In England once there lived a big
And wonderfully clever pig.
To everybody it was plain
That Piggy had a massive brain.
He worked out sums inside his head,
There was no book he hadn't read.
He knew what made an airplane fly,
He knew how engines worked and why.
He knew all this, but in the end
One question drove him round the bend:
'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?"
"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything, as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows.
While I make rhymes my brother John
Makes shiny shoes which dames try on,
And finding to their fit and stance
They buy and wear with elegance;
But mine is quite another tale,--
For song there is no sale.
My brother Tom a tailor shop
Is owner of, and ladies stop
To try the models he has planned,
(for Elizabeth Bishop)
Nautilus Island's hermit
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;
her sheep still graze above the sea.
Her son's a bishop. Her farmer is first selectman in our village;
she's in her dotage.
the hierarchic privacy
In Chicago, it is snowing softly
and a man has just done his wash for the week.
He steps into the twilight of early evening,
carrying a wrinkled shopping bag
full of neatly folded clothes,
and, for a moment, enjoys
the feel of warm laundry and crinkled paper,
flannellike against his gloveless hands.
There's a Rembrandt glow on his face,
a triangle of orange in the hollow of his cheek
Mary sat in the corner dreaming,
Dim was the room and low,
While in the dusk, the saw went screaming
To and fro.
Jesus and Joseph toiled together,
Mary was watching them,
Thinking of kings in the wintry weather
The summer dawn came over-soon,
The earth was like hot iron at noon
There fell no rain to ease the heat,
And dusk drew on with tired feet
And stifled breath.
The shop was low and hot and square,
And fresh-cut wood made sharp the air,
While all day long
"In the winter dusk
When the pavements were gleaming with rain,
I walked thru a dingy street
Thinking of all my problems that never are solved.
Suddenly out of the mist, a flaring gas-jet
Shone from a huddled shop.
I saw thru the bleary window
I WAS asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon, lo! upsprang the aboriginal name!
Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly,
I see that the word of my city is that word up there,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb, with
tall and wonderful spires,
Rich, hemm'd thick all around with sailships and steamships--an
island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,
As I go and shop, sir!
If a car I stop, sir!
Where you chance to sit,
And you want to read, sir!
Never mind or heed, sir!
I’ll not care a bit.
For it’s now aesthetic
To be quite athletic.
That’s our fad, you know.