Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
I was seated comfortably last evening in my cozy den
Imbibing a bit of Longfellow and Keats and Byron when
I found myself in desperate need for a spot of company
Another soul with whom I could relax and just be me.
Thinking of not another lad to join me in my plan
And knowing of course, that woman is no substitute for man
After a half a dozen shots of Wrinkleberry rum
I found myself in Oscar Henry's Pet Emporium.
After screaming at the snakes and cursing at the cats,
Poo-pooing at the porcupines and raging at the rats,
Just when I'd decided that I could no longer bear it
My eyes were held transfixed upon - an avocado parrot.
Oscar Henry almost broke his neck getting to my side,
Strangling quite audibly a smirk he tried to hide
And said. "You are a man of class, that one can plainly see.
You've picked the only bird alive that recites poetry'"
Having been weaned on poet's milk since I could barely stand
And considering Heaven to be the gentle palm of Shakespeare's hand.
The sale was made and bird and I walked out into the night,
Excitement filling, chilling me with waves of sheer delight.
Seated again in my cozy den with bird perched on a chair
I waited at length to hear the words the parrot had to share
And said, "Dear bird, lift up your beak- and share your gift with me.
Bathe me in the sunlight of your golden poetry!"
"Effervescent elephants, elated with the eve..."
Sepulchral serpents slithering in syncopated style...
"What's this" I cried' "What balderdash flows from out yon beak?
Poetry is what I asked for. Begin anew, bird. Speak!"
"Prolyphame's protruberance paled princely, pallid pride ..."
With sanctifying sweetness the somber sultan stepped...."
Good grief!" I cried. Apparently poor bird had lost his brain
Pouring out with filthy breath words obviously insane.
Pouring out a small shot, in an effort to be civil,
I gave some to the creature saying, "An end to all this drivel!
Let me hear the words of Alger slide from off thy tongue"
And Longfellow and Whittier and Merriwether Young!"
"Culminating clouds whimpering like wailful, whispy whales ..."
"I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree!" I shrieked."
The austere anteater ate unbridled, ancopantic ants .....
"I am the captain of my ship. I am the master of my soul!", I squeaked.
"Fluorescent fluid flowed within the fairy-tale lake ....
"Honor the Light Brigade' Honor the charge they made' Noble 600!!"
Serenly slithering in the sewer the lazy Iizard leaped. . . . "
"Once upon a midnight dreary as I pondered weak and weary", I screamed!
We battled far into the night. My den was a dismal wreck
Till finally I grabbed the ingrate by its lying neck
And said, "Cruel bird, your worth to me has long since been undone'"
And scurried back to Oscar Henry's Pet Emporium.
"Take back thy bird! Return my coin"', I said with nasty scowl.
"I've come to see exactly why a bird is called a fowl!
This bird knows less of poetry than laymen know of pills.
Begone, I say! My books alone will cure away my ills'"
"Poetry's changed," M. Henry replied. "Nothing stays the same
And, if you want to criticize, my bird won't take the blame.
Take this list of names that fostered poetry's undoing.."
The names jumped off the page at me - McLeish, Sexton, Mckuen.
"But when", I cried, "shall they return - the Kiplings and the Poes
To break these chains and cast aside this paraplegic prose?
When shall Wordsworth reappear to make my spirits soar?"
Quoth the bird - and Oscar Henry - in unison, "Nevermore."
[This message has been edited by Balladeer (edited 10-06-1999).]