Thursday, May 25, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 78

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Iran.

The Persian Gulf lies to its south—
The Caspian Sea is north.
And our relations with Iran
Have been so back and forth.

A friend and then an enemy—
And Time can only weep
For wasted opportunity—
These hatreds we all keep!

But things have cooled—perhaps a bit?—
In recent hours and days.
Perhaps one day we’ll reconcile?
In human sorts of ways?

Until that day—a day I hope
Is very, very near—
We live in doubt, uncertainty—
With piercing shafts of fear.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 77

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Indonesia.

Komodo dragons wander there—
Orangatans and such.
And lots of other critters that
I wouldn’t like to touch.

And islands by the thousands, all
Volcanoes ancient born.
And time and hist’ry—both of them—
The roughness well have worn.

On Java lives Jakarta—it’s
The capital, of course.
The South Pacific flows around
With oceanic force.

The languages are myriad—
The cultures also so.
A lifetime’s study—not enough
To learn all I should know.

I’ve not been there—and I am sure
I’ll not be going soon.
The light of day that is my life
Is now late afternoon.

But I can read—and fantasize—
About how brave I’d be
When I’d outface a dragon
Who’d be sore afraid of me.




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 76

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

India.

Columbus thought he’d found the place.
But hadn't. So he saved some face
By calling locals “Indians”—
As if, somehow, they were the ones

Who’d drifted there so magically
To give their gold to Spain, you see?
But India—that fabled land—
Lay far away, we understand.

The British tried their form of rule,
But Gandhi took them all to school,
And now so much there flourishes—
And tech’s a way that nourishes

So many Indians these days—
But also—there are other ways
That people in that stunning place
Can live their lives with heart and grace.

The Himalayas—more than high—
Appear to pierce the very sky.
And jungles full of wondrous things—
There, lurking Death himself just springs.

And Alexander was to learn—
What through experience we earn:
You cannot beat that thing called Fate—
No matter if your name is “Great”!



Monday, May 22, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 75

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Iceland.

Some countries have a name that fits—
And Iceland, which of course still sits

There in the North Atlantic, well,
It really isn’t hard to tell

Where it acquired its name!
The country gained some certain fame

Not long ago—in '72
When Bobby Fischer (what he’d do!)

Became the world champion—
Defeating Spassky—U.S. won!

But Iceland is an ancient land—
With glaciers, mountains close at hand.

Oh, wouldn’t it be awfully nice
To visit such a land of ice?

(And then come home, as warm as mice,
Escaped from winter’s Paradise?)



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL ,74

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Hungary.

A name which every single kid
Has, early on, so misperceived.
Each thinks it’s “Hungry”—yes,  I did—
Oh, what ignorance I weaved!

It’s had a varied sort of life—
Been occupied by powers that
Did little but increase the strife
Of daily lives. It’s not “old hat,”

This serial of dominance.
Adjustments are required of all—
And in this governmental dance
You watch it flourish, see it fall.

But still the Danube flows along,
And Budapest remains a joy.
The hills and mountains—both belong.
And fertile fields they still employ.

So let us hope that freedom rings
Throughout its troubled countryside,
That each succeeding new year brings
Much hope, success—all justified.



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 73

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Honduras.

It was back in the day when I did a report
For geography class—didn’t want to distort
All the facts and that stuff, so I copied (again!)
From a reference book—yes, a bad classroom sin!

So, Honduras this time—well, the Mayans were there.
And some forests abound—and the tropical air.
And it has lots of coastline—a visitor’s boon—
And some venomous snakes that make some flee—and soon.

It was in seventh grade when I, well, plagiarized—
A technique that, of course, was not too well advised.
And my teacher was wise—and she recognized me
And rewarded it all with a “gentleman’s C.”

(I exhaled a deep breathfor it should have been "F.")



Friday, May 19, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 72

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Haiti.

So Haiti holds the western part
Of Hispaniola—yes, the art
Of sharing land with other folks
Can work a bit—and is no hoax.

That earthquake came—2010—
And much of what so long had been
Then crumbled to the quaking earth—
And grief acquired another birth.

The world rushed in to help a bit—
And Haitians were to benefit.
But many problems still remain—
The ruins, illness—still the bane

Of those who live in poverty—
And Hope is distant, hard to see.
And so the aid must ever flow
To those who need it—don't we know?