Mitch from Alaska writes, “Here’s a poem I wrote just after my mother died. I was observing the seven day mourning period that is part of the Jewish religion. As an aside, I am constantly amazed by the brilliant insights into psychology that are reflected in Jewish rituals. I hope you enjoy my poem.”
My Initiation into the Society of the Royal Archers
First, we were brought to the place you don’t know,
And made to bow down to the Chief Archer’s bow.
Then we hunted a porker – a great big fat sow.
My arrow flew towards her; I know not how.
She died so peacefully, with nary a peep
Well, as you sow you surely shall reap.
My name was inscribed in ink that was red
On the list of Archers from which it was read.
To hear him read my name aloud
Made me feel exceedingly proud.
Next he was directed to lead me away
To encounter the final test of the day.
I shot the heavy arrow – it was made of lead.
“A beautiful shot,” is what he said.
Hours of practice had not been for naught;
Archery surely had become my forte.
I beamed with pride on this special day,
As the piano music played forte.
Now my pride within me thrives
One lives so many different lives.
A disagreement, you might say a row—
I know not why it began nor how.
But this is what for sure I know:
The archers assembled in a single row.
In a minute it seemed as if the dispute
Had grown to the point no longer minute.
And as if they gave themselves over to whim,
They wrestled with meanings of “ad homonym.”
Now as I wind down, my opponent is pinned.
My poem is just nonsense, a wasting of wind.
It’s wound down now, and none too soon.
I hope that I did not inflict too great a wound.
I’ll go to the desert. I’ll sit in the sand.
For now, I’ll desert the task at my hand.
I’ll practice my putting, putting my golf game in order.
My project will be to project competence, sorta.
I’ll absent myself and I’ll go far away.
And when I am absent, you may say, “Oy vey!”
Perhaps, I’ll write a poem or two, too.
To you will I send them with all that is new.
Read them all, and hit the bass notes.
Bass fishing and sleeping in little row boats.
If you are fishing in some backwater slough,
Slough off your cares: that’s what you must do
Do what you must, and sing do re mi,
Give not a thought to the passing of me.
Don’t shed a tear, and don’t tear your clothes.
One does what he must – as with hunting those does,
Once you dive in, you find anything goes.
A dove flies by, and just after you dove –
You feel the feeling of agape love.
Your mouth is agape, your heart in your throat.
You close your mouth. My God, that was close.
You conduct yourself in a manner becoming,
Your conduct itself is becoming quite numbing.
So as you become number and number,
The number of puns becomes quite a bummer.
It may entrance you, you may beg me to go.
But the entrance is the only exit I know.
This poem is my present, I present it to you.
But if I were present, who knows what you’d do.
You can refuse to accept it, if it comes in the mail,
Or maybe it goes to the old refuse pail.
If “it’s lost in the mail,” after being resent
I’ll know you resent humor that’s twisted and bent.
I’ll resign this poem when I see you in person,
Or resign myself to your endless aversion.
I dreamed this up standing at the buffet,
While winds did buffet our home by the quay.
I’ve aged a lot and now I am bored..
An aged old man, with no lines left to record.
A record for puns, homographs and discord.
Still blessed am I, and I have blessed you.
For giving me something distracting to do.