Monday, November 30, 2015

Biblically speaking...

with apologies to Moses
He left her there, a pillar of salt
To the mountains he did flee
With two virgin daughters scrambling behind
As God said it should be.

T'was a cave in the hills they did find
A place where they could stay
Lot left the girls to tidy up
While he went out to pray.

"Poor Daddy," one gal said to the other
"This really is quite a plight,
Our mother's a statue of salt back there
With whom can Dad spend the night?"

"I think it's my call to do the Lord's work
It's my right, I'm older than you.
When he drinks this wine he'll lie with me
You can have him when I get through."

An orgy raged on the mountain that night
Each gal played her part to the letter.
In drunken splendor Lot climaxed it all
"Wife, you get better and better."

Then the Lord looked down and said to Lot
"Look, these daughters you've defiled,
You're righteous and you're clever too
Through each will come a child."

This story is one not told in church
In the Bible you'll need to look,
Revelation, scripture, from the pen of God,
It's the world's first dirty book.

by Dianne Hardy
in volume 4 issue 1

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Monday, November 16, 2015


There Was a Barren Baroness

There was a barren baroness
The baron was upset
He did his duty regular
But he could not beget

In came a special specialist
Credentialed and respected
Prescribed this suggested that
But nothing was corrected

Years passed of childish childlessness
Oo!—they wanted to conceive!
Each grew to hate the other
Until one Christmas Eve

Beside a fireless fireplace
They scowled for lack of options
Twin Stars of the East above their heads
They both exclaimed: "Adoption!"

Then came the pregnant pregnancy
Of the gardener's unwed daughter
The papers filed she had the child
But what came easy would get harder...

Now passed a decade's decadence:
She petted and he spoiled
The child became a tyrant
At which they both recoiled

In came a psyched psychologist
Fresh with a PhD
Quite certain he could help them out—
he gave up in a week

An addled adolescent
The child drinks and dopes and steals
First he's fined then he does some time
Deaf to his folks' appeals

Some solutions are... insoluble
The paradise they'd planned
Was trampled by their Ookum-snookums—
you rarely get what you demand

Now this is lesser than a lesson—
Not fit to call a moral—
But not every couple needs a child:
Try raising something floral

Karl Williams
in volume 4 issue 1

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Monday, November 2, 2015

What's Bakin'?

Rise and Fall: To a Young Cake
with apologies to Gerard Manley Hopkins
Betty, have you folded
down upon yourself unmolded?
So high arose, as human airs bid you,
with your clotted sweetened cares, did you?
Alas! As buoyant bubbles bore
you up o'er high, unhinged your core,
the oven timer prattled through
your falling sighs, gave rise,
if you had listened, to
unwanted wheatmeal wise.
Such diaphanous ascensions 'guise
disastrous declensions. Like the blown rose,
like deflowered flour, now ripen all your woes:
though you wish that you had cak'd more
'tis but the gullet you were baked for.

by John Martin
in volume 4 issue 1

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Is gravity a scary halloween costume?

Breasts: A Couplet

Breasts in a young granddaughter
just now starting to girl up her mother reports.

I don't mention that on our side of the family, the girls
start to grandma down in our twenties—

genetics predisposed to early-onset gravity.
Instead, I remember three best friends from fifth grade

who met at the corner grocery store after school
to eat up the candy of adolescence.

Taken over by our bodies' and our parents' commands,
the three of us formed a kind of paramilitary unit.

We stood in line, comparing equipment
and then made up rules and names.

Leslie, for obvious reasons,
called hers Flopsy and Mopsy.

Irene, with a perfectly matched set,
settled on Salt and Pepper.

Two cup sizes younger and just starting to sprout,
I picked Rosebud and Petunia Bud.

Whenever any one of the three of us announced, Roll Call,
no matter where we stood—classroom, berry patch,

crossing the street, in the aisles of Boots Grocery—
we had to hoist our gear and present loud and clear.

Not that subterfuge wasn't allowed.
We could cross our arms or not.

Lift with the open palm
or the back of the hand,

but no fair whispering so someone standing
six feet away couldn't hear.

And like all roll calls, we had to take turns,
no announcing all at once.




1955, 1956, 1957, we played our game,
with 1958 ending the parade.

By ninth grade, it was clear there were
just two classes of girls:

The As to Bs and the Cs to Ds.
Among the latter, we could see we were facing

a lifetime of confinement in that
old French prison, the brassière.

by Sharon Wood Wortman
in volume 4 issue 1

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Monday, October 12, 2015

It doesn't stop at 40 days...

Genesis 6:5-17

The earth's going to drown.
Josie, standing watch on the top step, has no trouble
convincing her brother or her cousin
who, at two, take as gospel almost anything
she says. Even I, their father, am almost ready to believe
given how much rain we've had.
so we build an ark out of the stairs
and nudge as many gorillas, hippos, jaguars as we can up
onto it. As soon as Grammy gets home
with Baby Sadie, we find a spot for them too,
halfway to the second floor
between reluctant giraffes and ridiculously long snakes.
Maggie's already started to cry—Tyler's grown bored
with being her favorite cousin and moved two steps up
and the world might actually be ending,
it's raining that hard. When Sadie hears her sister
sobbing, she sobs too,
though maybe less because the earth's flooding
and more because her diaper's damp.
Then the world goes dark. At first, I think it's Josie's doing
on lookout on the top stair—close
to the light switch—but then I see she's shivering too
as if the story she'd made up has come to pass.
Once you unleash thunder and lightning,
it's hard to call them back—
stuffed ocelots, kookaburra birds, and panda bears
not enough to persuade a tsunami
to change its destiny. It's your fault!
Maggie accuses her cousin, and I don't know how
to comfort Josie, too many jungle cats between us.
Grammy's got her hands full
changing Sadie—no small task
wedged as she is between rhinoceros
and rabbit family—and just when the world seems bleakest,
the lights come back on, and Tyler laughs
as if never scared, and Maggie lets go
of her death grip on Squeaky Bear,
and I make a joke about our grand adventure
while Baby Sadie coos
because there's nothing like having a dry bottom
and, in fact, the rain's stopped
and the sun's pushed through a crowd
of cumulus. Look, Grammy says, a rainbow.
One more day saved from disaster.

by Chris Bursk
in volume 4 issue 1

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