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.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 12

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Azerbaijan.

It sits there near the Caspian Sea—
The capital, Baku,
A city rich in history …
I really had no clue

About so much about this place
That once had formed a part
Of that vast empire (Soviet—
Not noted for its heart).

But pictures show a beauty and
A land of mystery—
A place where people have some hope—
The hope that they’ll stay free. 


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 11

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Austria.

The Danube flows there—mountains rise.
The villages—rich with surprise.
Vienna—where the music soars—
And when it rains, it really pours.

It really doesn’t want to claim
That Hitler guy of darkest fame.
But there are others—Sigmund Freud,
Who’s kept psychiatrists employed.

And Mozart—Strauss (those music kings)—
And dukes and others—queens and things.
Oh, Austria has been a place
That elevates the human race!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 10

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Australia.

Oh, Land Down Under! Continent!
(New Zealand is not far!)
And right nearby? Van Dieman’s Land—
You can’t get there by car.

Transported convicts came in waves—
And natives were displaced,
Just as we here—the USA—
Arrived, displaced, disgraced.

The animals are awesome! There's
The duck-billed platypus—
The wallaby, the kangaroo—
So many to discuss!

I haven’t been there—wish I had.
The landscape’s awesome, Yo.
A continent that’s full of things
I’ll never come to know.

Just like so many other things
I will not get to do—
Because the time is close, of course,
When I’m Down Under, too!



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 9

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Armenia.

There’s Turkey to the west, and it
Has Georgia to the north. And hard
To spell are other ones that fit
Her other borders. And once scarred

By genocide—the nineteen-teens.
And conquerors have come and gone:
They work their ways; they vent their spleens—
Imposing, stealing. Might and brawn.

But independence came at last
In 1991. Since then
Some struggles—but they have held fast,
And hopes are higher than they’ve been.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Round the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 8

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Argentina.

Sitting there with Aqua Fina
Thinking some ’bout Argentina—

Pampas, horses, and vaqueros—
Wondering: Do they like sparrows?

Nazis hiding from their evils—
Knowing: They are human weevils?

There I prob’ly will not travel—
We get older—lives unravel.

Still … aboard a steed a-gallop--
Thinking I might eat a scallop—

Horse named Silver—like the Ranger’s—
“Do not pull your guns, fool strangers!”

Riding off to the horizon—
Got no signal: Damn Verizon!



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 7

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Antigua and Barbuda.

Two islands. Caribbean Sea.
With so much common history.

The Spanish came. And then the Brits.
Whose presence gave the people fits.

But then in 1981
Came independence. We are one!

And tourists now provide the loot—
And there’s no need to be astute:

The islands thrive; the islands gain
From those who’d once brought naught but pain.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Around the World in the Good Ship DOGGEREL, 6

A doggerel series about the countries of the world.

Angola.

Anglola. Southwest Africa
Where once the Portuguese
Established a far colony—
And did just what they pleased.

It didn’t—couldn’t—last, of course.
In 1975
It gained its independence, and
Then planned for all to thrive.

It has a lot of resources—
Some precious gems—and oil.
There’s lots of farming there, as well—
They have much fertile soil.

And ocean beaches—splendid views.
So it is no surprise
That Europeans craved the spot—
While greed lit greedy eyes.