Sunday, May 19, 2019

Horizon Sighting



Seen afar off, a mountain,

whelmed in cloud.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson, In the South Seas (1896)

Sunburned Country monostich


Bill Bryson  awakes  in Austrialia:


I opened the door   to a golden world,
so bright   it made me blink.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Locked Room Mystery (redivivus)



The caterpillar   with shrivelled skin
in a tent of silk    was laid therein.

This crumpled thing,   shrunk like a shroud,
was laid in silk   white as a cloud.

The sons of men   stood round about
warding the worm   should not get out.

Three days they stood   with solemn face,
never eyes wavering   from that place.

Then did they open   that mute cocoon,
and stood amazed:   the worm was gone !

Then some believed   and some did doubt
how that the worm   could have got out.

Yet to the sky   in spiral rings
the new flew forth   on crystal wings.


~

[ For a tale of Paschal miracle:
Murphy Makes a Mitzvah ]

.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Heroic hemihexameter



Try-pots   the Térror   of  Pénguins


[Fragment discovered beneath an iceberg in Antarctica.]

Friday, April 5, 2019

Tectonic ditty


The Dover cliffs
are of a piece
with facing cliffs
in France.

-- Richard Fortey, Earth

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Burmese Blues


There was something horrible  in that blue, blinding sky,
stretching on and on  over Burma and Siam.

[--George Orwell, Burmese Days (1934)]

Monday, April 1, 2019

A Parable from Olde Berlin


During the days of hyperinflation:

Once in Berlin,
a man was about to pay ten marks for a box of matches, when he stopped to look at the banknote in his hand.
On it was written: “For these ten marks  I sold my virtue.”
He wrote a long, virtuous story about it,
was paid ten million marks,
and bought his mistress a pair of artificial silk stockings.

-- Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return (1934; rev. 1951), p. 81

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Aturdido Tableau


In the brilliance of the noonday sun,
with the many-colored flags  over the shops
waving it on,

the crowd looked as if it had closed ranks around itself,
and could never admit another soul.


[--Alfred Kazin, Starting Out in the Thirties (1965), p. 79