TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // Some Little Bug by John Leroy Atwell aka Roy Atwell

In these days of indigestion
It is oftentimes a question
As to what to eat and what to leave alone;
For each microbe and bacillus
Has a different way to kill us,
And in time they always claim us for their own.
There are germs of every kind
In any food that you can find
In the market or upon the bill of fare.
Drinking water’s just as risky
As the so-called deadly whiskey,
And it’s often a mistake to breathe the air.

Some little bug is going to find you some day,
Some little bug will creep behind you some day,
Then he’ll send for his bug friends
And all your earthly trouble ends;
Some little bug is going to find you some day.

The inviting green cucumber
Gets most everybody’s number,
While the green corn has a system of its own;
Though a radish seems nutritious
Its behaviour is quite vicious,
And a doctor will be coming to your home.
Eating lobster cooked or plain
Is only flirting with ptomaine,
While an oyster sometimes has a lot to say,
But the clams we cat in chowder
Make the angels chant the louder,
For they know that we’ll be with them right away.

Take a slice of nice fried onion
And you’re fit for Dr. Munyon,
Apple dumplings kill you quicker than a train.
Chew a cheesy midnight “rabbit”
And a grave you’ll soon inhabit
Ah, to eat at all is such a foolish game.
Eating huckleberry pie
Is a pleasing way to die,
While sauerkraut brings on softening of the brain.
When you eat banana fritters
Every undertaker titters,
And the casket makers nearly go insane.

Some little bug is going to find you some day,
Some little bug will creep behind you some day,
With a nervous little quiver
He’ll give cirrhosis of the liver;
Some little bug is going to find you some day.

When cold storage vaults I visit
I can only say what is it
Makes poor mortals fill their systems with such stuff?
Now, for breakfast, prunes are dandy
If a stomach pump is handy
And your doctor can be found quite soon enough.
Eat a plate of fine pigs’ knuckles
And the headstone cutter chuckles,
While the grave digger makes a note upon his cuff.
Eat that lovely red bologna
And you’ll wear a wooden kimona,
As your relatives start scrappin ’bout your stuff.

Some little bug is going to find you some day,
Some little bug will creep behind you some day,
Eating juicy sliced pineapple
Makes the sexton dust the chapel;
Some little bug is going to find you some day.

All those crazy foods they mix
Will float us ‘cross the River Styx,
Or they’ll start us climbing up the milky way.
And the meals we eat in courses
Mean a hearse and two black horses
So before a meal some people always pray.
Luscious grapes breed ‘pendicitis,
And the juice leads to gastritis,
So there’s only death to greet us either way;
And fried liver’s nice, but, mind you,
Friends will soon ride slow behind you
And the papers then will have nice things to say.

Some little bug is going to find you some day,
Some little bug will creep behind you some day
Eat some sauce, they call it chili,
On your breast they’ll place a lily;
Some little bug is going to find you some day.

by JOHN LEROY ATWELL (1878-1962)
Public Domain Poetry

eidolon (we)

and so do we all decant
all along our silent roads
incant in silent refrain:

‘when the book of breathing is closed
when the clocks are covered in the town of lazarus
when the faience of minds has declined to the last’

in that final silence that befalls us all
will the ghost of you remember me
and gather up the ghost in me
will you lovingly take the ashes and bone
and carry me home

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // The Gods Are Dead? by William Ernest Henley

The gods are dead? Perhaps they are! Who knows?
Living at least in Lempriere undeleted,
The wise, the fair, the awful, the jocose,
Are one and all, I like to think, retreated
In some still land of lilacs and the rose.

Once high they sat, and high o’er earthly shows
With sacrificial dance and song were greeted.
Once . . . long ago. But now, the story goes,
The gods are dead.

It must be true. The world, a world of prose,
Full-crammed with facts, in science swathed and sheeted,
Nods in a stertorous after-dinner doze!
Plangent and sad, in every wind that blows
Who will may hear the sorry words repeated:-
‘The Gods are Dead!’

by WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY (1849-1903)
Public Domain Poetry

eidolon (he)

this is the forgotten road
a funnel for the words we could never say
but should have
where his pain keeps step with the ghost of me
to this very day

of all the memories that could have been taken
what is the use of this last one
the one that was left behind
took on a life of its own
and with it has taken his own

i have wept in secret
through weather properly clement or not
and long after my heart had stopped
when i tried no longer to claw through earth
to claim again my former resplendence

the bones of me in this burial mound
the ghost of me in his room again
his bereavement heartfelt vain
one could pain to refill with hope
but his is a barrowman’s chore
and the husk that lingers
mere baggage for the day

and as much as the life not owned
was the purpose not sown
i still pine for that which was human
aimless and pointless tho’ we were
our lungs in chorus were a blessing

his pain keeps step with the ghost of me
silent words for a silent road
and when we think nobody is looking
leaning into myth to light our way
but is it okay that we inevitably fall

we have wept in secret
through weather properly clement or not
and long after his heart has stopped
when he tries no longer to claw through earth
will we meet again in former resplendence

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

eidolon (she)

paint the room
herr weltschmerz has come to stay
and nothing will ever be the same again

tho’ the weather’s properly clement
tho’ he’s never cried the blues before
what left can be properly said
of a man who’d tried to claw back the earth
to kiss his truelove’s final resplendence

the ghost of she keeps count with him
there to haunt his bereavement vain
what can he be but indentured to sorrow
a pain as wide as the days unstemmed

he sorely regrets he’d ever been human
mouthing silent words oft kept for silent roads
and for fear he’ll decant so many more along the way
stands deathly instead as a stone unyielding
locked inside with his grief… and losing

herr weltschmerz has come to stay
veins shockingly open to the unspooled light of day
paint the room

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020