Tag Archives: poetry

Pogonotrophy

In the middle of a rousing pie tasting post Thanksgiving dinner, the boiler in the house decided to call it quits. It appears to have disintegrated instantaneously and is now a pile of rusty dust in the cellar. I have created a replacement boiler from leftover parts from the flying machine, but it will only hold for a few more weeks.

Thusly, the house has been rather chilly in the winter air. Yesterday’s “wintry mix”, which I believe is a modern meteorologist’s fancy term for “intermittent wet downfall”, exacerbated the bone-chill that has permeated the house. Hot mulled cider was had, and I once again appreciated my penchant for pogonotrophy.

Pogonotrophy is a noun which means, quite simply, the cultivation or growing of a beard.

The word hails from the Greek word pogon for beard  plus trophe  for nourishment, growth. Quite literally, pogonotrophy means beard feeding.

Incidentally, pogonology is the study of beards and pogonotomy is a delightfully fancy word for cutting a beard; shaving.

You’ll notice that many men in colder climes enjoy pogonotrophy, and I must say, my family is full of bearded men, and has been, from time immemorial. Some people consider a beard a sign of virility, and interestingly enough, most giants, gnomes, and satyrs are bearded.

Bubo’s favorite hunting tree has a poem carved in its trunk, and it seems an appropriate verse for today’s discussion:

The bearded man stands outside.

Why do you stand outside, bearded man?

Stay warm, m’dears. If you can, work on that pogonotrophy.

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Random Poetry is the Best Poetry

I enjoy correspondence. While I am not always a gracious host and tend to prefer beakers and cryptids to humans, I do enjoy a letter or short note. I recently received this from a fellow I’ve never met in person. Spyder, if you’re out there, thank you. You made my day, sir.

Well, hello
Where have you been?  I have been looking for you all these 63 years.
I thought I found you once in Rod Serling’s  voice.  Then, in Jack Skellington’s eyelash. 
But you were elusive.
I even wrote a short story about you once.  Although I didn’t know it at the time.
Anyway, thanks for being.
As another cousin once said:  “I’ll be back.”
Spyder
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Satchmo Saved

I thought you dears would enjoy a poem by the dearly missed Ray Bradbury about the dearly missed Louis Armstrong. I found this on the blog The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong.
Satchmo Saved
By Ray Bradbury

They put Louis in a mask
Save him, Lord, they cried, your task
Is save Satchmo’s limbs and lips–
On his Buenos Aires trips
May his windpipe be protected!
Louis Armstrong genuflected,
Said: Now duckin’ ain’t my style,
But this great piano smile
Needs protectin’ so, instead,
Hang that wire-mask on my head;
Save me from the mad crowd’s sin,
Call the Saints and march it in!
So his grin was nicely caged
Mobs might pummel, love-enraged,
But that trumpet-playing mouth
Was protected, North and South
By a baseball catcher’s-mask.
Don’t, said Louis, please don’t ask
Why I sport this wire lid,
Why my munch mouth is hid;
Cause on other Rio trips,
Nice folks tried to steal my lips;
Mobs around, above, beneath,
Longed to ripoff these sweet teeth,
And I feared there might be some
Who might want an inch of gum–
All because those wild folks feel
What old Louis plays ain’t real,
Must be something in his jaw
Sails that Jazz beyond the Law!
So when Satchmo flies a plane,
Rio airport mobs, insane,
Rush to help me off the ship
Then with joy they tear and rip.
Watch out, Louis, no more lip!
In their seething lunge and grip
Louis yells: forget the stretcher!
Lend me mask of baseball-catcher,
Otherwise, no jump, no Jazz,
No mouth, no lip? No razzmatazz!
So with catcher’s mask in place
And a sweet smile on his face,
Louis runs the gauntlet through,
Blowing riffs both hot and blue,
Cuts a rug with quails and hips,
And, in midflight, laughs and quips,
“Grab my Jazz, but leave my lips!”

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Circling Words

April is, as you must know, National Poetry Month. I’ve been remiss in reminding you; too often poetry is forgotten, like tiny toymakers or the perfect bliss of spinning in a circle with your eyes closed.

Here is a wonderful piece by Franz Wright, courtesy of The Borzoi Reader’s Poem-A-Day initiative.

DEAD SEAGULL

Seagull in the corn, postage stamp-size cornfield in the

woods,
in the middle of the state, and how you ever got here.

Weather
of heaven, July Massachusetts, the blue sky one

endless goodbye.
Give me a minute, maggot-swarming preview of the

future, give
me a moment. You can hone a blade until there is no

blade, or
dwell with magnifying glass so long on a word that

finally it darkens,
is not, and fire in widening circles consumes the world.

For a moment
only, stay with me, mystery. Before you change

completely into
something other, slow cloud, entrance, spell, not yet

remembered
name, stay; tell me what you mean. A dead bird is not

a dead bird
I was once told by someone who knows.

Excerpt from KINDERTOTENWALD © 2011 by Franz Wright. You can learn more about Franz Wright’s latest book of poems here: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/194205/kindertotenwald-by-franz-wright

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