For Iain On His 15th* Birthday

Today’s the day, at last, on which you’ve grown into your name!
Phonetimathematically, “E.N.” is all the rage:
In simple cryptographic substitution, N’s the same
As number XIV would be in Rome’s Augustan Age,
And hexadecimal notation represents 14
With letter E, since single-digit numbers stop at 9
And A is 10, 11’s B, C’s 12…see what I mean?
(If you can translate Hex to Base 10, PC game design
Will be a snap: Computers use Hex numbers all the time.)
Each syllable in “Iain,” then, can mean 14 to nerds
Like me, an English-major engineer who wants to rhyme,
In quatradecimetric iambs, fourteen-centric words
In over-complicated tribute to his first son’s birth
So, Happy Birthday! (*It’s your 15th one, for what it’s worth.)

Study Shows Bald Men Are Sexy

Tell me what I want to hear
And I’ll just grin from ear to ear
But I’m less easily convinced
When cognitively dissonanced
Present me with a fact adverse
To my convictions and I’ll curse
Insisting you support your thesis
While I tear your text to pieces
Parsing every phrase and thought
To prove you’ve said what you have not
Show me facts in mighty torrents
Flowing past; if with abhorrence
I regard the reservoir
From which they spring then chances are
I’ll die of thirst before I dip
My cup therein to take a sip
But let your manic diatribe
Promote perspectives I subcribe
To and I’ll lustily agree
With every word you spew at me
And never think to plumb the source
You cite because you’re right of course
You do the same, you know it’s true…
You don’t? Okay, the hell with you!

A Possible Hooray?

Christmas Eve has come and gone,
Christmas Day has, too.
What’s the day that’s one day on?
Boxing Day! Whoo-hoo!
No idea what it’s fer,
Or what’s expected, why
It shows up on the calendar;
I’m not a B.D. guy.
It’s awesome, though, that’s pretty clear.
I’m sure of it, because
They celebrate it every year
In U.K., N.Z., Aus.
So, Happy (Merry?) Boxing Day!
Pip-pip! I tip my hat.
May your boxes all be gay!
(There’s nothing wrong with that.)

A Complete Waste of Rhyme

I’m not prepared to write and yet
If I decide to wait I’ll bet
What inspiration I may get
Would not be worth the time

So I’ll start stacking rhyme on rhyme
And maybe those who care to climb
Will reach a peak with views sublime
And suffer no regret

But chances are my reader (you)
Has something else they’d rather do
And won’t be pleased that you-know-who
Intruded on their day

So as I sit and type away
Although I’ve nothing much to say
Feel free to let your focus stray
(Try looking at your shoe)


Of every vegetable and fruit
From highest branch to deepest root
The rutabaga is the beast
With which I’d wish to tangle least.
Even carrots go to ground
When rutabagas come to town.
With tiger’s tooth and eagle’s claw
And alligator’s massive jaw
It hides in humus dark and deep
‘Til weary weeders, needing sleep,
Let down their garden guardzzzz…and wake
To find they’ve made a grave mistake.
What’s forty winks cost, they suppose?
That’s how the sphinx-god lost its nose!
As heroes tall and small have learned,
Its reputation’s richly earned
So garden thugs from Maine to Vegas
Steer well clear of rutabagas.*

*Rutabagas, actually
(Their lawyers have explained to me),
Are vegetables of pleasant charm
An asset to the family farm
And not, as far as I can see,
Deliverers of grievous harm.