Five Small Poems on the Secret Lives of Creatures

 

About a week ago, I posted a poem of mine about a toad. It landed with a thud on the Ricochet Member Feed. It was soon a lonely and pathetic thing as it moved inexorably down the morning posts with hardly even a Pity Like.

But that was a week ago. I’ve discovered that my poetic Muse won’t leave me alone, even at the risk of ridicule and shame.

Frankenstein

Scarred refuse
of yesterday’s men:
Finds pain in being alive.
Would rather
lie in pieces again.

[OK, I know that wasn’t much, but it’s so short that readers who never make it to the end of a poem can now boast that they made it to the end of a poem.]

The Vampire

White-faced Transylvanian,
with a recessive gene
that urges nightly sips of blood.

But believes it a sin
To have vulgar tastes:
Drinks young virgins
instead of old men.

[Well who wouldn’t?]

Wolf-man

Periodic beast:
When the full moon
floods the landscape,
our pajama-sleeper
feels tendons tighten,
coarse hair grow,
and eyes evil-brighten.

Then our hairy fellow
runs naked across the dark heath,
Ripping up humus and moss
With red nails and sharp teeth.

In the morning, belly filled,
he wakes up man again:
Prompt at office,
politic and quiet,
a gentleman
with modest tie,
eyes bright.

[This is my favorite. I’ve always like the wolf man]

Old Scratch

By custom obliged
to dress in a red
woolen onesie suit.

Forced by divine decree
To sport on his breech
a foul-smelling tail
that swishes the black flies
that buzz on his bung
(that reeks when it’s hot
of sulphur and dung).

Hoofs on his heels,
horns on his head
fire for his bed.

Hates it,
takes it
out on
mankind.

[The real origin of evil.]

The Witch

Anne Jefferies
Is bored, her lace stitchery
by her side, as she
looks around her
stuffed Victorian room.

So Anne sneaks out at night
to dance with Cornwall fairies
in a clearing in dark woods
till the coming of the light.

I think, my Victorian lass,
there were far worse ways
of using up your share of days
than to dance with fairies
in the pale moonlight. 

[Anne Jefferies was an actual 17th-century witch, though I’ve modified her story somewhat.]

One more poem:

Bob the dog thinks it a treat/to watch the cat across the street.

 

 

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 61 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  1. Arahant Member

    Best I ever encountered was a weredog.

    • #1
    • August 16, 2019, at 10:42 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Best I ever encountered was a weredog.

    I’ve never heard of a weredog. I guess a weredog was once a werepuppy.

    • #2
    • August 16, 2019, at 10:53 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Arahant Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    I’ve never heard of a weredog. I guess a weredog was once a werepuppy.

    Have you heard of a were-leopard?

    • #3
    • August 16, 2019, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Arahant Member

    There once was a weredog named Sydney
    With a particular fondness for kidney.
    He raided a butcher
    But needed a suture
    When the butcher got through, now, didn’t he?

    • #4
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    The Nessie’s life is submarine,
    And, despite sightings, quite unseen.
    For the teeming Nessie colony
    Lives in one craft, submersibly.

    • #5
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    To gain the main feed

    The safe road is screed

    But you took another road

    To immortalize a toad

    Though poems tinged melancholy

    Might be seen as pure folly

    But please throw Ken a bone

    And like his toady poem

     

     

    • #6
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:30 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. EJHill Podcaster

    KentForrester:

    That damned poem ruined my streak of 15 straight posts that went to the Main Feed. I swore off poetry forever.

    But that was a week ago.

    And here we thought you had learned your lesson…

    • #7
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:34 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    To gain the main feed

    The safe road is screed

    But you took another road

    To immortalize a toad

    Though poems tinged melancholy

    Might be seen as pure folly

    But please throw Ken a bone

    And like his toady poem

     

     

    Gossamer, love it! You’re a poet! Bone and poem! A beautiful off rhyme. 

    • #8
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:39 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    EJHill (View Comment):

    KentForrester:

    That damned poem ruined my streak of 15 straight posts that went to the Main Feed. I swore off poetry forever.

    But that was a week ago.

    And here we thought you had learned your lesson…

    EJ, I’m slow. Everyone on Ricochet knows that. 

    • #9
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. She Thatcher
    She

    Dear Ricochet member, I plead
    Vote Kent’s damn poem to the main feed
    Else he’ll whine and moan
    Till the toads do come home
    And that’s aggravation I just don’t need.

    The link is here: https://ricochet.com/658916/my-poem-about-a-toad/#comment-4554615

     

    • #10
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    There once was a weredog named Sydney
    With a particular fondness for kidney.
    He raided a butcher
    But needed a suture
    When the butcher got through, now, didn’t he?

    Arahant, have you been waiting for me to post a poem so that you could post the limerick that you’ve been working on for months?

    • #11
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    The Nessie’s life is submarine,
    And, despite sightings, quite unseen.
    For the teeming Nessie colony
    Lives in one craft, submersibly.

    What in the world, Ms. Rattlesnake? Have you been saving this just for the occasion? “Colony” and “submersibly”? You’re stretching it, Rattlesnake.

    • #12
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:46 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    There once was a weredog named Sydney
    With a particular fondness for kidney.
    He raided a butcher
    But needed a suture
    When the butcher got through, now, didn’t he?

    Arahant, have you been waiting for me to post a poem so that you could post the limerick that you’ve been working on for months?

    Nope, he’s just had his claws sharpened by many a limerick flyting hosted on Ricochet over the years.

    I’ve been away from Ricochet quite a bit lately. Have we had any limerick wars lately?

    • #13
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    The Nessie’s life is submarine,
    And, despite sightings, quite unseen.
    For the teeming Nessie colony
    Lives in one craft, submersibly.

    What in the world, Ms. Rattlesnake? Have you been saving this just for the occasion? “Colony” and “submersibly”? You’re stretching it, Rattlesnake.

    Oh, you should have seen the first draft, which was up a minute or so before I thought better of it. It was much worse!

    • #14
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    But I like the idea of Nessies not being large lake-dwelling monsters, but tiny monsters inhabiting a larger, monster-shaped submersible boat.

    • #15
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    She (View Comment):

    Dear Ricochet member, I plead
    Vote Kent’s damn poem to the main feed
    Else he’ll whine and moan
    Till the toads do come home
    And that’s aggravation I just don’t need.

    The link is here: https://ricochet.com/658916/my-poem-about-a-toad/#comment-4554615

     

    Haha, Mrs. She. You and the ever bounteous Mrs. Forrester are just alike. She also says that I whine too much, in an oblique sort of way, on Ricochet.

    Pretty good poem on the spur of the moment.

     

    • #16
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:53 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    But I like the idea of Nessies not being large lake-dwelling monsters, but tiny monsters inhabiting a larger, monster-shaped submersible boat.

    That’s just weird, Midge.

    • #17
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:56 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Mark Camp Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    The Nessie’s life is submarine,
    And, despite sightings, quite unseen.
    For the teeming Nessie colony
    Lives in one craft, submersibly.

    What in the world, Ms. Rattlesnake? Have you been saving this just for the occasion? “Colony” and “submersibly”? You’re stretching it, Rattlesnake.

    Trying to formulate a defense for Midge. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

    1. There is definitely a “y”, with the same /i/ pronunciation, at the end of both words. Should count for something.
    2. Those two lines were not significantly below the average poetic quality of the four lines taken together.

    (I’m thinking the Rattler would be better off pleading guilty to a reduced charge.)

    • #18
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:57 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. tigerlily Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    But I like the idea of Nessies not being large lake-dwelling monsters, but tiny monsters inhabiting a larger, monster-shaped submersible boat.

    That’s just weird, Midge.

    I dunno. I think Jules Verne would approve.

    • #19
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:01 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. She Thatcher
    She

    Final Answer: First place goes to Frankenstein, with Honorable Mention to The Witch.

    • #20
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Mark Camp Member

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    But I like the idea of Nessies not being large lake-dwelling monsters, but tiny monsters inhabiting a larger, monster-shaped submersible boat.

    That’s just weird, Midge.

    I dunno. I think Jules Verne would approve.

    I dunno either. I like the tiny sub-borne monster idea too, and it is just weird, Midge, and I think Jules Verne would approve.

     

    • #21
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    She (View Comment):

    Final Answer: First place goes to Frankenstein, with Honorable Mention to The Witch.

    She, mine goes like this: First place goes to Werewolf, with honorable mention to Vampire. I’m terribly fond of the last stanza of Werewolf.

    • #22
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:11 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Mark Camp Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    I’m terribly fond of the last stanza of Werewolf.

    You meant “Wolfman“, rather than “Werewolf“, yes?

    • #23
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    The Nessie’s life is submarine,
    And, despite sightings, quite unseen.
    For the teeming Nessie colony
    Lives in one craft, submersibly.

    What in the world, Ms. Rattlesnake? Have you been saving this just for the occasion? “Colony” and “submersibly”? You’re stretching it, Rattlesnake.

    Trying to formulate a defense for Midge. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

    1. There is definitely a “y”, with the same /i/ pronunciation, at the end of both words. Should count for something.
    2. Those two lines were not significantly below the average poetic quality of the four lines taken together.

    (I’m thinking the Rattler would be better off pleading not guilty to a reduced charge.)

    That unfairly-maligned textbook, Sound and Sense, points out somewhere that the limerick

    I sat next to the Duchess at tea;
    It was just as I feared it would be.
    Her rumblings abdominal
    Were simply phenomenal,
    And everyone thought it was me!

    works in part as light, frivolous verse because the abdominal/phenomenal rhyme is a bad-enough one to be comic.

    Light verse doesn’t equal badly-written verse, but I stand with Sound and Sense, and guys like Ogden Nash, in calling ridiculous-sounding near-rhymes an important technique in light verse ;-P

    (I’ve never been more than a rank amateur as a poet, but I loved reading poetry, both serious and comic, in my youth. I wrote an analysis of Wilfred Owen’s pararhyme that was nominated for a literary prize, once. On a computer which I left, for the summer, along with the paper copies, in the basement of a playwright who never proposed to me, and who didn’t offer to return my stuff until too late. Which anecdote sounds far more glamorous and bohemian than it actually was.)

    • #24
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. Arahant Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Arahant, have you been waiting for me to post a poem so that you could post the limerick that you’ve been working on for months?

    Had I been working on it for months, it would be a crown of sonnets or something similar, a double sestina, perhaps. It would also be much better than that limerick. 😜

    • #25
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:36 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Have we had any limerick wars lately?

    No. 😔☹

    • #26
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Arahant Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Light verse doesn’t equal badly-written verse, but I stand with Sound and Sense, and guys like Ogden Nash, in calling ridiculous-sounding near-rhymes an important technique in light verse

    Agreed.

    • #27
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:41 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Mark Camp Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Light verse doesn’t equal badly-written verse, but I stand with Sound and Sense, and guys like Ogden Nash, in calling ridiculous-sounding near-rhymes an important technique in light verse

    Agreed.

    Agreed

    –(Anon.)

    There was an old poet named Nash

    With whose ideas it would seem we’ve a match

    Our whole lot are Agreed,

    It’s a truth not Denied

    It would seem that great minds always mesh.

    * * * * * * * *

    [EDIT: This Comment contains a Conundrum*. See if you can spot it.]

    *Maybe a Dilemma. Or an Enigma, or a Paradox. If it’s none of those, then I am sure that it’s a use of Red Imagery. Or a Classical Allusion, maybe. It’s been a long time. I’m sorry, Miss Taylor, the whole English class, we’re all sorry. And we are sorry about that time when you walked into the classroom and we pretended that Rich Stanley was hanging outside the window, suspended by the pull-string for the blackout shades. We knew about your phobia about open windows, and we are sincerely sorry.

    • #28
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:59 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Our whole lot are Agreed,

    It’s a truth not Denied

    Any poem that gets me to read “denied” as “dun-need” is a winner in my book!

    • #29
    • August 16, 2019, at 1:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. She Thatcher
    She

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    The Nessie’s life is submarine,
    And, despite sightings, quite unseen.
    For the teeming Nessie colony
    Lives in one craft, submersibly.

    What in the world, Ms. Rattlesnake? Have you been saving this just for the occasion? “Colony” and “submersibly”? You’re stretching it, Rattlesnake.

    Trying to formulate a defense for Midge. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

    1. There is definitely a “y”, with the same /i/ pronunciation, at the end of both words. Should count for something.
    2. Those two lines were not significantly below the average poetic quality of the four lines taken together.

    (I’m thinking the Rattler would be better off pleading guilty to a reduced charge.)

    It seems our own Kent Forrester 
    Has run afoul a barrister.
    We can but pine
    For more bad rhymes
    And poems of good character.

    • #30
    • August 16, 2019, at 1:10 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3