Thursday, April 27, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 58

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Fiji.

Three hundred islands—that’s a lot,
The South Pacific—very hot.

Some awesome beaches—get a tan!
And ocean sights—see while you can!

The language? Yes, it’s English—whoa!
They now are independent—Yo!

Volcanoes from the islands—boom!
And planes are in the sky—oh, zoom!

So sail or fly there—if you will.
(Be sure you take your motion pill.)



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 57

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Ethiopia.

On the African Horn, Ethiopia sits—
A most ancient of lands, and if you use all your wits,
You can figure a way you could visit the place—
And go see all its sights (with those eyes in your face).

It’s got mountains and valleys and deserts and more—
Yes, including Rift Valley—and creatures that roar,
Yes, including the cheetah—and there’s a baboon!
It’s so weird it makes jealous the bat and the loon.

It’s a place that’s been scarred by the daggers of war—
And a place where oppression has been at the core.
But let’s hope it has calmed in our more recent days.
And perhaps we can all go improve our dark ways?



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 56

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Estonia.

It sits there on the Baltic Sea
And once had been a part
Of that empire called Soviet—
Not noted for its heart.

’Twas back in 1991—
USSR collapsed—
And freedom came with swiftness that
Was some surprise, perhaps.

Old castles are distributed
About this rugged land.
And many islands join the whole—
Below the high command.

The economy is very sound—
They have no massive debt.
Renewables are popular.
(A lesson we should get.)



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 55

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Eritrea.

No, Eriterea’s not too large.
It’s by a sea that says it’s red
On which you’ll see both ship and barge—
And where Old Moses, so I read,

Divdied waters (with some aid).
It had a bloody civil war,
But independence finally made
In 1991. That door

Of freedom opened up right there,
The Horn of Africa. That place
Remains what it became—and where
Some Hope remains, in any case.

All kinds of wildlife can be found—
From lions, hares—a wolf that’s gold!
So be so careful, walking ’round.
You might not live till you are old!



Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 54

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.=

Equatorial Guinea.

You see it in Africa—there on the coast—
And it’s got lots of oil (not that they care to boast).
It once broke from the Spanish—the year,’68.
Though the language stayed Spanish—yes, such was its fate.

It’s got elephants, chimps, and gorillas, as well.
There are lovely gray doves—and some snakes (please don’t yell!).
And some islands compose this small country’s domain—
And at times over jungles come rain and more rain.

The Atlantic still laps at this country’s far shore—
And despite all their oil, they would love to have more.
For there’s always a market for stuff that will burn,
That will fuel all our cars so that we can go earn


Our livings.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 53

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.=

El Salvador.

Pacific Ocean beaches—with
Volcanic mountains near.
El Salvador’s appeal, I see,
Is really very clear.

San Salvador’s the capital—
Convenient! We can learn
The capital without much work—
Nor effort very stern.

Volcanoes and some hurricanes
Have caused them fiscal woe—
The population’s very dense—
And earnings can be low.

But, oh, those beaches! Ocean views!
The warm inviting sand!
Attractions that should draw some funds
Toward that needy land.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 52

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Egypt.

The Land of Pharoahs! Of the Nile!
(Where Cleopatra sailed in style.)
Where Joseph used some useful guile,

Where there is now a grand canal—
The Suez—in a key locale,
And that has been its rationale.

The politics still flame and flare—
As they do, well, most anywhere
Where cultures clash in desert air.

The Romans tried, then left the place.
Napoleon—well he saved face
By heading home. Our human race

Cannot let go of dominance—
Though it can’t work—not even once—
Well, not for long. Is Man a dunce?



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 51

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Ecuador.

In 7th grade geography
We had reports to write for class.
And so, as far as I could see,
I had to do it (had to pass!).

I picked a country—Ecuador—
A place I knew, well, zip about.
But I knew what the World Book’s for:
To help a seventh grader out.

I copied it—yes, word for word.
Our teacher didn’t seem to mind.
My grade was good; my conscience, blurred.
(Dear Mrs. Nichols—very kind.)

Now, Quito is the capital.
They made those hats called Panama.
The Andes stand so very tall.
And all the rest? Right down the maw

Of memory.That all took place
Way back in 1956.
When learning was a fragile vase,
But I would master World Book tricks.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 50

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.


Dominican Republic.

It shares its island: To the west
Lies Haiti—it’s a heavy test
For those who help their fellow man—
They struggle and do all they can.

It’s got some mountain ranges—four!
(There is not room for any more.)
Some plains and valleysand some beach
That lies nearby—in easy reach.

They love the game of baseball there—
The sunny clime, the gentle air.
Except, of course, for hurricanes.
And then it blows! And then it rains!

And everyone complains.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 49

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Dominica.

Have you heard?—have you seen?—have you visited there?
This small island of mountains? Caribbean* air?
Where the ocean in hurricanes rages and roils?
And where, yes, there’s a lake, and it actually boils?

Where the beaches are not, shall we say, tourist traps?
Where the beaches aren’t littered with folks taking naps?
Where the jungles are dense? Where a parrot is king?
(It's the national bird—have you seen such a thing?)

Where in ’78 from the English it broke?
If you’re lost in the jungle it’s not just a joke?
Where I’d love to go visit—well, somewhat … in part.
But I’m just such a chicken inside of my heart.


*pronounce it kuh-RIB-ee-uhn and it works, rhythmically!





Monday, April 17, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 48

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Djibouti.

You can find it right there on the horn of the thing—
Yes, Djibouti’s the name—it’s a name you can sing …
Well, almost you can sing it; you must take the time
And think of some words that will sensibly rhyme.

I suppose you could sing that a cootie lives there—
It can rhyme, just a bit, with Djibouti (I swear!).
It’s a land of some beaches—some highlands, of course.
And the temperature’s hot for a man or a horse.

And, no, I’ve not been there, and not likely to go—
For I think I might miss both the autumn and snow.
But still there it resides on the African coast
Where its people must feel now and then just like toast!



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 47

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Denmark.

The home of Hamlet (king and son—
And neither was the lucky one:
Both murdered ere the play was done).

Yes, Copenhagen (“harbor lights”—
Recall the song? Those Danish nights?)
Is capital—with stunning sights.

Remember Smilla’s Sense of Snow?
I bought that book—gave it a go—
A Danish mystery novel, Yo.

And, well, I loved it—front to back.
Then loved the film (and ate a snack)—
Forgot a lot (amnesiac?).

I have not been there—wish I could.
To see the scen’ry—find the wood,
Ophelia’s stream … that would be good,

Recite that famed soliloquy—
I’d see the sites that I could see.
And stare at mountain scenery.




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 46

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic—now well known
For castles, architecture, and
The many structures that have grown
Like crops upon a farmer’s land.

And Communism crumbled there
(And elsewhere)—1993.
A new Republic ends despair—
Such hope arrives when folks are free.

A varied landscape all around—
The River Elbe forever flows
Through rich and lovely native ground
Where hope’s a crop that grows and grows.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 45

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Cyprus.

Othello knew the island well—
It’s where he loved, and where he fell.
(Iago, as the play tells well.)

It’s now divided—politics.
And to avoid some tricky tricks—
A buffer zone to block the mix.

The island’s full of history—
Of conflict and much misery—
But dazzles those who go to see.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 44

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Cuba.

It’s only ninety miles away—
A missile crisis brought that day

When many thought the world would end—
See, Khrushchev wasn’t, uh, a “friend.”

But things cooled off in ’62—
And slowly, slowly it was through.

And now the tourists have gone back—
No fear of missiles in attack.

And there—the house of Hemingway.
And baseball players who can play.

The music, dancing, beaches—all
Replacing darkness of the pall …

Of imminent nuclear war.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 43

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Croatia.

Croatia well extends along
The noted Adriatic Sea.
And you would not be very wrong
To note the country’s history

Is evident throughout the land.
The good—the bad—it all is there,
From stunning buildings that were planned
And built in the medieval air.

And countless islands off the coast;
The Danube flows its lovely way
Across the land. And it can boast,
As well, of mountains. So … we’ll say:

A storied land, a lovely place
With waves of darkness in its past—
But such is true of all our race:
We see ourselves—are proud, aghast.




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 42

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Cote d’lvoire.

West Africa—and there it sits,
Where it has sat for years.
And I now feel a bit ashamed—
In fact, a bit near tears

Because, you see, it’s happened now:
I feel so dumb (a bit),
Because until this moment now,
I have not heard of it!

And now I’m feeling even worse—
A bit like well-burned toast.
I realized (oh, duh! oh, duh!)
It is the Ivory Coast!


CHORUS: Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh.

Which I have known about since youth—
In school geography.
The French had been there (thus the name)—
And so it fooled poor me.

Since 1960 it’s been free—
An independent state,
A better way to live, we know—
There’s really no debate.

It's got some elephants, you know.
And even chimpanzees.
And other jungle creatures
And never has a freeze.

A shrew lives there, as well, I’ve read—
And that impresses you?
Tonight you should go see a play—
The Taming of the Shrew!



Monday, April 10, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 41

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Costa Rica.

The spider monkeys swing through trees—
Then never have to say, “Oh, please!”

In Costa Rican jungles they
Just have their monkey kind of day.

The beaches there are famous, too—
Attracting all the human zoo

To fly down there and check it out—
Find what a sunburn’s all about.

Volcanoes rumble in the night—
And glowing lava? Quite a sight!

So check it out—it’s not too far.
Just trust some southern-pointing star.