Monday, 22 October 2012
As I listened from a beach-chair in the shade
To all the noises that my garden made,
It seemed to me only proper that words
Should be withheld from vegetables and birds.
A robin with no Christian name ran through
The Robin-Anthem which was all it knew,
And rustling flowers for some third party waited
To say which pairs, if any, should get mated.
Not one of them was capable of lying,
There was not one which knew that it was dying
Or could have with a rhythm or a rhyme
Assumed responsibility for time.
Let them leave language to their lonely betters
Who count some days and long for certain letters;
We, too, make noises when we laugh or weep:
Words are for those with promises to keep.
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
|Father heard his children scream|
from: Ruthless Rhymes, 1898
from Perverted Proverbs
What is Enough? An idle dream!
One cannot have enough, I swear,
Of Ices or Meringues-and-Cream,
Nougat or Chocolate Eclairs,
Of Oysters or of Caviar,
Of Prawns or Pate de Foie Grar!
Who would not willingly forsake
Kindred and Home, without a fuss,
For Icing from a Birthday Cake,
Or juicy fat Asparagus,
And journey over countless seas
For New Potatoes and Green Peas?
They say that a Contented Mind
Is a Continual Feast; — but where
The mental frame, and how to find,
Which can with Turtle Soup compare?
No mind, however full of Ease,
Could be Continual Toasted Cheese.
For dinner have a sole to eat,
(Some Perrier Jouet, ’92,)
An Entree then (and, with the meat,
A bottle of Lafitte will do),
A quail, a glass of port (just one),
Liqueurs and coffee, and you’ve done.
But should you want a hearty meal,
And not this gourmet’s lightsome snack,
Fill up with terrapin and teal,
Clam chowder, crabs, and canvasback;
With all varieties of sauce,
And diff’rent wines for ev’ry course.
Your tastes may be of simpler type; –
A homely glass of “half-and-half,”
An onion and a dish of tripe,
Or headpiece of the kindly calf.
(Cruel perhaps, but then, you know,
“‘Faut tout souffrir pour etre veau!”)
‘Tis a mistake to eat too much
Of any dishes but the best;
And you, of course, should never touch
A thing you know you can’t digest;
For instance, lobster; — if you do,
Well, — I’m amayonnaised at you!
Let this be your heraldic crest,
A bottle (charge) of Champagne,
A chicken (gorged) with salad (dress’d),
Below, this motto to explain –
“Enough is Very Good, may be;
Too much is Good Enough for Me!”
Jocelyn Henry Clive 'Harry' Graham ( 1874 - 1936)
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
'Come', spoke the Almighty to Adam,
'There's work to do, even in Eden.'
'I want to see what you call them,'
The Lord said. 'It's a good day for it.'
'And take your thumb out of your mouth.'
He added. (Adam was missing his mother.)
So they shuffled past, or they hopped,
Or they waddled. The beasts of the field
And the fowls of the air,
Pretending not to notice him.
'Speak up now,' said the Lord God briskly,
'Give each and every one the name thereof.'
'Fido,' said Adam, thinking hard,
As the animals went past him one by one.
'Bambi', 'Harpy', 'Pooh',
'Incitatus', 'Acidosis', 'Apparat',
'Krafft-Ebbing', 'Indo-China, 'Schnorkel',
'Buggins', 'Bollock' -
'Bullock will do', said the Lord God, 'I like it'.
The rest are rubbish. You must try again tomorrow.'
'Can't you let her name something?'
Begged Adam. 'She's always on at me
About the animals.'
'Herself a fairer flower,'
Murmured God. 'Hardly necessary.
I would say. But if it makes her happy . . . .'
'What a trek!' Eve muttered.
'The animals came to Adam . . .
Well, Mohammed must go the mountain.'
'What's that you said', the Almighty asked.
But she was on her way.
'Lady's finger,' said Eve.
'Lady's tresses . . . .'
'No,' said the Lord.
'Strike that out.'
'Old man's beard, then.'
She sped towards the mountain.
'I'm worn out,' she gasped.
And that's all for today.'
'She's better at names than you were,'
The Lord observed.
'They all sound womanish to me,'
Said Adam, nettled.