Spare the God and Spoil the Child

Helen, Leda’s little daughter,
Tried to do like Mommy taught her.
Trouble was, where Leda led
Got Helen wed and heroes dead.
Though every suitor was a boy,
On Helen’s blamed the fall of Troy.
Too bad her daddy chose to chart a
Course for Leda’s lake in Sparta.
Trying to evade an eagle,
Zeus seduced her mom, the regal
Leda (sometimes Nemesis)
Who fell for his fine-feathered kiss
And though her beau was not a man,
She’d no ovacuation plan;
He wooed her to a feath’ry-well, and
Zeus’ swan song buried Helen.
Barely had she cracked her shell
When life became a wifely hell.
No man could resist her beauty:
“Gee, you’re swell! To Hell with duty!”
Paris, Menelaus and more
Roared headlong into Trojan War.
Helen would have stayed at home
If not for their y-chromosome.
A circumstance of birth had trapped her,
All ’cause Dad outflapped a raptor.

Peas and Quiet

Blessed are the peas, for they
Lie gently in their pod
And strive each day in every way
To serve Herr Mendel’s god
Though carrots toil beneath the soil
To rule the underworld
Peas on troubled seas are oil
(Visualize them whirled)

Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck – Peace, Relaxation and Spirituality

January 28, 1986

Southbound on 163
In San Diego, near I-5
The DJ on KFMB
Says, For as long as we’re alive
We’ll all remember where we were
Today when we first heard the news
Of this disas–
A static blur,
The signal’s lost. I’m thinking, “Who’s
Been shot? Did Reagan once again
Not duck? Did Paul McCartney die?”
[*pop*] 73 seconds, then
The Challenger [*buzz*pop*] the sky.

Vicambulater, Alligator!

Vicambulating late at night
I chanced upon a sorry sight:
A crocodile, sad and cranky,
Wept into a sodden hanky.
“Mr. Crocodile,” said I,
“What misfortune’s made you cry?”
“It’s my lower teeth,” replied
The crocodile. “They’re too wide
To fit my narrow jaw, and so
The dentist said they had to go!”
Abortively, he tried to sneeze
And, failing, turned to face me. “Please,”
He importuned me, “Tell the truth.
Will be I be scary still, sans tooth?”
“Of course you will, you silly beast,”
I told him. “You could be deceased
And still elicit yelps and shrieks
As easily as mice make squeaks!”
“You really mean it? Truly? Deeply?
Dental surgeons don’t come cheaply.
I would hate to pay a lot
To find I’m scorned for what I’ve not.”
“Honestly,” I said, sincere,
“You’ve not the slightest thing to fear.
Except…” I let my voice trail off.
“Except?” He coughed a nervous cough
And lumbered closer. “Except wot?”
(He probably meant what, I thought.)
“Except,” I answered, hesitantly,
“Let’s see, how to put this gently?”
“Gently, schmently! I demand
You spit it out. You understand?”
“I do,” I said, “so, here’s the thing.
I took biology last spring,
And my professor told the class
That we would have to learn, to pass,
To tell the difference, quick as winks,
Between a bobcat and a lynx,
As well as ‘twixt an elk and deer,
And–which is most important here–
Between a crocodile and
An alligator. Understand?”
I turned the question back on him.
He didn’t. “Though your snout is slim
And pointy, if your lower jaw
Resembles an old, worn-out saw
Whose teeth have all disintegrated,
You will have been alligated!
Closed-mouthed gators’ lower teeth
Are all invisible beneath
Their overhanging upper jaws,
And you will look just like them, ’cause
Your own decumbent teeth won’t be
Around for anyone to see.
You’ll still look scary when you smile,
But not much like a crocodile.”
I stopped. I thought he would berate me,
But he didn’t.
He just ate me.
Take a tip, vicambulators:
Don’t call crocodiles gators.

Letter of Reference

A drollic friend who’s always sunny
Found a way to make some money
Helping kids to learn about
Some creatures that we’ve done without
(Or might soon be required to
Forgo): It seems his local zoo
Is looking for a puppet guy
To help explain exactly why
The loss of Auks both Great and small
Is something that affects us all.
If sticking his forearm inside
An Abbott’s Booby helps decide
The fate of just one gannet, he
Will do it! Every manatee
From Philly to Miami Beach
Is hoping he will choose to reach
Way up inside their effigies
And thusly many children please
While teaching them about the fate
Of those for whom the great debate
On global climate change means most:
The ones who, if we’re wrong, are toast.
If Henson Co. will grant the permit
Jeff will get to work for Kermit!
Soon they’ll see by his audition
Hiring him’s the right decision.
‘Til we know, though, there’s suspense;
Hence, this verse of reference.

Everything I Know About Astrophysics

Supernovas, so they say,
Are really, really far away.
A good thing, too, ’cause they’re so hot
That if you get too close, you’re not.
Just the opposite, I’m told,
Are most Black Holes: They’re really cold
And if you get too close to them
You won’t lose weight, but you’ll be slim!