Weather

Dot a dot dot dot a dot dot
Spotting the windowpane.

Spack a spack speck flick a flack fleck
Freckling the windowpane.

A spatter a scatter a wet cat a clatter
A splatter a rumble outside.

Umbrella umbrella umbrella umbrella
Bumbershoot barrel of rain.

Slosh a galosh slosh a galosh
Slither and slather a glide

A puddle a jump a puddle a jump
A puddle a jump puddle splosh

A juddle a pump a luddle a dump
A pudmuddle jump in and slide!


To My Valentine

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That's how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That's how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,


To Mrs Reynolds' Cat

Cat! who hast pass’d thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy’d? How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears - but pr’ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me - and upraise
Thy gentle mew - and tell me all thy frays,
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists -
For all thy wheezy asthma - and for all
Thy tail’s tip is nick’d off - and though the fists


Thinking Ahead To Possible Options And A Worst-Case Scenario

I swerved to avoid hitting a squirrel
in the center of the road and that's when
the deer came charging out of the forest
and forced me to hit the brakes for all I
was worth and I careened back to the other
side of the road just as a skunk came toddling
out of Mrs. Bancroft's front yard and I swung
back perhaps just grazing it a bit. I glanced
quickly in the rearview mirror and in that
instant a groundhog waddled from the side
of the road and I zigzagged madly and don't
know if I nipped it or not because up ahead I


The New Hieroglyphics

In the World language, sometimes called
Airport Road, a thinks balloon with a gondola
under it is a symbol for speculation.

Thumbs down to ear and tongue:
World can be written and read, even painted
but not spoken.  People use their own words.

Latin letters are in it for names, for e.g.
OK and H2S O4, for musical notes,
but mostly it's diagrams: skirt-figure, trousered figure

have escaped their toilet doors.  I (that is, saya,
Ego, watashji wa) am two eyes without pupils;


Three poems by heart

I

I can't find the title
of a memory about you
with a hand torn from darkness
I step on fragments of faces

soft friendly profiles
frozen into a hard contour

circling above my head
empty as a forehead of air
a man's silhouette of black paper

II

living--despite
living- -against
I reproach myself for the sin of forgetfulness

you left an embrace like a superfluous sweater
a look like a question

our hands won't transmit the shape of your hands


The Young Rat And His Dam, The Cock And The Cat

No Cautions of a Matron, Old and Sage,
Young Rattlehead to Prudence cou'd engage;
But forth the Offspring of her Bed wou'd go,
Nor reason gave, but that he wou'd do so.
Much Counsel was, at parting, thrown away,
Ev'n all, that Mother-Rat to Son cou'd say;
Who follow'd him with utmost reach of Sight,
Then, lost in Tears, and in abandon'd Plight,
Turn'd to her mournful Cell, and bid the World Good-Night.

But Fortune, kinder than her boding Thought,
In little time the Vagrant homewards brought,


The Wreck of the Barque Wm. Paterson of Liverpool

Ye landsmen all attend my verse, and I'll tell to ye a tale
Concerning the barque "Wm. Paterson" that was lost in a tempestuous gale;
She was on a voyage from Bangkok to the Clyde with a cargo of Teakwood,
And the crew numbered Fifteen in all of seamen firm and good.

'Twas on the 11th of March, when a violent gale from the southward broke out,
And for nine days during tempestuous weather their ship was tossed about
By the angry sea, and the barque she sprang a leak,


The Wreck of the Julie Plante A Legend of Lac St. Pierre

1 On wan dark night on Lac St. Pierre,
2 De win' she blow, blow, blow,
3 An' de crew of de wood scow "Julie Plante"
4 Got scar't an' run below—
5 For de win' she blow lak hurricane,
6 Bimeby she blow some more,
7 An' de scow bus' up on Lac St. Pierre
8 Wan arpent from de shore.

9 De captinne walk on de fronte deck,
10 An' walk de hin' deck too—
11 He call de crew from up de hole,
12 He call de cook also.


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