Thursday, June 29, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 113

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Moldova.

It used to be, well, Soviet
(About as rough as it can get)—
Yes, freedom’s better—oh, you bet!

It sits in Eastern Europe, where
Its got some vineyards growing there,
And moderate, the country’s air.

They’ve quite a mix of cultures, too—
And languages (far more than two);
Romanian’s official glue,

The language that’s supposed to bind
(You know—the sharing kind),
But it is not too hard to find

The others spoken by the men
And women there. And who knows when
All will unite? With words their skin?

It’s got some wolf, some badger, boar,
Some wildcat, deer, and many more.
But who on earth is keeping score?



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 112

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Micronesia.

A name that sounds a little like
Some kind of weird disease:
A kid—oh, no, poor little boy!—
Who’s born with tiny knees.

But, no, of course, it’s islands that
The name is standing for,
Spread out in the Pacific—oh,
Two thousand islands! More!

Australia lies southwest of them—
A stable chunky place
That has much bigger landmass—but
Small size is no disgrace.

It’s got some strange wild critters there—
On land and in the sea.
They have one thing in common: They
Have never looked at me.

(And probably never will.)


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 111

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Mexico.

At last! A place that I have been—
But I’m not certain, you know, when.
I don’t think dotage is a sin?!?

America saw useful land—
And took it—now, ain’t power grand?
The Alamo! Strike up the band!

They’ve had to deal with foreign force—
The Spanish were not good, of course.
The Mayans had complaints, remorse.

The Aztecs, naturally, agree—
But guns and germs and steel (we see)
Defeated locals cruelly.

And now there’s talk—a border wall
(Which makes no sense, no none at all,
For barriers do naught but fall).

Best wishes to our neighbors near—
Ignore those here who foment fear ...
Let's hope for calmer atmosphere.



Monday, June 26, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 110

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Mauritius.

An Indian Ocean island spot—
It’s known for mountain, ridge and reef—
Its Gorges Park (good for relief
When weather there gets much too hot).

Port Louis is the capital—
A parliament is now in sway—
A president as well—no way
They’d like a form more tragical.

It once was French—and then was Dutch—
And independence? ’68.
And though things are not always great—
They know this way is better—much.

It has no mammals (well, just us!),
But some have come by accident—
By merchant ship (or somehow sent)—
But lots of birds (they make a fuss).

And so it’s out there in the sea—
Its islands, beaches, and its parks.
Among the last of my remarks?
I wish a journey there were free!



Sunday, June 25, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL , 109

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Mauritania.

It sounds like music—listen now!—
Does Mauritania.
Though not in some weird vampire way,
Like Transylvania.

It lies in western Africa—
And has an ocean view.
Religion there’s Islamic,
And there’s some oil—woo hoo!

It’s got a jackal, crocodile—
Some tuna off the coast.
(Now tell me: Which of all of these
Would frighten you the most?)

There are some wildcats in the wild—
Some foxes and some seal—
And some of them see other ones
And think about a meal.

But most of it is desert—or
It’s “semi-arid” there.
It’s flat—some dunes and some plateaus
Rise in the desert air.

Some movies have employed the land
For desert kinds of sets.
Bruce Willis starred on one of them*—
As awesome as it gets?!

*The Fifth Element (1997)



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 108

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Marshall Islands.

Way out in the Pacific lies
This chain of islands many know.
Old ships beneath the water, Yo,
Now giving divers diving highs.

They lie near the equator—these
Sweet islands of volcanoes born.
Imperial powers (power’s porn!)
Once gave them up (no “pretty please”),

And now they’re independent—yes!
There is some farming, fishing there.
And coconuts are everywhere
A pygmy killer whale, so guess

What interests people much the more?
A whale or common coconuts?
(The former—no if’s, and’s, or buts:
A killer whale is not a bore!)

They’ve got some turtles, dolphins too—
Some sea birds that look pretty weird—
But nothing there that’s to be feared.
So a retirement place for you?



Friday, June 23, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 107

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Malta.

It lies there in that famous sea—*
The one that I once got to see.
(Yes, I know my geography!)

It is an archipelago—
A bunch of islands (as you know)—
They’re full of ancient history, Yo.

It split from England—’64.
Republic now (you know the score)
And hopes it stays so, evermore.

There are no rivers, are no lakes
That stay year ’round (oh, such mistakes?!)—
So Maltese know just what it takes

To save the water when it rains—
On hill and dale, plateau and plains.
(Conserving things? Takes thoughtful brains!)

It’s got some lizards, got a shrew—
And taming it is hard to do.
Enough for me! Oh, how ’bout you?

*Mediterranean




Thursday, June 22, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 106

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Mali.

Another landlocked country that’s
In Africa—the west.
The capital is Bamako—
Its cotton is the best.

They’ve got some gold mines (not so bad!)
And water-power, too.
The elephants and hippos there
Do not have much to do:

They are consigned to pleasant parks
Because of farming land
(You do not want wild animals
To get much out of hand!)

And 1960 was the year
That independence came
From France. And ever since, you know,
It’s not at all the same.

There’s something about freedom, and
Dear independent ways.
I’m guessing (since I’ve not been there)
That now are brighter days.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 105

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Maldives.

It sounds like a description of
Some seedy malls that we don’t love.*
But, no—some Indian Ocean isles
That stretch along for miles and miles.

A thousand coral islands (plus)
Compose the country we discuss.
And Male is its capital—
It rhymes with “molly”—nothing dull

About these islands. Coral reefs
Are here and there. And folks’ beliefs
Are varied (as you might surmise
In such a place, below such skies).

The money flows from tourists there—
Who love the beaches, sultry air.
Most other enterprises—small.
Though fishing’s good. No crystal ball

Is needed for us to perceive
That climate change (if you believe)
Will flood the islands and efface
All signs of us—our careless race.

*mall-dives



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 104

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Malaysia.

The cultures there are varied—mixed;
The country has me so transfixed.

Religions there are varied, too.
(Oh, something must be right for you!)

So many love its beaches white—
But some are worried: jungle fright!

It’s got some tiger, leopard, boar—
And crocodile (oh, lots of lore)—

And elephant and jaguar—yikes!
And crocodiles hold deep dislikes.

There are two massive towers there—
They slice up through Malaysian air.

So there you see it all writ large—
The towers show that man’s in charge …

Until, you know, a tiger



Monday, June 19, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 103

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Malawi.

Southeastern Africa. And there
It is! Malawi is the name.
Its parks are full of varied game—
Diverse as it is anywhere.

It’s landlocked there—and very small.
Though Lake Malawi is a spot
That critters go when it gets hot—
Yes, lions, rhinos, zebras—all!

Its independence—’64.
That’s when it broke from the UK.
It’s democratic now (best way!).
But many there are very poor.

It’s had an awful time with AIDS—
A modern plague—the grimmest kind—
And still the search is on to find
A cure so that all sorrow fades.

The Great Rift Valley—north to south—
Tobacco is a major crop.
Its coffee? Well, for me—the top—
My drug of preference for my mouth!


Malaysia.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 102

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Madagascar.

It’s off the coast of Africa—
Southeastern is the spot.
And as you very well might guess,
The weather can be hot!

It has a lot of wildlife that
You can’t see everywhere
It’s got some lemurs—comet moths—
A gecko that can stare!

As islands go, it’s very large—
Among the biggest, Yo.
And it’s a place that fauna-folks
So dearly love to go.

In 1960, it was free—
No more a part of France.
And in the streets, or so I’d guess,
Were music, wine, and dance!

There are some mountains—some plateaus—
Some grasslands there, as well.
Oh, it’s a place I’d love to see—
As if you couldn’t tell!



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 101

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Macedonia.

It’s a name we associate—Alex the Great,
Who once conquered a lot before facing his fate.
Yes, our Great Alex died—he was but 32.
And he failed to complete what he wanted to do.

And right now in the Balkans this country now sits—
It is landlocked and so gives the sea-bathers fits.
Though it has some great lakes and great rivers as well—
And some history that’s long—oh, so long I can’t tell.

It seceded (oh, peacefully)—year: ’99.
And since then, so it seems, everything has been fine.
And the mountains are home to some wolf, bear, and lynx—
But I doubt that you’ll find a gorilla or sphinx!

All in all it’s a place that has much to admire—
And no more must you call anyone “lord” or “sire.”
So it’s time, I would think, to get offa my butt,
To remove my poor self from habitual rut …

And visit Macedonia.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 100

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Luxembourg.

It’s kind of crunched there in among
Those European ones—
Yes, Belgium, France, and Germany—
Those bright historic suns.

It’s known for its medieval spots—
For forests green and grand—
The Moselle Valley—it’s a trip
In very high demand.

But, oh, it is a tiny spot—
Among the smallest—true.
It is, I’ve read, Rhode Island size—
But still there’s lots to do.

The mammals there are limited—
Some deer and boar remain.
Oh—and, of course, the humans, too—
Who have the larger brain.


(Or so we claim.)



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 99

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Lithuania.

It’s in the southern Baltics—it’s
The southernmost of all.
It broke (USSR)
In ’90—heard the call

Of independence. It’s the call
That’s loudest in all parts:
It resonates in ears and minds—
And animates our hearts.

The climate there is moderate—
And even somewhat mild—
And roaming through the forests there
Are wolves—oh, yeah, they’re wild!

And deer, and elk, and mink, as well—
Oh, quite a motley crew!
A few things you can kill and eat,
And one that can eat you!



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 98

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Liechtenstein.

Oh, I remember Lichtenstein!
In seventh grade Geography!
The teacher chose then to assign
To find the smallest we could see

There on the world map. And so
We saw those tiny places that
The most of us just didn’t know—
Like Lichtenstein—the habitat

Of eagle, ptarmigan, and hare—
Of fox and marmet and some deer
And mountains—mountains!—everywhere.
And not a government you fear.

Old Austria is just next door—
And Switzerland is right nearby.
And what’s a bigger neighbor for?
To have your back ... so keep them nigh!



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 97

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Libya.

Its capital is Tripoli—
A name that just delighted me

When first I learned it in that song—
Marines. And shores. Oh, that was long

Ago. And soon I learned the map—
Could find it there. (I had no app—

Not in those very distant days
So clouded by Time’s unkind haze.)

It’s on the Mediterranean coast
With such a history. One could boast

About the ancient cultures there—
The coastal views, the desert air.

But civil war now shreds each day
With knives of fear and swords that slay.

Another place where human fears
Are drowned in blood, in human tears.