Miscellaneous Verses

For songs, see the Colonel's Music.

On Free Will and Determinism

Suppose (the chance is there) that you were born
With the recessive gene of pure freedom:
Your toe-bones point to where you want to go;
Your spine doesn't slouch, your eyes don't focus
Beyond whatever it is you wish to see.
You feel no nausea at the crazy surface
Of the snow, nor does the moon's trajectory
Remind you of your imminent demise.

Does the snow reflect the moon, or does the moon
Reflect the snow? Your teeth are chattering,
Your fingers numb. The doctor puts the snow
Back in its box, the moon in its album cover.
I'm sorry to tell you, you were never free.
Please pay the nurse, your mother, as you leave.


It has come to our attention
That green was inadvertently specified
  In a key paragraph
  Of a previous bulletin
  Of this department.

The correct specification is yellow.
Moreover, brown was inadvertently omitted
  From the specifications list
  Along with some low-priority items,
  E.g., red and orange.

The flowers were a decision-level error.
Major cutbacks will now be necessary
  At virtually all levels.
  We apologize in advance
  For any inconvenience.

Needless to say, the director is furious.
He only wants to hide the situation
  And keep it hidden.
  We have fifty billion tons of
  Snow on order.

The Adventure

She was just out the door
When it started to rain
Smashing and splattering the drive.
  (There's always something
About to arrive
That doesn't want you alive.)

The highway was slick
With the squashed hulls of
Bloody and making her sick.
  (The radio's advice:
Drive like hell,
Ignoring the smell.)

When she gets to her desk
They're hurling volleys of
Pelting her face and head.
  (Stop it, she whispers,
I feel like an ant.
They answer, We can't.)


There was an old clerk of Columbus
Who wearied of totalling numbus,
  So he moved to East Lansing
  And spent his time dancing
Maxixes, merengues, and rhumbus.

Netnews Haiku

 Watching the busy
Fireflies blink at each other …
 I am busy too!

Spanish Ode (Computer-Generated)

The rolling plains oscillate,
From the green contour rises
The noble form of the Eiffel Tower.
Spain, lovely Spain!

The hidalgo sits polishing
His finely machined boots
With a garbage collector.
He hears lions roar in the distance.

At four o'clock in the afternoon
The sunlit river underflows
The arches of Westminster Bridge.
Bong! bong! bong!

The goose girl channels her way
Through the quacking crowd,
Scattering line feeds.
She hears tigers snarl in the distance.

Something needs to be replaced,
Either Spain, or my A.L.U.
Farewell, farewell, my little Spanish ode!
Tomorrow I shall write a Mexican sundae.

Tafel van Één

Een blaadje sla,
Een loempia,
Een flesje Spa,
Een hapje vla,
  Ik denk dat ik maar vroeg naar bed ga.

On a Froglet

(With apologies to Trijntje Fop.)

A froglet by a pond on Rhodes
Aspired to sing computer codes.
He sought a group of bigger frogs,
Who mocked him from their hollow logs.
We bullfrogs sing in C++;
You're just a Fortranunculus.

Remarkable Mark

Remarkable Mark,
Remark a bull, Mark;
Remark a bull mark.
Re-markable mark?

Re-mark a bull, Mark:
Re-mark a bull mark
Remarkable mark
Remarkable, Mark!

Fashion Senseless

Where did you find
  That purple tuxedo?
At Boutique for the Blind
  In downtown Toledo.

Poetry in the Laundry

Why are you watching
  The washing machine?
I love entertainment
  So long as it's clean.

For Ruchiccio

Are you vivid verses writing?
You are done, and now inviting:
See my poem, how exciting!

Age and youth in competition,
Eye for color and position:
See my picture exhibition!

See my poem, callow creature!
Eye it for a secret feature:
Oh, I've got it—thank you, teacher!

Limerick Gone Wrong

  There was an old man
Who tried to write limericks …
  They came out haiku!

Infinite Recursion

  Recursive haiku!
You can enjoy it only
  after you read a

Fall Fashion

  She wears a green hat,
orange coat, and gaping grin,
  my jack-o'-lantern.

A Bowl of Cornflakes

I poured a big bowl of cornflakes,
 With sugar and milk and cream!
I went away for a moment—the bowl was empty!
 Was it just a dream?

I'm sorry I didn't notice
 That You were hungry too.
I don't always pay attention
 To the other Me that's You.

I pour a new bowl of cornflakes,
 Add sugar and milk and cream.
I get up for a moment—the bowl is empty!
 Is it all a dream?

To All Fibonacci Poets

for Kate Jones

2Hear sound …
3Alarm clock!
5What was I dreaming?
8Who were the others in my dreams?
13Who, in this world of hard things, are the other dreamers?

The Brightly Shining Bartzboy

for Ed Bartz

To all you wretched sinners, ill-bred and ill-behaved,
A happy band of singers comes to tell you that you're saved!
The Brightly Shining Bartzboy was born on Bartzmas Day,
So hear our cheer and give us beer and then we'll go away.

The Brightly Shining Bartzboy was born upon a star
In an all-nite bowling alley by St. Alligaster's Bar.
We bring you Bartzmas blessings and bright tokens from afar:
A smock, a sock, a spigot, and a seven-cent cigar.

Shopping Trip

Where are you going, Miserabella?
To Maine, to buy fresh mozzarella.
It's far too far if you go alone!
So she went to Macao for mascarpone.

The Serpent's Song

Wouldn't you like to be like God,
Knowing right and wrong?
Praise the even, blame the odd:
That's the Serpent's Song!

At the End

Semper amorem crescere vel minui constat.
Love is always growing or diminishing.
—Andreas Capellanus
When joined hands part
And parted lips close,
Keep strong your heart!—
Love comes and goes.

Col. George Sicherman [ HOME | MAIL ]