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A to Z

H is for History

H is for History


History is not experience

But a record of what happened


My father liked to tell stories

Of growing up along Puget

Sound, which he swam across

Part of with regularity


Well, it seems that a border

Dispute arose between folks

In Seattle (probably Olympia,

State capital and southerly

Sound-located) and those in

Vancouver and of all the parts

On both sides—


A conflict of two nations, as

It were, Canada and the USA


One day the problem was

Resolved in a game of baseball


The border was settled over

Nine-innings’ play


I don’t recall who won; maybe

I was never told—that’s not

The point—the day was saved

Not with guns but by a game,

Sporting in every way


My father’s storytelling was

History—and is—a recording

Of the time and what transpired


My telling this to you becomes

A history as well


How about making a history

For yours

g is for gallop

g is for gallop

(verse at work)



I remember not directly the old radio show featuring the masked man Lone Ranger whose mask was made from the clothing of his dead brother a Texas Ranger ambushed in a gully by a criminal gang led by Butch Cavendish I think the companion for the Lone Ranger was Tonto an American Indian with many skills though doubtlessly not treated with the respect he was due I’m not sure who played the Ranger and Tonto on radio but certainly on television still before my time it was Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels respectively and isn’t that a great name for the Native American companion well Clayton Moore tended to live the part which wasn’t all that bad because in public he reinforced a message to children that justice was good and fair a win even if the winning went hard there was more silver than simply in the name of the actor for the Ranger shot silver bullets from two guns he had wrapped around his waist silver bullets shooting straighter and true so went the lore I think and his horse was named Silver too which led to the famous expression “Hi-ho, Silver!” that the Lone Ranger called usually while his horse reared on its two hind legs and that cry was followed by “Away!” and I swear in reruns and rebroadcasts I think it was maybe Tonto who shouted “Away!” though I suppose I’m only romanticizing to give him more stature when saluting their own show and Tonto’s horse was named Scout but after all the calling set in the saddles of their chargers you know what they did they galloped away from the warm radio brocade panel or the cathode-ray lit television screen and where did they gallop but into their next adventure and should not we do the same

F is for Folderol

F is for Folderol


An old word for silly when

Something must be said though

No language is required


Folderol, la, my dear

Folderol, ha, be near


Okay, few words—mostly

Un-worded sounds are sung


Maybe to fill in a fear, if

Singers think there should

Be a lyric, and none shows


While love is there, shouting

In the mind

E is for Erato

E is for Erato

(the muse of love poetry)


We breathe in and out our

Bodies matching moving hearts


Delight in joined revealing

Opened and shared at last


Love lingers, and that’s important

But in this time it’s passion


Sending a siren-song whose

Magic we shall not escape


‘Til breathing slows and sacred

Act eases into other life

D is for Dactyl

D is for Dactyl


A metrical foot consisting of an accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables; the words “poetry” and “basketball” are both dactylic. Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade” is written in dactylic meter.*


Into the Valley Relentlessly


Tennyson’s name is dactylic and

Powering into the cavalry riding in

Symmetry into the broken lines

Forcefully facing foes orderly

If much less pow’rfully


Others have dactyl-ly crafted this

Metred way so that a moving sound

Makes rhythm stronger thus

Aiding the pounding desired in the



Dactyl for your verse and also

In mine




C is for Chorus

C is for Chorus


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


Human players are tragic:

Even in our comedies, vicious


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


What we see can blind, but

Unlike Oedipus can’t self-maim


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


Our role is comment for you

Who attend our seeing-place


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


Like Antigone, we’re horrified

In forsaking our heroic dead


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


Cynics abandon Parnassus;

We will stay, the human voice


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us

B is for Bad Poetry

B is for Bad Poetry


Roses are red, violets aren’t blue

Violet is purple, what was the clue?


If violets are blue, roses are still

Red, orange, yellow to thrill.


So we should see in worldly ways

Colors are many and colorful days.


A is for Allegory

A is for Allegory


Once there was a dog

Who drove a car;

The dog gave rides

To all the cats who

Wanted rides


The dog is the faithful

Part of me;


The cat is need in you,

Which cannot be expressed

While the state of cat gets

In the way


my theme, Brevity in Form


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