Cabbages, Kings, and Pigs with Wings

I don’t know what Lewis Carroll was smoking, but it must have been some pretty good stuff to come up with poetry like this… 

The Walrus and the Carpenter

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”

“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

Read more of Lewis Carroll’s poetry at poemhunter.

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Flash Fiction Story by Gay Degani – The London Eye

Ever felt like you’re being stalked, watched, plotted against?  Then you know how Gay Degani’s character feels in the new flash fiction story, The London Eye (warning, contains strong language), published recently at Every Day Fiction:

“People insist the London Eye is nothing more than a tourist attraction, a Ferris wheel on steroids, a piece of machinery designed to be deconstructed for public consumption on the Discovery channel back home in the States, but I don’t believe it. I’m no fool. No one’s pulling the wool over my eyes. The Eye is stalking me.”

According to the site, Every Day Fiction is a magazine that specializes in bringing you fine fiction in bite-size doses. Every day, they publish a new short story of 1000 words or fewer that can be read during your lunch hour, on transit, or even over breakfast.  You can read from the site or sign up for the stories to come directly to your inbox.

Awesome idea!

If you’re a poetry lover, they offer a similar site called Every Day Poets.

For more information on author and Pushcart Prize Nominee, Gay Degani, see this previous post.

Angels of Destruction, a Book by Keith Donohue

Author, Keith Donohue, sent me an email to let me know his new book, Angels of Destruction, is out (thanks, Keith!).  You might remember that name from a previous post I did about his book, The Stolen Child.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this author, you can read his blog, called Pluck’s Bicycle.  If you’d like to know more about Angels of Destruction, check out this book review at The Washington Post, from which the following excerpt was taken. 

“Sean Fallon, a boy bereft by his father’s abandonment, befriends the peculiar new student in his third-grade class…But Sean soon witnesses strange manifestations of Norah’s distinctly unchildlike talents: She folds origami cranes, then makes them fly; she blows smoke rings that would make Gandalf envious. More disturbingly, one night Sean glances into her mouth and sees a galaxy of stars.”

Stephen King, Werewolves, and a Literary Meem

Grab the book closest to you.  Turn to page 31.  Count down to the eighth sentence.  Write down the next 5 lines (keep writing into the  next line, if needed, until you finish the last sentence). 

“Later, no one will be able to say where the sound came from; it was everywhere and nowhere as the full moon painted the darkened houses of the village, everywhere and nowhere as the March wind began to rise and moan like a dead Berserker winding his horn, it drifted on the wind, lonely and savage.”

That was from Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf.  This is a great book full of short stories about werewolves; I highly recommend it.

What book are you currently keeping close by?

A Poem About Poems — Naomi Shihab Nye

Thank you to Amy Sorensen, a.k.a. The English Geek, for bringing this poem to my attention in her post, Why I Love April.  It’s by Naomi Shihab Nye and was written in response to one of the poet’s students asking her to write him a poem:

Valentine for Ernest Mann
by Naomi Shihab Nye

You can’t order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, “I’ll take two”
and expect it to be handed back to you
on a shiny plate.

Still, I like your spirit.
Anyone who says, “Here’s my address,
write me a poem,” deserves something in reply.
So I’ll tell you a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.

Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn’t understand why she was crying.
“I thought they had such beautiful eyes.”
And he was serious. He was a serious man
who lived in a serious way. Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so. He really
liked those skunks. So, he re-invented them
as valentines and they became beautiful.
At least, to him. And the poems that had been hiding
in the eyes of skunks for centuries
crawled out and curled up at his feet.

Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite.
And let me know.

Laguna Sunset (A Poem)

So this poem I wrote has been traveling around on a sticky note for quite some time now, and I figured I’d better post it before I lost it.  It’s a Sappho, a vastly underused poetic form that I love for its unique rhythm and that I’m single-handedly trying to make popular again (and when I say “again,” I mean it hasn’t been all that much of a hot topic since literally B.C.).

It’s a short poem about Laguna Beach and the area I live in, Orange County, California, otherwise known as “The O.C.”

Laguna Sunset
by Edie Montgomery-Pool

Sun and ocean meet at the dusky seashore
Playing catch with streamers of rainbow ribbons
Every day they dance on the sand together
Children of eons

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I grant permission for this poem to be reprinted in full or in part electronically, provided the following conditions are met: 1) the author’s name is listed; 2) the site on which the poem is published is not a vanity publisher or a scam poetry contest which requires its “winners” to make a purchase or pay a fee before being published. I grant permission for this poem to be reprinted non-electronically (as in, paper) provided the previous two conditions are met, as well as 3) the publication is for either a charitable or non-profit event or organization and 4) no fee is charged for the publication in which the poem appears. A comment notifying me you have used this poem is appreciated but not required.

New Rock and Roll Poetry Book: Third Rail

The book, Third Rail, features poems inspired by rock and roll.  Guns N’ Roses is the title of a poem by Campbell McGrath which starts out:

“Not a mea culpa, not an apology, but an admission:
there are three minutes in the middle of “Sweet Child o’ Mine”
that still, for all the chopped cotton of the passing years,
for all the muddled victories and defeats of a lifetime,
for all the grief and madness and idiocy of our days,
slay me, just slay me…”

The book has a forward by Bono.  You can purchase it at amazon.com or read a partial version at google books (which includes the entire version of Guns N’ Roses).  If you like Campbell McGrath, he has written several poetry books you can collect (click here to see a list of Campbell McGrath books available at amazon).

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This is the fourth in a 5-part series of posts regarding poetry and rock and roll.  See related posts:

(1) Rock and Roll, Poetry, and Eddie Vedder
(2) Van Halen (A Poem)
(3) Rock Out to Yeats