Category Archives: Poems

Sweet Spring

Today’s post comes to us from Barbara in Rivertown

In honor of it finally being April, and spring being so much more believable, I have rediscovered a favorite poem, taken from the Good Reads website:

                                                                   Sweet Spring            E.E. Cummings

sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing

(secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)

sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love

Do you have a favorite poem, or a favorite poet?  (Doesn’t have to be well-known.)


Party Envy

The president’s obsession with the crowd numbers for his inauguration makes sense when you realize party turnout is a crucially important status marker for 12 year olds.

My party was bigger than Barry’s.
It was better than George’s or Jack’s.
Every guest loved the cake.
And they cheered when I spake.
That’s the truth because I made the facts.

Everything that I did was tremendous.
All my bunting and streamers were best.
All the boys I out-famed
felt a little ashamed
by my better-than-everyone’s fest.

Every party through time’s been less super
than this best-of-all parties I threw.
The invited said “yup.”
No one didn’t show up.
except whiners and losers like you.

The attention I got was amazing!
No lame gifts that you wear or you read.
Celebrated for days.
I got love, I got praise.
It was almost as much as I need.

Best party you’ve ever thrown?

Oaf of Office

Header image via Creative Commons under CC 2.0

Tomorrow, Donald J. Trump will take the oath of office and become the 45th president of the United States.

The official oath is very simple: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

This could be an awkward moment. Our next president is famous for going off-script.

Actually, that’s a lie. It suggests there’s a script to begin with.

He is known for saying whatever comes to mind. And because his brain is so unique and excellent, he has little experience in following anyone in a repeat-after-me situation. I don’t expect him to be intimidated by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Trump will want to say it his way.

To offer a little assistance, I’ve re-fashioned the oath into what I think is a passable example of Trump-speak. And it has the added bonus of rhyming, so he could sing it if he wants.

I solemnly swear!
My swears are so solemn
they’re top of the charts
in the solemn swear column

I will execute faithfully
this lofty post.
I’m as faithful as Jesus
and a better Host.

The office of President!
I’m so well suited.
No office will ever be
more executed.

As for my ability,
you be the tester.
when we’re talking ables
nobody’s is bester.

And the Constitution!
You kidding? Forget it!
I’ll preserve and protect that
like someone who’s read it.

I promise this oath
it’s a pledge that I’ve spoken.
I’ll honor it like
all the others I’ve broken.

Wah hoo! Haters? SAD!

How are you at keeping promises?

The Flooding Room Scenario

A new projection suggests that if carbon emissions continue unabated, massive ice melt and expanding oceans will threaten coastal communities on a global scale.  I’ve you’ve been paying attention to this, the advent of a new  prediction that there is a huge climate calamity on the way is something that could have totally been predicted.

The relentlessly regular release of dire news into our environment makes me think of that Hollywood movie scenario where the heroes are trapped in a sealed room that is slowly but inexorably filling with water.

When I mentioned this to Trail Baboon’s resident poet, the relentlessly rhyming but terrifyingly simplistic Tyler Schuyler Wyler, he immediately retreated to his frosty garret. Within hours he had calved off a chunk of doggerel so massive, it could support its own family of penguins.

The doorway clicked shut. There was no pathway out
For the windowless chamber was small.
With a single intrusion. A lone data spout
trickled estimates out of the wall.

Global temperature readings dripped into the room,
Dire missives of gases and soot.
As more studies leaked out of this pipeline of doom
I began to think we were kaput.

There was rapid decay in a glacial ice sheet.
caused by currents a fraction too warm.
As the science gushed in I was swept off my feet,
treading data in silent alarm.

As I floated and flailed in this wave of research
it rose quickly with every new proof.
Not a foothold or ledge. Not a grab bar or perch.
Just my head, and hot air, and the roof.

How I prayed for a hatch or a door or a drain.
A release valve to lessen the flood
of alarming insights swirling around in my brain
of a someday submerged neighborhood.

So the moral is “think harder while you can choose
to do things that will lessen the tide.”
Don’t get trapped in a room filling up with bad news
That you wish that you were not stuck inside.

How do you manage your intake of discouraging news?

Revelers Beware!

Today’s high temperature in the Twin Cities is expected to hit the mid-60’s.

A seasonal giddiness warning has been issued, effective all day and doubly so during happy hour.  We are on a 24 hour recklessness watch.

Gloomy realists will note that when Spring arrives, the dividing line is usually not drawn so sharply.  For every mid-March warm spell, there’s a St. Patrick’s Day blizzard on the way.

Sometimes it’s good to look in the record books for proof – thus today’s Baboon blog redux.

During what  passed for the Spring in the year 2013, America’s Singsong Poet Laureate, Schuyler Tyler Wyler, climbed into his drafty garret to produce a May Day Ditty that, this year, is more appropriate for March.

Embrace the May, but be a cynic.
Mother Nature’s schizophrenic.

She brings us air so sweet and mild,
and then a freezing zephyr wild.

She’ll green some grass, hey nonny nonny,
then kick your ass a little, honey.

Drape floral garlands ’round your feet,
then fill your face with freezing sleet.

Get out and do your May Pole dance,
but put some hot sauce in your pants.

Though May bringst bees and buds to flower
Conditions changeth by the hour.

What will you do to enthusiastically but realistically accept the gift of an early-season warm day?

Why Astronauts Shouldn’t Drink

Astronaut Scott Kelly spent almost one year in space. 

Now that he’s back on Earth, there’s some stuff to get used to, and he will be adjusting for a while, because spending so much time in micro gravity changes the body.  And perhaps the mind!

So I asked Trail Baboon Sing-Song Poet Laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler to create one of his famous lighter-than-air word confections to honor Kelly.  TSW grabbed the necessary supplies and locked himself away in a backyard tool shed, staying there for 340 consecutive hours before emerging with this work of art scribbled on the inside surface of an empty box of Nut Goodies.

It’s final call at Bottom’s End.
A round of suds was bought
as misery engulfed my friend –
a grounded astronaut.

A man who spends much time in space
will change while flying high.
He gets a somewhat puffy face
and lighter in the thigh.

He’d been aloft for many days
but now was unemployed.
He came back full of cosmic rays
and longing for the void.

“I’d wake up as the sun went down
Sometimes, the other way.
It flickered as we went  around.
sixteen full times each day.”

“In orbit, friends, I stood so tall.
Down here I sag and bloat.
I walked on ceilings and the wall.”
Even my tears would float.”

“But now I’m held in place without
a chance of pulling free.
I miss the flying all about.
I miss the space debris.”

“My bones are calcium-bereft.
My muscles all got limp.
I’d gladly go back where I left
to be an astro-wimp.”

“Don’t be so eager to depart,”
I told him with a wink.
“Down here when men drink beer and fart,
the capsule doesn’t stink.”

He smiled the smile of one who’s known
an idiot or two.
“I’d go back even though I’ve flown
with guys more crude than you.”

And then he looked away as if
there was no more to say.
An astronaut who’s seen the sun
rise sixteen times a day

Where are you longing to return?



Sam McGee, Weather Denier

Header Photo “Snowman on frozen lake” by Petritap – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Of course there are noisy climate change deniers who refuse to accept scientific research because it conflicts with their closely held political beliefs.

That’s almost understandable.

But what I can’t comprehend is the much more commonplace lunacy of daily weather denial.

A good winter storm reveals it, especially in more tightly packed urban locations. Some people downtown believe they don’t have to put on anything special to be outside because they’re only going to be exposed for a short time.

And besides, heavy clothes worn in layers just don’t look that nice. But I think inadequately dressed office workers look silly shivering as they wait to cross the street.

When I mentioned this pet peeve of mine to Trail Baboon’s sing-song poet laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler, he said he also has a certain peeve that pesters him – presumptuous people who rip off the work of other poets merely to get a laugh.

And right after saying that, he presented me with his latest opus, which included an insincere note of apology to Robert W. Service and The Cremation of Sam McGee.

There are fashions worn in a winter storm
that would otherwise seem gauche.
Everybody knows layering your clothes
is a common sense approach.
Even dilletantes in fine restaurants
will adjust to a degree.
For a little while they’ll abandon style
if their name’s not Sam McGee.

All Sam’s garb was sheer and he wouldn’t hear
of a parka or a fleece.
If a shirt or gown had an ounce of down
his frustration would increase.
“It feels very wrong and takes far too long
to suit up for cold or sleet.”
“And besides,” he’d wink, “there’s no risk, I think.”
“I’m just gonna cross the street.”

Right across the way sat a mad buffet
called “The Sacrificial Goat.”
It was hip and loud and it drew a crowd
that opposed the winter coat.
They disdained its buik and they’d tend to sulk
if harsh weather was foretold.
Putting on their things, they’d assume it’s Spring.
‘Cause it’s cool to not seem cold.

So off Sam would skirt in a polo shirt
with Bermuda shorts below
Into two degrees with his naked knees
and flip-flops, to face the snow.
“Winter air feels fresh on my naked flesh!”
he declared. “It’s strength of will.”
“And what’s more,” he spat, “I don’t need a hat,”
as he stepped into the chill.

Quite against Sam’s plan the snowflakes began
to collect between his toes.
And those flopping flips, ‘midst their many slips
became rigid when they froze.
Trying to be brave, Sam’s blue eyes turned grave.
As streetward, on he pressed.
At the crosswalk light, his mouth thin and tight
He tried not to seem distressed.

In the urban grind one will often find
that delay is the routine.
And slow went the time at that corner sign
with Sam blocked by traffic’s stream.
Then a passing truck’s plume of slushy muck
sealed the frosty fate Sam faced.
For his flops got iced and nothing sufficed
to dislodge a man encased.

With each frigid blast nature built a cast
that enveloped Sam, complete.
It was clear and slick and six inches thick
from his head down to his feet.
Looking through the shell one could clearly tell
that his face showed some regret.
A wardrobe reform could have kept him warm.
but he’s not been thawed out yet.

In December’s pale, teachers tell the tale
of the legend Sam became
Heading off to play on a chilly day
All the children learn his name.
Don’t go out of doors with just summer drawers
against winter’s nasty breeze.
you could be marooned in a white cocoon
like the ice man, Sam Mcgee.

Are you (or have you ever been) a weather denier?