Tag Archives: humorous poetry

Realistic Wedding Vows, Aug 5, 2018

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Photo by Alan Steed

 

Realistic Wedding Vows

I will abide your ego if you will abide mine—
If you ignore my awkward habits, I can exist with thine.
I’ll overlook socks on the floor or an abandoned shoe
if you promise not to mention an extra line or two
you might detect in years to come, scribed onto the place
where I hope you’ll still plant kisses on my aging face.

I won’t make you eat okra if you won’t bring home fish
expecting me to transform them into a tasty dish.
I’ll try to love your mother if you’ll put up with mine.
Poker evenings with your friends that stretch ’til dawn are fine
so long as you won’t rush on through from front door to the fridge
when I have my friends over for a game of bridge.

Stop and talk awhile. Get to know their names.
The sexes aren’t so different. We just play different games.
Our love is a given, so it requires no vow.
The things that I promise thee, in public, here and now
are fidelity and an effort to be the easiest me
that, given what your vows are, it’s possible to be.

Photo by Alan Steed

Hard to believe these photos were taken 31 years ago. Both the generous friend who took them for us as a surprise and the groom are now departed, but not the memories. We actually did not write our vows back then, even though we were both writers. I wonder why? I think it was because I was trying to coordinate publicity for a show being shot in Tahiti, planning a wedding and acting as the go-between for three house closings as we sold each of ours and bought a new house in northern California. The wedding was simple, but wonderful with surprise guests showing up from every stage of my life: childhood, college, Australia, old students from Wyoming, poet friends, friends from work, all my family from three different states, Bob’s kids and friends and even one lady I’d never met who flew in from Wyoming because she thought it sounded like fun. Ha. I’d sent out the invitations as an announcement, but everyone came. Guess they had decided this was never going to happen and they had to see the evidence for themselves. The photos are used as an illustration only and were an afterthought. Bob wasn’t a fisherman. I hadn’t played bridge since college!

The prompts: abide, ego, awkward, detect. Below are the links.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/rdp66-abide/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/08/05/fowc-with-fandango-ego/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/awkward/

https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/daily-addictions-2018-week-31/ (Detect)

The Clew of the “Tapa Rojo.”

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The Mystery of the Vanishing Red Tennis Ball Lids!!!!

My small dog is a fetcher, but oh, at what a cost.
I swear for every twenty balls I throw, one shows up lost.
I’ve been buying  tubes of tennis balls for many years,
yet within a few months, our supply is in arrears.
I go to buy another lot that vanishes the same.
Where are these balls? What eats them? What ambitious tree’s to blame
for hoarding them like fruit up high in assorted branches
where they are invisible, thwarting all our chances
to retrieve the orbs that are so vital for my throwing,
and in his pursuit of them, for Morrie’s come and going?

There is another mystery surrounding this adventure—
one that is more serious, occasioning my censure.
These tubes of tennis balls that come packaged in neat threes
so I can loft them from the pool to reside in trees,
happen to have covers that I find indispensible
and when you know the reason why, I’ll think you’ll find it sensible
that I hoard them like diamonds, a utilitarian treasure—
for it just so happens that they fit, measure for measure

my cans of open cat food, and dog food, too, precisely.
No tops bought for this purpose can seal the cans so nicely.

Since I feed seven animals two times every day,
there are always half-full cans I have to put away.
They have four different diets, and for every one I feed
I need a different can of food, so you can see my need
for those red tops that seal them up, free from any smell
that makes a fridge with human food smell like cat food Hell!
For my odor-free fridges, I’m fast in Wilson’s debt,
for I’ve had Morrie for four years and in that time, I bet 
I’ve purchased 15 tubes of balls for him to chase and chew.
So I should have 15 red tops. Still, I have only two!
Where can these tops be going? Is my dog-walker purloining them
to sell on the black market? And have tennis balls been joining them?

Are they being used as Frisbees by some child of a friend
who snatches them when I am not there to apprehend
this purloiner of cat food lids, this wily thief of tops,
knowing that no sane person would dare to call the cops
over a piece of plastic, no matter how securely
it hugs the tops of dog food cans–so snuggly and so purely?
Are dogs stealing and chewing them and burying them after?
Have the cats purloined them and stowed them in some rafter?
I’ve questioned sweet Yolanda who must think that I am crazy.
She only shakes her head at me, looking somewhat hazy.
“Donde estan mis tapas rojas?” Pasiano, on a breather,
does not seem to have a single clue of what I’m saying, either.

They point out other pet food lids. I’ve purchased quite a few,
but not one fits securely. Only tennis ball lids will do.
Each life contains its mysteries—mundane or scintillating
concerning who put dents in cars or whom our kids are dating.
Things break, get lost or vanish by means less than pernicious,
and yet the regularity of my thefts is suspicious!
These valueless little objects to me are indispensible
and so I find the loss of them especially reprehensible!
Roll on the floor and laugh at me. Deride me if you must,
but I still view these petty thefts to be vile and unjust.
I’d like to solve the mystery. Stop the crime spree.  Put the skids on it,
so I can solve the crime and literally put the lids on it!

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Ragtag’s word of the day is clew.
Fandango’s word of the day is scintillating.
And, the Daily Addiction’s prompt is ambition.

Coffee with No Ceremony

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Coffee With No Ceremony

I lived in Addis Ababa adjoining Mexico Square.
I ate injera every day. Had cornrows in my hair.
I thought I knew it all, and though my language skills were poor,
I knew enough Amharic to get by in any store.

Seated in a circle, on low stools around a flame,
We watched Demekech fan the fire—this ritual the same
in every house and every village all throughout the land.
The thick and sludgy coffee was always ground by hand.

Boiled in a clay carafe, then set aside to brew
as in another little pot, some corn kernels she threw.
The popcorn taken from the flame, the colo nuts were next.
Except—we found that we had none, and we were sorely vexed.

The coffee jug was sealed up with a fresh-wound plug of grass
ready for the pouring, but one aspect of our mass
was missing, so I said I’d go to buy some at the souk,
lest our hospitality give reason for rebuke.

These little shops were many, lining both sides of the street;
and at each one, I knew the custom—always did I greet
the owner with proper respect, and always, he said, “Yes!”
when I asked if he had colo, but I couldn’t guess

why no one ever seemed to want to sell any to me.
Always the same reaction—first the shock and then the glee.
So, finally, I walked back home. My failure I admitted.
Departing, I had felt so smart, but now I felt half-witted.

What had I done wrong? I knew that every shop had colo.
The problem must have been that I had gone to get them solo!
Returning empty-handed, I felt I was to blame.
Coffee without colo was a pity and a shame.

But my roommate and our guests and cook were really most surprised.
I must have asked for something else than colo, they surmised.
What did I ask for? When I told them, they dissolved in laughter.
They said that I was lucky not to get what I asked after.

For colo had two meanings, depending on the stress
put on the first syllable, and I had made a mess.
Instead of nuts, they told me (and this was just between us,)
I had asked each souk owner—if he had a penis!

(This is a true story of only one of the gaffes I became famous for in the year and a half I taught and traveled in Ethiopia in the period leading up to the revolution that deposed Haile Selassie.) I published this four years ago but I think few were around then to read it, so here it comes again as I think it is a good example of how far I’m willing to go to extend a little hospitality.

 

 

 

 

The Ragtag prompt today is hospitable.

Swimming in the Rainy Season

 

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Swimming in the Rainy Season

To the end of the pool and back again,
I love swimming in the rain.
The economy of it is such
that though you’re wet two times as much,
it’s clear as day to sage or dunce—
you only have to dry off once!

The first two lines of this poem came to me as I was trying to get in a hurried exercise session in the pool before dressing to drive into town to a poetry group I belong to.  It was, in fact, raining, but there was no thunder and lightning as there always is at night, so I had put a shower cap on over my hair and done a half-hour session.

When I got back into the house after my pool session, I realized that I had only ten minutes until I had to leave, so I hurriedly scribbled the two lines  down on a sheet of paper in the bathroom as I put on makeup and brushed my teeth. I finished it when I got back home a few hours later.

For dVerse Poets open Link.

Eating Crow

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Eating Crow

There are a plethora of reasons why you didn’t win my heart.
It had been captured by another, who had it from the start.
But now I am reduced to this—knocking at your door.
I’m seeking some attention. Have you any more?

Love at first sight is a bomb. A victim of its blasting,
where once I was engorged with love, lately I’ve been fasting.
That love affair is over, and so I’m once more casting
to try to find a romance that I hope will be more lasting.

Your timing was just off before, but if you’d try again,
I’m reconsidering my Rolodex of rejected men.
I’m casting off my present, reconsidering where I’ve been
and right here on your card, I see I rated you a ten.

So if you’d like to give romance another little spin,
if you are still interested, if you have a yen
to set your sights on someplace where you’ve already been,
call 726-9483 and tell me where and when!!!

 

 

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/06/28/fowc-with-fandango-captured/
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/rdp-28-reduce/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/plethora/

Squelched Evolution

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Squelched Evolution

I fear there’s a frustrating schism
between progress and atavism.
For though I’d like to best my folks,
adding my genius to the yolks
of  eggs of the next generation,
instead I feel great perturbation.
I could improve the family genes,
but fear that I have not the means.
For though I’m sure I’m an improvement,
our gene pool won’t see any movement.
There is a sure futility
regarding  mutability.
My evolution’s hit the skids.
I forgot to have some kids!!!!

 

This was written to fulfill two prompts. The RDP daily prompt is atavism and Daily Addiction’s prompt is futile.

Rainy Season Whine

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Rainy Season Whine

They can’t control the weather. The rain is its own boss.
So in the rainy season, we get our share of moss.
It wouldn’t be so bad if it would just grow where we choose,
but in the rainy season, it grows inside my shoes.

From June to September, we fall asleep to rain
and then in the morning, we wake up to it again.
Our clothing’s always soggy. Our clean cars do not last.
We can’t sit on the patio for a light repast.

We cannot play touch football with the wife and kids,
for when we do, our touchdowns wind up as muddy skids.
The dog does not get walked enough, so he’s a restless doggy,
and when we order pizza, the box is always soggy.

Pent up with our families, tempers sometimes flare.
Dad wigs out when the roof leaks, sis bemoans her frizzy hair.
Mom says that the fudge won’t set and brother is complaining
that the wifi doesn’t seem to work so well when it is raining.

We know the flowers need it, as does the reservoir.
Restrictions in water usage in the summer are a bore.
It’s true water’s a blessing. We are much in its debt,
but is there no way to get it without getting wet?

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The FOWC challenge word today is control.