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)
This is a link to the family holiday letter, “traditionally” (the last six or seven years, anyway) a poem about our year. Why not just post the poem directly? Well, this year’s version includes original illustrations by Iain, which improves the verse immeasurably! Happy Holidays, everyone!
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.*
(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.
I went to bed with shoes upon
My hands, perchance to dream
I woke in horror, toebegone,
With footprints on my scream
I tried to put the candle out
By sticking fingers in my mout’
Then strangling the burning wick,
But failed. It turns out, there’s a trick:
You’re s’posed to lick your fingers, then
Quick-flick the candlewick to win.
I flinched while pinching, waxed my prints,
Then licked again, which made me wince.
My fingers and my tongue now burn,
As does the candle. Won’t I learn?
I should have doused it with my breath.
Now look: I’m late for dusty death!
I screwed up. Again.
I said, “Happy Holidays!”
I am such a jerk.
I take delight in eating right;
Three simple rules I follow.
The order’s fixed and can’t be mixed:
If I should chew before I bite,
My teeth grow dull, my jaw gets tight,
The grinding keeps me up at night,
In misery I wallow.
This sequence keeps me deep asleep:
I swallowed once before I chewed
And I was one unhappy dude
(Unmasticated foods occlude
Your tracheotic hollow).
I body-slammed my diaphragm
Against the nearest wall–Oh,
Man, the pain! Heed this refrain:
(Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck: Rules, Regulations & Laws, 23 January 2011)