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