Monday, April 25, 2005

Mouse Poetry: the competition begins

Update II: Another entry has been submitted by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. This person is, however, shall we say, connected to St. Blogs, though that is not a requirement for submission. So the voting continues. You may change your vote, but do it by email so that no one knows that he or she is being stabbed in the back.

Update: Terry Southard's entry has been added to the top of the list. Now, I still need more votes. All are welcome to vote, but everyone who submitted a poem should vote as well. So give'em to me.

I have seen the best mice of my generation going down to the supermarket...

Here they are. I was a little diappointed in the numbers - known poets like Steven Riddle, for example, didn't enter, and I'd have given anything to have Dylan back in the game, and O'Rama was supposed to complete an epic called The Charge of the Mouse Brigade - but I announced it at a time of popemania, so it's understandable. But I'm still going to round them all up and send them to America.

I need you all to vote for the winner, either in comments or by email. That said, if I don't like the jury's verdict, I'll nullify it. We live in times when judges are the law, and I'd like to know what it feels like. The results won't be announced for a few days, so late entries are still welcome and will be added to the post.

Mouse Poetry

from Anonymous:

Of mice and men
How ‘tween them tell
By smell wherein they dwell.
A mouse careens daring not the light
Assailed in darkness
The acrid odors of its plight.
A man stands fore firmly in place
Welcome of the light
Inhaling deep sweetness, grace.


from Terry:
Oh, I am a pro-life person
Except when it comes to the mice,
Who nibble their way through the dog food,
And have chewed through our sheetrocking--TWICE!

 Yes, they held a "rat rave" in my basement--
By the sight the next morning, a SCENE!
But it gave me a start, and a chance to reflect,
How much different are they from my teen?

 Perhaps it is true, as the great author wrote,
That the quality of mercy's not strained.
Note to mice, and to son, better clean up your acts,
Before I renege, and you're brained!


from Jeff Culbreath at Hallowed Ground:
There once was a lad
Who lived in a house
With a yard full of cats
And a little pet mouse
One day the mouse
Went outside with the lad
And within a few minutes
He knew he'd been had.


From Roz, at Exultet:
 I hate you meeces
To pieces.
(With apologies to Mighty Mouse.)


A Haiku, from reader Faith:
 Coffe grinds, absurd!
Could be pepper, or what else?
Alas! ...... mice turds.


By Anonymous:
squeak queak
gnaw gnaw
chisel chisel
is that a ca-

posted BY mouse
 Indeed it was a cat.

posted By Cat
From Alicia:
The plural of louse is lice.
The plural of mouse is mice
why not pluralize house as hice?

 If I douse you twice, did I dice you?
If I rouse many times, do I rice?
Is more than one souse a collection of sice?

But computers have changed it all.
We now have two matching mouses
on our his and her computers.
(well, actually, he has a trackkball
and she has a touchpad,
but let's keep this rated PG-13 at worst).


From Jane Wangersky at Prestigious Non-accredited:
Mice attacking! Hear them roar!
Bar the door! Watch the floor!
Mice are swarming up the stairs.
Soon the house will be theirs.


from TS O'Rama:
As children we were asked
to be seen and not heard
but the mice at the summer cabin
reversed it and we'd hear them
rustling in the late hour
till quick as a light switch
they - and the food - were gone.

 Like children after all?


From Dan McAfee, at Lofted Nest:
 CBS Reports on the Black Death 

The info came in secretly,
moved hand to hand to Mary Mapes,
depicting deaths of agony
that no one could escape.

She e-mailed Rather with a bone
that any anchorman would chew:
the death of millions to atone
at the hands of a darkened few.

It seems there was a large attack
by Bushes of medieval time,
just thirty generations back:
the plague is their ancient crime.

The Bush's of those days back then
owned tenements all full of mice
and mice's fleas killed countless men
but Bush has never paid a price.

They aired the show on Wednesday night
in a special show on health.
"It is the poor we grieve tonight
who died at the hands of wealth."


From my mother, no website, and who can actually write this kind of thing but was in a hurry to get out of town:
A mouse is a mouse, is a mouse
As a spouse is a spouse is a spouse,
and a louse is a louse, is a louse,
and I don't want to hear you grouse,
since I write this in my house,
I can take poetic license if I wish,
and, boy, did I ever.


From Micki, of the Summamamas, with her Cummings-like disregard for capitalization:
well, i and the spice
we co-create mice,
we have four today
with two on the way.
that's all i've got to say.

love, the smockmomma

From The Secret Agent Man:
With apologies to Robert Burns
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous Jebbie
O, what a panic's in thy eddy!
Thou need na publish doggrel sae hasty,
Wi' liberal brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
Wi' unpoetic prattle!

I'm truly sorry Bush’s dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
What makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, fellow American
An' condomless Catholic!

I doubt na, whiles, thou spout lefty slogans
What then? Poor Jebbie, thou must live!
A changed teachin; here, ‘mong s many
'S a sma' alteration
We'll get a blessin wi' the rest,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the Zeitgeist’s strewin!
An' naething, now, to make a new one
O' vocations green!
An' bleak modernity’s winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou left the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell -
Till crash! the cruel Century past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
Without house or hald,
To thole secularism's sleety dribble,
An' frosty cauld!

But Jebbie, thou art no alone,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid liberations o' mice and men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but empty pews
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me;
The next election only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects dreaer!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!


And finally one by Susan:
My name is Ray and I’m a mouse
And I moved into a three-bedroom house.
I lived in a corner so warm and nice
I decided to invite over three other mice.
But when they got there, there was nothing to eat
And we were all really craving something sweet.
So we wandered around the pantry clutter
Looking for some peanut butter.
While in the pantry what did I find,
But a glob of crunchy, my favorite kind!
And as I approached it, my neck felt a snap
And I realized that it was a trap.
I took my last breath and sealed my fate
And that’s why I’m here by this pearly gate
Asking St Peter for a place to stay.
And I hope he doesn’t turn me away
Because I won’t require a lot of space
Just a corner of a cloud in this very large place
And maybe a little something to eat
Because I still have a craving for something sweet.

So vote away.

Reader Comments:
I probably can't vote for myself...
I think your Mom's is funny. That kind of sounds insulting, but you get my meaning.
Posted by Susan email at April 25, 2005 04:54 PM

i still cotton t' jeff's; but weren't those who didn't follow directions disqualified? as a former educator, i must say they should at least lose points for not following directions. of course, if i weren't participating, i probably wouldn't be so anal about it.
Posted by smockmomma email at April 25, 2005 06:38

Susan, my mom thanks you. Trust me.
Micki - noooo, they're not disqualified. What do you think I am, a tyrant? An exclusionary? One who actually expects people to follow directions? As if I were a teacher or something? This is an open-borders contest....just out of curiosity, Micki-mom-times-six, in what exactly did you used to educate people?
Posted by William Luse email at April 26, 2005 01:57 AM

Just for the record ... I knew I was disqualified from the outset. Naturally. I wrote the silly "poem" in a matter of seconds and must plead that no one takes it seriously. Honestly. Sheesh.
But the lovely co-creating smockmomma likes it, and I would be dishonest to say that I am not pleased by this. If she likes it, it must be good - on some level.
Posted by Jeff Culbreath email at April 26, 2005 04:43 AM

Anyway, I'm going with Susan. Simple, straight, and to the point. And it rhymes. That's my kind of poem.
Posted by Jeff Culbreath email at April 26, 2005 04:52 AM

oh my dear mr. luse, i used to learn people english, belive it or no. and mr. culbreath, you ARE a daisy -- that's high praise from a "tombstone" fan.
Posted by smockmomma email at April 26, 2005 10:57 AM

Jeff, your poem is good, as you say, on some level.
English, huh, Micki? "It would appear that Mrs. Allen is an educated woman. She reminds me" "Ah know, let's have a spelling contest." What movie's that from?
Posted by William Luse email at April 26, 2005 01:48 PM

Thanks Jeff. :)
Oh.... please. Tombstone. You have to do better than that, Doc Holliday.
Posted by Susan email at April 26, 2005 10:03 PM

Well, of course, MY sentimental vote goes to the Smock and her mice.
However, I suppose that my official vote goes to Anonymous' tandem poems.
I think this should be just like youth sports here in my town, where everyone, no matter their record, gets a trophy just for being there.
(How's that for trying to cadge a prize when I don't deserve it?)
Posted by MamaT email at April 27, 2005 07:27 AM

tough choices, but I vote for Terri's.
Posted by alicia email at April 27, 2005 10:26 AM

All were very good, but I like Susan's the most.
Posted by rosie email at April 27, 2005 02:12 PM

I'll vote for Alicia's. Well done all!
Shockmomma... I love Tombstone. Val Kilmer should have gotten an Oscar!
Posted by Dan email at April 27, 2005 02:51 PM

Oops.. "smock" not "shock" --
Posted by Dan email at April 27, 2005 02:52 PM

All right. I'll give it till Monday, just to see if any more votes trickle in.
Posted by William Luse email at April 27, 2005 05:15 PM

I liked Jane Wangersky's. It is sweet, short, exciting AND it echoes my precise feelings when I was told that the Sound in the attic was a RAT.
I had such nightmares for days that I dreamed in "CSI" sequence. I heard a noise on the ceiling so I put my handy stethascope to the ceiling while perched perilously on a ladder and then as my view passed throught the sheetrock into the din that heard above, my view revealed thousands of shreiking rats, hungry and ready to do battle for the house below. As a person who rarely remembers dreams I still get the creeps from that dream.
Posted by Lauren email at April 27, 2005 06:51 PM

shockmomomma ... hmmm, i kinda like luse, you could beat me in a spelling contest with your spellcheck tied behind your back!
if mr. culbreath loses points for not following directions, my runner up vote goes to mamaT.
Posted by smockmomma email at April 27, 2005 07:21 PM

Lauren, boy have I got some rat stories for you. Maybe I'll tell them one of these days.
Micki, Mr. Culbreath is not losing any points. Allowing you to vote for Terry seems like, I don't know, nepotism or something.
Posted by William Luse email at April 27, 2005 08:02 PM

I'm reassured that mine didn't get any votes. I was only quoting a cartoon cat, after all.
I'm partial to Terry's. It reminds me of both mice and teens that I have known.
Posted by Roz email at April 28, 2005 01:01 PM

Actually, someone did vote for you.
Posted by William Luse email at April 28, 2005 02:07 PM

Why, thank you, Lauren. "Sweet" is an unexpected compliment for my "work".
Mice and rats aren't a problem for me, as we always have a cat in the house. I just thought the poem that started all this was giving them too much of the benefit of the doubt, and I wanted to suggest they could have a dark side.
Some dream!
Now, I just have to decide who gets my vote . . .
Posted by Jane Wangersky email at April 28, 2005 04:52 PM

mr. luse, you refer nepotism as if it were bad or something. of course, seein' as how this is your contest, i defer to your good judgement.
Posted by smockmomma email at April 28, 2005 07:02 PM

>> I have seen the best mice of my generation
by the way, Mr. Luse... loved the howling reference. :>
Posted by dan email at April 28, 2005 10:06 PM

Don't worry, Micki, I cast your vote as directed.
Thanks, Dan, you're the first to mention the reference. The first who seems to have gotten it.
Posted by William Luse email at April 28, 2005 10:16 PM

In poetry (for me anyway), its sweetness is derived not from the cloying sentiment, but the ability to precisely satisfy the character of your subject.
I didn't know that mice, rats, vermin, or otherwise had a lightside.
We no longer have the r*t problem, but it deeply impressed upon me a sincere dislike of the rodent family in totem. I find those creatures to be terrifying. Worse still was the feeling that we were being showered in plague ridden fleas.
Posted by Lauren email at April 28, 2005 11:16 PM

and now, a little backpeddling from the smock: please tell me mr. culbreath doesn't feel like i thrust a knife into his back -- i didn't say i wanted to change my vote, only that mamaT was a "back-up" vote. howzat?
Posted by smockmomma email at April 29, 2005 12:16 AM

Lauren, then you'll love my mouse and rat stories because they invariably end in...death.
Micki, whatever you say Mr. Culbreath will swallow. He has this problem with female charms...
Posted by William Luse email at April 29, 2005 12:29 AM

Pepe Le Pew in Paris "Love eez everywhere" he sezfirst a flying cat and his landed paramourlater two young mice wearing Fez.
Posted by Ralph email at April 30, 2005 12:35 AM

Hey, Ralph. Thanks for the poem. Now vote for somebody.
Posted by William Luse email at April 30, 2005 02:48 AM

My vote goes out to Terry, but I loved reading them all. You should do this every few months, with a new topic...good times to be had by all!
Posted by Cole email at April 30, 2005 08:14 AM

Okay -- I vote for Mrs. Luse, Sr.
Posted by Jane Wangersky email at April 30, 2005 11:59 AM

Thanks, Cole, I'll think about it.
Jane, are you serious?
Posted by William Luse email at April 30, 2005 01:55 PM

The best in this genre probably belongs to Cummings:

me up at does
up from the floor
quietly stare
a poisoned mouse
still who alive
is asking What
have i done that
you wouldn't have

Posted by dylan email at April 30, 2005 06:56 PM

Is it really you?
Posted by William Luse email at April 30, 2005 08:38 PM

Yes, sir, I am serious. I like the note of exasperation in the last line.
Posted by Jane Wangersky email at May 1, 2005 01:33 PM

Posted by William Luse email at May 1, 2005 02:29 PM

Can I do my duty and vote for Jeff's "There once was a lad" or is that against your rules?
If I can't vote for MH, I won't vote at all.
Posted by LeXuan email at May 2, 2005 02:37 AM

You may. What, I'm going to tell you you can't vote for your husband?
Posted by William Luse email at May 2, 2005 03:42 AM

Yon Dylan! Who knew it would be mouse poetry to get him to return!?
Posted by TSO email at May 2, 2005 10:05 AM

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