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Poetry

Watchdog and Rooster


Surveying the henhouse with profound
vigilance, taut on his tether,
alert in sleet as well as heatstroke weather,
crouched, eye ajar, the farmer's hound.
The rooster, however,
accustomed to the chuckling palaver
of his cackleophilous concubines,
disliked the stolid silence of the dog
who hunched there like a stinkpot on a log
and only uttered small, obsequious whines
about his master's boots at supper-time.

Let us see (the rooster mused) if this dull mutt,
this grovel-muzzled mongrel, this bacon-butt,
this caravan of fleas, this tick-parade,
this yap-infested bozo, slow and spayed,
let's see, I say, if this back-alley terrier,
this rumple-bellied harrier
of shrews and voles, of polecats and hedgehogs,
can cut the mustard with the bigger dogs!

Rooster waited till the dog, galvanized
by gazing, nodded; then, in fowlish pantomime
he stalked across the barnyard in a trot
until he reached a strategic spot
below the watchdog's downward drooping ear.
He then let fly a loud chantecleer
rawp that left the stunned hound paralyzed.
The hound had never been hard
of hearing, quite the opposite.
The clangorous crowing of the rooster, shrill pasha,
rattled in his brainpan like a washer
on a wind-tormented pipe. He pounced.
He took the raucous rooster by the throat and trounced
him on the barnyard till he bit
his insupportable windpipe cleanly through.

The moral of this fable still rings true:
Muzzle the watchdog when you cock-a-doodle-doo.


Eric Ormsby
Vacuum

The vacuum's cannistered voracity
never gets enough. Its gulf-presidium
snootsavors carpet. Its mumbo-continuum
snuffles triple-ply with toothed tenacity.

overhear the siren in the vacuum
bag that serenades as it asseverates
lint-detritus or evacuates
the peregrine residuum

that effloresces on my velveteen.
The mites in their minute imperium
are obliviated by this wolf-harmonium
whose howl's Aeolian and gabardine.

O hoover me! I hear sprawled sofas hum,
Suck on my pleats! the buxom curtains plead.
The kilim pimps the nozzle for a knead.
The louvers quiver for the slot-scoop's
thumb.
Eric Ormsby

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