Monday, July 31, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 145

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

St. Lucia.

Another island country that
I didn’t know. (I’ll wear the hat

That dunces wear!) But there it sits—
The Caribbean. (Gives no whits

If I have heard of it or no—
It just, you know, goes with the flow.)

And flows of tourists love the spot—
The sandy beaches, sun so hot,

The many winding forest trails,
The waterfalls. (I’d guess the jails

Are nice as well? Oh, you can try
One when you’re there—just be a guy

And let me know? Is that all right?
I’ll come down on a later flight

And go your bail—I swear it’s true:
You do for me; I do for you.)

The French were there—and then the Brits,
Who used their oft-used British wits

To colonize. But now it’s free—
An island with democracy.

It’s got a boa—mongoose, too.
And other snakes—I’ll say, “Adieu!”





Sunday, July 30, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship Doggerel, 144

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Saint Kitts and Nevis.

It’s in the Caribbean Sea—
These islands that were news to me.
I saw them there upon the list
And realized what I had missed.

A thousand miles (a little more)
From Florida they lie. The roar
Of combers on the beaches there
Bring tourists from—well—everywhere!

The Spanish came (they were the first—
And maybe were, I think, the worst).
Although the English and the French
Applied a brutal sort of wrench

To lives out there. And slavery?
Oh, it was there … oh, woe is me!
But all that horror, all that woe,
Belonged to others, as I know.

The language there is English—still.
And nature’s sights remain a thrill.
They’ve got a barracuda, Dude—
Be nice to it—no, never rude—

Or you won’t ever leave from there—
You won’t come up again for air.
Instead, like Jonah, you’re inside—
But won’t return—on any tide.



Saturday, July 29, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 143

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Rwanda.

We know about the horror there—
Those tribal murders everywhere.
“A human life? We just don’t care.”

The Hutu? Tutsi? Bloody war—
The body count—a grisly score.
All hoping now there’ll be no more.

They have such great geography—
With mountains, rivers (you should see!).
And wildlife running, very free.

But poverty remains a threat—
A government that’s so in debt.
And health care issues? Oh, you bet.

Giraffe and many elephant—
Some chimps to charm your maiden aunt—
And save them all? We can? We can’t?

I wish that hope were more than words—
Relief would fly like magic birds,
Would charge in like enchanted herds.



Friday, July 28, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 142

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Russia.

Now, Russia’s always in the news—
And has (depending on your views)
Found new ways that they can abuse

The USA. Election mess.
And it is easy—you can guess—
Who will or won’t admit, confess.

And in my life the Russians are
(Though they no longer have a Czar)
The enemy. Oh, that red star

Has symbolized at times the worst—
Their deeds we have for decades cursed—
But, lately, things seem, well, reversed.

But oh the art that’s flowed from there!
The novels, plays, and dance—I swear
It is superlative. (Not fair!)

And all that music! Unsurpassed!
From very first to very last,
Their love of arts is so steadfast.

But government corruption? Well,
Complainers do not live to tell
About that evil, foul and fell.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 141

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Romania.

My niece and nephew are from there—
Are justly proud—and really care.

And Dracula? That mania
Began in Transylvania,

Which occupies Romanian soil.
(Some garlic is supposed to spoil

The efforts of the Count to drink
All of your blood before you blink!)

It has some mighty mountains, yes—
Historic ruins. I confess

It is a place I’ve not yet gone—
Have never seen Romanian dawn.

Some recent history’s been dark—
But, still, if I could there embark,

I’d hop aboard a sweet old ship—
The Black Sea—oh, that’s quite a trip!

And there I’d roam the country wide
With Dracula there by my side!



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 140

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Qatar.

Its skyscrapers—well, scrape the sky.
And beaches, dunes, that line the coast
Are features that some like the most.
But I prefer those buildings—high!

And I have heard the name pronounced
Like “KAH-ter”—like that TV show
From very, very long ago
(With John Travolta). So … denounced

Just recently by neighbors there,
The folks in Qatar now must deal
With ostracism. (Doesn’t feel
Too good—but do they really care?)

Once, fishing was a major source
Of income. Now (surprised?) it’s oil.
(I hope I didn’t really spoil
Your guess!) Well, certainly—of course

It’s oil: Just look at where we are!
That oil-rich region—Middle East—
Whose riches have allowed a feast
To flourish. And our life-by-car

Would be diminished if we had
No oil from there to fuel our ways—
To allow us in our Jags to blaze
Along the road. (Could that be bad?)



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 139

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Portugal.

I do not speak much Portuguese—
In fact, I can’t speak any—none.
So if you say, “Oh, pretty please!”
I must stay silent as the sun.

I’ve always liked to see it there—
Attached to Spain … fraternally?
Though in the history books you stare
And read about their rivalry.

Its empire was so long ago—
Six hundred years ago it reigned.
But it’s a history we should know—
So much of empires there explained.

It has a coast line—very long.
And mountains, rivers, islands, too.
So tourists there just can’t go wrong:
There is so much to see and do.

But Portugal has got some … beasts.
There are some harmless ones, of course—
Like goat and pig and deer (for feasts!).
But wolf and lynx? I need a horse!

My kingdom for a horse!



Monday, July 24, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 138

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Poland.

Those offensive bad jokes that we (most of us) told
Have now gone, so it seems, to the grave.
There are things that we do—and some things we have done—
That we really should not try to save.

It’s a country with history—some of it bad.
Yes, some Holocaust sites still remain—
Like sad Auschwitz and others from back in the dark
When pure Evil was full in its reign.

But the country has glories—yes, many of those—
Like musicians like Chopin, et al.
And so many museums and galleries, too—
Where achievements of humans stand tall.

There are lowlands and plains and some memorable lakes—
And some valleys and mountains, as well.
To the north is the Baltic—whose waters are cold.
Such great stories their novelists tell.

And the wildlife is varied—from fierce to those not.
There are beaver and otter and bear.
And some deer, and those wolves that will howl in the night—
Which, for wussies like me, isn’t fair!



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 137

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.



Philippines.

“I shall return!” our general cried
There on the beach where many died.
And so “return” MacArthur did—
This happened when I was a kid.

An uncle went there for research—
He was a scholar for his church.
But he’s the only one I know
Who went there where those jungles grow.

Some seven thousand islands there
Compose the country (what a share!),
And it has been a place that’s seen
Such war and peace and in between.

It has a large economy—
In tech and copper—much to see.
The jungles, mountains, rivers, too.
So much to see—so much to do!

The wildlife there is so diverse—
So much of it I could rehearse.
And there are many kinds of snakes—
And that is all it really takes …

To keep me home …





Saturday, July 22, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 136

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Peru.

Peru is where the Andes soar—
Where archaeologists explore,
Where llamas and alpacas roam—
Where ancient people made their home.

The Inca were among the first—
The Spanish came and brought the worst
Along with them. The Incas fell
And only ruins now can tell

Their history. Peru still sits
On the Pacific coast. It gets
More complicated deep inside
Where many creatures now reside—

Like puma, jaguar, and some bear
That make their home, well, anywhere
That suits them. Who will contradict
A bear? Or jungle cat that’s picked

The place it wants to live? Not I!
I hear them growl; I want to cry.
There people are in poverty—
Which always is a tragedy.

But it has assets—quite a few—
And resources—and hope’s there, too.
So here’s a wish for dear Peru—
A future bright as brightest blue!



Friday, July 21, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 135

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Paraguay.

In Paraguay no Andes rise—
But there are different treats for eyes:
At every look—a new surprise.

It’s landlocked there between Brazil
And Argentina. There’s a hill
That pops up here and there. So will

Some grassland—and there’s lots of that—
And swamps and jungles. Where a cat
Will sometimes prowl below the bat

Who’s winging through the evening air
To eat some bugs who wandered there
And leaned—too late—that they are fare.

Let’s think about the cougars, right?
And jaguars that explore the night?
And wolves—oh, they are quite a sight!

So if you visit, watch your back—
Anticipate a cat-attack.
A wolf can take you into Black.



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 134

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.


Papua New Guinea.

This country is the eastern half
Of that Pacific isle.
And it’s volcanic (active ones)—
A common island style.

The people there are various—
Their languages are, too.
It’s independent—’59.
(I’ve not been there—have you?)

It’s got marsupials galore
(Some kangaroo and such).
There’s not a lot to fear out there—
Well … not, at least too much.

There are some crocodiles, I’ve read—
And that can give you pause
If you decide to visit there:
For many deadly claws

Will find you there in what you thought
Was such a lovely place.
But you when wake—and check yourself—
You’ll find you have no face!



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 133

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.


Panama.

Ah, yes! That famous long canal!
That country Panama!
And all the conflicts we have seen—
Things freeze and then they thaw

In conflicts international—
It’s thus been ever so:
One country wants what you folks have—
As if you didn’t’ know!

Its capital is Panama—
With “City” added on—
A naming plan that, once begun,
Has traveled on and on.

The Spanish came—and stayed and stayed.
And Venezuela ruled.
(And I, who just have learned of this,
At last have been well-schooled!)

All kinds of monkeys swing along,
And snakes seem everywhere.
Some insects, too, are poisonous,
And jaguars (it’s not fair!)

Can run you down, and end your life—
That’s troublesome—a bunch!
You go to visit Panama—
And end up being lunch!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 132

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Palau.

Five hundred islands form this place
In Micronesia’s sea.
And here I fear I must confess:
This country’s new to me.

Pronunciation is puh-LAU
I had to look that up.
(It seems that I have kind of got
A fairly empty cup!)

Australia lies right to the south
Of this democracy.
And tourists’ money form the base
Of its economy.

It seems to have a crocodile
That likes the ocean life.
(It came there for vacation and
It stayed—and found a wife.)

It has a “wormsnake”—and I think
That’s not the greatest news.
In fact, the more I think of it,
The more I play the blues.

But here’s a lesson to extract:
There in the southern sea
Are worlds that swarm with life and love—
And have no need of me!


Monday, July 17, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 131

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Pakistan.

I love the rhythm: Pakistan
An easy rhythm for Old Dan,
Who writes along as best he can.

The capital’s Islamabad—
Which hints the country’s ruler—God—
By Whom most everyone is awed.

Invaders there have come and gone—
Predictably as dark and dawn,
They try, they fail, and then move on.

Its population—millions there.
And ancient ruins everywhere.
And artifacts so very rare.

It’s got some bear; it’s got some fox.
And, yes, a leopard—many rocks.
And certainly there are some hawks.

And danger lives there—always has.
Yes, violence and all that jazz.
A bloody sort of razzmatazz.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship Doggerel,130

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Oman.

It is the only country that
Begins with letter O.
That’s some kind of accomplishment
In alphabets, you know.

Oman is in the Middle East—
The Persian Gulf flows by.
It’s got some oil (are you surprised?)—
And what a desert sky!

It’s Arab and Islamic, and
Depends so much on oil.
But now it must diversify—
Petroleum can spoil.

There is some tourism, as well—
Oman’s a welcome spot
For tourists who are (no surprise)
So fond of being hot.

It has gazelle and ibex, too—
And I am down with that.
But now, I read, it also has
That fearful mighty cat …

COWARDLY CONCLUSION:

(The jaguar! I am running … fast …
But just not fast enough!
The race will end—so very soon—
Will I be dinner stuff!?)