Just the other day, I was complaining a bit to a good friend whose opinion I respect that I didn’t seem to be able to cut loose lately from meter and rhyme in poetry, in order to try writing some blank verse or some free verse. He pointed out that quite often a jog-trot rhythm can apparently conceal but actually highlight and reveal a serious subject that ordinarily would be treated with kid gloves and a serious meter and rhyme scheme. Here is my (rather long) attempt to write about serious subjects with a light hand:
Tales of Modern Life I Doris and Janey Were totally zany, And they were Good comrades and true, Doris and Janey Both loved Matt Delaney Which couldn't disturb Their world view. So Janey told Doris "Say, why don't your pour us Some sugar, So crystalline white?" "We'll dole out the white stuff I'm sure it's the right stuff To make his car's gas tank Run right." Now Doris and Janey Have shown Matt Delaney How true lovers' hearts Mete out love, And now Matt Delaney Hates Doris and Janey And cries out For justice above. 'Cause he's not sure Who did it, He thinks it was Pettit He don't care a whit about love. II Now, Malcolm the sergeant Had always been our gent, Patting doggies And kitties galore, He'd help out frail ladies, And plant garden taties For old men Who knew him of yore. Then he went to the East, Medals shown on his breast We were proud And we worshipped him then, Malcolm bathed in the glow And still didn't quite know Why we loved Such a violent man. They sent him to college To update his knowledge, He studied Descartes and Camus, But when Malcolm got done, And he looked at his gun, He understood There was nothing to do. Then one day It was urgent For Malcolm, our sergeant To carry his piece into town, Malcolm drew a swift bead, Thought once more of his need And he mowed Twelve fine citizens down. Said the doctor who viewed Malcolm's psych attitude, "It is clear, he's confused By Camus." But the twelve who passed sentence Did not think this made sense And besides, Who the hell was Camus? III When they came to our town Our heads sure spun round For, after all, We had town pride, "It's swell," and we clapped, "Now we're up on the map, And now government Will take our side." They hired and hired, And so rarely fired That there were no True malcontents, But Marley, Bret Marley, Who harvested barley And corn, said he had A sixth sense. "If we are so great Contemplate, contemplate Why haven't they Been here before?" "There's something a-brewin'!" "Stop frettin' and stewin'!" Said others to him At the store. Then the water turned red, Subdivisions rose, lead Was detected in our well And more. The hills were stripped bare Of their green alpine hair, Black plumes of smoke Rose overnight And crime and deceit And guilt followed our feet As we tried to cure Our bitter plight. Then Bret Marley faced down The CEO clown Who had taken Our innocence dear He shot the man dead And then knifed his son Ed, Who had raped and enjoyed Without fear All the women he could; Now Bret Marley's "no good" And will die someday soon, It is clear. Envoi If you doubt my fine tale Then the facts never fail Which you find in the news And tv. This has been my reprise Of true dramas like these, Though art often pales, Truthfully.
©Victoria Leigh Bennett, 1/8/17
And that’s all for today! I would be interested to hear if you think the experiment worked.