Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 84

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Japan.

We drive two cars made in Japan—
Corolla and a Prius. Dan

And Joyce with both are very pleased—
Our budget (gas) is so much eased.

I’ve not been to the islands there—
It’s not as if I just don’t care.

I’d love to go—so much to see.
Such landscape with such history.

But I’ll not have such firsthand looks—
So must rely, of course, on books.







Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 83

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Jamaica.

Jamaica is an island land—
Renowned for sun and surf and sand.
Resorts are there—a reggae band

Or two. I have not been there, sad
To say. But I am not too mad
(That’s “angry,” though I’m both, a tad—

Both angry and insane a bit—
But you should just get over it—
Unless you want to see a fit?!)

Its history is colonial—
Reminders everywhere—until—
Yes—1962—the bill

Of independence came. And now
It’s known for different things somehow—
From Marley to a boa—wow!



Monday, May 29, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 82

A Doggerel Series about the Countries of the World

It was in '99 that I traveled by train--
All through France and the Alps--not to hard to explain:
It was Shelley research--oh, the things that I found!
From the Shelleys' last house to the place that he drowned.

But in Florence, I fear, oh, my pocket was picked--
I would not have believed I'd be so simply tricked.
But in Rome and in Naples--the sights that I saw!
I'll confess that throughout I was ever in awe.

And Vesuvius! Well, I just strode to the top--
And peered down in the crater--would lava please stop!?!?
But there wasn't much lava--just hints of it (steam)--
Though eruptions arrived late that night in a dream.

Well, I speak no Italian--but still got along
And just rarely made moves that were totally wrong.
But the people, the food, and the history there
Were sufficient--I felt like a new millionaire!




Sunday, May 28, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 81

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Israel.

The Holy Land I’ve heard about
Since I was but a boy.
Such turmoil there for centuries—
Such horror—and such joy.

Those three religions—holy ground
For all of them, we know.
But human progress—marred by war—
Can be so very slow.

We wonder what a God would think—
While sitting there on high—
To view the bloodshed in His name—
Would tears fall from the sky?

We only hope that sense prevails—
That peace is not a wraith—
That all involved will work as one\
To realize their faith.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 80

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Ireland.

I haven’t been there—not so far.
I’ve been to England and to Wales.
But Scotland? Ireland? I’m sub-par
And have not seen them. But the tales

I know from several friends who go,
It seems, each year. Now, one is Jim,
Whom I have known for years. The flow
The many Irish tales from him—

Just endless entertainment, and,
Accordingly, I feel I have
Been there—have seen the Emerald Land!
But his adventures are no salve

For sites unseen—for sights unseen—
And there are many now, I fear.
I wish to go where I’ve not been—
But fail to have supply of Year.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 79

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.



Iraq.

It seems as if we cannot leave
This country we invaded when
So many folks chose to believe
That 9/11 was a sin

Iraq had somehow caused to be.
So war’s ensued—for decades now—
And that idea of “set them free”
Remains remote from them somehow.

We wish that it were far more plain—
We wish from terror full release—
We wish for change that will remain—
We hope for everlasting peace. 



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 78

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Iran.

The Persian Gulf lies to its south—
The Caspian Sea is north.
And our relations with Iran
Have been so back and forth.

A friend and then an enemy—
And Time can only weep
For wasted opportunity—
These hatreds we all keep!

But things have cooled—perhaps a bit?—
In recent hours and days.
Perhaps one day we’ll reconcile?
In human sorts of ways?

Until that day—a day I hope
Is very, very near—
We live in doubt, uncertainty—
With piercing shafts of fear.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 77

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Indonesia.

Komodo dragons wander there—
Orangatans and such.
And lots of other critters that
I wouldn’t like to touch.

And islands by the thousands, all
Volcanoes ancient born.
And time and hist’ry—both of them—
The roughness well have worn.

On Java lives Jakarta—it’s
The capital, of course.
The South Pacific flows around
With oceanic force.

The languages are myriad—
The cultures also so.
A lifetime’s study—not enough
To learn all I should know.

I’ve not been there—and I am sure
I’ll not be going soon.
The light of day that is my life
Is now late afternoon.

But I can read—and fantasize—
About how brave I’d be
When I’d outface a dragon
Who’d be sore afraid of me.




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 76

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

India.

Columbus thought he’d found the place.
But hadn't. So he saved some face
By calling locals “Indians”—
As if, somehow, they were the ones

Who’d drifted there so magically
To give their gold to Spain, you see?
But India—that fabled land—
Lay far away, we understand.

The British tried their form of rule,
But Gandhi took them all to school,
And now so much there flourishes—
And tech’s a way that nourishes

So many Indians these days—
But also—there are other ways
That people in that stunning place
Can live their lives with heart and grace.

The Himalayas—more than high—
Appear to pierce the very sky.
And jungles full of wondrous things—
There, lurking Death himself just springs.

And Alexander was to learn—
What through experience we earn:
You cannot beat that thing called Fate—
No matter if your name is “Great”!



Monday, May 22, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 75

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Iceland.

Some countries have a name that fits—
And Iceland, which of course still sits

There in the North Atlantic, well,
It really isn’t hard to tell

Where it acquired its name!
The country gained some certain fame

Not long ago—in '72
When Bobby Fischer (what he’d do!)

Became the world champion—
Defeating Spassky—U.S. won!

But Iceland is an ancient land—
With glaciers, mountains close at hand.

Oh, wouldn’t it be awfully nice
To visit such a land of ice?

(And then come home, as warm as mice,
Escaped from winter’s Paradise?)



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL ,74

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Hungary.

A name which every single kid
Has, early on, so misperceived.
Each thinks it’s “Hungry”—yes,  I did—
Oh, what ignorance I weaved!

It’s had a varied sort of life—
Been occupied by powers that
Did little but increase the strife
Of daily lives. It’s not “old hat,”

This serial of dominance.
Adjustments are required of all—
And in this governmental dance
You watch it flourish, see it fall.

But still the Danube flows along,
And Budapest remains a joy.
The hills and mountains—both belong.
And fertile fields they still employ.

So let us hope that freedom rings
Throughout its troubled countryside,
That each succeeding new year brings
Much hope, success—all justified.



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 73

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Honduras.

It was back in the day when I did a report
For geography class—didn’t want to distort
All the facts and that stuff, so I copied (again!)
From a reference book—yes, a bad classroom sin!

So, Honduras this time—well, the Mayans were there.
And some forests abound—and the tropical air.
And it has lots of coastline—a visitor’s boon—
And some venomous snakes that make some flee—and soon.

It was in seventh grade when I, well, plagiarized—
A technique that, of course, was not too well advised.
And my teacher was wise—and she recognized me
And rewarded it all with a “gentleman’s C.”

(I exhaled a deep breathfor it should have been "F.")



Friday, May 19, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 72

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Haiti.

So Haiti holds the western part
Of Hispaniola—yes, the art
Of sharing land with other folks
Can work a bit—and is no hoax.

That earthquake came—2010—
And much of what so long had been
Then crumbled to the quaking earth—
And grief acquired another birth.

The world rushed in to help a bit—
And Haitians were to benefit.
But many problems still remain—
The ruins, illness—still the bane

Of those who live in poverty—
And Hope is distant, hard to see.
And so the aid must ever flow
To those who need it—don't we know?



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 71

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Guyana.

Guyana! South America!
The continental coast.
The capital is Georgetown, and
The jungle covers most

Of the terrain. The English ruled
Till 1966.
And now it’s free—but English is
The language lunatics

And all the rest continue now
To use in common speech—
The only country in SA
Where English teachers teach

The population. Wildlife there
Is varied—even weird.
A giant otter—sounds to me
Like something to be feared.

All kinds of birds we find down there—
The toucan, hawk, and owl.
There seems to be just countless kinds
Of interesting fowl.

But jungle cats lie in the shade
And wait for careless prey.
I think I will not wander there—
And stay un-chewed today!



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 70

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Guinea-Bissau.

Here’s something that I must admit:
I have not ever heard of it—
I feel so ignorant. (A bit.)

Upon the western coast it lies—
In Africa. Atlantic skies.
Attracts the many girls and guys

Who want to see the wildlife there—
The lions lyin’ in their lair—
And hippos (though not everywhere).

It’s got some aardvark, antelope.
And weird things that are really dope.
And most of them have learned to cope—

Though all those forests being cut
Just do not help. Oh, such a rut
You’re in: You need a house, a hut,

A shopping mall, some boards of wood,
And so you cut all that you could.
While critters flee your neighborhood.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 69

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Guinea.

If you travel to Guinea (you can’t go by road),
Then you need to check out the viviparous toad.
It is one of those creatures—so rare on this earth:
It’s a toad that delivers its young by live birth.

But enough of frivolity—now time to learn
About Guinea, which lies (as you quickly discern)
On the west coast of Africa—much ocean breeze
With some valuable jungles with critters that seize

Those who are much too careless to care for their lives—
So be so circumspect, all of you husbands and wives,
Every Darrell and Donna, each Gerald and Jenny—
Or you’ll learn there are creatures so hungry in Guinea!



Monday, May 15, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 68

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Guatemala.

It sits just south of Mexico—
Antigua is the name
Of its fair capital, and high
Is Guatamala’s fame

Among informed historians,
And vulcanologists
Who love that crater—very large—
That sits amid the mists.

The Mayans once were dominant—
Until the Spanish came—
And then I guess we have to say
That things were not the same.

The wildlife is amazing there—
So many jungle cats
And other beats that love to feed
Upon our leans and fats.

So circumspect—that is the word
To follow when you’re there.
Be careless, and … well, you’ll be food—
From toenails up to hair!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 67

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Grenada.

I know that I had never heard
Of this near island—till the word
Of our invasion—’83.
A Reagan deed—voila! they’re free!

It’s on the Caribbean there—
Complete with beaches, ocean air.
They’re known for nutmeg, by the way—
That egg-nog stuff? On Christmas Day?

The Brits were there—the French were, too.
But they have gone (as conquerors do).
And tourists flock there from the cold—
A journey that does not grow old!



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 66

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Greece.

I think of Greece: The Golden Fleece!
And frequent war (as well as peace).

I think of wise old Sophocles—
Whose plays enjoy each new reprise.

And Plato and his Socrates—
That hemlock brought him to his knees!

The Parthenon—those randy gods
Who had such ripped and ready bods.

And Aristotle—what a mind!
A rare and very precious kind.

Remember Aristophanes?
Whose plays still stun and always please.

Odysseus and Penelope—
It took some time for him to free

Himself, to kill those greedy dudes
Who had such selfish attitudes.

(Lord Byron died there--what a shame!
But he's retained his name and fame.)

Oh, all those stories! All that myth!
So long we’ve been acquainted with

It all. And then … democracy.
But will it linger? We will see.

To Greece we owe enormous debt—
A gift that we cannot forget.