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Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit




Would a re-referendum, put an end to the conundrum,
. . . of angry old Britons who claim,
That Sneferu was dumb when he said, "Khufu my son:
. . . Building bigger won't save you from pain."

The Scotch with their golf, can't add much to solve,
. . . this battle of old versus young.
"We're sold into slavery by racism and knavery -
. . . chattel of the British Union."

"Dramas of the past, today are recast,
. . . in matters of wit and good humor.
The plagues of the hour will not make us sour,
. . . if we keep stiff upper lips in amusement.

"The seeds of today are still on display,
. . . in bits of TV that are sinister.
Perhaps to redirect it, I mean the decision to go Brexit,
. . . I'm rerunning scenes from 'Yes Minister'."







Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Song of Paul - Octopus vulgaris





After the World Cup, our bandit curled up,
     perched atop his strand of pink coral.
Of all life on the reef, he stood tall in relief,
    Of course that octopus was Paul.

Perhaps an alien inhabited the brain,
     of our cephalopod bookie so damned,
Monoped shellfish claim these octopoid hell-fish,
     Scam gamblers for dinners of clams.

Around a tank stood, beer lovers from the hood,
    a TV in the bar was playing.
They all knew it was Paul, the sage of football,
   Who swam in that seawater aquarium.

Paul loosened an arm, and puckered a song:
     "They've upgraded my lodgings since winning.
Much money's been made by visitors who've paid,
      Respects to my soccer ball singin'.
Without fuss and ado, I just come out with the truth,
      I'm calling this game in a minute!

There was a rush to the halls, for change to make calls
     In phone booths fumbling for a dime.
"Uruguay will rust, Holland drown in Spanish dust",
     the sage old octopus chimed.

In a moment we learned, of a market that turned,
    that the Octopus Paul had hard wired.
"In my professional life, as a bookmaker on ice,
     I never complained, or once whined.

"Tenure at behest of a barkeeper's jest,
   His clients would lose to a pet.
Such was my karma, to excel at the dharma,
   Betting what's soft and what's wet.

"I constructed a temple, thank God I'm kept single,
     They granted me a bit more space.
I straighten some tentacles while scraping off barnacles,
     from the walls of this glass carapace.

"A short time ago - salt time is so slow,
     To cement a cephalopod's fame.
I picked eleven winners, in return for my dinner
     And surpassed all fauna in name.

"You might say my intellect, broadcast my dinner bet,
    And affected the outcome I'd agree.
My achievements were mortal, all for some morsels,
    Of clams that died for my creed.

"I'll spin you tall tales, of sea monsters and whales,
    A bard with lore of the sea.
The list of my heroes, is long although feral,
    Indulge while I sing to you three."

Three brunettes had sauntered, towards the tank that Paul haunted,
     perched atop his pink coral remnant.
"How exquisitely formed!" one exclaimed so absorbed.
     "With eyes and and brains, he's brilliant!"

Paul overheard, so blushed pink at those words:
     "I practice the art of deep learning . . .
I'm glad you took notice, of my feats as a novice,
     when I selected the eight teams with discerning."

The beauty inferred, 'By what method, by what word?
     The thoughts this creature is sharing!
He knows to entrain, his thoughts to my brain,
     'And so bridges our species barrier!'

"I broadcast my thoughts, via neural onslaughts
     radio waves fine tuned to your brain.
When you stand near me, I swear you can hear me,
     And the tales I'm about to entrain . . .

"So enlighten with cheer, as you pull up your beer,
     with friends you just met at the bar.
Beauties listen closely, as I spell out a bit grossly,
     how cephalopods have progressed thus far . . .

"The history of AI, is nothing to my . . .
     abilities to boot up quickly.
Any subject you choose I'll learn and you'll lose,
  It's about octal programming.

"Nerves do fare better, in an environment that is wetter,
     I soaked up what was taught at the Center.
A squid whispered tips on a technique to read lips,
    Ecologists became my close mentors.

"The news of the Times, does no justice to brine,
     Citizens of the sea are exploited.
Editors of the Post now have to play host,
     To denizens of the deep re-anointed.

"On the phone through my glass, from TV and in class,
     they speak of my neural network.
But none can surpass, the reality of that task,
     seven victories at prophetic bet-work,
   
"English is no trick - Octo-lect makes you sick,
     You haven't the stomach to watch it.
It's a light show of tentacles - not one limb identical,
      You'll not unravel our Gorgon logic.

"Back in the day, before evolution held sway,
     there was an early implication of sex.
The birth of the mollusks, 'whatever' said Wallace,
     had Darwin most throughly perplexed.

"With my hectocotylus - think penis or stylus -
     I write verse for the octopus nation.
My limb number three, I could offer to thee,
     then grow another by self-generation.

"A professor last week - I overheard him in speech,"
     "said we're born of an alien race.
It doesn't make sense, our genome's so immense,
     Our proteins contend for first place.

"Of cephalopod suckers - think kisses that pucker -
     two-thousand does seem like a lot.
After counting eight limbs, it seems more a sin,
     To have science so tied in a knot.

"Before I commence mumbling, about cephalopod tumbling,
     I'll get on with some tales in cadence.
I promised thee three, about the life in the sea,
     I'll make them a bit X-rated."

"To remain in the sea, as a morsel that's tasty,
   seems contrary to becoming archival.
Before I recount, let me divulge from this mount,
    the art of octopus survival.

"As a species we're fed, from birth by the web,
     On knowledge of the sea that surround us.
We gather the facts, and use them to match hats,
    That masterfully do camouflage us.

"Our eyes surmise texture, and analyze the deep structure,
    Of coral and anemone blossoms.
We pinch up our surfaces, to rhyme like these verses,
   With the flora and fauna on the bottom.

"In brains versus brawn, the octopi have outrun,
    All reptiles, mammals and fishes,
Cephalopod three-hundred, like Spartans outnumbered,
     some have unfortunately gone missing.

"An Aussie-ringed cousin, who once learned to use poison,
     as a chemical line of defense.
A tidal pool dweller, with azure markings so stellar,
    Spelled 'don't touch' to the birds that had sense.

"Another technique, for eight legs on the slink,
     is an cloud of melanin that stings,
It balances the equation, to jet away in evasion,
     in hopes that a predator rethinks.

"We've given up hard homes, we never had bones,
     Our children trade up what they find.
An old cousin's shell, or a junk sandbox pail,
     Will house them just perfectly fine.

"When octopeds get large, they needn't go forage,
     when wandering around on safari.
They sit in disguise, with photo-luminescent dyes,
     our delectable flesh calamari.

"Once set up on top, of a coral outcrop,
     Color and texture to match.
When along swims some dinner, there's an octopus winner,
     and a crab to take up the hatch.

"Like humans we're soft, though not nearly so daft,
     We employ Musashi's strategy.
We reach out and tap, a shrimp on its back,
     So it swims right into our cavity.

"'Midst sharks and barracudas, in the dark sit like Buddha -
     in brain we're highly invested.
We co-ordinate eight arms, to avoid violence and harm -
     Our cerebellums have thoroughly been tested.

"On this topic of brains, let's now entertain,
     a mollusky tale of collusion.
How one eight legged scholar, untwisted a jar,
     and threw his lab in confusion.

"The phDs went home, this octopus would roam,
     invading tanks with profusion.
He swallowed snails, the fish in their pails,
     then retreated to conceal his intrusion.

"He pulled shut his cover, when night missions were over,
     then watched the blame-game begin.
'Who stole from our lab? Who robbed all the crabs?'
     The white coats were dismayed to their kin.

"A solution suggested, by a tech who just whispered,
     'Perhaps it's an eight-armed felon.'
But how could a morsel, of jelly corpuscles,
     navigate a dry floor with such talent?

"When we octopi escape, we become thin as a crepe,
    There isn't a void we can't wiggle free of.
An octal prisoner like a Marseillaise safe-picker,
    Picks locks with a paperclip key.

"Our man lowered himself down, suckers wound-round,
     the legs of tables and furniture.
He filled up his mantle, with seawater to make gentle,
     his crawl across the dry desert.

"Squirting a puddle, across which he scuttled,
     he climbed each aquarium in turn.
Raiding the mollusks, he downed them in solace,
     and by dawn returned to his berm.

"Back to our story, I hope you won't worry,
    that our hero dried up on a rug.
Not at all, I'll enthrall, with a tale that's not tall,
    This Octopus vulgaris got smug.

"The simplest of brains, displays intelligence in spades,
     a complex of Mensa chosen.
Survival on the reef is not easily achieved,
     with defenses of ink or poison.

"We octopi hide with genius inside,
     Camouflage is better than evasion.
Sun Tzu's strategy of war, is indeed at our core,
     Passed to the next octopoid generation.

"And now that your here, I'll play to your ears,
    And explain how we octopi do it.
No need for protection from this x-rated section,
    Deep down you already knew it.

"Using eight arms gives a lover great charms;
     We males use one arm . . . as a penis.
It's not even bony, or a fossil that's stony,
     Ideal for an octopus Venus.

The Colossus of Rhodes wasn't embarrassed to show,
    the rock that endowed him as God.
The statues on Delos, most definitely do tell us,
   of the thing that's so shaped like a rod.

Unlike a codfish, a cephalopod is steadfast,
     To give a baculum to his octopus Eve.
The tradition's to donate, a piece of the stone age,
    That rises from his tentacled weave.

"We'll often be urged, when out on a splurge,
     Take it off to donate as a flower!
She takes it right home to nurture with foam,
     and impregnate with cephalopoid power.

"The octopus bed, suddenly turns red,
     Exodermus and suckers all match.
A Pacific Striped Venus, takes hold what's keenest,
     in hopes of some offspring she'll catch.

"One kiss beak to beak, a shudder and squeak,
     a great tangle of limbs get inspected.
The octopoid liturgy gets mumbled in synergy,
     DNA gets suddenly injected.

A painful admission, about cephalopoid emission,
     We bonding with Octopussy but once.
A sad truth to divulge, is that once we find love,
    We dry up and die like a dunce.
 
The secret to living, for an octopus that's winning,
   Never provide him a dame.
A octopus bookie who successfully avoids nooky,
    Will live long and make poetry fame.



This is part II of 'Song of Paul', for Part I go here.


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