Friday, September 19, 2008

the robin and the worm

for BM


the robin and the worm

a robin said to an

angleworm as he ate him

i am sorry but a bird

has to live somehow the

worm being slow witted could

not gather his

dissent into a wise crack

and retort he was

effectually swallowed

before he could turn

a phrase

by the time he had

reflected long enough

to say but why must a

bird live

he felt the beginnings

of a gradual change

invading him

some new and disintegrating


was stealing along him

from his positive

to his negative pole

and he did not have

the mental stamina

of a jonah to resist the


process of assimilation

which comes like a thief

in the night

demons and fishhooks

he exclaimed

i am losing my personal

identity as a worm

my individuality

is melting away from me

odds craw i am becoming

part and parcel of

this bloody robin

so help me i am thinking

like a robin and not

like a worm any

longer yes yes i even

find myself agreeing

that a robin must live

i still do not

understand with my mentality

why a robin must live

and yet i swoon into a

condition of belief

yes yes by heck that is

my dogma and i shout it a

robin must live

amen said a beetle who had

preceded him into the

interior that is the way i

feel myself is it not

wonderful when one arrives

at the place

where he can give up his

ambitions and resignedly

nay even with gladness

recognize that it is a far

far better thing to be

merged harmoniously

in the cosmic all

and this comfortable situation

in his midst

so affected the marauding

robin that he perched

upon a blooming twig

and sang until the

blossom shook with ecstasy

he sang

i have a good digestion

and there is a god after all

which i was wicked

enough to doubt

yesterday when it rained

breakfast breakfast

i am full of breakfast

and they are at breakfast

in heaven

they breakfast in heaven

all s well with the world

so inten was this pious and

murderous robin

on his own sweet song

that he did not notice

mehitabel the cat

sneaking towards him

she pounced just as he

had extended his larynx

in a melodious burst of

thanksgiving and

he went the way of all

flesh fish and good red herring

a ha purred mehitabel

licking the last

feather from her whiskers

was not that a beautiful

song he was singing

just before i took him to

my bosom

they breakfast in heaven

all s well with the world

how true that is

and even yet his song

echoes in the haunted

woodland of my midriff

peace and joy in the world

and over all the

provident skies

how beautiful is the universe

when something digestible meets

with an eager digestion

how sweet the embrace

when atom rushes to the arms

of waiting atom

and they dance together

skimming with fairy feet

along a tide of gastric juices

oh feline cosmos you were

made for cats

and in the spring

oh cosmic thing

i dine and dance with you

i shall creep through

yonder tall grass

to see if peradventure

some silly fledgling thrushes

newly from the nest

be not floundering therein

i have a gusto this

morning i have a hunger

i have a yearning to hear

from my stomach

further music in accord with

the mystic chanting

of the spheres of the stars that

sang together in the dawn of

creation prophesying food

for me i have faith

that providence has hidden for me

in yonder tall grass

still more

ornithological delicatessen

oh gaily let me strangle

what is gaily given

well well boss there is

something to be said

for the lyric and the imperial


believe that everythign si for

you until you discover

that you are for it

eing your faith in what you

get to eat right up to the

minute you are eaten

for you are going

to be eaten

will the orchestra please

strike up that old

tutankhamen jazz while i dance

a few steps i learnt from an

egyptian scarab and some day i

will narrate to you the most

merry light headed wheeze

that the skull of yorick put

across in answer to the

melancholy of the dane and also

what the ghost of

hamlet s father replied to the skull

not forgetting the worm that

wriggled across one of the picks

the grave diggers had left behind

for the worm listened and winked

at horatio while the skull and the

ghost and the prince talked

saying there are more things

twixt the vermiform appendix

and nirvana than are dreamt of

in thy philosophy horatio

fol de riddle fol de rol

must every parrot be a poll


from Archy and Mehitabel, Don Marquis. Previous post here.


blackmamba said...


that old tutankhamen jazz

I really like the ring of that.

dipali said...

Loved this, and the last one too.
Didn't know you were a Marquis aficionada too!

km said...

This is why I am (sometimes) afraid of reading blogs. There is SO much great stuff I haven't read still :)

Cheshire Cat said...

"feline cosmos", eh? sounds like a good idear.

Space Bar said...

bm: I knew you would. :D

dipali: oh, yes. I'm a marquis maniac. i think i did a post about the archy and mehitabel a pavement book seller had in f-block cp. never could afford it. finally a friend just gave me her omnibus.

km: there'll always be! but aren't you glad this way we all collectively find expand our horizons?

cat: you think?

Ludwig said...

wow. this was brilliant. i only got around to reading it now, else commenting earlier.

there's a lot of meta-level stuff that sprung to mind :P

> where he can give up his

> ambitions and resignedly

> nay even with gladness

> recognize that it is a far

> far better thing to be

> merged harmoniously

> in the cosmic all

Sounds vaguely Sri Sri-ish! And all the Russian doll eating-eating business of course reminds one of that good 'ol zoophage Renfield.

Space Bar said...

ludwig: another one who doesn't know archy? will send more pomes. and ugh re renfield!

Srikaanth said...

Why isn't there any punctuations?
If someone knows the answer please reply.