Friday, January 31, 2014

Holiday Potluck Architechture

(from 22 Dec 2011 - and still true.)

All those holiday meals - a disaster!
Bubbling drinks mixed with Paris’ plaster.
Architecturally a column,
But structurally a pier,
Just call me “pilaster” at the end of the year!

This Christmas my scale showed a gainer--
My belt hardly works as restrainer.
As hard as it sounds,
To shed a few pounds
Atlantis is up on a trainer.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Limericky Burns

(from 30 Dec 2011)

A tribute to Robert Burns and his verse. This was presented to the Nor-Cal Rabble on Burns Night in Jan 2012, and posted here in anticipation of this year's Burns Night.

Rabbie Burns and I never were close;
His command of the sex most verbose.
Maids, their hearts all a-flutter,
Made his life a big clutter.
Which of us better off, you suppose?

On the rhymes of old Burns I'm done percolating--
Poet’s grace notes and trills rather stimulating.
Though it's still so dang hard
To decipher the Bard
His reknown, I have found, is a venerating.

For a friend, he would willingly choose
A far visit (‘Twould wear out his shoes!)
For the abundant pleasures
In the simplest of leisures
Young Burns showed us, not Don’ts, but the Do’s.
(Epistle to James Smith, stanza 2)

There’s three reasons the Bard is remembered:
An old language was being dismembered;
To call out dev’lish strife
Was the task of his life;
But his joy was to chase the warm… {ehm…} "bird."

Rabbie's eye was so keen on wee mousie
When his plough blew to heck her poor housie.
Winter's cold is -as then-
Far beyond man's small ken
And our lives, more than not, gets all dousie.
(To a Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough)

The eild lessons o' Shanter are variegated.
Tipsy Tam went astray 'cause he hesitated
When Ol' Scratch and his clarks
Danced in fine cutty sarks.
Trusty Meg was the vehicle designated.
(Tam O' Shanter)

Where's an end to the Clan Holy Willie?
Over life casting spells oh so chilly?
All around, pompous tools!
Honest men as their fools.
Deadly serious stuff- not so silly!
(Holy Willie's Prayer)

Some pretend that dear Rabbie was celibate
And deflect any charge of "indelicate,"
But the Merry old Muses
All such thought disabuses
And demand scurvy writers prevaricate.
(The Merry Muses of Caledonia; no link)

In an ode for his misbegot child
There is nothing un-tender or wild;
He simply tried harder
To right ill-timed ardor.
We all pray that young Miss Bessie smiled.
(A Poet's Welcome To His Love-Begotten Daughter)

In another he paints social noise,
Where strong spirits cause men to be boys.
Where people are gathered,
They sometimes get lathered
And the deluding women hold joys.
(Epistle to James Smith, stanza 14)

While 'tis true that sweet Rabbie did sanitize
Sometime odd verse for viewing by many eyes
Still, he kept some good stuff
(Oh, you know- without fluff)
Which is wholly unneedful to now revise.

The Bard speaks of things nat'ral and human
With such an incisive acumen;
Wha's ne'er craved the old pinch
To... ah... measure nine inch?
If such be your gift, then please do, man.
(The Merry Muses, "Nine Inch Will Please A Lady"; no link)

Almost all of the old rhymes are bawdy
And they show human nature is "naughty";
But the blasted Victorians
Were such repressed stentorians
The loud critics came off stuffed and haughty.

The man's lustre is bright, no be tarnish;
Weary, time-worn accretions of smarmish.
To a Louse, To a Mouse,
To a Brace of Fat Grouse*
Remove all of those layers of varnish.
(To A Louse) (To A Mouse, ...)

*(OK... that last one was invented.)

Rabbie’s rhymes are oft viewed as spontaneous
But his words very seldom extraneous
As in great works of art,
They took time, they took heart,
But the Haggis Ode? Extemporaneous!
(Address To A Haggis)

As an example:

Yes, that pizza of fruit looks delish!
And in truth, it makes me only wish
That when all has been said
I am well under-fed
Before piling it all on my dish!

(Charge your glass, and be upstanding!)

So, a toast! To fair conviviality!
And wha' brings us to this sociality!
May this eve be a feast
Where we will, at the least,
Guard against so great vice, Bacchanality!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Escapada a los Cayos de Florida

(from 8 May 2013, anxiously awaiting the catamaran sailing trip)

We will soon be in Florida’s Keys
To relax, just kick back, take some ease.
Wearing nothing but shorts,
I don’t want to hear snorts;
Pass some more of those crackers and cheese.

See, the boat has been rented and crewed;
O so lavishly stocked – drink and food! –
What with eight salty gulls
Filling both sleekish hulls
Need the head? Just shout out, you’ll be queued

Safe on board, we will float isle to isle,
Taking in splendid sights all the while.
You suggest you are bored,
We toss you overboard;
Don’t that shark have a wide, toothy smile?

In a fearful attempt to go snorkel
There’s some things that you wear, and the cork’ll
Keep you buoyed up light.
You should not take a fright
If that fails, don’t freak out, ‘cause your pork’ll.

Large sand castles are sure to impress;
Their tall battlements built with finesse.
Perhaps shovel and pail
Keeps me far, far from jail… oh!
Will you please pardon me? – I digress.
- - - - - -

(from 18 May 2013)

The Keys Sailing Vacation & Crew

[Catamaran: Free Astray]

[free astray: a shipment that is miscarried or unloaded at a wrong destination and then forwarded correctly free of extra charge because of being astray.]

[The crew is all here – all via Virgin America airlines.]

It was cause for some great celebration,
Filled with laughter and hugs and libation.
For the Virginal race
To this hot sweaty place
Made tall tales for the next generation.

[Phil, Phil, learn to grill...]

Ah, our grillmaster fine is Sir Phil;
Cooks it all - octopus, even krill.
B.B.Q. fork in hand,
Singes all mighty grand,
Every bite - masterpiece! - fit to kill.

[Danie, skipper's mate]

See! There's Danie, who's short, never surly.
Loves to party - both late, again early.
Once she starts, how she sings
'Bout her new nipple rings!
But we doubt they exist (her hair's curly.)

[First day out]

From Key Largo we went to Molasses,
See and swim the sea floor and its grasses.
Every shade from deep blue
To an almost ecru
Makes a wonderful view as it passes.

First day out sun was bright, real intense.
Sure enough, some of us used no sense.
For not following regs,
Pretty red lobster legs;
And the pain of it all was immense.

[Second day out]

Another known reef -Alligator-
Close by here (prob'ly near the equator.)
An aquatic swim bliss
Captain Joe said, Don't miss.
Long Key called, so we said, See you later.

[Pamela, navigator]

Trav'lin' Pam, wine in hand, loves the gabbin';
Her Brit accent sure helps - our ears stabbin'.
Tech and camera close by
Should a view come to eye
When she's not try'n to sleep in her cabin.

[Luc, skipper]

Master Luc's an inscrutable soul,
With our safety his number one goal.
Eggs and pancakes so fine
And he'll throw you a line.
Free Astray has not yet gone a-shoal.

[Mr. Peterson, first mate]

Mr. Peterson's beard may be salty,
His sharp faculties clearly aren't faulty.
Believe what he might say--
He could sail, sail away.
Such a man loves his rum and his malty.

[Debbie, Phil's mate]

Cram three weeks into one! Multi-task!
A few hours thrown in just to bask.
Still, the sun soaks her through.
She knows just what to do
As day fades, Put a tap in that cask!

[Mrs. Peterson, Mr. Peterson's mate]

First day out, gentle wife stayed below.
Passing days saw her strength grow and grow.
Galley knife flashing bright
Nicks mosquitoes in flight--
Sea legs back, let the storm start to blow

[Richard, according to Mr. Peterson]

Richard, smartly dressed and muscular built
He wouldn’t tell us what was under his kilt
Hiking & biking & sailing he liked a lot
Good with words, hose & mop & very handy when tying a knot
So handy is he if you asked nicely, please, he could probably make a quilt.

[Richard, according to Danie]

Richard est un cyclist et maintenant un homme de la mer
Un mumoor a vous donnes des crampes a se tertre a terre
Toujours pret a vous aider
Il est tout un co-equipier
Tranquille & poli, il est un gentleman gentil

Richard, Ricardo, Butter Boy, go-to-men une fois qu’on
Ie connait avec ce souries coquina
Dure de s’en passer
Car il est unique avec son luffa et quilt
Et ses rings cacher
Il est decdemant on ami, un co-equipier
Qu’on veut sui son voilier!

(Pardon my French, s'il vous plait; misspellings are mine.)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Death and Dismissal


(from 24 Jun 2013, Death of XXX XXXXX, Pres.)

TO ALL EMPLOYEES: It is with deep regret that we inform you that our President passed way this morning, June 24, 2013. The memorial service will be held Friday, July 12th, at 4:00 p.m.

Deft at donning the commerce disguise
And at treading on toes of the wise,
He conspires with his friends,
Inside job, where he lends
What’s not his. . . just before his demise.

Rusted hinges groan loud as they swing
Close on – SILENCE – no more the Ka-ching!
All his coins turn to rust,
Blow away with his dust;
Vapors hot swallow up our late king.
- - - - - - - - -

(from 10 Jan 2014, upon my employer letting go the receptionist and mail room clerk)

Removing Support Services

These fell events, blood-red and gory,
Morph into tales of pomp and glory—

The wheels of commerce grind along
Until the trend line on a chart
Says, “Time has come- cut out a heart,”
In cadence with the slaver’s song.

All Hell breaks loose! Loud peals of thunder
Across the blood-soaked, barren heath
Force keening wail through gnashing teeth—
A family is torn asunder.

Great monuments pierce azure sky,
While emperors grind piles of bones
To fill the cracks between their stones,
Proclaiming love from gods on high.

Seeing Red

His relationship minefield drips red—
Even briefest encounters bring dread,
For each tentative pass
Gets a kick in the ass
And the firm admonition: “Drop dead!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

That's a Moufuu...

Blessèd food! Baked, sautéed, nuked, or fried!
Without eats, this whole race would have died.
Don’t forget stuff that’s dried,
Boiled, pickled, or lye’d;
How we love a repast, true-and-tried.


All these damned anapests! {His brain fried…}
Don’t give up, though! He still knew he vied
For the stellar top spot;
Competition white hot!
But his verse? At the very best - pied.

Pied (adj) having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lovely Leah Learns to Ride

Our lovely Leah learned to ride
Her Lil "Pink" Gem this year.
We asked her Gramps to teach her how--
How did that go? Oh, dear!

She rolled it down a grassy hill,
Fell off a time or two,
But soon, with confidence supreme,
She did not ride -- she flew!

Her water bottle filled to brim,
The streamers nicely streaming,
Both tires firm, well-pumped with air--
All we could say: "She's beaming!"

She clapped her helmet on her head,
Drew on her leather gloves,
And as she pushed off from the curb,
"Ta-ta! I'm off, me loves."

She terrorized the neighborhood;
Her friends shrank back in fear
Whenever Leah's Lil "Pink" Gem
Zoomed past in highest gear!

We must put on bells, lights and horn
For everybody's sake,
And her young legs will stronger grow--
Oh!... teach her how to brake!

Perhaps for years, as come along,
Their paths will cross again--
But Gramps and Leah riding bikes
Was much to our chagrin!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Hamlet Re-Imagined

“Had we known what he’d do in advance,
We’d not be in this hole, Rosencrantz!”
“Shhhh! Let’s think, Guildenstern…
How to make Hamlet burn?—
We’ll have Stoppard look at him askance!”

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


An answer to "Limerick Outing" by Madeline Begun Kane in her Limerick-Off for January 5, 2014:

Limerick Outing
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A woman would often go out
With a sad-sack who’d grimace and pout.
When her friends warned that “he’s
A wet blanket and sleaze,”
She said, “Date-wise I’m having a drought.”

My answer (and protection of the "worse-half" of humanity):

Dousing the Cookout
By way2fractious

Yet that fellow her friends thought a lout
Finally showed her her friends, without doubt,
Suffer co-misery,
Just as angst-filled as she--
Then he dumped that whole coterie out!