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  • "Nellie Bly: Daredevil Reporter" A Biographical Ballad
  • "Princess Diana" A Biographical Poem

    POET OF THE MONTH: Dorothy Parker


    They hail you as their morning star
    Because you are the way you are.
    If you return the sentiment,
    They'll try to make you different;
    And once they have you, safe and sound,
    They want to change you all around.
    Your moods and ways they put a curse on;
    They'd make of you another person.
    They cannot let you go your gait;
    They influence and educate.
    They'd alter all that they admired.
    They make me sick, they make me tired.

    One Perfect Rose

    A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
    All tenderly his messenger he chose;
    Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet-
    One perfect rose.

    I knew the language of the floweret;
    "My fragile leaves," it said, "his heart enclose."
    Love long has taken for his amulet
    One perfect rose.

    Why is it no one ever sent me yet
    One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
    Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
    One perfect rose.

    On Being a Woman

    Why is it, when I am in Rome,
    I'd give an eye to be at home,
    But when on native earth I be,
    My soul is sick for Italy?

    And why with you, my love, my lord,
    Am I spectacularly bored,
    Yet do you up and leave me- then
    I scream to have you back again?

    Theory Into love and out again,
    Thus I went, and thus I go.
    Spare your voice, and hold your pen-
    Well and bitterly I know
    All the songs were ever sung,
    All the words were ever said;
    Could it be, when I was young,
    Some one dropped me on my head?

    Other Poems

    "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
    "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
    Only this, and nothing more."

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
    And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
    For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
    Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
    Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
    "'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
    Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
    This it is, and nothing more."

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
    "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
    That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-
    Darkness there, and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
    Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
    This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-
    Merely this, and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
    Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    "Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
    Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
    Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
    'Tis the wind and nothing more."

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
    In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
    Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

    Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
    By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
    "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
    Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
    Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
    Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
    Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
    With such name as "Nevermore."

    But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
    That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
    Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before-
    On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
    Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
    "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
    Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
    Of 'Never- nevermore'."

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
    Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
    What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
    Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
    To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
    But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
    She shall press, ah, nevermore!
    Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
    Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
    Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or devil!-
    Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
    On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
    Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
    "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or devil!
    By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
    Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    "Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
    "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
    Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
    On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
    And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
    And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted- nevermore!

    William Shakespeare
    John Keats

    "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes

    Part I

    The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
    The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
    The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
    And the highwyman came riding--
    The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

    He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
    A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
    They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.
    And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
            His pistol butt a-twinkle,
    His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

    Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
    And he tapped with his whip on the shuters, but all was locked and barred.
    He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
    But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
            Bess, the landlord's daughter,
    Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

    And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
    Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.
    His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
    But he loved the landlord's daughter.
            The landlord's red-lipped daughter.
    Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say-

    "One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight,
    But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
    Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
    Then look for me by moonlight,
            Watch for me by moonlight,
    I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

    He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
    But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
    As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
    And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
            (Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)
    Then he tugged at his rein in the moonliglt, and galloped away to the west.

    Part II

    He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;
    And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
    When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
    A red-coat troop came marching--
    King George's men came matching, up to the old inn-door.

    They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.
    But they gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.
    Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
    There was death at every window;
            And hell at one dark window;
    For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

    They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.
    They had bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!
    "Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say--
    Look for me by moonlight;
            Watch for me by moonlight;
    I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

    She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
    She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
    They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
    Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
            Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
    The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

    The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.
    Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast,
    She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
    For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
            Blank and bare in the moonlight;
    And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.

    Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
    Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
    Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
    The highwayman came riding--
    The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.

    Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
    Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.
    Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
    Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
            Her musket shattered the moonlight,
    Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him-with her death.

    He turned. He spurred to the west, he did not know who stood
    Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own blood!
    Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear
    How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
            The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
    Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

    Back, he spurred like a madman, shouting a curse to the sky,
    With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
    Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;
    When they shot him down on the highway.
            Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

    And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
    When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
    When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
    A highway man comes riding--
    A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

    Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
    And he taps with his whip on th shutters, but all is locked and barred.
    He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
    But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
            Bess, the landlord's daughter,
    Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

    Yes, I am a Beatnik. I like being a Beatnik. I have friends who are Beatniks. I have heard "Green Eggs and Ham" recited with bongo drums. I like bongo drums. I don't have any bongo drums, but I'd like to have some. I recite A Tisket, A Tasket very well, along with Old King Cole and various poems of my own. I was a Beatnik for Halloween. I'm a Beatnik everyday. Some of the best friends I have are Beatniks. Are you a Beatnik? Post a poem, and we will see if you are a Beatnik just like me. *snap snap snap*


    "The Forlorn Garden"
    a poignant sonnet

    Through the rose arbor, the painted white trellis and gate
    There he sits, waiting for someone, anyone who can relate
    To the vortex of black feelings and dark thoughts
    Which result from the rejection of hard worked plots.
    "Here I am!" with a boisterous voice, I proclaim
    Hoping blindly, desperately, that he will remember my name.
    The literary profession which we had both sought
    Had flown away, although we had fought.
    "Huh?" an inane, clueless voice replies
    His sweet face turns, with nonplused eyes.
    Beside him is an alluring woman, which only can
    Imply that in fact he is no longer my man.
    My face turns crimson red, and wishing for pardon
    I run, becoming lost in the forlorn garden.

    "The Moon"

    Seeing your face makes me shiver.
    Oh! The unhappy memories that rise.
    You may see my lips quiver
    As I envision empty skies.
    For the last star has fallen,
    And the moon stands alone.


    Trees are beautiful in the fall--
    Splash of orange,
    Glimpse of fire.
    But, then again,
    Trees are just as beautiful
    With no leaves at all.

    by yours truly!