not how to act.
His strategies are hopeless,
His tactics inexact.

He starts with senseless bluster.
He draws a scarlet line.
He lays a demarcation,
And waves his sharpened tine.

Upon his foe’s traversal,
His rhetoric is stilled.
His promises are broken,
His words lie unfulfilled.

His enemies are strengthened,
His allies left impaired.
He weaves a rope of bombast,
And leaves himself ensnared.

Copyright 2013 by The Bard of Murdock. Used with permission.


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