TITLE POEM FROM THE CHAPBOOK Venus on the Half Shell
(with apologies to Sandro Botticelli)
Scallop shell serving as her barge / She's blown by angels to the
Encountering her first mortal there. / A human woman, young and fair,
Extends a cloak (size extra large) / To clothe her, lest all men beseech.
The arriving goddess seems to feel / Embarrassed as she vainly tries
To hide herself behind her hair, / Having suddenly become aware
Her nakedness she can't conceal. / In confusion she averts her eyes.
Goddesses don't give much thought / To trivial things like being nude--
This problem she didn't contemplate, / Not suspecting that ill-humored fate
Would set her down and she'd be caught / Where nudity's considered lewd.
Now, let's ask Venus for the story / Of the work that's
"No word," she says, "is ever spoken / About the fact my neck is broken.
This major cervical transgression / Gives my face that strange expression."
"And I'm neither prude nor overbold--/ I asked for clothes, since
I was cold.
The angels blew me toward the beach / So the cloak would be within my reach.
Sandro painted this in late December; / I caught a chill, as I remember."
FROM THE CHAPBOOK Observations of a Dinosaur
DINOSAUR WITH METRIC FEET
I'm a dinosaur poet--I'm quite obsolete, / For poetry
now has no rhymes and no feet.
While we needn't submit now to sing-songy verse, / We have a new problem which I think is worse.
By poetical standards, my tastes are eclectic; / Good poems don't
need to be rhyming or metric.
But can't I insist that their meaning be clear? / Obfuscation is passing for brilliance, I fear.
I just read some poems; they're thoroughly shameless, / And so is the publisher (who shall be nameless).
You bushwhack through the thick underbrush words clinging to you smacking you in the face assaulting you from every side you are powerless to escape this overgrown verbal foliage that surrounds you and is so dense you cannot penetrate it maybe if the poet had given you the reader a clear thought to follow you could use it machete-like to hack your way through to a meaning but no such luck there is no clue of any kind to the path out of this jungle it's like William Faulkner at his worst with no punctuation so being utterly frustrated you raise your voice and curse and shout--
In short, what in hell is this poem about?
Now, free verse can be most effective, / And using metric feet's
It's not a case of right or wrong--/ There's many ways to sing a song.
But in the name of charity, / Let's cultivate some clarity!
FROM THE CHAPBOOK Chortle Blossoms (entirely humorous poetry)
In my forties I ran several races / And won ribbons--not due to my
Or my skill or my speed, but because / No one else in my age group was racing!
I think that would not be the case now, / With seniors more active than
(Opportunity offered me once chance / To feel undeservedly clever.)
As a runner, committed I wasn't; / I did not persevere 'til I dropped.
The thing I enjoyed--I'll confess it--/ Was how good it felt when I stopped.
PUBLICATION CREDITS FOR DEBBY COOPER
Right: #2M6753-Half Dome, left, Liberty Cap, right, and Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, California
Below: #128514-Profiles of George Washington, left, and Thomas Jefferson, center, seen from top of Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
Photos by Ed Cooper, as they appeared in calendars.