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January 06, 2009


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puddle-wonderful. I will be loooking for this to show up on Washington Post.Com.!!

Mud spelled backwards is dum.

Mitch Sisskind, are you talking smack about me?

Black Jack looks like a nice guy! (part quarter horse?) I always thought they roll around in the mud not only for spiteful fun, but also because it feels good; we humans like mud baths, don't we?! Laura, I don't think I ever mentioned that I spent a good deal of my adolescence on a farm in Brodbecks. Thence the naughty barn poems, oops!

He's a black American Paint (you can see the markings when he's in the bright sun). He's a sweetheart, although will get away with whatever you let him get away with. Right now one of my muckboots is missing. He reached the shelf somehow and took one and it's in the field somewhere.

No, I didn't know about your agricultural background. I'd very much like to read the naughty barn poems - they're aren't enough of them in this world. Got a link?

I too find this poem creepy and thinking back am a bit surprised that I first read it in grade school. It's the goat-footed balloonMan who I imagine is standing near the school yard playing with himself. Is that a terrible thing to say?

No, I agree. He's a poetic pedophile if there ever was one.

Oh! this poem doesn't give me the creeps at all. I've always thought of it as an American take on "great god Pan" and spring and sexual awakening. Look at how eddieandbill are one unit, boys playing at marbles and piracies together, and then you have bettyandisbel with their hop-scotch and jump-rope: gender-typical activities for little kids. And the promise/destiny of what Pan represents--not quite here yet, he is still whistling far and wee--but in the distance, the kids' eventual "coming of age."

Then again I'm the naughty barn poem girl. Laura, since you asked, you can find one such in (happy to say!) Best American Poetry 2008. Another (Lady Godiva) is in my out-of-print book Cleave, but it also appears in an anthology called Sex & Chocolate, put out by Paycock Press (go here: How can you go wrong with an anthology with that name?!

Here's a poem about mud (o:

By Robert Service

Mud is Beauty in the making,
Mud is melody awaking;
Laughter, leafy whisperings,
Butterflies with rainbow wings;
Baby babble, lover's sighs,
Bobolink in lucent skies;
Ardours of heroic blood
All stem back to Matrix Mud.

Mud is mankind in the moulding,
Heaven's mystery unfolding;
Miracles of mighty men,
Raphael's brush and Shakespear's pen;
Sculpture, music, all we owe
Mozart, Michael Angelo;
Wonder, worship, dreaming spire,
Issue out of primal mire.

In the raw, red womb of Time
Man evolved from cosmic slime;
And our thaumaturgic day
Had its source in ooze and clay . . .
But I have not power to see
Such stupendous alchemy:
And in star-bright lily bud
Lo! I worship Mother Mud.

Robert William Service (January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958) was a poet and writer, sometimes referred to as "the Bard of the Yukon".[1][2] He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North, including the poems "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", "The Law of the Yukon", and "The Cremation of Sam McGee". His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector, not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was.

Maybe Black Jack warships mud like the rest of us!

Here is another - a song really

The Hippopotamus Song
A bold hippopotamus was standing one day
On the banks of the cool Shalimar
He gazed at the bottom as he peacefully lay
By the light of the evening star
Away on the hilltop sat combing her hair
His fair hippopotami maid
The hippopotamus was no ignoramus
And sang her this sweet serenade

Mud, mud, glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me follow, down to the hollow
And there let me wallow in glorious mud
The fair hippopotama he aimed to entice
From her seat on that hilltop above
As she hadn't got a ma to give her advice
Came tiptoeing down to her love
Like thunder the forest re-echoed the sound
Of the song that they sang when they met
His inamorata adjusted her garter
And lifted her voice in duet

Now more hippopotami began to convene
On the banks of that river so wide
I wonder now what am I to say of the scene
That ensued by the Shalimar side
They dived all at once with an ear-splitting sposh
Then rose to the surface again
A regular army of hippopotami
All singing this haunting refrain


(Extra verse:)
The amorous hippopotamus whose love song we know
Is now married and father of ten,
He murmurs, "God rot 'em!" as he watches them grow,
And he longs to be single again!
He'll gambol no more on the banks of the Nile,
Which Naser is flooding next spring,
With hippopotamas in silken pyjamas
No more will he teach them to sing...


By Flanders & Swann

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