Friday, January 19, 2018


hitler was a bad person
stalin was a family man
bismarck was a man of the people
and drank his beer from a can

mao wore pink pajamas
and slept all afternoon
churchill ran around naked
whistling a happy tune

roosevelt liked the ladies
and watched them through his pince-nez
the kaiser was always a gentleman
i don’t care what anyone says

ronald reagan studied the stars
to determine what to do
margaret thatcher sat by the river
singing the weary blues

richard nixon did crossword puzzles
and often fell down drunk
boris yeltsin wore funny hats
and wished he was a monk

they all drank tea with honey
and ate croissants with flaky crusts
now their memoirs are forgotten
and their empires have turned to dust

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

bob and bill and brad

a guy named bob and a guy named bill
lived in a shack on top of a hill
they were watched by a guy named brad
whose binoculars were all he had

brad kept an eye on bill and bob
because it was his job
he watched their actions ebb and surge
and a certain pattern emerged

bill had the upper hand
and abused bob to beat the band
bob did all the work
and bill claimed all the perks

this went on for about a year
and brad began to fear
there was nothing more to see
in this here territory

brad was ready to move on
and then awoke at dawn
at the shack he took one last glance
and what should he see by chance

but bob pounding on bill!
suddenly the air grew still
brad looked on with surprisement
as bob gave bill his chastisement

from then on bob was king
and bill was the underling
bob cut bill no slack
and watched the sunset with his feet on bill’s back

brad made out his report
and tried to keep it short
had everything changed?
or were they still the same?

brad looked out at the sky
white clouds drifted by
somewhere a child scraped its knee
and a bird sang in a tree

Saturday, December 30, 2017

i remember

i remember the good old days
the old fashioned ways
when a dog was a dog and a cat was a cat
and nobody had a problem with that

i remember mr jones’s store
it isn’t there any more
i remember old mr jones
with his twinkling eyes and creaking bones

i remember old mrs jones
scooping and molding ice cream cones
the nickel for the cone burned a hole in my pants
the screen door banged and the shadows danced

i remember charlie chan
in a double feature with tarzan
w c fields with his thumbs in his vest
and john wayne riding through the west

i remember stoves with coal
and swimming in the old swimming hole
a dog named bud who came when you called
and the full moon shining over it all

i would give your information age
with its trillions of bytes of hate and rage
its temples of steel and towers of glass
to see bud running through the tall green grass

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


a nothing apple
falls from a tree
on a nothing hill
beside a nothing sea

the nothing sailors
on the nothing boat
laugh at the reporter
and won’t give him a quote

about the nothing princess
who never drowned
in the nowhere river
in her nowhere gown

never and forever
and all the same
the score is nothing to nothing
in the nowhere game

the nowhere cats
and the nowhere dogs
howl like houdini
in the nowhere fog

locked in a trunk
with a nowhere lock
the clock strikes midnight
on a nowhere clock

the bubbles float
on the nowhere surface
of the nothing river
with no end or purpose

on the nowhere horizon
of the nothing sky
sweet sue sings softly
in the sweet bye and bye

Saturday, August 19, 2017

the worst story

i was walking down euston road when i was suddenly confronted by sinclair, usually the most undemonstrative of men.

“have you heard about tremayne?” he blurted out.

“why no, “ i replied. “i have not heard anything about tremayne. what is there to hear?”

“it’s dreadful! “ sinclair exclaimed. “positively dreadful1 the worst story in the history of the world.”

i hardly knew what to say to that, but before i could summon up a response, sinclair went on, “meet me at the club tonight and i will tell you all about it.”

“i will be sure to do that,” i replied, and sinclair went on his way.

leaving me in a state of some small curiosity, though, truth be told, i hardly knew tremayne, or had given him any thought since our schooldays.

the night was a dark and rainy one, and i set myself beside the fire at the club with a stiff brandy, and waited for sinclair.

but he did not show up, and as the fire burned low and was replenished and burned low again, i fell sleep in the chair.

when i awoke, i was assured by the steward that sinclair had not shown up.

so far as i knew, tremayne was not a member of the club, and when i enquired i was assured that no such gentleman was known to the staff or had made an appearance.

i went back the next two nights, with similar results, though on neither night did i wait quite so long for my unpunctual storyteller.

in fact, i never heard from or of sinclair again, or learned the dreadful fate of the unfortunate tremayne.

i did, however, develop a slight stiffness in my lower back, which i have never entirely lost.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


by brig. gen. percival t sternwall

let the stars fall from the sky
let empires wither and die
though away the heavens roll
i have an immortal soul!

let the skies be filled with thunder
and worlds be torn asunder
and a million trumpets blast
you will not have heard the last

of my spirit as it flies
to a world that never dies
that never doubts and never grieves
the world of those who believe!

o skeptics in your hovels
who before eternity grovel
and crouch in darkness and gloom
there is life beyond the tomb!

Saturday, April 1, 2017


the fire was burning low.

thurston and beresford were the only members of the club still in the room.

“you know,” said thurston, “i was reading something in the gazette this morning.” he paused. “i can’t now remember what it was, but somehow it put me in mind of something. something that happened a long time ago. to a fellow named stafford- wiggins. i don’t suppose you would have known him?”

beresford made a sort of grunt which thurston took as indicating that beresford had indeed not known stafford-wiggins.

“no, i didn’t suppose you would,” thurston continued. “he was a young chap starting out in the service in the corps - the diplomatic corps - at the same time as myself. which, of course, was not exactly yesterday. anyway, all of us - all of us young fellows starting out - thought stafford-wiggins was quite a comer. so, one bright spring afternoon old sir edward chandry - who was in charge of sort of shepherding us through our apprenticeship - invited all of us - all of us young chaps - to the races. at ascot, if i remember correctly.

one of the things that impressed us about stafford-wiggins was the amazing talent he had for arriving at any event or appointment at exactly the right time - never so much as a minute early or late.

so, all the rest of us had gathered in front of the track with sir edward and lady chandry, and we were waiting for stafford-wiggins. the more forthright among us had been laughingly assuring sir edward and his consort that he would most assuredly arrive just in time.

and sure enough, he did just that.

a few of the fellows began chaffing him good-naturedly as he stepped down from his coach, straightening his jacket and getting ready to pay his respects to sir edward and lady chandry, whom i happened to be standing just behind.

“that young man,” lady chandry observed in a low voice to sir edward, indicating stafford-wiggins, “does not know how to wear a top hat.”

this was bad enough, but worse was to come.

“nor,” lady chandry added , “will he ever.”

“i am afraid you are right, my dear,” sir edward agreed as he put on a smile and stepped forward to greet stafford-wiggins.

sentence had been passed, as quickly as a leaf might fall, and of course there was no appeal or any notion of one from the condemned.

i remember that i made a few successful wagers that afternoon, which needless to say made more of an impression on me than any thoughts - deep or otherwise - i might have had about poor staford-wiggins.

in due course, stafford-wiggins was posted to the balkans or spanish guyana or some such. for all practical purposes, he was never heard of or from again. “

thurston paused again, “funny, isn’t it, how a single - what would you call it? not even a misstep, really, can determine a fellow’s fate.”

but beresford did not reply, as he had fallen asleep.