Friday, March 31, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 31

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.
Cambodia.

The Kingdom of Cambodia
Has had, of course, some other names.
And on a rare melodia,
A good musician (skilled at games

Of melody and beat) could play
The music of this distant land
To echo the rare peace today
That we can hope will just expand.

Throughout my life there have been times
When heinous actions happened there—
The foulest sort of brutal crimes—
Like war and genocide. We care—

We humans—this won’t reoccur.
We must ensure that every place
Is safe and solid. We prefer
That earth can bear the human race.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 30

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.
Cape Verde.

This is an archipelago—
That lies beyond the western coast
Of Africa. And few now know—
I speak for me!—and few can boast

Of knowing much about the place—
Or having been there on a trip.
But anyway—in any case—
You get there (duh) aboard a ship,

And there you’ll find some history—
The Portuguese once claimed the spot.
And there you’ll find, and there you’ll see
The beaches are, well, nice and hot.

Just count the islands (there are ten),
And nine of them are occupied,
Volcanic in their origin.
Be careful: Mountain booms—you’re fried.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 29

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Burundi.

A landlocked country. Africa.
Though mighty lakes are near.
Rwanda borders on the north,
And Tanzania’s near.

The Congo lies just to the west—
That many-storied land.
Burundi, too, was Belgian once—
’Til ’62—so grand!—

When independence came at last.
But violence has reigned—
And bloody internecine wars
That leave their history stained.

But hope (as Emily once wrote)
Remains a feathered thing.
It’s beautiful and musical—
But quickly takes to wing

When war and horror flare and rage.
To coax the bird to sing
We need to learn to co-exist—
To hear that feathered thing.



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 28

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Burkina Faso.

Surrounded by six other lands—
Official language: French—
It’s landlocked there in Africa—
It can’t be like a Grinch

Who spurns its neighbors, as you know,
And wishes all much ill:
No, citizens and government
Exert collective will

To keep this land in freedom’s hold.
When I was but a lad,
'Twas “Upper Volta” for a name—
And things were fairly bad.

But now it’s free—and on its plains—
Among the sandstone cliffs—
Are hopes and wishes they’ll endure—
No but’s or and’s or if’s.



Monday, March 27, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 27

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Bulgaria.

The Black Sea’s to the east—the Med
Is to the south. The Danube flows
Within—and inside every head
Is Danube music each one knows.

The Empire (Ottoman) was there,
But now the people? On their own.
A parliament—they really care—
No, no more crown—and no more throne.

The Balkan Mountains run right through
The middle of this varied land.
Five countries on its border … Cue:
Some Danube music with a band!



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 26

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Brunei.

It is a tiny country there—
Small borders and small sky.
It’s on the isle of Borneo,
This place that’s named Brunei.

Nearby lies the South China Sea—
A mosque that’s so well-known
Throughout Islamic cultures--and
From jungles comes the moan

From a proboscis monkey that
Is sorry for his fate—
A sizable proboscis is
A hindrance on a date.

It got its independence in,
Yes, 1984.
And now its tiny presence is
One thing it’s noted for.



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 25

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Brazil.

It’s got that rowdy carnival—
It’s got some famous beach—
It’s got that Andes Christ so high
It’s nearly out of reach.

It’s got polluted waterways
Where people shouldn’t swim—
Or even ever touch—not safe
For any her or him.

It’s got the jungles (fading fast—
How soon before they’re gone?),
And most impressively, of course,
That mighty Amazon.

Official language spoken there
We know is Portuguese—
And always filling Northern minds?
A life of careless ease!



Friday, March 24, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 24

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.


Botswana.

Botswana—landlocked in the south
Of Africa. And there
Are deserts—and a delta that
The animals must share.

And there are many noted ones
(That’s animals, I mean)
That roam the land—a sort of zoo,
The best you’ve ever seen.

It’s parliamentary, as well—
And spoken there, I’ve learned,
Is English, which is no surprise,
Their independence earned

In 1966. So bells
Of Freedom, ringing still,
In countries all around the globe
That work with hope and will.



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 23

Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It’s near the Adriatic Sea—
Just east in fact. The Balkans—we
Have come to name the region so—
The capital is Sarajevo,

Where once began a world war— 
And millions died (who knows the score?)—
But recent years have seen more peace—
From conflicts, something of release.

Some Alps are there—such majesty!
And other grand geography.
A place where different peoples live
Who one another must forgive.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 22

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Bolivia.

Mountains! Deserts! Jungles, too!
Geography that’s fit for you.
Get bored with one? Move on to new!

It features that most famous lake—
Named Titicaca (no mistake),
So large it makes brave swimmers quake.

The list of languages is long—
Just say their names—it’s like a song!
(Pronouncing them, I know I’m wrong.)

A landlocked country ’twixt two P’s—
Peru and Paraguay—a squeeze
Between the two democracies.

Bolivia—so much to see,
From sand and stone to greenery.
I’d fly there now—if it were free.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 21

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Bhutan.

It’s nestled in the mountains there—
The Himalayas—this, the lair

Of Yetis (so we often hear),
Abominable—it’s very clear.

A place of monasteries and
So rugged and remote, this land.

It is due north of Bangladesh—
With mountain air that’s crisp and fresh.

But I believe I will stay home:
I do not go where Yetis roam!



Monday, March 20, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 20

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Benin.

Once, it was called Dahomey by
The French, who once had colonized
The west in Africa. Despised,
They left with post-colonial sigh.

But French is still a language there—
As is its past in slavery.
(They picked which people would be free.)
But many animals so rare

Live in a northern special park—
The elephants are living well—
The hippos, lions also dwell
Inside this living Noah’s Ark.

Like every other human place
So much is good; so much is not;
There’s so much growth—and so much rot.
So typical of this, our race.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 19

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Belize.

Just west of Guatemala we
Can find Belize. It seems to me
The lovely Caribbean Sea

Has found a very special place
To come ashore—and what a space
Is there!  Some Mayan ruins face

The visitor … such history!
Such elemental mystery—
Reminders of such misery

And such accomplishment of men,
Who (very, very Way Back When)
Explored all wonder, tried some sin.

And now a special tourist spot—
Where sands and sun are very hot—
Where happiness can still be bought!



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 18

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Belgium.

The European Union’s there—
And NATO—its HQ.
And several languages, as well—
And lots for you to do.

The architecture’s famous—yes.
Medieval, Renaissance—
The Nazis charged right through, of course—
The same, as well, in France.

But wars must end (or should at least)—
So Belgium now is free
And plays a major world role—
Protecting liberty.



Friday, March 17, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 17

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Belarus.

A landlocked country. Europe. East.
Minsk: Capital of Belarus.
The KGB—oh, such a beast!—
Was centered there. Could Dr. Seuss

Have drawn a building such as that?
It doesn’t seem so—not to me—
A place to please no Cat in Hat—
Nor Who nor Lorax certainly.

Primeval forests. Countryside.
The views are stunning, so I’ve read.
But still I’ve grieved and still I’ve sighed
For KGB—for those now dead.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 16

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Barbados.

Barbados! Island in the sea!
Such Caribbean mystery!
The capital is Bridgetown, and
Much tourism is the game: the sand

The surf, the winter sun are why
The tourists drop down from the sky
In winter when the cold and snow
Have started in to rage and blow.

When temperatures begin to drop,
We fear that it won’t ever stop
Until the spring, until the rain—
And so … Barbados once again!



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 15

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Bangladesh.

Just east of India we find
This country—Bangladesh—a place
That’s riverine, and we embrace
The lushness by which it’s defined.

Its jungles—full or roars and growls—
And animals we’d love to see—
Though not too close—at least not me:
It’s where the Bengal tiger prowls.

The capital is Dhaka, and
The population’s very dense,
And this has one dark consequence:
There’s poverty throughout the land.

Its textile exports are so vast
That many in the West wear clothes
That come from there (one surely knows?!).
But Bengal tigers? Not surpassed.

Yes, tiger, tiger, burning bright—
His image long had stalked my dreams—
They hunted me near jungle streams—
And dined on me most every night!





Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 14

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Bahrain.

It is an archipelago—
The Persian Gulf (you surely know!)—
A place where money likes to grow.

They’re into oil—production plus—
Propelling car and truck and bus—
All necessary (them and us).

The thirty islands (give or take)
That this Bahrain together make
Are flourishing—oh, no mistake!



Monday, March 13, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 13

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Bahamas.

These islands sound so good right now—
The snow is swirling right outside.
If I could go to Nassau—wow!—
I’d feel as if I’d gone and died

And found a heaven (snowless, please!),
Where sun and beaches dominate—
All soothed by some sweet balmy breeze.
Let's book a flight—and set a date!

The islands’ independence came
In 1973. We know
That tourists ever are the same—
They fly home sunburned—not much dough

Remains. But, oh, they’ve had such fun—
Such food! Such pleasure!  No remorse.
Though—ouch!—there is that burning sun.
And extra pounds to lose, of course.