The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is KOOKY. Well, here’s a kooky poem I wrote for the sheer fun of it — with a nod to Ogden Nash’s The Spangled Pandemonium, one of my favorite children’s poems.
A creature glided through the dark,
he thought it quite the prank,
to break out from the zoo and hide
beside the riverbank.
But patches of its fur showed up
right through the foliage green.
As I passed by those colors roused
I peered, and spied this creature,
odd-brindled blue and white
with dabs of green and violet.
It gave me such delight!
I couldn't recognize the thing;
my Google didn't help.
I tried to get a closer look
but it gave a fearful yelp!
Some keepers of the zoo ran up
and said, "Say, have you seen
with fur white, blue and green?
I pointed to those bushes
that bulged suspiciously
and they set out to capture
their colorful escapee.
Recently I started reading a book titled EMBRACING OBSCURITY. The author, Anonymous, writes about how, in today's society, we're apt to feel we must be a SOMEBODY if we want to count at all. I haven't read far, but I gather he's saying we need to abandon dreams of being Big Names and settle for being ordinary people. As Edgar Guest aspires to in this verse...
The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is ENVY and I’ve been inspired by thoughts of this common emotion. I posted a verse by Edgar Guest this morning, but now I’ll have another go it with my own verse — a senryu this time.
checking out their rivals’ new outfits thistles bristle
The Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning is ENVY. American poet Edgar Guest had some wise thoughts on this subject and many of his verses speak of being content, so I’m going to post a couple today. Here’s the first…
THE OTHER FELLOW
Whose luck is better far than ours? The other fellow’s. Whose road seems always lined with flowers? The other fellow’s. Who is the man who seems to get Most joy in life, with least regret, Who always seems to win his bet? The other fellow.
Who fills the place we think we’d like? The other fellow. Whom does good fortune always strike? The other fellow. Whom do we envy, day by day? Who has more time than we to play? Who is it, when we mourn, seems gay? The other fellow.
Who seems to miss the thorns we find? Th other fellow. Who seems to leave us all behind? The other fellow. Who never seems to feel the woe, The anguish and the pain we know? Who gets the best seats at the show? The other fellow.
And yet, my friend, who envies you? The other fellow. Who thinks he gathers only rue? The other fellow. Who sighs because he thinks that he Would infinitely happier be, If he could be like you or me? The other fellow.
From his book JUST FOLKS copyright 1917 by The Reilly & Britton Co.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt today was LILAC. I’ve been doing some serious thinking today and decided to share my thoughts in a story of sorts.
The Lilac Bush
One day a lilac sprout appeared on this earth and began to stretch toward the sun. Soon the sapling attained a nice size and sent out branches, attractive and green, with the promise of a heavenly lilac scent every spring. As it bore larger leaves and spread out more branches people found it a sweet shade from the hot sun.
However, blackbirds passing by discovered the shrub and began using the branches as a regular perch. I suspect they saw themselves as ornaments. Mingling among the blooms the birds even picked up some of the lilac scent. But they were not happy campers, those blackbirds; they tended to be a contentious bunch. Some were especially harsh, constantly picking at the birds on nearby branches.
In time the lilac seemed so dotted with blackbirds that folks hardly saw the flowers. Here and there people may see a purple bloom, or catch the lilac scent, enough to realize there was a bush there. However, all those squawking, squabbling birds definitely spoiled the beauty of the shrub.
People started to say, “It’s ugly! Cut it down.”
Others protested “There really is a lilac here and it is blooming. Can’t we rather shoo away those dreadful birds? Why should the world be deprived of the beauty of lilacs because there are blackbirds?“
“But they like it so well. They’re always coming back to this shrub. Let’s get rid of it and we’ll be rid of the blackbirds.”
“Are you sure?”
Jesus told his followers that Kingdom of God was like a mustard seed; tiny when seeded, it would grow and become a great tree. So great that the birds of the air would lodge in the branches. (Matt 13:31-32) Over the years many different birds have settled in the branches of this great tree and claimed to be residents of the Kingdom, bringing many different dogmas and and so much strife.
Some years back John Lennon wrote a song about how wonderful it would be if we’d wake up one morning and there’d be no more religion. He was definitely thinking of all those squabbling blackbirds. But really, how much would change?
There are and always will be blackbirds. All-wise and inclined to squabble, many will perch in the tree of religion because it’s a handy shelter. If that tree were to disappear they’d find a different shrub. Race. Ethnicity. Color. Nation. Education. Military might. There’s always some reason to lord it over your neighbors and squash them.
However, don’t most of the world’s religions teach their disciples to respect your fellow man, at least in principle? I can’t speak for any others, but Jesus taught his followers to help those in need, care for the weak, turn the other cheek and live at peace. In spite of the extremists that make the headlines, virtue and beauty still bloom. People do get glimpses of the real tree; a bit of loving kindness still perfumes our air. Take that away and what would be left in this world?