Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wordbirds, 44



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

ivray (or ivraie) noun [eev-RAY]
a bearded darnel (a plant that resembles wheat); can be poisonous

Ivray, we know, resembles wheat—
But isn’t very safe to eat.

But Doofus thought he knew the diff—
And ended up a simple stiff.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Wordbirds, 43



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

jynx  n.
a genus of woodpeckers consisting of the wrynecks

Our hero stares—he never blinks.
Instead, he simply stand and thinks
About the genus known as jynx.

The “wrynecks”—just another word
For this delightful, lovely bird—
Such thoughts in him this bird has stirred.

“Perhaps I’ll see one in the air?
I’d love to see one—anywhere.
For now, I’ll simply stand and stare.”

The years went by—he never moved.
(His family—puzzled—disapproved.)
But soon enough he was removed

And taken to a “special” place,
Where he’d be safe (oh, just in case).
He thought about that bird in space

How he’d be soaring right beside—
Oh, he could do it if he tried!
And with such thoughts he drooped and cried.

(I know--a sad one.)


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wordbirds, 42



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

kyoodle verb
to make loud, useless noises

Kyoodling came from his room—
The teacher had lost all control.
And suddenly a mighty Boom!
Came from his class. Inside, a hole,

Abyssal hole, formed in the floor.
It sucked the noisy students down—
Would they be gone for evermore?
The teacher earned such wide renown

That students never once again
Committed their disruptive acts,
Did not commit the smallest sin.
And these, my friends, are just the facts.

The students who had disappeared
Returned that night to families.
And they behaved—for they had feared
And minded now their q’s and p’s.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wordbirds, 41



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

lyssa noun [LIS-uh]
rabies, hydrophobia

His mouth was foamingeyes were red—
His mind was gone—he didn’t care.
The final words his neighbor said?
“Have you seen Cujo anywhere?”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wordbirds, 40



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

myxoid adj.
like mucus [myxa = Greek for “slime”]

I called the waiter over, for
I had a dire complaint. “Some more?”
The waiter asked. “Oh, no!” I cried.
“One bite’s enough—I nearly died!”
“So what is wrong?” the waiter asked.
(He slyly kept amusement masked.)
“The gravy’s myxoid,” I complained.
And I could see the waiter feigned
His cool reply. “Oh, I assure
You,” he remarked. “It’s very pure.
No additives at all.” “I feared
As much,” I said. The waiter sneered.
“This gravy,” said I, “is no gem.
It seems, in fact, like human phlegm!”
The waiter smiled. “You passed the test!
We serve the purest here—the best!”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Wordbirds, 39



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

nympholepsy noun

1. A species of demoniac enthusiasm supposed by the ancients to seize one possessed or bewitched by a nymph
2. A frenzy of emotion (as for some unattainable ideal)

When nympholepsy seized him, he
Was overwhelmed with gaiety.
But when the passion didn’t pass
(Unlike the high from smoking grass),
He went so see a local shrink,
Who knew exactly what to think:
“You have,” he said, “a grievous case—
And wipe that smile right off your face!”
But he (his name was Anthony)
Could not comply: A symphony
Of pleasures playing in his mind
Continued keeping him inclined
To smile. And so the shrink just kicked
Him out. (From then on out he picked
Diseases far more tractable.)
And Anthony? His heart was full
(As was his mind) of passions so
Adhesive that they wouldn’t go.
So he remained a smiling dude—
No pleasure did that dude exclude!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Wordbirds, 38



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

ozostomia noun [oh-zuh-STO-mee-uh]
foulness of breath

The diagnosis wasn’t good—
He’d have the foulest breath.
He heard the news and groaned in pain,
As if he’d met his death.

He knew, of course, what would ensue—
What degradations came:
His reeking breath from here on in
Would join his very name.

“Oh, ozostomia!” he cried—
“It cannot be much worse!”
But then he saw (the other lane)
A swiftly moving hearse.

“Oh well,” he thought, “there are things worse.
I’d rather be alive.”
And so he chewed a lot of gum
And soon began to thrive

There in the Land of Love—a most
Forgiving, hopeful place.
He soon forgot about his breath.
A smile lived on his face.

For he had found a woman who
Had lost her sense of smell,
And so they married happily—
As he just loved to tell.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Wordbirds, 37



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

pythonoid adj.
like a python

Pete saw some movement … pythonoid?
He trembled with his fear of snakes.
While standing there above the void,
He wondered, “One of my mistakes
To jump? Avoid the fatal squeeze?”
He turned toward the python, and
He asked, “Oh, Mr. Python, please,
When I jump off, how will I land?”
The python (Doug) hissed, “You will learn
That jumping’s not too good a plan.
It’s better if you take your turn,
Allowing me to squeeze you, man.”
And so Pete did, and so it was
That this is how our story ends:
Our Pete survived it all because
The two became the best of friends.

Moral: Oh, if your name is Pete or Doug,
Don’t underestimate a hug.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wordbirds, 36



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

quoz adj.
something queer or absurd

That wizard (yes, the one from Oz)
Turned out to be a little quoz.
Behind that celebrated screen
He was not what they’d wished they’d seen.
Instead—an ordinary guy
Whose “power” led the crowds awry.
But Dorothy did all that she could—
And whirled home—and that’s all good.
Her transformed friends remained behind
Where they were never more maligned.
And so the moral of our rhyme?
The wish for home wins every time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wordbirds, 35


We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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


rutty adj.
lustful

So rutty Roger had a plan—
A way to conquer womankind:
He’d figure out a way to ban
The way that women value mind.

But Roger’s plan went up in smoke—
It really had no chance to work.
For rutty Roger was a joke—
And also something of a jerk.

So Roger had no rutting—no,
Not any rutting in his life.
He failed with women (don’t you know?)
And failed to find a willing wife. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wordbirds, 34


We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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


syrma noun. [SUR-muh]
a trailing robe worn by tragic actors in ancient Greece

His syrma was a bit too long—
He feared that he would slip.
And sure enough he wasn’t wrong:
The crowd gasped—saw him trip.

The marble was a bit too hard—
They heard an awful clunk!
They dragged him out into the yard
To give him aid and junk.

Well, he woke up an altered man—
A man most changed of men.
And back then where it all began,
He said: “I will not act again!”


Monday, April 18, 2016

Wordbirds, 33



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

tyronic adj.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a tyro [beginner]
[from Latin word for a young soldier]

It was tyronic of the lad—
If not in fact a little bad
(Or maybe evil, just a tad)—

That day he threw a piece of dirt
And hit his friend (it really hurt)
And said some words unclean and curt.

But years flowed on, and he would live
Some words of deep regret to give
To his old friend. “Oh, I forgive,”

The old friend said. “Yes, long ago.”
Some people are a little slow,
But most mature as well as grow. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wordbirds, 32



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

utriculoid adj. [yoo-TRIK-yoo-loid]
resembling a bladder

[hint: this is in anapestic feet: duh-duh-DUH, duh-duh-DUH, etc.]

His utriculoid head (most unusual head)
Was the cause for occasional mirth.
And the first who would laugh were the nurses who worked
On his very unusual birth.

But he showed all of them in his subsequent years—
I assure you that this is no bull:
For he learned massive facts (while he drank countless beers)
So that both of his bladders were full.

So he taught first at Harvard, then transferred to Yale
And each year won a different Nobel.
And those bullies from childhood? They learned a sad fact:
It's what's in, not what's out, rings the bell!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Wordbirds, 31



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

vulpecide noun
  1. A person killing a fox by means other than those of hunting by hounds
  2. The killing of a fox by means other than those of hunting by hounds.

Reynard thought it was silly that
Some humans dressed in fancy clothes
(And some of them were very fat!),
Then rode a horse and chased. He knows

It’s just some sort of human fun—
Though when they are with pleasure filled,
Well, Reynard, knows that he's the one
Who may well end up getting killed.

At least he had a chance that way—
Some rules of sportsmanship apply,
A sort of deadly game to play.
But at the end a fox would die.

What made Reynard so angry was
The vulpecide that men employed.
It seemed so heartless, cruel, because
These men still seemed so overjoyed

To find a fox dead on the ground.
So Reynard sighed and fled the chase
And hated that dumb bugle’s sound
And hoped to eat a human’s face!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Wordbirds, 30



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.


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

wynkernel noun
moorhen

The moorhen liked her simple name—
A “wynkernel” was just too much:
It had a clumsy, awkward touch—
She didn’t choose it … who’s to blame?

She met the scientist who picked
The name, and she began to beg;
She even offered him an egg.
But nothing with the name guy clicked.

So through her life she long endured
The name she hated fervently,
And she would never live to see
This troubling problem ever cured.



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wordbirds, 29



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

xylophilous adj.
Attracted to wood; growing or living in or on wood

Pinocchio had learned to swear,
For xylophilous now had found
They loved his fragile wooden hair
And gathered in a mighty mound.

Pinocchio just cursed and cursed—
Until Geppetto saved the day.
When bug infection was the worst,
Geppetto sprayed a deadly spray,

And soon the bugs just moved along
To search for other, safer food.
Pinocchio then wrote a song,
For he was in a better mood.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wordbirds, 28



We’ve commenced our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

y-worm noun
gape worm
[so called,from the appearance of the large female and small male permanently associated in copulation]

The Y-worm was confused because
It wasn’t certain what it was.

A male? A female? Both combined?
No easy answer could it find.

So it decided what to do—
To live both single and as two.

The Y-worm lived a happy life
Attached as one—both husband, wife. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Wordbirds, 27



Today, we commence our journey backward through Webster’s 3rd. I’m picking a word near the end of each entry for each letter—a word that interests me for some reason, or a word I’d not ever known before—and surrounding it with a frayed coat of doggerel.

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

zythum noun
beer of ancient Egypt

The zythum cheered him, going down.
He'd needed this to clear the frown
That furrowed his pale brow. The town,

The country, in between—the fall,
The spring, the summer, winter: all
Depressed him. Then he heard the call,

A so familiar call, so clear,
So welcome, and so very near.
It said: “Cheer up—and have a beer!”

And so he did—and felt relieved—
For he was one who much believed
That zythum helps,when you're aggrieved. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Wordbirds, 26



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


zaman noun [zuh-MAHN]
rain tree

They sat beneath the wide zuman
And read the lines of “Kubla Khan.”
They talked about the realm of dream,
And thought about the errie seam
That separates the worlds of day
And night. The rain drove them away.
And afterwards—how they did try
To recreate that lullaby
Of Love that they together felt,
Where they had sat, where they had knelt.
But Time forbade it certainly,
And all remained a mystery.
They found their present could not last—
It changed too swiftly to the past.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Wordbirds, 25



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


yaffingale noun
a green woodpecker
yaffing = in imitation of the bird’s laughing sound

Tod thought he heard a yaffingale
There in the cool and shady dale.
And so he sat beneath a tree
To hear the piquant symphony.

But then he got a sore surprise—
As bad as nature could devise:
The tree fell over—thank the bird.
And “Crack!” the last thing poor Tod heard.