Tuesday, September 18, 2012

986. Ode to the Best Darn Poem What I Ever Did Write

Here's one only a poet can appreciate :)

Ode to the Best Darn Poem What I Ever Did Write
                        By Vikram Madan

I marveled when you first emerged, a tendril of a thought
You needed care and nurturing: I gave you all you sought

I watched you thrive and blossom and unfurl your worded wings
The texture of a language, vibrating in your strings

I felt your rhythms synchronize, your meters coalesce
Iambic feet cavorting as you took on loveliness

Your metaphors? Magnificent! Your similes? A bliss!
The way your words enthralled my tongue was no less than a kiss

Climatic? Like a symphony; Sagacity? Profound!
We danced all day inside my mind - (My smugness knew no bounds)

A masterpiece so perfect that no world would be the same!
I went to bed content I stood upon the cusp of fame

I dreamt all night how you and I would transform mankind
I woke up … to be horror-struck - you'd faded from my mind!

Oh why, oh why, did I commit the poets greatest sin
I should have freed you to paper, not kept you locked within

I've tried but failed to bring you back - I'll mourn you ever more
You could have been my 'Raven' but instead you're my 'Lenore'.

Copyright © 2012 Vikram Madan

[ PS. For anyone who didn't catch the references in the last line, look up Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven', a masterpiece of a poem that turned Poe into an instant celebrity. In that poem, Lenore is the maiden the narrator lost and forever pines for ... ]

PPS Happy Poetry Friday - this weeks the funs at Renee LaTulippe's No Water River blog.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Classic Funny Poems: 'The Briefless Barrister' by John G. Saxe

Here's an old little-known poem by John Godfrey Saxe penned sometime prior to 1857. Although John G. Saxe is most well known for his poem 'The Blind Men and the Elephant', he was a prolific poet and I was delighted to stumble across this gem in an old obscure book. I particularly enjoyed the word-play sprinkled through-out this poem. Note that John Saxe was a barrister by profession, so presumably he knew what he was writing about when he wrote this poem.

      The Briefless Barrister
A Ballad by John G. Saxe (1816 - 1887)

An attorney was taking a turn,
    In shabby habiliments drest ;
His coat was shockingly worn,
    And the rust had invested his vest.

His breeches had suffered a breach,
    His linen and worsted were worse ;
He had scarce a whole crown in his hat,
    And not half-a-crown in his purse.

And thus as he wandered along,
    A cheerless and comfortless elf,
He sought for relief in a song,
    Or complainingly talked to himself :

" Unfortunate man that I am !
    I've never a client but grief ;
The case is, I've no case at all,
    And in brief, I've ne'er had a brief !

" I've waited and waited in vain,
    Expecting an 'opening' to find,
Where an honest young lawyer might gain
    Some reward for the toil of his mind.

" 'Tis not that I'm wanting in law,
    Or lack an intelligent face,
That others have cases to plead,
    While I have to plead for a case.

" O, how can a modest young man
    E'er hope for the smallest progression-
The profession's already so full
    Of lawyers so full of profession !"

While thus he was strolling around,
    His eye accidentally fell
On a very deep hole in the ground
    And he sighed to himself, "It is well !"

To curb his emotions, he sat
    On the curb-stone the space of a minute,
Then cried, " Here's an opening at last !"
    And in less than a jiffy was in it !

Next morning twelve citizens came
    ('Twas the coroner bade them attend),
To the end that it might be determined
    How the man had determined his end !

" The man was a lawyer, I hear,"
    Quoth the foreman who sat on the corse ;
" A lawyer?   Alas! " said another,
    "Undoubtedly he died of remorse !"

A third said, " He knew the deceased,
    An attorney well versed in the laws,
And as to the cause of the death,
    'Twas no doubt from the want of a cause."

The jury decided at length,
    After solemnly weighing the matter,
" That the lawyer was drownded, because
    He could not keep his head above water !"

Excerpted from 'The Humorous Poetry of the English Language' by J. Parton, Mason Brothers, 1857

For more poetic fun, head on over to this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Diane Mayr's Random Noodling Blog.
Happy Poetry Friday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

987. Franken-Jack and Franken-Jill

In celebration of this week's Poetry Friday, being hosted by Katya Czaja on her Write, Sketch, Repeat blog, here's a new twisted nursery tale I wrote this week. The plot will be at once familiar and at once not...

Franken-Jack And Franken-Jill
        By Vikram Madan

Franken-Jack and Franken-Jill
Lurching, lurching up the hill
Testing out the new physiques
Doctor Stein has built this week

Buck-Et-Take-Up!", F-Jack groans
"Wa-Ter-Bring-Down!", F-Jill moans
Fill the bucket at the top
Careful not to slop a drop

Franken-Jill and Franken-Jack
Heaving, swaying, stagger back
Teeter, totter, two left feet
Trip and tumble to the street

Franken-Jill's the first to rise
Dusts her dress, adjusts her eyes
Looks at Franken-Jack and frowns

Franken-Jack gets up and looms
Feels his head, then rages, fumes

Text and Illustrations Copyright © 2012 Vikram Madan

Following last Poetry Friday's Humpty poem, this poem originally started as 'Franken-Humpty' ... but 'Franken-Humpty' just didnt have the same rhythm as 'Franken-Jack and Franken-Jill', who took a life of there own after being hit by a bolt of random inspiration.... :)

 If you enjoyed this poem, may I recommend two other 'twisted' poems I recently posted:
And if you enjoyed those poems too, well then, feel free to poke around this site and follow this blog for regular updates ... :)

Happy Poetry Friday!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

988. The Oviraptor's Kin

Here's an older dinosaur poem inspired by dinosaurs called Oviraptors, latin for 'Egg Thief'. The dinosaurs were so named because the first discovered fossil was found huddled over a clutch of eggs of - what was assumed to be - a different species. With time, paleontologists realized the dinosaur was probably guarding it's own nest and hadn't been 'caught in the act'. It's reputation was cleared, but the name still sticks. (Talk about a bum rap!)

This poem celebrates the original theory as that's the more imaginative one. :)

The Oviraptor's Kin
By Vikram Madan

Said Oviraptor to his kin,
    'I’m great at stealing eggs!
My arms are perfect - long and thin!
    I have the fastest legs!’

‘My face has got a cunning look
    My gait is sly and keen
I steal those eggs by hook or crook
    My getaways are clean'

‘And once an egg falls in my hands
    I cannot help but smile
The eggs from many Dino-lands
    I’ve added to my pile’

‘No Oviraptor can compare
    Its stash of eggs to mine
A hoard this size has to be rare
    And none could be as fine!’

But as he gloated, full of pride,
    He erred and turned his back
Which let his kin sneak by his side
    And pilfer his whole stack…

Text and Illustrations Copyright © 2004 Vikram Madan

An Oviraptor's kin, after all, is an Oviraptor too ...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

989. Charge of the Night Brigade

Here's another parody poem (or as J. Patrick Lewis calls them, a 'parrot-y') gestated by the parrot-y party going on at David L. Harrison's blog. This one is based on Lord Alfred Tennyson's famous poem The Charge of the Light Brigade. I was first introduced to the original when I was in middle-school, and portions of it have stuck with me ever since. Since the original is now in public domain, I have reproduced it side-by-side with the parody for your reading pleasure.

[Warning: I rate this poem as PG for excessive violence and macabre themes][though to be fair to myself, the original is no less violent :) ]

The Charge of the Night Brigade
Parody By Vikram Madan

Half a leg, half a leg,
Half a leg onward,
All in the alley of Death
  Shuffled six hundred.
Zombies, the night pervade
“Brains!” were the words unsaid.
Into the alley of Death
  Shuffled six hundred.

Zombies, the night pervade
Was there a man dismayed?
Wherefrom they came anew
  No one had wondered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to eat an eye.
Into the alley of Death
  Shuffled six hundred.

Human to right of them,
Human to left of them,
Human in front of them
  Panicked and blundered;
Stormed at with shoe and shell,
Coldly they flowed and fell,
Carrying their jaws of Death,
Carrying their mouths of hell
  Shuffled six hundred.

Flashed all their ulnas bare,
Moaned as they clawed the air,
Chasing the humans there,
Mindlessly swarming, while
  The whole world sundered.
Pounding on pine and oak
Right through the doors they broke;
Redneck and Yuppie
Reeled from each horrid-stroke
  Splattered, fell under.
Then they flowed back, but not,
  Not the six hundred.

Human to right of them,
Human to left of them,
Human behind them,
  Infected and plundered;
Tainted with zombie spell,
Rose now, who once had fell,
They that had fed so well
Carried their jaws of Death
Carried infectious hell,
Now there were more of them,
  More than six hundred.

When can their hunger fade?
When ends their dark parade?
  None left to wonder.
Fear now the charge they made!
Fear that undead brigade,
  Hundreds and hundreds
  And hundreds and hundreds
  And hundreds and hundreds
  And hundreds…

The Charge of the Light Brigade
By Lord Alfred Tennyson 1809–1892

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
   Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sab’ring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
   All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
   Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
   Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
   Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
   All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
   Noble six hundred!

 Illustrations and Parody Copyright (c) 2012 Vikram Madan
Now that was fun wasn't it? :)

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