ATTENTION IPAD USERS!
Apple doesn't like listing me as "Will Shakespeare (poetry blogger)"
to differentiate me from the other guy, although everybody else does.
They took my first book but now won't take new ones. (Go figure.)
Since Smashwords distributes my books to Apple anyway,
just go to my Smashwords author page and download EPUBs from there.
Smashwords provides samples of my books also.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Day After Turkey Day

‘Twas the day after Turkey Day. All through the barnyard
Survivors were angry. Their lives were so darn hard
Already! They just wanted someone to blame…
So they started to list all those villains by name:
Some blamed the first settlers from times long ago;
Some blamed the first turkeys for being too slow.
A few blamed the cows from the Chic-Fil-A store.
(Every barnyard is rife with conspiracy lore
Like “Kentucky Fried Chicken’s an alien plot”
And “That turkey they pardon still goes in a pot.”)

But one turkey stepped up and said, “Let’s endeavor
To look at the bright side. No bird lives forever
But while we are here, aren’t we all quite contented?
We’re fed the best food and our needs are attended.
At last, when it’s time, butchers take us out quick
And we give thankful families our breasts and drumsticks.
Few creatures have purposes noble as we.
We ALL should be thankful. We’re blessed! Don’t you see?”

Those who heard traded glances, then nodded assent;
They’d heard this before and they knew what it meant.
And so, though the farmer was never sure how,
Turkey Day claimed another… and the birds blamed a cow.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Turkey in Your Craw

“It’s hard to soar with eagles when
You live with turkeys,” so they say.
Be thankful, grounded fliers—you
Can take revenge Thanksgiving Day!
Take wing (or leg or even breast—
Whichever one you like the best)
And vent your wrath with tasty glee…
Then chomp another piece or three!

But if the eagles grate your nerves
And of their flights you’ve had enough,
Just eat your fill, content to join
The Brotherhood of Turkeys, stuffed
With mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie,
And every food that makes you sigh
Then hit the couch! Your bulging frame
Can crash and watch the football game.

Perhaps you don’t like either side
And find both types a bit too fowl.
This holiday is not your thing;
It makes you want to sit and scowl.
So be it, friend. Your fate is worse
Than those I’ve mentioned in this verse
Because it’s YOU who ends up gnawed
And not the turkey in your craw.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stray Cats

An acrostic poem, where the first letters in
each line spell something—here, the poem title.
I remember writing these in high school.

Slinking through the bushes
Trailing a chipmunk, maybe a mouse,
Ragged little felines make their way
Alone through a human jungle,
Yowling nuisances nobody wants.
Can’t afford to feed them;
Alleycats will just keep coming back for more…
Tender-hearted people do, though. We’re all
Strays at some time or another, aren’t we?

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Wonder of Soap

A pattern poem.

It defies our imagination:
Ancient people discovered
That a prepared mixture of
Animal fat and wood ashes
Could make them feel clean.

It questions our sanity:
Only humans would
Consider taking a bath in
The very same things
That made them feel dirty.

It boggles our minds:
Is it more amazing
That such a crazy idea worked
Or that soap became so
Important to modern living?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No Rhyme Nor…

Intransigence is a refusal to compromise.

One day an angry sonneteer exclaimed,
“My verse shall nevermore be marred by rhyme!”
(It’s true he’d had a bit too much to drink
That day, but he maintained his mind was clear.)
From that day forth, he claimed his verse was changed!
Defiant, he would never end two lines
With words that sounded anything alike.
He thought himself a pioneer of verse.

As time went on, he found this new frontier
Not quite as free as he had once believed.
It chafed him just as badly as before;
Without the rhymes, pure meter tied his hands.
At last he realized his great experiment
Was just a child expressing his intransigence.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pepto Abysmal (aka Thunder Lizards)

Some scientists say dinos died
‘Cause insects fastened to their sides
And passed diseases ‘round the earth.
In time, their deaths outnumbered births.

But I’ve a theory some revile,
A theory that makes others smile.
I think that we must ask the question:
Did dinos die from indigestion?

Before the dinos went extinct,
Perhaps their era simply stinked.
The stench from those enormous blasts
Would thin the herds out pretty fast!
Such gross intestinal terrorism
Might breed a growing skepticism
That drove them all to cash it in.
Why fight a battle you can’t win?

I think we call them “thunder lizards”
Because the gases in their gizzards
Resulted in explosive spasms,
Creating a deadly smelly miasm.
I’m sure such vocal metabolism
Could cause a saurian cataclysm!

That’s why I think the ‘saurs died out.
And of this fact I have no doubt:
In the history of our universe,
This “Big Bang” had to be the worst.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fried Him, Froze Him, Microwaved Him

I’m so glad I’m not a chicken
At a big commercial farm.
When I saw the batter thicken
I’d know someone meant me harm.
Plucked and butchered, dipped in batter,
Cooked to feed their avarice,
(I’d make sure to spit and splatter
While they fried me to a crisp!)
Then flash-frozen, packed in bags
For shipment to some market’s shelves.
I’d be bought by scalawags
Without the time to cook themselves.
They’d hurry home with reckless speed
And pop me in the microwave
‘Cause they’ve got hungry mouths to feed…
But I think they’d be awfully brave
To eat an angry bird like me
Who met his end so miserably;
The vengeance of such poultery
Might be some fowl dysentery.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gone in 60 30 15 Seconds

The scoop plunges into the bag
And eager eyes follow the motion.
The kibble rattles into the bowl
And eager ears perk in anticipation.
The bowl is lowered into position
And eager feet prance excitedly.
The bowl touches down
And the eager muzzle guzzles kibble
Until no trace is left…
But the eager dog is still hungry.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Secret Identity

For Veterans Day.

They don’t wear capes or stretchy tights,
Twirl golden lassos, fear kryptonite,
Or stand out boldly on the street
From all the other folks you meet.
But don’t be fooled…

Although they look so much like us—
Although these heroes make no fuss
About the super job they do—
We needn’t live without a clue
To who they are.

Today their secret identities
Are on display for all to see.
Let’s thank them for their heroism
While guarding us from terrorism.
(Tights not required.)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cripple Crack

Oh my—three songs in one week! This one’s
based on the old folk song Cripple Creek and
the saying "Step on a crack, break your mama's back."
Note that the first stanza is the chorus;
it gets repeated everywhere you see [ch].

[ch] Stepping on a cripple crack
Made my mama cry
Stepping on a cripple crack
Was the reason why

Mama wasn’t happy
When she broke her aching back
She cried a little
When she broke her sacroiliac

[ch]

Papa called the doctor
He was betting at the track
Doctor said he’s coming
He’d already lost a stack

[ch]

Mama lays in traction
Got her bed inside a rack
Doctor left my Pa
To cook and clean our little shack

Stepping on a cripple crack
Made my Papa cry
Stepping on a cripple crack
Was the reason why

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gway Wabbit

I couldn’t resist this—an Elmer Fudd version
of Jefferson Airplane’s song White Rabbit.
Just to make it easier to read, I wrote it in
normal English; only the word “wabbit” is Elmerese.

One trick sends you flying
And one trick makes you sprawl
After ten tricks from that wabbit
You just sit and caterwaul
Go ask Elmer while he sits and bawls

And if you go chase that wabbit
Don’t be shocked if anvils fall
And you find out your sole protection
Is a flimsy parasol
Go ask Elmer—he can barely crawl

When you meet strange men in the forest
And get directions where to go
From a wabbit in coat and mustache
You should consider moving slow
Go ask Elmer—he’ll tell you so

When your shotgun is spraying buckshot
In a sloppy hail of lead
And you’re certain you’ve killed that wabbit
Don’t ignore your growing dread
Remember what the Fudd man said
He’s not dead
He’s not dead
He’s not dead

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Losing My Fleabag Blues

A standard 12-bar blues… as sung by a flea.

I’m catching me the next dog out of town
‘Cause ever since that collar started hanging around
Rover’s neck
My life is a wreck
You know I know I’m losing my fleabag
Yeah, that’s a drag

I got a couple thousand mouths to feed
But Daddy can’t get all the food his little babies need
What a mess
No time for finesse
My wife, she knows I’m losing my fleabag
And man, she nags

Old Rover was the perfect catch
And me, the itch he couldn’t scratch
But now, I’m just not feeling well—it’s
All this doggone flea repellent!

So get me on the next dog out of town
I haven’t got a future with that collar around
Rover’s neck
I’m living on spec
But not for long—I’m losing my fleabag
And that’s a drag
That collar means I’m losing my fleabag
I wanna gag
I know it’s so—I’m losing my fleabag
And I won’t beg

Friday, November 1, 2013

So Waisted

After the sugar rush…

“Once on the lips,
Forever on the hips…”
Or so the pundits say.
Some blame the carbs
And some blame cortisone;
We’re bigger either way.

Obesity
Is caused by more than food;
We all dread exercisin’.
Unless we move,
We’ll never ever cease
Expanding our horizons.