Thursday, March 31, 2016

Wordbirds, 15



This new series—“Wordbirds”—arises from a journey I am taking through my Webster’s 3rd Dictionary. What I’m doing: I look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don’t know it, because I just think it’s interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day’s doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter’s section of Webster's. Let’s see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd

oakenshaw  noun
an oak grove
(shaw = grove; from Old English)

She told her pa—and told her ma—
That she was going for a walk.
But she went to the oakenshaw,
Where Brad was waiting—not to talk.

And there they wasted little time—
For lust is just a kind of greed.
And both were in their youthful prime
When they met there to do the deed.

When many, many years had passed—
When she and Brad were Ma and Pa—
They thought of Love—so pure, so vast—
And smiled about that oakenshaw. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wordbirds, 14



This new series—“Wordbirds”—arises from a journey I am taking through my Webster’s 3rd Dictionary. What I’m doing: I look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don’t know it, because I just think it’s interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day’s doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter’s section of Webster's. Let’s see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd

nabal/Nabal  noun  (rhymes with table)
a churlish or niggardly man (from Nabal, wealthy sheep owner in 1st Samuel, who refused to pay tribute to King David for protection of his flocks)

Old Nabal surely had the bucks
To pay King David. “Taxing sucks!”
He told the baffled King,
Who now had heard most everything.

In history—so many tales
Of starts and ends, of laughs and wails.
But this one really gives a jolt:
Was this the birth of tax revolt?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wordbirds, 13



This new series—“Wordbirds”—arises from a journey I am taking through my Webster’s 3rd Dictionary. What I’m doing: I look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don’t know it, because I just think it’s interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day’s doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter’s section of Webster's. Let’s see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd


mabe noun
A cultured pearl that is essentially hemispheric in form

When thinking of a gift, old Abe
Decided that he'd give a gabe
To Mary Todd.

But she was not at all impressed.
In fact, she sort of second-guessed
Old Honest Abe.

So there was tension ’twixt the two—
So what on earth could those two do,
The man and wife?

He said, “Well, let's go see a play—
I hear a good one’s on today?”
And Abe got shot.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Wordbirds, 12



This new series—“Wordbirds”—arises from a journey I am taking through my Webster’s 3rd Dictionary. What I'm doing: I look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don’t know it, because I just think it’s interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day’s doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter’s section of Webster's. Let’s see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd



labefaction noun  (LAB-uh-FAK-shun)
a weakening or impairment, especially of moral principles or civil order

The candidates were all concerned
With labefaction, so they tried
To show the voters how to turn
To better ways. And, oh, they cried

About opponents’ roles in this—
Corruption, cowardice (the like).
Oh, yes, they saw so much amiss
They just intensified their strike

Against the ones whom they all blamed—
From lazy folks to evil elves.
They really should have been ashamed,
For worst of all were they themselves. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wordbirds, 11

This new series—“Wordbirds”—arises from a journey I will take through my Webster’s 3rd Dictionary. What I will do: I’ll look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don’t know it, because I just think it’s interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day’s doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter’s section of Webster's. Let’s see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd



kaffir cat  noun
(From Arabic for infidel) 
A widely distributed wildcat in Africa and Asia Minor … regarded as one of the chief ancestors of domesticated cats

The kaffir cat was wild and fierce
With looks so cute that they could pierce

The coldest heart. And so it was
She bent to pick him up because

“He's so adorable!” But this?
Disaster. When she bent to kiss

His face so cute, well, he lashed out,
And if you want to know about

The sad resultN (what this begat)?
A WOMAN CLAWED BY KAFFIR CAT!

This was the headline. No dispute:
Be careful what you label “cute.”

kaffir cat

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wordbirds, 10



This new series—“Wordbirds”—arises from a journey I will take through my Webster’s 3rd Dictionary. What I will do: I’ll look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don’t know it, because I just think it’s interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day’s doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter’s section of Webster's. Let’s see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd



jabiru  noun  [jab-uh-ROO]
A large stork of tropical America

He knew that most birds perched and flew—
But then he saw a jabiru.

She saw it standing in a lake—
Its whole design seemed some mistake

Until a luckless fish swam by
And learned that “future” was a lie—

At least, his was. And her quick thought
Had changed—the fish was caught;

The jabiru was eating now,
And she had quickly learned just how

A human being can be wrong—
Such learning needn't take so long! 


Friday, March 25, 2016

Wordbirds, 9



This new series—“Wordbirds”—arises from a journey I will take through my Webster’s 3rd Dictionary. What I will do: I’ll look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don’t know it, because I just think it’s interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day’s doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter’s section of Webster's. Let’s see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd

iatric. adj.
of or relating to a physician or medical treatment
From Greek: iatrikos = healer, physician

She had such great iatric skills—
Effective potions, potent pills—
That no one died while in her care,
And so her fame spread everywhere.

But then a lover broke her heart—
She had no way to fix that part.
And so on that foul gloomy day
She closed her eyes and passed away.

But then her lover changed his mind—
Some guys are of that very kind.
He cried, “Come back and be my wife!?”
And she said, “Sure.” Returned to life. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wordbirds, 8


This new series--"Wordbirds"--arises from a journey I will take through my Webster's 3rd Dictionary. What I will do: I'll look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don't know it, because I just think it's interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day's doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter's section of Webster's. Let's see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd


Habitude  noun
One’s usual disposition

Her habitude was very odd.
She liked to whip a rock or clod
At her ex-boyfriend—name was Rod.

But Rod could dodge—so agile, he. 
Still, there was such a mystery
About the breakup (as you’ll see).

I guess it’s time that you should know
His love just fell—like sourdough.
The reason was she couldn't throw.

But she took lessons—what an arm!
And then her throws caused grievous harm.
He took her back, her arm the charm.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wordbirds, 7



This new series--"Wordbirds"--arises from a journey I will take through my Webster's 3rd Dictionary. What I will do: I'll look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don't know it, because I just think it's interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day's doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter's section of Webster's. Let's see what happens ...


Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd


Gabriel ratchet: noun 
the cries of migrating wild geese flying by night which are often popularly explained as the baying of a supernatural pack of hounds and to which various superstitious significances (as forebodings of evil) are attributed

Middle English Gabrielle rache, from Gabriel, one of the seven archangels, the herald of good tidings (Luke 1), thought of as blowing a trumpet on Judgment Day + rache hound 

Oh, yes, all that he heard in the darkest of night
Was the sound in the sky—and it didn’t sound right.

“It’s just geese,” said his wife, who was always so calm.
“Not it ain’t!” he declared. “It’s a drone with a bomb!”

Then his wife only yawned, and she turned in her bed,
While her husband lay frightened with dread in his head.

And when morning arrived, she awoke—he was gone!
And a cop then informed her, “He’s out on the lawn,

Where’s he’s totally naked—from head to his butt.”
And she said, “Yes, I guess—he’s a very cracked nut.”

So the moral is simple: For marital peace,
You must simply ignore all the honking of geese!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wordbirds, 6



Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd


fabiform: adj. shaped like a bean [vowel in 1st syllable can rhyme with say or gab]
Faba is Latin for bean

I know it isn’t quite the norm
To say a head is “fabiform.”

But you should not react with dread
When I employ it for your head.

For now you know just what I mean
By saying “You should use your bean!”

Monday, March 21, 2016

Wordbirds, 5



Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd


ear banger  noun.
Over anxious to please one’s superiors or seniors

He didn’t like that guy too near,
The one whose words assailed the ear

Relentlessly. He wished to please,
But everyone I know agrees

He banged the ear so constantly
That it annoyed both them and me.

And so we formed a secret pact
And took him to a forest tract

And bound him there while songbirds sang—
Oh, all day long his ears they’d bang.

And he came home an altered man,
Now listens to us—all he can. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Wordbirds, 4



Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd



daboia (or daboya) noun
a venomous viper species that is endemic to parts of Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan (aka Russell’s viper)


Young Russell had a thing for snakes—
He read of them in many books
And always gave them loving looks—
Among his life’s most dire mistakes.

Yes, many thought he was a flake,
And when he found a brown snake near
And lifted him to show no fear,
He heard them cry, “A rattlesnake!”

But he would not admit defeat
And started dancing with the thing—
And what a song they heard him sing!
The rattler tried to keep a beat.

But it was not a rattler, Yo,
But still caused a fatality.
Daboia was the type, you see,
And when one bites, it’s time to go.

And Russell did …


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wordbirds, 3



Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd



caballine: adj. causing poetic inspiration

Middle English caballin, from Latin caballinus, literally, of a horse, from caballus horse, nag + -inus -ine; from the ancient belief that the Muses' spring Hippocrene came from a hoofprint of the winged horse Pegasus. First Known Use: circa 1616

With words he wasn't all that hot—
And really didn't care a jot.

But, thirsty, he once took a drink
From some strange fountain. Did he think

He’d somehow been transformed? Or did
He feel a change at all? A kid,

He prob’ly didn't think too much—
He had no love for thoughts and such.

But his vocabulary grew—
It multiplied by ninety-two.

And words became his subtle game,
For William Shakespeare was his name. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Wordbirds, 2



Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd

babacoote noun

a species of large lemur, Lichanotus brevicaudatus, native to Madagascar

He really didn't give a hoot
But wondered if one day he’d shoot
The creature called a babacoote.

So soon to Madascar he
Went off to have a hunting spree,
As confident as he could be.

But there he got a great surprise,
A sight to greet his dying eyes—
The babacoote was in disguise:

Another hunter! With a gun!
A costume that prolonged his fun.
He shot the hunter. All was done. 

babacootes

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wordbirds, 1


This new series--"Wordbirds"--arises from a journey I will take through my Webster's 3rd Dictionary. What I will do: I'll look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don't know it, because I just think it's interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day's doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter's section of Webster's. Let's see what happens ...

Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd

1. Aardwolf: noun, plural aard·wolves.

a striped, hyenalike mammal, Proteles cristatus, of southern and eastern Africa, that feeds chiefly on insects.

1825-35; < Afrikaans erdwolf < Dutch aardwolf, equivalent to aarde earth + wolf wolf


The aardwolf felt a craving for
Some insects—really any kind.
And when he stepped outside his door,
He ate the ones that he could find.

But there were far too few, he thought.
He wished there had been many more.
He thought of all the kinds he’d bought
While at his local insect store.

But that small store had disappeared—
Economies get rearranged,
And just as he had so long feared
His buying habits now had changed.

He heard a buzzing in the air
And leaped to nab a morning snack.
But he had heard a drone, I swear,
Which killed him in a sneak attack. 

aardwolf


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chicken Big, 58


Frightening Doggerel

Animaul: zoophobia

Tad knew his fear of animals
Was not a fear to vanish soon.
He feared them all—from bears to gulls—
At night and morning, afternoon.

For years Tad well avoided them—
Stayed out of “nature”—city parks.
So many things just startled him,
Like coos and meows and quacks and barks.

But one sad day Tad took a walk
Into the woods—his lady fair.
And interrupting lovey talk?
A very hungry grizzly bear.

Who ate them both—I know: ’Tis sad.
But I must keep it honest here.
The bear left on the ground a tad
Of Tad: A little piece of ear.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chicken Big, 57



Frightening Doggerel

That Othello Fellow: zelophobia

Othello didn’t care for it—
No, not a little, not one bit.

So when Iago tuned him up—
Transformed him to a foaming pup—

Othello saw his fears borne out,
But couldn’t stop—of that, no doubt.

And so he hurried to his fate—
Regretting all, but much too late. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Chicken Big, 56



Frightening Doggerel


Sharp Dude: xyrophobia

He had a fear of razors, but
He went to Sweeney’s barbershop.
Before he knew it, he’d been cut,
Had lost attachment to his top.

And so it goes when time runs out,
When it is time for you to die:
You hardly know what life’s about,
And then your’re dead, inside a pie. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Chicken Big, 55



Frightening Doggerel


Dry Humor: xerophobia

He liked the phrase “a desert rat,”
Decided that was where it’s at.

When he got older, he would go
To live in desert Mexico.

And so he did—but felt such fright
He screamed and trembled through the night.

The dryness simply freaked him out—
He hated cactus, all the drought.

And so he found a lush sea isle,
Where he now lives in grand (damp) style.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Chicken Big, 55



Frightening Doggerel


Strange: xenophobia

The xenophobic Senator
Played often on the common fears
Of every single him and her
Who'd listen. Well, it worked for years.

A UFO appeared one day.
The Senator smelled sure defeat.
It whisked him off—ET’s don't play.
“You've got some aliens to meet,”

They told him. He was mortified.
But there was nothing he could do.
They painted his entire outside,
Displayed him in their Human Zoo. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Chicken Big, 54


Frightening Doggerel


Clothed in …? Vestiphobia

So ... Adam didn’t care for clothes—
Nor did his Eve (as history knows).
But what about in winter snows?

Yes, dumb, I know, for those two were
In warmer climes. To him and her
No weather made them cry, “Oh, brrrrrrrr!”

The snake, however, was afraid
Of clothing. When they disobeyed,
The snake—much terrified—then made

His plea above: “Expel the two!
They’ve disobeyed! It’s up to You
To stop this ‘clothing’ spreading through

The rest of Eden!” So it was
The creatures stayed unclothed because
That fearful snake does what he does—

Lie. 




Thursday, March 10, 2016

Chicken Big, 53



Frightening Doggerel


Hamlet’s Dilemma: urophobia

His fear of micturition caused
Poor Hamlet’s agony.
All day and night in self-debate:
“To pee or not to pee?”

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Chicken Big, 52



Frightening Doggerel


Hairy Situation: trichophobia

He had the oddest fear of all—
Of hair, on person or on doll.

He shaved himself from head to toe,
And—this is no surprise to know—

His school presented that show Hair,
And he was not found anywhere.

The rumor is—a chicken farm,
Where he can cause no careless harm.

For eggs are hairless (chickens, too).
At last! A job that he can do!