Why Nobody Pets the Lion at the Zoo by John Ciardi

Why Nobody Pets the Lion at the Zoo

The morning that the world began
The Lion growled a growl at Man.

And I suspect the Lion might
(if he’d been closer) have tried a bite.

I think that’s as it ought to be
And not as it was taught to me.

I think the Lion has a right
To growl a growl and bite a bite.

And if the Lion bothered Adam,
He should have growled right back at ‘im.

The way to treat the Lion right
Is growl for growl and bite for bite.

True, the Lion is better fit
For biting than for being bit.

But if you look him in the eye
You’ll find the Lion’s rather shy.

He really wants someone to pet him.
The trouble is: his teeth won’t let him.

He has a heart of gold beneath
But the Lion just can’t trust his teeth.

-John Ciardi

Borrowed from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle

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Resume by Dorothy Parker

Re’sume’

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

-Dorothy Parker

Borrowed from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle

Dust by Sydney King Russell

Dust

Agatha Morley
All her life
Grumbled at dust
Like a good wife.

Dust on a table,
Dust on a chair,
Dust on a mantel
She couldn’t bear.

She forgave faults
In man and child
But a dusty shelf
Would set her wild.

She bore with sin
Without protest,
But dust thoughts preyed
Upon her rest.

Agatha Morley
Is sleeping sound
Six feet under
The mouldy ground.

Six feet under
The earth she lies
With dust at her feet
And dust in her eyes.

-Sydney King Russell

Borrowed from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle

Too Blue by Langston Hughes

Too Blue

I got those sad old weary blues.
I don’t know where to turn.
I don’t know where to go.
Nobody cares about you
When you sink so low.

What shall I do?
What shall I say?
Shall I take a gun and
Put myself away?

I wonder if
One bullet would do?
Hard as my head is,
It would probably take two.

But I ain’t got
Neither bullet nor gun -
And I’m too blue
To look for one.

-Langston Hughes

Borrowed from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle

Sonic Boom by John Updike

Sonic Boom

I’m sitting in the living room,
When, up above, the Thump of Doom
Resounds. Relax. It’s sonic boom.

The ceiling shudders at the clap,
The mirrors tilt, the rafters snap,
And Baby wakens from his nap.

“Hush, babe. Some pilot we equip,
Giving the speed of sound the slip,
Has cracked the air like a penny whip.”

Our world is far from frightening; I
No longer strain to read the sky
Where moving fingers (jet planes) fly,
Our world seems much too tame to die.

And if it does, with one more pop,
I shan’t look up to see it drop.

-John Updike

Borrowed from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle

Little Miss Muffet by Paul Dehn

Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet
Crouched on a tuffet,
Collecting her shell-shocked wits,
There dropped (from a glider)
An H-bomb beside her -
Which frightened Miss Muffet to bits.

-Paul Dehn

Borrowed from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle

Hey Diddle Diddle by Paul Dehn

Hey Diddle Diddle

Hey diddle diddle,
The physicists fiddle,
The Bleep jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such fun
And died the following June.

-Paul Dehn

Borrowed from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle