Wednesday, December 5, 2007



A countrified, musical lady
Hummed Bach in a glade that was shady.
Lo, a rattlesnake came.
She was heard to exclaim,
“The snake’s got my hum, I’m a fraidy.”
A miss with a narcissistic thing
Meditated early each morning.
She faced a large mirror
Where no one could see her
And peeked at herself while reflecting.
An angular, jocular spinster
Liked bells from the Abbey Westminster.
Her cat hated the same
Though he loved the old dame.
Also, given catnip, he nipped her.
A lady was under the weather.
She wore a black shawl, gray dress nether.
When she bought a white cap
With fine lace for a flap,
She looked just like James Whistler’s mother.
A newcomer to San Francisco
Craved sourdough, even al fresco.
He from cable cars leapt
When past bakeshops they swept,
Bought bread which he gobbled with gusto.
There was a young lady suffered doubt
She would ever meet someone devout.
Then she started to pray.
A young man came her way.
He was good inside and not bad out.
The holly growing in our garden
With berries the birds haven’t eaten
Makes Yule decoration
When in combination
With ivy native to Old England.
There was a sailor who loved roses,
In gardens, in bouquets, near noses.
He covered a sailboat
With roses, for a float,
Perfumed a parade behind horses.
An unwavering water skier
shot on one ski through calm dawn water.
Said a novice to her,
Thinking to reassure,
“You’ll be up on two skis by summer.”
There was a lioness maternal,
Whose appetite was quite infernal.
An eland she did chase,
And quickly won the race
And soon that eland was internal.
There once was a hiker named Otto
Who bumped his poor head in a grotto.
It was an awful clout
that briefly knocked him out.
He bled, his head red as tomato.
There was an old kitty smelled yummy.
The pads of her paws were all gummy.
She chewed gum night and day
To her owner’s dismay,
And gum was balled up in her tummy.
There once was a wife somewhat older
Than the spouse she loved to embrace her.
When by old age beset,
She managed not to fret,
But never sat beside young neighbors.
-14 -
Our new Shetland sheep dog, a puppy,
Was attacked by a Silicon flea,
Those natives that inflict
Itchy bites that afflict
Newcomers who move to the Valley.
- 15 -
A Celt once got stuck in a big bog,
Below an ancient, heavy black log.
A Samaritan’s push,
While onlookers called, “Mush,”
Helped him squirm out like a pollywog.
-16 -
There was a young man lived on two Capes:
Cape Cod and Cape Town, charming seascapes.
He traveled forth and back,
Was hard put to unpack,
Before finding it time to change Capes.
- 17 -
There once was an athlete whose caption
Might well have read if he had had one
That he played ball with heart,
And embodied the art
Of results being achieved by action.
- 18 -
Sunny Sundays he spends in his yard,
The afternoons working to retard
The throttling of the seeds,
By the plentiful weeds
He digs, pulling them out by the yard.
- 19 -
A dog hater beyond his wood fence
Threatened old Rover with accidents.
One day she disappeared.
Soon a tool shed appeared,
On the top of a slab of cement.
- 20 -
A dentist had a nervous new nurse
Who was heard to emit a loud curse.
Back of the teeth she’d flossed
A pick seemed to be lost
So she suctioned it up in reverse.
- 21 -
A smile danced across her aged face
When her old husband she did embrace.
So dear, so familiar,
her co-domiciliar:
he is her favorite nestling-place.
- 22 -
Bridge is our first-Friday anchorage.
Old friends, cards, tallies, our equipage.
The Jacoby transfer
Used by adventurers --
For it, I need an interpreter.
- 23 -
Pencils are sharp, and cards are put out.
Beneath a bed the cat keeps lookout.
Ladies are arriving,
All of them surviving
By sharing, letting it all hang out.
- 24 -
Since we were here last, the route has changed;
the way here’s baffling, shockingly strange.
But it seems we can find
Something that will remind
Us of the path time has rearranged.
- 25 -
A “Venus” like the Botticelli
reminisced when visiting Delhi.
Her problem was this one:
She found that everyone
thought she had come from a pearl shelly.
- 26 -
Raspberries and cheesecake with coffee,
smooth ice cream chunked with English toffee
cause her obesity
for they are to what she
hotfoots it happily, hungrily.
- 27 -
The Sparrow And The Boy
(c) 1999 by Elizabeth Southwood

He lived under the stone overpass.
He had no parents in a warm house.
On a cold winter night
no candle was lit bright,
no stocking hung by a fireplace.

Living alone, he spent freezing nights
in cardboard boxes fighting frostbite,
without any cocoa,
without any pillow,
no mittens to wear, no warm firelight.

Nearby on the bank grew a willow
which overhung the creek. A sparrow
fell there, chilled, hungry, wet,
moved onto a blanket
of dried leaves reflecting headlight glow.

He put the trembling bird in his sleeve,
kept him warm throughout that icy eve,
and the bird snuggled tight,
chirped at dawn’s rosy light,
sang of the kindness that he received.

A roomy van showed up the next year -
a frosty, bitter night, moonless, drear.
A pink-cheeked boy appeared
with suet and bird seed,
arranged it for the birds which pecked there.
- 25 -
There is a young man from Peru,
Where summer is winter, boohoo.
He speaks 7 tongues,
Has strong legs and lungs,
Skate boards down from Machu Picchu.

Liz Southwood, May 27, 1996
- 26 -
There was an old lady from Cork(le)
Who at a late age learned to snorkle.
One day she saw a shark.
She swam back to her bark,
Felt threatened by death and felt sick(le).
- 27 -
There once was a copycat neighbor,
who plagiarized the houses next door.
When one got a whirlpool,
and one a swimming pool,
He installed one of each, added more.

- 28 -
There was a famous egg got scrambled.
When he sat on a wall he gambled
he wouldn’t take a fall,
but along came a squall,
which blew him off balance: he tumbled.

- 29 -
There was a plump cat who stalked quail
but it was all to no avail.
The quail clicked, called, hid out,
from the cat, supreme scout,
though in this case he lost the trail.

- 30 -
There once was a gent who drank tea
behind a quince bush privately.
He tolerated quail
and a small nightingale,
but only this feathered company.

- 31 -
Under humid skies close by they swam.
At night they shrieked, noisy as bedlam.
Their pool is by the fence
next to your residence.
They pollute silence ad nauseam.

- 32 -
There once was a lady named Alice
who liked to sit within a trellis.
She half faded from sight,
was half seen in half light,
among green vines in the dim recess.

- 33 -
There was a programmer in Japan,
whose works for yen were Herculean.
The folks with whom he dealt
wore stingy though black belt,
ignored per diems American.

- 34 -
Looking at the lush green trees out back
he thought how African bees attack:
buzzing bouquets of bees
from honey locust trees
swarm and sting you like sharp-pointed tacks.

- 35 -
He wanted to say, “Sayonara,”
return to the fauna and flora
of gold California
where he loved the aura
of Apple Computer and Ora...

- 36 -
There was a Canadian, Ben Bow,
who lived with his wife in Kyoto.
While there was born his bairn
as smooth as porcelain.
He took them right back to Toronto.

If I had a hat I’d take it off,
if I were Tiger I’d teach you golf,
just to hear your verses.
I’d advise you versus
Mom’s advice to choose poetry - laugh.

Ten strangers arrive,
soon begin to disappear.
No mystery here.


Books and a clock crashed off
shelves, and milk puddled the floor.
Refuge chaotic.

There is a young girl who plays soccer,
Toria, our darling granddaughter.
She runs both back ‘n forth,
goes first south and then north,
runs as far as the whole equator.

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