Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Poem for Alaska

   Scott sent me this poem after I mentioned on Facebook that I had been lucky enough to see some Tufted Puffins, on Gull Island in the Cook Inlet, near Peterson Bay:

Upon this cake of ice is perched The paddle-footed puffin.
To find his double I have searched, But have discovered nuffin.
—Robert Williams Wood

And the genius of that poem reminded me of the genius of Ogden Nash. Here is one of my favorites, which I memorized many years ago and which never fails to crack me up:

THE TERMITE
Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good!
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.
—Ogden Nash 

   Scott himself is a freakin' genius, and if you don't believe me, please bow to the supreme power of Myth-Demeanors.
  I've also been trading favorite poetry with Ben, so here are a couple more gems from Nash:

THE LION
The lion is the king of beasts,
And husband of the lioness.
Gazelles and things on which he feasts
Address him as your highoness.
There are those that admire that roar of his,
In the African jungles and velds,
But, I think that wherever the lion is,
I’d rather be somewhere else.

KANGAROOS
The kangaroo can jump incredible,
He has to jump because he is edible,
I could not eat a kangaroo,
But many fine Australians do,
Those with cookbooks as well as boomerangs,
Prefer him in tasty kangaroomeringues. 

And some Shel Silverstein:

SNOWBALL
I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.

I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first—it wet the bed.
PUT SOMETHING IN
Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-grumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.

WAVY HAIR
I thought that I had wavy hair
Until I shaved. Instead
I find that I have straight hair
and a wavy head.

ONE INCH TALL
If you were only one inch tall, you'd ride a worm to school.
The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall, you'd walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You'd swing upon a spider's thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.

You'd surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.
You couldn't hug your mama, you'd just have to hug her thumb.
You'd run from people's feet in fright,
To move a pen would take all night,
(This poem took fourteen years to write--
'Cause I'm just one inch tall).
 The silliness of each of these makes me exceptionally happy.  :)