I went to gloomy Père Lachaise
to mingle with the dead,
to ponder all the books they wrote
and that I should have read.
Oscar Wilde is buried there
(I’ve got his Wisdom of).
Molière is also there,
and Herbie (‘Klutz’) Labov.
Lying in their marble vaults
or under leafy sod,
I like to ask them (for a laugh)
‘Any sign of God?’
I do find graveyards funny,
like a cancer with no cure.
It’s hard to be in earnest
when just one thing is sure.
How weary is the popinjay
who lies awake at night,
fretting over twemlows
and the plexities of life.
How dreary is the poet
who plexifies his lines
with contumacious twemlows
and fretfulacious rhymes.
There is no need to fret or plex:
just cruise the sea of time,
keep it kind and simple,
and then you’ll see the rhyme.
Captain Tandy sowed the seed
when he made the weasel sneeze,
and it knocked a box of baubles to the floor.
The dog was sleeping underneath,
it made a sudden frantic leap
and scarpered like a hellcat through the door.
A driver in a passing car,
distracted by the tintamarre,
drove headlong like a deer into a pole.
The pole crashed through a neighbor’s shed,
and landed square on Twemlow’s head,
as he was toasting macaroons and voles.
Macaroons flew through the air
and missed the mailman by a hair,
but red-hot voles descended on the street.
Townsfolk ran for shelter
as the voles fell helter-skelter,
and policemen ran about on size-twelve feet.
Buster Twilb, an ex-Marine,
surveyed the frantic warlike scene,
and fired his pistol twice with measured art.
A bullet ricocheted
off the nose of Matt Kincaid,
and came to rest in Captain Tandy’s heart.
Let’s see if Osbert Mostyn
can recall that fateful day,
when all the day was full of fate
as earth is full of clay:
‘I do recall it, very well,
though I were just a lad,
the day that fate filled up the day
and made that day so bad.’
‘Fate was all around, that day,
we couldn’t move for fate.
Fate from early morning
till the day grew very late.’
‘The early fate was bad enough,
but the later fate was worse:
I stayed at home all day, that day,
and cowered beneath fate’s curse.’
‘Then lo! the fate just disappeared!
It held no longer sway!
Since then we’ve been pretending
that the earth’s not full of clay.’