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!?)



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 129

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Norway.

I like Jo Nesbø —he’s from there
(It’s Norway that I mean)—
And his detective, Harry Hole—
Intelligence so keen.

This series of great mysteries—
Such sanguinary stuff—
But I devour Nesbø’s books—
And cannot get enough.

The capital is Oslo—this
Is something most folks know.
And it’s a place that’s known world-wide
For snow, snow, snow, snow, snow.

And glaciers, too—that winter stuff,
Those Viking ships of yore
That sailed around and left behind
All sorts of human gore.

It’s popular with cruising crowds—
Those fjords, mountain views—
And I’ll admit—if I could go—
That it’s a cruise I'd choose …




Friday, July 14, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 128

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.


North Korea.

Well, here’s some news (of course it’s not!):
We don’t know much about this spot.
I do know that so many fought

Back in that 1950s’ war—
To stop the Communists. So far
That has not worked too well—sub-par,

At least in North Korea, Yo,
Where progress has been oh so slow—
But rockets rise, as you well know,

And once again we face the choice:
To fight—or use the human voice
To settle things—and thus rejoice

At human rationality.
I dread what happens—what we’ll see
If missiles fly at you and me.

So here’s a plea for all of us
To use our minds (no blunderbuss!)—
Avoid the nukes: Discuss! Discuss!



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 127

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.


Nigeria.

It sits there in West Africa—
The Gulf of Guinea to the south.
And most of what I know of it
Has come by word of mouth.

Okay—and Wikipedia,
That scholar’s trusted friend,
Whose entries flow, oh, on and on,
As if they have no end.

Surprising, still: Yes, English the
“Official language” there—
Though there are many others that
Are spoken everywhere.

Its independence came way back
When I was still in school—
That’s 1960—be precise!—
When Elvis still was cool.

Its population? It’s the most
Of Africa’s large states—
About the crush of people, well,
There are no real debates.

Let’s not forget the animals
That roam around the place—
Some critters there are very nice;
Some others eat your face.

It’s got some elephants—and, yes,
Some jungle cats, as well.
A cheetah! Oh, no! Not again!
(I’m chicken—can you tell?)

But there are many parks for them—
All creatures great and small.
And so I’ll leave them in the Wild
And hearing its clear call.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 126

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.


Niger.

A landlocked country in the west—
It’s crammed up next to Chad.
But that location? So it goes—
And really ain’t so bad!

The capital is Niamey and
It’s not hard to pronounce:
In difficulty lies between
Catastrophe and ounce.

Its largest river (“Niger,” too)
Just forms a kind of arc—
And so important to the land—
Oh, yes, it leaves its mark!

Its independence came, you know,
In 1980—yes.
(I looked it up and didn’t have
To make a stupid guess!)

It is an agricultural place—
Its crops provide support
To clothe and feed and offer care—
Or so is the report.

And wildlife? Well!  Hyenas there—
And elephant, gazelle—
And cheetahs (no! oh, not again!)—
I do not feel so well!



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 125

A doggerel series about the countries of the world. 


Nicaragua.

Yes, this Central American country you find
Near Honduras and others down there.
And we know that the mountains and also the sea
Both affect the fine climate and air.

And Managua’s the capital—also a lake
That is vast in lacustrine appeal.
And you stand and you stare and you simply admire—
And you choose not to think but to feel.

And Grenada lies south—and some islands appear
If you sail on a ship for a look.
And there’s lots you can learn if you’re hungry, of course—
For you’ll see that those folks there can cook!

You will see in the jungle—unless it’s too late—
Some fierce cougar and jaguar and such.
Though I here must confess I’m a coward, you see—
And I don’t like big cats all that much.

Well, the Spanish were there (and their language still is),
And the battles for power have raged.
But things seem to have settled—at least for the nonce,
Or so I have presently gauged.

It’s a country that’s lovely—from mountain to beach.
And it’s not really too far away.
Do you think it will happen? For me or for you?
That we’ll meet on a beach there one day? 



Monday, July 10, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 124

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

New Zealand.

Oh, sure, they filmed The Hobbit there—
And other films, as well.
But that is not at all the best
Of stories you can tell.

The Polynesians first arrived,
Oh, centuries before.
And then the British ruled awhile—
A century or more.

They still have a relationship—
New Zealanders and Brits.
It’s complex, but it’s not enough
To cause a tourist fits.

And Wellington’s the capital—
Oh, yes, that famous Duke
Who ruled at Waterloo back when—
His victory was no fluke.

It’s got a bit of everything—some
Mountains, rivers, lakes—
And many sorts of animals—
But has no native snakes!

Which means, of course, that if, back when,
The Bible changed somehow,
Well, we would still be innocent—
And still in Eden now!



Sunday, July 9, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 123

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Netherlands.

Yes, I was older when I learned
That nether equals lower, so
I was embarrassed—fairly burned
By my own ignorance. Although

I’m sure that I was not alone.
For ignorance lies everywhere—
And sits, in fact, upon a throne
Whose carving says, “I just don’t care.”

Back in my (ancient) teaching days
I spent some time with sad Anne Frank,
And then it was among my ways
To go to places—fill the blank

In my experience. So off
I went to visit Amsterdam,
And saw the sites—to kind of quaff
The waters. (It is how I am.)

I loved the Netherlands so much—
The cities, land, the history.
The often very human touch
I felt—not just the scenery.

An educated populace—
Was so appealing—well, to me.
And can we say this, well, of us?
Or have we passed our apogee?



Saturday, July 8, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 122

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Nepal.

There in the Himalayan heights
The Yeti roam the alpine sites
And frighten folks (like me) away—
I live to roam another day.

The capital is Kathmandu—
The coolest name, I think—don’t you?
It’s landlocked, though—no beaches there,
Just mighty mountains, mountain air.

And, yes, the Neolithic age
Its history book’s most primal page.
The leopard in the snow still stalks—
So, careful on your alpine walks!

They even have an elephant—
A Bengal tiger (scares your aunt!),
A rhino and a barking deer—
A name like that: mighty queer.

And also wolf and also fox—
Enough to keep me checking locks!
But what a country! Wilderness!
A place I’d love, I must confess.