Hour 24 – Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

A chef of great talent and skill was he
To construct this dish of pastry and bird
Presented to the king with pomp and glee
Only for it to take wing without a word

The king, cared he not for pies and such,
Spending his time in totaling his books
The queen, her lips no birdy pie would touch,
Bread and honey, she ordered from the cooks

The blackbirds, released from doughy prison cell,
With all the world to wander in free flight
Chose now to persecute one lonely belle
Giving her tender nose a vicious bite

We, who tormented in the past, may be
As cruel to others when we are set free

Hour 23 – Shoot the Moon

Shoot the Moon

I was four years old the summer
when astronauts landed on the moon.
My brothers and I
knelt close to our black and white screen
for hours.
I was excited because they were excited.

But the actual moon walk took place
after midnight local time.
I couldn’t stay awake.
and was so pissed that no one woke me up to see it.

Later my family was discussing a trip
we had taken to the zoo.
My little brain mixed up the words
“zoo” and “moon.”
Soon I was picturing tunnels under
the surface of the moon
filled with cages of tigers and zebras.

For a long time, I was convinced,
inside my own head,
that I, a four-year-old child,
had been aboard a mission to moon.

In school
the teachers would roll out
the big television sets on carts
whenever something big was happening
on one of the missions to the moon.

One time we got to watch a splashdown.
“Splashdowns are my favorite part,”
I assured my first-grade teacher.

As a teacher now
I realize
the TVs were not for us
or for any educational value.
The teachers just wanted to watch it themselves.

My brothers were into model rockets.
They built them from kits, inserted engines,
and shot them off.
I was always part
of the ground recovery crew.

One year we took a trip out west
in our old station wagon
pulling a camper trailer.
We saw a sign for the Estes Factory,
the very kits my brothers made.

My dad pulled into the lot,
and they gave a tour
just for our family.

At the end, we got to shoot off a rocket.
This time,
I got to press the button.

At least, that is how I remember it.

Hour 22 – Technolotree


The trees have Wi-Fi,
but do not give the password out.
The flowers have Bluetooth
which connects them only to the sprouts.
The squirrels keep their iPads
hidden in clefts in hallow trees.
The ducks’ Facebook accounts
are locked with hidden keys.
You knew the forest was peaceful
and seems a gentle lot.
The forest, though, is conspiring,
for they do not wish to be caught.

Hour 21 – Firefly Reflections

Firefly Reflections


A faulty screen allowed the firefly

to make his way, one night, into my room.

After a bit of daze, and questions why,

about the chamber he began to zoom


Soon enough he found the glass mirror’s shine

and gamely studied his reflection there.

Did he see someone equally as fine?

Or only a rival’s repugnant stare?


We know ourselves when our image we see

and grasp, a bit, how the science works.

But do we like our twin, this devotee?

Or see only our blemishes and marks?


Hour 20 – Mermaids


From the line by T. S. Elliot in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I do not think that they will sing to me,
these creatures of desire and love.
Songs of the deep are meant for other ears
in other lands, or in times gone by.
Though, and here’s the vexation,
I still wish to hear the melody, old as I am.
And so, I walk the beaches
at the turning of the day
when misty spray makes distant rocks unclear.
I fancy I see the flip of a tail,
the long hair shining on fish’s scales,
the outline of an upturned breast.
And, listening hard, I seek to tease out notes
from the washing of the waves on shore.
But, no. There is no song there.
Just a silly old man in rolled trousers,
alone, always alone, on the sand.

Hour 19 – The Return

The Return
(based on Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field)

Something told the wild geese
Homecoming time was nigh
Though the southern sun was warm
Something whispered, “Fly!”
The gulf winds gently blew
The grass was tender, young
But though life was free and easy
Something urged them, “Come.”
The surf was rich and salty
With shrimp declared the best
But each wild heart quickened
At thoughts of young and nest
Something told the wild geese
Homecoming time was nigh
Winter’s rest was over now
So called the summer sky

Hour 18 – Goldilocks


Three members of the family Ursidae
Mater, Pater, and their little son
The porridge hot, decide not to stay
Went for a walk, having eaten none

A little lass with hair a golden hue
Vagrant, she infiltrated their small house
Ate up their food, broke chairs, and then she strew
Bedclothes and other items thereabouts

The bears, arriving home, beheld the scene
A house in ruins, such a shock to find
The neat abode, so tidy and so clean
Wrecked by one child, unmannered and unkind

When talking bears and human children meet
Trouble follows, and that not incomplete

Hour 17 – Homeward


Rain splattered window
Heading home after work
I rest, letting the bus carry away my worries
Letting someone else steer for awhile

Hour 16 -In a TARDIS


If I could but in a TARDIS go
Across all time and space
I’d not regret the friends I’d leave
Or the loss of any place

What wonders I could witness then!
What sights I could then see!
Planets and moons and galaxies
And folks from history

What battles I would have to fight?
And meet which alien race?
If I could but in a TARDIS go
Across all time and space

Hour 15 – Four Horsemen

Four Horsemen

Four horsemen from below did ride
On steeds as thin as smoke
Four horsemen seated side by side
And braggingly they spoke:

“I am Pestilence,” said the first,
“I kill with racking pain.
My sores and fevers are the worst
No one can match my fame”

“My name is War,” the second cried,
“I do not kill at all.
I teach mortals the sting of pride
Then watch the legions fall.”

“I am Famine,” proclaimed the third,
“Starvation is my tool.
Greed and hording are my watchwords,
For humankind is cruel.”

“I am Death,” the last one spoke
“No one escapes my blade.
The old, the young, the rich, the broke,
To me the price is paid.”

Four horsemen from below did ride
The Last Days drawing nigh
Four horsemen seated side by side
To watch the humans die.

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