With Crinkled Hair and Sprinkled Jaw
The styles today which rate respect
Are the styles of gross neglect.
A woman's perm unset in wave,
A man's jaw shaggy, in need of shave,
Cases exulting that "less is less",
Cases where chic seems laziness.
Well, hello and how are you doing?
Let's have a little chat
About our national obsession
The unwanted possession
Of -- Oh God! -- a lot of extra fat.
From the very beginning
The definition of sinning
lay in Eve's entreating,
"Adam, we're eating,
Come taste it. It's nice".
When they ate, they got fat
And the upshot of that
Was to end Paradise.
A Weighty Thought About
Peter Paul Rubens who hated them lean
Marie de Medici, Wife of Henri IV
Was lucky, indeed, to discover a Queen
Of adequate size, with gigantic thighs,
So like a vise that their embrace
Made madam's bed a peril place
Whence every Gallant emerged Green.
Again, No Weight at All
(A Wedding Party on the Roof)
Behold this topsy-turvy bride!
Is it the Gospel of Chagall
That laws of physics be denied
And gravity can be defied?
Could it be that Newton lied
And never saw an apple fall?
The Second Sex
Once she was a beauty,
A honey or a "ten".
She's now a hag, a crone
A beldame or old hen.
But what names for old men?
Why is it that Caesar's wife
Has to live her life
To be above suspicion,
While Caesar could
Do what he would
Sinfully without contrition?
Further Advice to the Virgins
History has little taste
(Apologies to Robert Herrick)
For the ladies who are chaste.
Peruse the pages of the past
Learn that nice girls finish last.
Empress Catherine, dubbed the Great,
Cleo, du Barry and Nell Gwyn
Are certain proofs that demonstrate
A tolerant regard for sin.
Clara Bow and Jean Harlow,
Madonna, Marilyn Monroe
Naughty girls who simply show
That the women whom we treasure
Give many, not a few, much pleasure.
So -- gather your rosebuds while you may
Gather your rosebuds in the hay.
That bed of roses is the bed
Where many a woman gets ahead.
Don't Call Me "Young Lady"
At a certain age you reach the stage
When you're a target for patronage.
An ostentatious caring with smiling forbearing,
A purred assent when less is meant.
Better by far to be plain cruel
Than subject one to this kind of kind
Where the message, "You old fool"
Is mirrored in the mind.
Minerva and Arachne*
Is there wisdom in this
That, armed with a broom
I brush at the high walls of my room
Where an acrobat delights to climb
Swing on trapezes, hurdle on high
As if everyday were circus time?
Industrious athlete! Industrious I!
Sweeping at ceilings, unwilling to learn
Diligence meets diligence. She will return
To dark Corners, where she slyly spins.
Ours is a match where no one wins.
Housewives Lead Narrow Lives
Don't go with a friend to the grocery store.
She'll opt for stuff that you abhor.
If you want chicken, she'll want steak,
As you buy bread, she'll ask for cake.
She'll say that she prefers another brand
Than the kind of pepper you demand.
Alas! Poor ladies! We rely
For identity on what we buy.
|*Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom and Arachne had a weaving competition which Arachne was unlucky enough to win. Minverva then turned her into a spider, spitefully.
In a funny way it seems to me
Today we've attained true democracy.
I arrive at this possibly dubious truth
By spending my time appraising our youth.
Who's homely? Who's comely? I despair
Of piercing a thicket of facial hair,
Beards cleverly cover aesthetic sins,
Loose liverish lips or receding chins.
You need an x-ray to know what's there.
From behind -- yet another confusion
An earring shines by a pony tail
Sneaking a peek seems an intrusion.
The gender gap has closed with a snap
And I wouldn't venture to say who's male.
At any rate, it no longer makes sense
To merrily toast, "Vive la difference!"
Elegy on the Obituary Page
of the New York Times
You don't need to be a mathematician to know
The way statistics go.
The dice is on the throw but no one is winning.
The thread is being bitten;
The wheel has stopped spinning.
The scythe is on the dry grass and ready to mow.
Fast, fast, much too fast!
We find our future becomes our past.
The Genius, Aged 68
Those who knew him best
Are the ones who do not weep.
You can be the cleverest fellow
And still remain a creep.
This superman was very smart
And surely let us know it,
But if he had a feeling heart
He took care not to show it.
The rules that hold for the average guy
To be mannered and gentle and nice
Are not the standards to apply,
Sheer genius should suffice?
Well, much can be forgiven but not all.
The Dancer, Aged 32
So young, so gifted, hastened on his way.
Abruptly cut off in his prime.
I hope his life was truly gay.
I hope he had a happy time.
The Philosopher, Aged 84
Responding to his least request
She played the hostess, met the guest,
Drove the car up for repairs
Washed the dishes, mopped the stairs,
Proof-read his papers, handled all finance,
Went to the cleaners with his pants.
She hasn't got one claim to fame,
She hasn't even got a name.
In thirty lines upon his life
just- "lie is survived by his wife".
The Suicide, Aged 52
Here was a woman geared for success
Her life was a board game,
She won or she failed,
She wanted the best,
Wouldn't settle for less,
Daily gathered "Hotels"
or was tearfully "jailed."
No detail escaped her
of manner or dress,
Was she invited? Then
what were they wearing?
Where was she seated
and what did they say?
Finally, wearying of worrying,
tired of caring,
She cashed in her tokens,
refusing to play.
Although we are a democracy
We treasure the measure of our degree.
It's a rare bird without Ph.D.
Who flits in the groves of academe.
But even at Harvard or MIT
The final brevet is RIP.
An Etiolated Vocabulary
The short naughty words which were stored in my brain
Emergency words for expressing great pain
Words that were meant to emphatically stress
Being pushed to the limit, in utter distress
Are so common now that they're useless to me.
I hear them in movies, on prime time TV
Four little letters but repeated, repeated
There isn't an expletive that is deleted.
The language for anguish is diluted and flat
As "gosh" or as "darn it", as "golly" or "drat".
Sue Grommes ● Adrienne Kolb ● Rocky Kolb ● Bruce Chrisman
John Peoples ● Robert R. Wilson ● Leon M. Lederman ● Jane S. Wilson
S. Chandrasekhar ● Leonard Euler's Illustrator ● Angela Gonzales
Pablo Picasso ● East Indian Mythology ● 5th Century B.C. Athenian Vase
Painters and Potters ● Hans Bethe ● Fermilab Photography ● Al Johnson
John Keats ● Emily Dickinson ● Jean Lemke ● Marcel Proust
Chocolate ● Lillian Hoddeson ● William Shakespeare
19th Century Illustration Depicting a Mechanical Universe
5th Century B.C. Greek Mythology ● Leonardo da Vinci