Monday, July 19, 2010

the old dark house (hommage a gorey)

the reverend edward gorey
told a most edifying story
and illustrated his strictures
with finely executed pictures

children neither seen or heard
devoured every pious word
and satan's wiles they upbraided
as into the woodwork they faded

their elders were uplifted too
by tales so moral, stark, and true
and sat upright in morris chairs
exchanging baleful nods and glares

in shadowy conservatories
they mumbled their unlikely stories
with particular attention to the chances
of outliving their inheritances

ashen aunts with dwindling dollars
unctuous uncles in starched collars
comatose cousins on silent settees
with tired teacups on their knees

upstairs maids with drooping tresses
silent brooding governesses
manservants with creaking limbs
in hallways dark and doorways dim

parrots with small vocabularies
needy nephews sipping sherries
reptiles lost behind chaises longues
divas mumbling forgotten songs

and to complete the mournful frieze
moths who never felt a breeze
dogs who answer no human call
and cats - the worst of all

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