Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Ballad of Colonel McCob (The Corn)

Lately, I've been seeking inspiration in the books of my favorite children's poet, Jack Prelutsky. For this poem, though, I reread "The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert W. Service. If Service had been corny (*ahem*) enough to go for corn puns, I like to think he'd have written something like this.

The Ballad of Colonel McCob (The Corn)

"Gather 'round, all you children," said old Grandpa Corn,
"There's a story you young folks should hear.
Took place several decades before you were born,
And now it's passed down ear to ear.
Concerns a brave colonel I knew in the war -
By the name of MacArthur McCob
He was sweet on the outside, but tough to the core;
Protecting the land was his job.

Every morning at four, he took post at the door,
And patrolled the whole field until dusk.
Under his watchful eye, not an hour slipped by -
Never once did he rest in his husk.

If a carrot or beet ever tried to take root,
Why, MacArthur would tackle the varmint!
Not a leek would sneak past, not a caper or shoot,
'Twas a cornfield - no others would harm it.

I once saw Mac sack a potato;
With a cabbage, he went head-to-head
He minced onions, and would tie a tomato
To a tree, 'til his face turned bright red.

Not a soul dared to call McCob yellow,
Even though, as you know, that's our hue.
He would ransack a radish, yammer at yams,
And sever a parsnip in two.

His methods were fierce, but quite fruitful, indeed
Generations of corn could stand tall.
There wasn't so much as a hybrid cornseed,
With McCob overseeing it all.

But tragedy came out of nowhere one day,
(More precisely, it came from the ground.)
While shoving a trespassing shallot away,
Mac sadly failed to look down.

He heard a loud POP, then the whole place went black.
The shooter, he still couldn't see
It seems that McCob had come under attack
By a silent and stealthy green pea.

Mac's fingers and toes went bloated and numb,
But his body felt pleasantly light.
Like the arms of a friend, a soft gust of wind
Swept him into the dark, waiting night.

That might have been Mac's final curtain,
As he drifted off into the fog
But! I happen to know this for certain -
There's a fitting and true epilogue:
McCob made his way toward the city,
With that new, puffy body of his
He never surrendered or quit, he
Made a new life, pursuing showbiz!

Now, he's frequently seen in the theater seats,
Watching Hollywood films in the dark.
Never brutish or salty to people he meets -
No he's happy, they say, as a lark.
There's never a turnip to threaten, or a militant eggplant to maul
For, as everyone knows, at theater shows,
There are no fresh veggies at all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fruit Basket - The Banana

The Banana

It is the banana's perennial wish
To begin a career on the stage
She knows she would quickly discover her niche -
Her slapstick would be all the rage.
She'd start with a tumble, leading into a split
Which would certainly foster a laugh
Then, she'd call for an aide from the orchestra pit,
Who would magically slice her in half.
She would hire a monkey to sit on her knee
And a parrot to perch on her head
With a backdrop resembling a tropical tree,
She would, as they say, "knock 'em dead."

Yes, they'd come by the droves
From the jungles and groves
Just to gasp as she hung upside-down!
She'd stand out from the bunch -
She could tell on a hunch
Her theatrics would make her renowned.

There's only one glitch to her vision of fame,
One small hitch keeps success on the shelf
Though her peel's quite elastic,
And her timing fantastic...
She can't seem to slip on herself.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


It's the birthday of my all-time favorite rhymer, Cole Porter. I hope he'd approve of this anti-ode to broccoli.


Many say that broccoli
Looks like a squat and sturdy tree
But it's no place to build a fort -
Its bushy branches are too short.
You cannot rest beneath its shade,
While sipping on your lemonade.
Its trunk won't do for hide-and-seeking;
Its stump's too small for public speaking.
Just try to take its sap in winter -
You're sure to get a broccoli splinter!

No, broccoli's of no use at all
...unless you are two inches tall.
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