I say it every week. I know I do. But this week, I was closer than a toothpick’s distance to saying everyone was a winner. I was!
I’m fairly certain one of you wants the crown, however, so that victor is Michael B. Fishman.
There once was a King,
I’m not sure if he could sing.
(But that doesn’t really matter for our story.)
Maybe it does,
the bees do buzz.
(But I can’t understand what they say so forget I mentioned it.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, there once was a King
who wanted everything.
(But then I guess that’s a trait that maybe all King’s have?)
((Again, that doesn’t really matter for our story.))
So this king, he was needy,
and very, very greedy,
(But no one dared tell him that even though if they had
they’d have done him a great, great favor and saved him
a lot of angst, but I’m foreshadowing so go back and re-read
this line and stop after the word “favor”.)
And one day some guy into town rolled,
and said, “Who wants to turn everything he touches into gold?”
(But receiving no immediate takers the guy stood back and waited.)
And he waited.
Waited he did.
Ho boy did he wait.
But he didn’t wait long.
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
what the King said next,
may surprise you.
The King said, “Hey, dude, I want to be able to turn everything I touch into gold.
And for that service I’ll pay you five . . . no TENfold.”
(But the guy was hungry.)
The guy ate and then he gave the King the gold-making skill,
and the King was turning things to gold at will.
(But then he made a mistake.)
“I’m the King but I’m not the Kaiser although I sure do know how to roll.”
And the King realized that making puns should not – in life – be his goal.
(But the guy just shook his head because he knew that was not the King’s mistake.)
So the King’s mistake, I almost forgot . . . The King with the Touch ‘o Gold,
he gave his daughter a hug while her hand he did hold, and . . .
(end poetic pause here) (OK one more)
and . . .
The King turned his poor daughter into gold.
So, long story short: the King panicked and he called
the guy who gave him the POWER OF GOLD and asked
him to reverse the spell,
and the King’s daughter turned back into a flesh and
blood daughter and was healthy and well.
But with this happy ending there’s one thing to remember:
Don’t be greedy because
what you have is enough
so look around you and
realize that and be happy.
And maybe go make something beautiful for the world out of papier-mâché.
Michael, Michael, Michael. You’re going to make me bring back the word limit too, you know.
I mean: congratulations, Michael! You are the most terrible poet of the week!
And you had tough competition. Everyone made me laugh, cringe, applaud creativity and cleverness, and wish that the moral lesson would come to an end much sooner than it did (even with the short ones). The teensy tiny boost that earned Michael this dubious title was that he had a surprisingly complete story; one that incorporated a few others, perhaps, but it’s there. Mostly I appreciated his story construction.
The rest of you, go buy yourself a treat. You earned it.
Seriously; read below and tell me whether I’m wrong:
A salient lesson
I have told you multitudinous times
not to make fun
of a baboon’s bum.
To illustrate why, here’s a story that rhymes.
When four-year-old Constantia visited the zoo
she had nothing better to do
than to laugh at the baboon’s bright pink bottom.
Her mother said, don’t do that, your manners are rotten.
Constantia fed the baboon a nut.
This, she said, is because you have a ridiculous butt.
At that moment the wind changed
and Constantia herself discovered that her own bottom had been rearranged.
Now Constantia is all grown up
and has an astronomical-sized butt.
It has made her social life inferior
because of her utterly massive bright pink posterior.
The moral of this story is questionable and digestible:
always eat your vegetables.
Never end your sentences with an ox
For he’ll trample, dample all your periods into fox.
That will scurry, hurry, lurry into vegetable lo mein
My dear, where was the thesaurus again?
The moral of this story is: Don’t use Google Translate.
Have you ever? -Fill in the blank
Come on now, let’s be frank
You know to never rob a bank
Especially with a guy named Hank
Hank is bad, a very bad crank
He really likes to play pranks
He steals, he lies, he drank
Himself to death
Don’t ever play with a guy named
Or you may walk the plank
And die and really stank
If you never listen to anything I’ve said,
Remember be Frank
by Violet Lentz
i overheard them
a note of superiority
had been struck..
dropping catch words
free range, organic,
locally grown, and such..
and i could tell
from the tone of
they had thought
about it, a lot..
about how elevated
above the masses
their pallets had become
and how their
oh, so high above-
the impoverished single mother
struggling to feed her kids
in whose apparent
still chose? to fill
their hungry bellies
with mac and cheese
and (gasp) a couple of
cool ranch doritos….
The Failure Of A Moral Compass
You self selecting knowalls who like to set the standards
Are also always least inclined to put in all the hard yards.
You moralise and come to judge and put us on the spot
And tell us when to do a thing and when it’s best to not.
You never have a shadowy doubt or moment’s indecision
Because you clearly understand the black from white distinction.
Your word is law and handed down with absolute finality
As you set us right like simpletons with patronising clarity.
It takes a certain chutzpah to share this clear eyed confidence
And hold the line, despite attacks, with constant insouciance.
But the point you miss when your only focus is on your moral compass
Is that the world at large hates no one more than a moralising smart-arse.
Good, terrible work, everybody! Now, go tell your friends and tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt.
Michael: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner: