TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // The Garden Patch by Paul Cameron Brown

Gourd was taken to task when she understood the limitations the garden patch had placed upon her people.

It was early fall and the dancers of the vegetable kingdom paraded their charms in bright, full regalia. Across the earth in splotches of colour, the tomatoes scented a good fall. So, too, the kingly husks of corn and the melons, spinach and cucumber in turn eyed the approaching season in growing faith. Each had a succulent function and dangled their inviting flesh to the beholder.

But, alas, what did gourd promise? She was deeply conscious of lacking the forward brightness of tomato and pumpkin. She lacked leafy greens so evidently prized and when her fellow vegetables covered the brown soil in preparation for the fine day they would bask across a kitchen table, it was almost too much for the sensitive gourd to stomach. Why even squash, which she felt closest to, had more of a function than she. So versatile did the big neighbour seem in comparison to herself, the ugly dwarf.

She was on the verge of casting herself in despair across the rickety fence or joining the long, black embers of a dead fire young boys had prepared months back. Surely, she was the outcast of the plant world. How grotesque her features were, so hard and unpliable seemed her flesh. Even her skin tones were half-caste. No recipes called for her presence. A mood of growing helplessness seemed to envelop her.

A boy, the earlier fire setter, is describing an odd vegetable, tubular and often misshapen, that was excellent for all sorts of childhood pursuits – making paperweights, building scarecrows and decorating mantles.

“If only people knew,” he bubbles.

“Still more success stories,” the little gourd cries on hearing the child’s comment.

“At least I won’t have to be humbled in her presence,” the gourd thought, her self confidence shattered.

And with that the little gourd approached the Vegetable King and asked to use her remaining wish. For in those days all living things were handed one means for improving themselves.

“I resolve to be a new edible,” she sighed, “something other than a gnomish gourd. Make, O King, a glorious . . . pumpkin.” But the Vegetable King decided not to abandon his earlier invention and so gourds live on. Distant relatives of the bright, new pumpkin, but their inspiration nonetheless.

by PAUL CAMERON BROWN (?-?)
Public Domain Poetry

TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // A Short Hymn To Venus. by Robert Herrick

Goddess, I do love a girl,
Ruby-lipp’d and tooth’d with pearl;
If so be I may but prove
Lucky in this maid I love,
I will promise there shall be
Myrtles offer’d up to thee.

by ROBERT HERRICK (1591-1674)
Public Domain Poetry

TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // Fringford Brook by Violet Jacob

The willows stand by Fringford brook,
From Fringford up to Hethe,
Sun on their cloudy silver heads,
And shadow underneath.

They ripple to the silent airs
That stir the lazy day,
Now whitened by their passing hands,
Now turned again to grey.

The slim marsh-thistle’s purple plume
Droops tasselled on the stem,
The golden hawkweeds pierce like flame
The grass that harbours them;

Long drowning tresses of the weeds
Trail where the stream is slow,
The vapoured mauves of water-mint
Melt in the pools below;

Serenely soft September sheds
On earth her slumberous look,
The heartbreak of an anguished world
Throbs not by Fringford brook.

All peace is here. Beyond our range,
Yet ‘neath the selfsame sky,
The boys that knew these fields of home
By Flemish willows lie.

They waded in the sun-shot flow,
They loitered in the shade,
Who trod the heavy road of death,
Jesting and unafraid.

Peace! What of peace? This glimpse of peace
Lies at the heart of pain,
For respite, ere the spirit’s load
We stoop to lift again.

O load of grief, of faith, of wrath,
Of patient, quenchless will,
Till God shall ease us of your weight
We’ll bear you higher still!

O ghosts that walk by Fringford brook,
‘Tis more than peace you give,
For you, who knew so well to die,
Shall teach us how to live.

by VIOLET JACOB (1863-1946)
Public Domain Poetry

TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // Why Fades A Dream? by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Why fades a dream?
An iridescent ray
Flecked in between the tryst
Of night and day.
Why fades a dream?–
Of consciousness the shade
Wrought out by lack of light and made
Upon life’s stream.
Why fades a dream?

That thought may thrive,
So fades the fleshless dream;
Lest men should learn to trust
The things that seem.
So fades a dream,
That living thought may grow
And like a waxing star-beam glow
Upon life’s stream–
So fades a dream.

by PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR (1872-1906)
Public Domain Poetry