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

Saturday, July 3, 2010

afternoon musings of a bounder

there are things about being a cad
some are good, some bad
many over rated
others underappreciated

but being fought over in public
by lovely women is a subject
not sufficiently rendered, i'm sure
in classic literature

heroines of ancient romances
were limited to demure glances
and did not exert their tender muscles
in interfeminine tussles

as objects of manly competition
they respected a tradition
where the brave deserved the fair
and carried her unresisting to his lair

but in this new world of confusion
metamorphosis and illusion
with the old ways discarded and mocked
and babes in arms immune to shock

the fluttering eyelid is no more
the maid steps boldly to the fore
in darkest midnight or broadest day
and seizes on her startled prey

heedless of any scandaled glance
and giving decency no chance
astounds the assembled audience
by insisting on her preference

this modern maiden, in her glory
rewriting the poet's ancient story
"has pleasures of her own to give"
who've never known them, have not lived