The Raven and the Stone
Said the Raven to the Stone, “Dost thou try to break my bone?
I have done to thee no harm, yet thou bring’st me such alarm!”
Said the Stone unto the Raven, “Thou art truly but a craven.
I, of course, mean thee no harm; I was thrown by someone’s arm.
Yonder boy upon the hill threw me up against my will.”
Said the Raven to the Stone, “Thou aren’t truly on thy own,
but if thou could’st change thy course, surely thou’d feel no remorse.”
“This is true,” remarked the Stone, “but what direction hast thou flown?”
‘Wards the sun and shady glade, for in that marsh my nest is made.
I’ve a mate and three young eggs, that is why this raven begs
to let me go upon my way, yonder comes the end of day.”
Said the Stone unto the Raven, “Thou art truly well-behaven.
Thou hast made me see the light, way up here upon thy flight.
If I do then let thou be, what will then become of me?”
“You’ll go on just like before and live thy life forevermore.
But I, dear Stone, have but one life, and it, by no means, very blithe.
And so, my friend, please let me by, for if you strike, you’ll see me die.”
“I suppose thou speak the truth. Very well, enjoy thy youth.
I shall leave thee safe and sound, whilst I fall swiftly to ground.”
“You, sir, truly are most kind. So I’ll leave if you don’t mind.”
So they both went homeward bound -- bird to nest, stone to ground.
Tea for the Taxman
Uninvited he came,
from a wounded wallet,
(the sow’s ear!).
“A cup of tea...?” I asked,
and steeped in the boiling broth of a money-changer,
he tippled hibiscus and rose hips --
no honeyed irony in the calculated twitch
of his cream-catcher.
Blessed Master of Crime he was,
ignoring my impoverished glances
as he riffled my tea-bags
a second time.
He sipped Earl Grey,
as venomous figures
seeped from his pen...
and the Darjeeling feeling sank to the bottom
of my own chipped tea-cup –
A bitter residue of fortune lost.
Ahoy ye, vast minions of the sea!
Thou sons of Neptune,
daughters of the Oyster Queen.
Wait for me...
I’ll dance with thee,
atop a somersault of sea-spray
and dive down deep,
where ne’er a sun-flecked sea-man ever dared go.
Past anchor, past reef...
where civilization’s poisoned tentacles
saintly spirits of the sea,
be my savior and brother.
Carry me out past waves of human despair.
Let me hold to your fin,
as if taking the hand of God.
Your ever-smiling countenance is my example,
a flip of your tail, my beacon.
Take me with you...
Set me free.
For ‘tis with thee
that I wish to be.