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  #21  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:19 AM
derek fenton derek fenton is offline
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STOPPING WITH MY WOODS ON A SUNNY EVENING
(With apologies to Robert Frost.)


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in my suburb though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods strike a blow.

My little caddy must think it queer
To stop without a bunker near
Between the woods and man-made lake
The brightest evening of the year.

He gives the heavy bag a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of swinging clubs and lapping lake.

These woods are lovely and I weep
For I have promises to keep
And putts to sink before I sleep
And putts to sink before I sleep.
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2018, 07:54 PM
derek fenton derek fenton is offline
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LOSS OF COMPOSURE ON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE MARCH 2017

Earth has not anything to show less fair.
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
a sight so horrible and not cry.
The city now doth like a garment wear
the horror of the morning; silent, bare.
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
under a dull and lachrymose sky,
all dark and dour in the polluted air.
Never did sky have more reason to weep-
at pale sun’s first peep at valley, rock or hill.
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a dread so deep.
The river glideth at his own sad will.
Dear God, the very taxis seemed to weep.
That terrible heart, lying, dying still!
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2018, 09:32 PM
derek fenton derek fenton is offline
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MASOJA *
(with apologies to Rupert Brooke)

If I should die, think only this of me;
that there’s some corner of Australia
that will be forever Zimbabwe.
In that rich earth, a richer regalia,
a dust, which Bulawayo made of me;
suited , I thought, to success not failure,
but no-one told Ian Douglas Smith you see
that our cause was a dying dahlia!
Its pollen now scattered far and away.
A Rhodesian Rose for which less and less
understanding and sympathy is given:
a polecat of a dog which once had its day.
I hope now, in vain, for a gentleness
in hearts, at peace under a Zimbabwe heaven.



*’Soldier’ in Ndebele.
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2018, 10:40 PM
Ken Brownlow Ken Brownlow is offline
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Default For the colonel

I love the smell of napalm

Nuke em all, God
will know his own.
Civilized nations must step up
in the struggle against terrorism.

Because we’re fighting for peace
to keep the world safe for democracy
in the war to end all wars
so there will be peace in our time

in the morning.
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  #25  
Old 01-11-2018, 08:43 AM
Catherine Chandler's Avatar
Catherine Chandler Catherine Chandler is offline
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PACK RAT
—after “Renascence” by Edna St. Vincent Millay



All I could see from where I lay
Was stuff saved for a rainy day.
I turned and looked around the place
And saw what I’d kept, just in case.
So with my eyes I traced the walls
Of my apartment’s rooms and halls,
Straight around, above, below
To where I’d turned five lines ago;
And all I saw from where I lay
Was stuff saved for a rainy day.

Over these things I could not see
For bins and boxes bounded me.
I tried to touch them with my hands—
Those giant balls of rubber bands,
Those Wallabees I never wore,
Those doodads from the dollar store!

But sure the floor is there, I said:
Somewhere beneath the sofa-bed;
I’ll get down on my knees, and yes,
I’ll look my fill into the mess.
And so I looked, and sure enough,
Beneath a pyramid of stuff,
Between the window and the door
I came across a patch of floor!
Big deal! I thought, in no time flat
I’ll manumit the welcome mat!
I’ll advertise an open house!
Then all at once I spied a mouse.

I screamed, and —lo!— the murine froze
Then scurried up a pile of clothes.
I tried to bash him with a book,
A homemade cosh of Life and Look.
My cats joined in the raucous blitz,
My dogs joined in but called it quits;
I stumbled over cans and crates
Of grub with old expiry dates,
Until it seemed I must behold
Agglomerate made manifold.
I set a cheddar booby-trap
And lay down for a midday nap.
I dreamed of empty Mason jars,
I saw garage sales, church bazaars;
Who should appear to plague my snooze,
But Mickey shitting in my shoes!

I saw and heard and knew at last
I’d have to clean up good and fast;
I’d have to go through every heap,
Decide what I would cast or keep.
My Universe, cleft to the core,
Would smell of Lysol evermore!
I fain would toss what some call trash,
Delete my history and cache;
But never in a million years
My Philco with its rabbit ears.
I would not, —nay! ‘Twas too unfair
To throw away my teddy bear.

All hoards were of my hoarding, all
Redress was mine, and mine the haul
Of every ragman; mine the job
Of every slattern, every slob
Who, in their spurn of suds and soap,
Depend upon a forlorn hope.

I said it mattered not a jot,
But each bag held a second thought.
I was attached to all my things
With miles of multi-colored strings.
I filled a burlap gunnysack,
Then wept and put each item back.

A sad girl dressed in dark Capris
(Those pants that end below the knees)
Went shopping on Rodeo Drive,
Bought thirty thongs then came alive.

A man with melancholy eyes
Amassed a treasure trove of ties,
Dependent on his silk cocaine.
I knew the feeling, felt his pain.

No ache I did not feel, no twinge
I could not share. Each jag, each binge,
Each blowout sale, each dumpster was
An avatar of Santa Claus.
All obloquy was mine, and mine
The ordinance to toe the line.

Oh, awful burden! Yin and Yang,
Mr. Clean, the hazmat gang,
Descended on my stockpiled rooms
Equipped with buckets, mops and brooms;
Then came the Lifetime Channel crew,
Nosy neighbors in a queue,
A shrink to rouse me from my funk,
A blue container for my junk.

My lucid dream was such a load
It contravened the building code;
The floor gave way and I was thrust
Into the cellar’s dark and dust;
My dolls, unseated from their shelves,
OMG’d among themselves.
My tax returns, my water bills,
My overrated sleeping pills,
A platform shoe, a roller skate,
Some weed from nineteen sixty-eight,
Came crashing down upon my brow.
I was in deep, deep doo-doo now.

I tried to move, but I could not,
For every thing I’d ever bought
And stashed and never used or worn
Had come to haunt or else to mourn.
Then all at once I heard the sound
Of first responders. I’d been found!
And while I waited for release
An unexpected sense of peace
Suffused my soul from head to toe
Amid the strains of Let It Go.
Right then I knew I’d be OK,
I’d live to die another day.
And though determined to be free,
I ached for one last shopping spree.

I longed for Michaels’ bric-a-brac,
The tees on Walmart’s close-out rack;
The bagatelles, the bibelots,
The fripperies and furbelows;
The pennies waiting to be found,
Action Comics by the pound;
Photos, trinkets, objets d’art,
Souvenirs from near and far.
For soon I’ll be the feng shui queen,
My kitchen will be squeaky-clean;
Each item in its proper place,
A plenitude of breathing space,
The clutter gone, I’ll cease to hoard,
Sterility its own reward.

How can I bear it, lying here,
While overhead they joke and jeer,
Calling me batty, boffo, flake,
Chucking that piece of wedding cake
I’d saved for forty years (inside
The freezer) with its groom and bride?
O, multitude of multisets,
Belovèd Johnny Cash cassettes
That I shall never, never see
Again! O, save just one for me!
O God, I cried, forgive my sin;
Don’t send me to the loony bin!
Then suddenly I overheard
A conversation, word for word:
My terrifying fall from grace
Had been declared a hopeless case.

I listened closely. They were gone.
My prayer was answered. Thereupon,
García Márquez’ ghost appeared;
He took control and commandeered
Each pink flamingo, garden gnome,
Each knick-knack in my Home Sweet Home;
He made them fly, he made them dance,
He put my spirit in a trance.
Was this a reverie, a spell,
Or was it rapture? Who can tell?


I know not how such things can be;
I only know there came to me
A redolence of stinky cheese
Disguised by droplets of Febreze;
A sound I could not quite divine—
A squeal, a scratching and a whine.
The mouse! I wasn’t dreaming, then!
Awakened in the world of men
And women, I was tickled pink—
It all was there: the kitchen sink,
My slippers, none the worse for wear,
My seventh set of Tupperware;
A paint-by-number aquarelle,
Three hundred rolls of Cottonelle.
The Stars and Stripes, the Christmas wreath,
Two grown-up children’s baby teeth;
My mother’s brooch, my father’s hat,
Ten tokens for the Laundromat;
A yearbook, gold and navy blue,
A rose pressed to page forty-two.
My vision of the spic-and-span,
The grim and greedy garbage man,
Had served to vindicate my itch:
I was the paragon of kitsch.

Ah! Up then from the floor sprang I,
Exclaimed Yeehaw! and slapped my thigh;
I let my hair down, lived it up,
Swilled bourbon from a coffee cup.
I frolicked in my birthday suit
And didn’t give a fuck or hoot;
I hugged the ground, the grass, the trees,
Oblivious of Lyme disease.
Oh, ultimate felicity!
Oh, glorious eccentricity!
All confidence at last restored,
I jumped for joy and praised the Lord.
Each Hallelujah!, Cohen-style,
Made recent wretchedness worthwhile;
I felt that God had made me see
The elegance of entropy,
The value of the button box,
The brass of she who understocks.
And as I said my last Amen,
And disavowed the cult of Zen,
In natural affinity
Wee beastie smiled and clicked with me.


Diogenes slept in a jar;
I may start sleeping in my car;
For I have crammed my closet space
With foibles of the human race.
Life often splits the soul in two,
And makes off with one’s honey-dew;
It sours the milk of Paradise,
It wrecks the plans of men (and mice).
North and South and East and West
Are jam-packed with the dispossessed;
And she who stacks her beauties high
Will tumble with them by and by.




(finalist for the X.J. Kennedy Parody Award a few years ago)

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  #26  
Old 01-12-2018, 09:31 AM
Melissa Balmain Melissa Balmain is offline
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Hi Tony,
Just saw this--hope it's not too late to help. I have a couple of parodies in Walking In on People that might be of use ("Al Gore's Ode on Global Warming," a Wordsworth parody that was an XJK Parody Award finalist, and "The Gen-Y Dude to His Friend with Benefits," a Marlowe parody) and here's an "Aubade" parody that appeared in Bumbershoot:

OH, BOD

From the files of Philip Larkin


I’m clothed all day and get undressed at night
Beneath the ceiling light’s relentless glare.
It advertises every bulge and blight
I’ve spent twelve hours pretending wasn’t there.
Says Bun, “You’re rounder than a Jersey cow”—
Making all talk impossible but how
And where and when I shall begin to diet.
My middle’s lumpy as an unmade bed
And soft as Hovis bread;
My arse is huge, it’s useless to deny it.

The mind reels: wolf down meat at every course,
While treating mashed potatoes as a crime?
Or gorge on carbohydrates like a horse,
But nothing fattier than broth with lime?
And do I want some snitch named Tess or Trevor
To check my weight each Saturday, forever?
The thought of minding every bite I chew,
Refusing pints of Guinness like a queer,
Declining an éclair,
And soon, can send me weeping to the loo.

Or shall I try a special “weight loss aid,”
Next time the telly urges me to buy it?
A bloody “low-cal” shake or lemonade
Created to pretend we never diet;
Some specious grub that adverts keep agreeing
Is marvelously “rich” and “freeing”—
Which means it’s for the rich (one bite per £),
And free of taste or smell, no fun to drink with;
Digest it and I’ll stink with
Reverberating farts like Patsy’s hound.

And so, reduced to wretched tunnel vision,
I think I’ll have a private surgeon kill
My appetite with hideous precision. …
No, that can never happen: his one bill
Could swiftly snuff a whole year’s wages out.
(I can’t try diet pills, without a doubt,
For if I did, it’s obvious I would
Abuse them terribly, forget to shave,
Act twice as daft with Maeve,
And be the wanker of my neighborhood.)

Quickly I dim the light to hide my shape,
And stand before the wardrobe, squinting so
Its mirror flatters me from calf to nape.
“That 60-watt,” I say, “will have to go.”
I munch a buttered slice of coffee ring,
Paw through the wardrobe and begin to sing,
As, on a shelf near Betty’s paisley blouse,
I find my favorite pair of trou, bar none:
Sansabelt—I’ve won!
In these, no one can tell that I’m a house.
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  #27  
Old 01-12-2018, 10:22 AM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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I don't have anything of my own to contribute, but I feel obliged to mention Hugh Clary's obscene take on Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," previously posted to Eratosphere here.
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  #28  
Old 01-14-2018, 04:39 AM
Jerome Betts Jerome Betts is offline
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ONE FOR THE ROAD

True, down the highway, sure enough,
The facts of life are just as tough
And men beyond the circling crests
Beat one another, or their breasts.

All hamlets promise lads their fill
Of local and peculiar ill −
But though the bottles flaunt new shapes
The drink's familiar, sour grapes.

Better the devil that you greet
An old acquaintance in the street
Than credit what false guides allege
And go west, over Wenlock Edge.

Lie safe, then, on that native heath
You must hereafter lie beneath:
There stick you fast and stick you sound
Until a shovel shifts your ground.
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  #29  
Old 01-17-2018, 06:57 PM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Beneath Julia’s Clothes

O Julia, how lovingly
She slid her silken garments free
Revealing her sweet bush to me.

That best of brambled furbelows,
Would part for me and so disclose
The liquefaction of her rose.
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  #30  
Old 01-18-2018, 11:17 AM
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John (J.D.) Smith John (J.D.) Smith is offline
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These are suitable for polite company, I think.

I have a couple of obscene song parodies that won't appear in this forum.

Do Not Throw Bento into That Food Fight

Do not throw bento into that food fight.
No sage would add sashimi to the fray.
Gauge, gauge what kind of viands should take flight.

Though pies men make of cream are hurled in spite,
Because these men have other cravings they
Do not throw bento into that food fight.

Rude men who save, fast only that they might
Let sail sous vide, perchance green crudités
Gauge, gauge what kind of viands should take flight.

Rude men who fought and sang with appetite
And send, in haste, rare morsels on their way
Do not throw bento into that food fight.

Brave men, hot-breathed, who see it as their right
To size both fish and flesh as missiles for their prey
Gauge, gauge what kind of viands should take flight.

And you, my brother, there in your mad plight,
Confess what waste would pierce you with dismay.
Do not throw bento into that food fight.
Gauge, gauge what kind of viands should take flight.

Picking through Trash on a Sunday Evening

Whose goods these are I think I know.
I guess he doesn’t need them though,
Or else he wouldn’t leave them here
To be hauled off by friend or foe.

My wife called: I should get in gear
To come on home and have a beer
And take less than I’d thought to take—
Still worth less than it might appear.

She tells me I should take a break
As if bills did, for goodness’ sake.
Our bank account could make me weep
And we squeak by on what I make.

The goods are likely worn and cheap,
But I have lots to sort and heap.
And piles to stow before I sleep.
And piles to stow before I sleep.


This Too Be Verse

I got out early, like you said,
And murdered my posterity.
Now that I’ve made my barren bed
My heart should flutter light and free.

It aches, instead, with time to brood
On rising seas, on species lost,
On threats of war and how we’re screwed
By greed that doesn’t count its cost.

Pain’s pending claims won’t be denied,
As I imagine you knew, Phil.
With or without kids by your side
Man’s misery can deepen still.

Reader Review

Because I could not stop for Smith,
He kindly stopped for me
To bend my ear and wrack my brain
With his, um, “poetry.”

He slowly droned—I rued the waste
Of nearly half a day
Of labor and of leisure, too,
To hear what he might say.

He passed up any claim to tact
Or taste—he seemed to spit—
He passed up social relevance
And any shred of wit.

Or maybe wit shunned him—
Like dancing or some other skill—
For every line caused me to yawn.
How could he spew such swill?

I turned a final page and felt
My head no longer pound
From all that jocularity—
Best muffled underground.

Since then I’ve been at ease, and yet
I cringe in memory
At how this scribbling horse’s ass
Made clear his vanity.
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