"Your poem strikes me as minor the way most humorous poems are." Judson McGeehee referring to a poem I wrote.


Hat Rack Poem.jpg
Click the Picture to Read the Poem

Arizona Summer Poem
"These are the days that try men's souls and dry mink stoles."
The Killdeer

A plover came over the field of clover
That stretched to the edge of the white cliffs of Dover
He wasn’t a dog but his friends called him Rover
And he very much resented this!

--April 2015

If I Could Be a Bird

If I could choose to be a bird
I think I’d be a finch
I wouldn’t be too muscular
Could never crank a winch
But other tasks both big and small
To me would be a cinch.
And finches are so colorful!

--October 14, 2015

The Bobolink

The bobolink has a cheerful song
And he always sings it sprightly,
Though he has his days of dark malaise
When the sun shines none too brightly.

No melancholy coddly Molly
May one describe him rightly
Efstoons this bird of lordly plumes
Is best portrayed as knightly

A code of honor holds he firm
Twich is to say most tightly
And in his talons crookt and cragged
He clutches, too, forthrightly
Thirteen arrows and a sword
And cries out most contritely

"What is Truth but a shining orb
"That burns both red and whitely?
"And a heart but a beating drum within
"That pounds in no way slightly?

"So, lest thy shoes so neatly spruced
"Be soiled and made unsightly

"O'er the patch of ground 'neath which I roost
Tread not ye even lightly!"

--Started October 14, 2015, Redone July 22, 2016

The Tortoise

The tortoise lives 'twixt mortised decks
A shielding that his life protects...
I think it clever of the tortoise
To avoid a case of rigor mortis

The Devil’s Banjo (The Sandshark or Guitar Fish)

Has perfect pitch on the sea
But is temperamental and known to fret.
Picks its way through the seaweed.
Strums up and down the coast!

The Cactus Wren

The cactus wren is intrepid
You can get so close you could step on it!

The Sparrow

The most ubiquitous bird is the sparrow
Its environs simply aren't narrow
This kingly old rover
Wears a crown in Hannover
And in Guaymas a great big sombrero!

(In addition, in Egypt the locals often refer to him as “the pharoah.”)

--October 14, 2015

The Wigeon

There's a duck that is known as the wigeon
That likes to argue religion
While he’ll squabble with flocks
Of sparrows and hawks
He’ll seldom have words with a pigeon

The wigeon and the pigeon,
This avian pair,
Have decidedly little of
Thoughts that compare,
And less than a lot
Are the things that they share
In the way of what's doctrine--or doctrinaire.

But with regard to faith in religion
Like the wigeon
The pigeon
Hasn't a smidgen

How the Grackle Got His Name

He's not so named for his drywall skills nor his love of using spackle
(Whilst, of course, there is no job that he is loathe to tackle!)
Nor was he christened so because his flaming soul doth crackle
Or for the fact that lock or chain could never serve to shackle
One as he who has the stealth and slyness of a jackal
Yeah, hale and hearty this one treads 'midst gabbling clucks and quackle
Of dabbling ducks and quail upon whose heads is seen a hackle
Attending neither church nor mosque nor any tabernacle
He never flirts with Tarot cards or items zodiacal
No vicious blow, no savage punch, no overwhelming whack'll
Cause his sturdy wings to ache (Though at times, of course, his back'll!)
Not heretofore what you have heard wherefore was named the grackle
His handle was awarded for his tendency to cackle.


Green Flies

There's a certain kind of green fly
You know the ones I mean
The ones when doggie defecates
Come flyin' on the scene
They appear as if by magic
They appear as in a dream
With their emerald opalescence
And their iridescent sheen
When doggie doesn't defecate
These flies are never seen!
So where do green flies come from?
From some green fly machine?
From the carcass of a rotting steer
In some dried up ravine?
Where do green flies come from?
Do they hatch from a green fly bean?
Or when doggie poops does someone somewhere
Open up a screen?
And let the green flies fly about
To on her stool convene?
I'll never know the answer
But I judge from their cuisine
That the place the green flies call their home
Is a place that's none too clean!

The Dowitcher

My favorite bird is the dowitcher
It has a beak as big as a howitzer
And when it moves it it seems
Like a sewing machine
But it’s just getting pieces of chow which’re
Quite tasty thank you very much indeed!

Here's a video link to this lymerick:


If you write in perfect rhyme
You’ll likely have a worthless time
Whatever you might want to say
You’re not allowed--no how no way

To get a rhyme for honkytonk
All I could find was donkey honk
And that’s not what you want
To lead your hit parade

Instead just use some assonance
Don’t try to get an ass to dance
Do you think Johnny Cash perchance
Could play guitar
Or sing in a choir
Or compose to save his life
(Though everyone knows
He wrote “Ring of Fire”
When it was really his wife)

Let’s agree then you and I
On assonance
Don’t look at me with eye and lash askance
For what is perfect rhyme?
Now, I know ya’ll will ask
That I be brash
And call the Man in Black
A hack and overrated
Well, I have studied
Facts that have been stated
Resolutely, astutely, anecdotally
And he was--acutely, absolutely, totally!

                    —DECEMBER 23, 2015

I sleep here every night like a rat
A rat, a rat, a rat, a rat
A rat, a rat, a rat, a rat
A rat, a rat, a rat!

I Don't Like My Truck
Written August 26, 2006

I don't like my truck.

It ain't for me
Trucks are for country music fans
And other dumb clucks
Climbing up a tree!

Loogy Lake `


Fed fat by the Elkhorn Trickle
And nurkled by Icky Creek
Nary a sound dares to percol
Or vie with its gurgling gleek

We all of us formed a circle
'Round Filkins, whose first name was Joe
And feigned our enrapturous interest
In what we cared diddle to know

His eyes they were piercing
They gripped like a vice
His chin had a curious cleft
He gave us a glare that was colder than ice
As fully a third of us left

"I got myself in a pickle," quothe he
A pickle that lasted a week
My vocals from cursing were tickled
I barely sufficed to speak!

"There's nothing wrong with your vocal chords now
Or even your pickle," we spake.
"So tell us the story or you're gonna be sorry:
Mick'll smack your fat head with this rake!

"Forsaken forlorn was I on that morn
A life there ain't worth a nickel
Never again would I dare to contend
With her rambling bramble and snickle"

"Whether you ramble or bramble or die
Not one of us cares but a whickle
We'll gamble to say you're a heck of a guy
But now you are being so fickle!

"Filkins am I, not fickle," he cried
"No gambling, ante, or bid!"
"Then out with the tale!" The ten of us wail.
"Well maybe I will!"
And he did.

In view of a roof
Not far from Duluth
Is a lake that is bordered by prickle
With a wicked tailrace
A communist place
In the shape of a hammer and sickle

I packed up my gear
Hitched up my boat
And carefully stowed my tackle
Paying no heed to the avarice, greed
Or the lugubrious eye of the grackle.

A Drummer in the Band

Lemme tell a tale of hell’s travail
That happened just this summer
I was in a four-piece combo
Three musicians and drummer
No source of joy was bongo boy
A bummer we couldn't stand
Friend, you don’t need a case of hives
Or a drummer in the band

Once day I started strumming
And heard to my surprise
The sound of someone drummin'
I had to close my eyes!
I didn't want to see 'im
I didn't want to hear 'im
And when we kicked him off the stage
The people started cheerin'

Your gig might be on land or sea
Or near the Rio Grande
But you don’t need a fungus
Or a drummer in the band

If you’re into chunkin’
Or if you’re into pickin’
The only drumstick that you need
Is on a roasted chicken
‘Cause if you have a lick of sense
You're surely gonna know
That when your band is cursed
You tell Pete Worst to go

I'll let you play that violin
or viola in your hand
But I’d rather have ebola
Than a drummer in the band

And when you’ve kicked that drummer out
The feeling is sublime
To once again be playing
In a band that’s keeping time!

Limerick to a Knitwit, Philip J. Fracica
(Pulmonologist and absolute numbskull who wrote me
a perfectly nauseating brush-off letter in response to my
complaint of wholesale proselytizing at Mercy Gilbert Hospital,
"Where Jesus Freaks Hover over the Operating Tables like Bats!")

A loathsome man named Fracica
Was known from Maine to Topeka
As an oblivious pulmonologist 
A litigious ideologist
And a prodigious religious apologist!

Now I Want My Money! (song lyrics possibly)

Here in Arizona we got blazin' heat
All the days are hot and sunny
I cut your grass and burned my ass
And now I want my money!

Working in the freezer all day long
My nose got cold and runny
Like Niagra Falls as I froze my balls
And now I want my money!

I answered them phones nine hours straight
Polite as a little bunny
I've had enough of all their guff
And now I want my money!

I worked all day and got no pay
Maybe you think that's funny
Go ahead and laugh
And kiss my ass
And give me my goddamned money!

Vinegar is nasty stuff they say
You'll catch more flies with honey
Don't want no flies
And nunna yor lies
I want my goddamned money!

Santa's Done Grown Mean

Those reindeer get complainin' Santa stops them in their tracks
As he lays that holly-studded WHIP across their backs

Apostrophe "Poem" (See Apostrophe Alley.)

If you misuse an apostrophe
It's as if you were listed as lost at sea
Or scheduled to have a colostomy
And committed to godless  apostasy


Hippopotamuses in Africa 1972.jpg


In Africa I chanced upon
A watery little holler
Unaware a hippopotamus
Had wandered there to waller

No one had to warn me
For it doesn't take a scholar
To know a hippopotamus
Is naturally a mauler

Now, I've seen bigger hippos
Notwithstanding, I was smaller
So (to be sure!) I took my leave
And left the holler's squalor

I had no fear at all
As I was walking thus
But then I felt a sudden knot
In my esophagus

I had to yank most firmly
Upon my sweaty collar
To make some room around the knot
Ere it I'd ever swaller

And when I had, I felt so glad
For naught was there amiss
Until I stared distraught upon
A hippopotamus!

I couldn't move
I couldn't breathe
My heart it ceased to beat
I hadn't even heard the sound
Of tiny hippo feet!

Perhaps the knot within my throat
Had been a premonition
For there he was observing me
And looking for contrition!

Well, that I vowed he'd never have
'Less 'twas o'er my dead body!
"Acquiesce?" I yelled out loud
"You'll treat me not so shoddy!"

I grabbed him by his little ears
And banged his chin upon
My knee so hot and knobby
(It only made him yawn.)

'Tis said the tree of liberty
One's blood alone refreshes
And the people of Los Angeles
As well as Bangladesh's
Know what if you don't know now
I'll give you just three guesses
To speak concisely, I was in
The diciest of messes!

For nincompoop and nitwit
Are words I quip synonymous            
When someone's dumb enough to try
And whip a hippopotamus

O Christ! the very deep did rot
And I was up a tree
I'd hit a hippopotamus
With nothing but my knee!

I feared that he would start to stomp
And squash me like a roach
Instead he fawned and softly spoke
And viewed me with reproach

"Here there is no Texaco
"Or man who wears the star
"But you'll find folks from Mexico
"No matter where you are."

Then he introduced a friend
Whose name began with J
"No hay mal que por bien
No venga," said José

I agreed with him that every cloud
Contained a silver lining
And then I felt it time to leave
Before they started whining

For two is company they say
And three's a crowd confining
And thus I chose to walk away
Whilst still the sun was shining

In Africa, to sum it up,
I chanced upon a hollow
Then found a hippopotamus
Had chosen me to follow

I kneed that squat abdominous
He didn't seem to mind
Indeed, his heart was bottomless
And he was very kind

He introduced me to a guy
From Mexico, José
Who spoke some words in Spanish
Before I went away

And then I told them, "toodle-oo!
"I've got to say good-bye!
"But I've been taught a different view
Of hippopotami!"



Sé muchos refranes en esta lengua
Como nunca hay mal
Que por bien no venga

Aunque la mona se vista de seda
Mona se queda se dice
Si te metes en lo que
No te importa
Te van a llamar "metiche."

Debes echar un vistazo
Antes de que te cases
Pero si miras ciertos dientes de potro
¡No sabes lo que haces!

Si eres un perro
que ladra
¡no muerdes!
!A buenas horas, mangas verdes!

A lo hecho pecho
Trato hecho
Lo pasado pasado está
Más vale tarde que nunca
Lo que debe ser será

Emily Arnold

There is no frigate like a boat
Nor any cursors on the page
Of a prancing pony
They hear, they jeer
But never fear, Dear
As near beer will steer me clear
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Apologies to Ms. Dickinson but not to Mr. Arnold as I have stolen his work word for word.

Sally Cole What a plagiarist!

Tom Hascall Cole That is not plagiarism. It is a common poetic tradition to write three lines of your own stuff and then pay tribute to a different author. It is nothing more than literary allusion--Allusion NOT ILLusion! For example, my poem "I Fret" begins with three lines from my own hand and an ensuing tribute to Matthew Arnold in the form of a similar, echoing counterpoint which appears as a three-line literary allusion from one of his poems. It remains an entirely ORIGINAL work!

"I Fret"
by Tom Cole

I'm not gone yet
And yet
I fret
And I am here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Sometimes my new genre allows for the citation of two rather than three lines from a fellow author as seen in my totally original poem. "The Long Gone Beer"

"The Long Gone Beer"
by Tom Cole

I drank a beer
I sang a song
And now the doggone beer is gone!
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong;
To love that well which thou must leave ere long

Sally Cole Must be that time of year.
Tom Hascall Cole Oh, for THAT ONE we have to go back to the three-line echoing counterpoint as done before.

"I Want My Money!"
by Tom Cole

Working in the freezer all day long
My nose got cold and runny
I took your sass
And froze my ass
And now I want my money!
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,


I found an excerpt from my parody of Dune that upon re-reading was still a worthy effort though perhaps a little to over-the-top to be included in the book.

In it, all language is just like Herbert's. I shall post the original below my spoof for comparative study.

Who has not heard and been moved ( and deeply so) by "The Tin Ear Hymn?"

The Tin Ear Hymn
by Tom Cole

I drove my geese through a desert
Whose goslings whinnied like drunken horses
Voracious for voracity and greedy for greed.
I traipsed the inanity of Fosterian verse
I saw erosion level both hillocks, dells, and my intellect
In its quest, its ravenousness to brunch on my entrails
And I saw the canaries furiously flapping hither
Big, bold canaries like charging hippopotamuses
That spread unctuousness 
Upon the briar patch of my budding literacy
I felt the hippos lightly roosting
On my young green shoots
And their tiny, scratchy feet tickling my thighs!


Who has not heard and been deeply moved* by “The Old Man’s Hymn”?

The Old Man’s Hymn

by Frank Herbert

I drove my feet through a desert
Whose mirage fluttered like a host.
Voracious for glory, greedy for danger,
I roamed the horizons of al-Kulab, Watching time level mountains
In its search and its hunger for me.
And I saw the sparrows swiftly approach,
Bolder then the onrushing wolf.
They spread in the tree of my youth.
I heard the flock in my branches.
And was caught on their beaks and claws!
—from “Arrakis Awakening” by the Princess Irulan

Remus or Romulus
Could never be so kind

He introduced me to a guy
From Mexico, Jose
And I
Hippopotami an entirely different way

directly in the chin

end with hippopotami

"No hay mal que por bien
No venga," said José

Then he went and sent a friend
To carry me away

I sip along with vomitus         jibes that fit synonymous

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
Insidious of me
To pummel H. amphibius
With nothing but my knee

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
Insidious of me
To face H. amphibius


How piteous can one be
To face H. amphibius

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be! How piteous
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

H. amphibius

-ship, bip, blip, chip, clip, crip, cslip, dip, drip, flip, gipp, grip, gripp, grippe, gyp, hip, hipp, hippe, ip, kip, kipp, klipp, knipp, lip, lipp, lippe, nip, nipp, pip, pipp, q-ship, quip, quipp, q ship, q tip, rip, ripp, rippe, schip, scrip, scripp, ship, shipp, sip, sipp, skip, skipp, slip, slipp, snip, stipp, strip, thrip, tip, tipp, trip, tripp, trippe, whipp, yip, zip, zipp

"The tree of liberty," I cried
"Blood alone refreshes!

As well as Bangladesh's

I'll give you just three guesses
"Tippy Canoe and Tyler too"
I've yet begun to fight

I have not yet begun to fight

Tippy Canoe and Tyler too

I've yet begun to fight

I'm gettin' tired of you!

I'm not yet through with you!

At Starbuck's coffee shop lollipop body shop
And thus he groaned
When he received a fast karate chop

A fast karate chop

"You never
To mean "Oh daughty
A fast karate chop
grabbed him by the scruff until he'd had enough

Where's my wallet
Did he swallow it?