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certain maxims of archy -- Don Marquis

       
(Poem #122) certain maxims of archy
many a man spanks his
children for
things his own
father should have
spanked out of him


i once heard the survivors
of a colony of ants
that had been partially
obliterated by a cow s foot
seriously debating
the intention of the gods
towards their civilization


if you get gloomy just
take an hour off and sit
and think how
much better this world
is than hell
of course it won t cheer
you up much if
you expect to go there


that stern and
rockbound coast felt
like an amateur
when it saw how grim
the puritans that
landed on it were


insects have
their own point
of view about
civilization a man
thinks he amounts
to a great deal
but to a
flea or a
mosquito a
human being is
merely something
good to eat


just as soon as the
uplifters get
a country reformed it
slips into a nose dive


if monkey glands
did restore your youth
what would you do
with it
question mark
just what you did before
interrogation point


every cloud
has its silver
lining but it is
sometimes a little
difficult to get it to
the mint


prohibition makes you
want to cry
into your beer and
denies you the beer
to cry into


the honey bee is sad and cross
and wicked as a weasel
and when she perches on you boss
she leaves a little measle


i do not see why men
should be so proud
insects have the more
ancient lineage
according to the scientists
insects were insects
when man was only
a burbling whatisit


lots of people can make
their own whisky but
can t drink it


i heard a
couple of fleas
talking the other
day says one come
to lunch with
me i can lead you
to a pedigreed
dog says the
other one
i do not care
what a dog s
pedigree may be
safety first
is my motto what
i want to know
is whether he
has got a
muzzle on
millionaires and
bums taste
about alike to me


boss the other day
i heard an
ant conversing
with a flea
small talk i said
disgustedly
and went away
from there


an optimist is a guy
that has never had
much experience


the servant problem
wouldn t hurt the u s a
if it could settle
its public
servant problem


there is always
something to be thankful
for you would not
think that a cockroach
had much ground
for optimism
but as the fishing season
opens up i grow
more and more
cheerful at the thought
that nobody ever got
the notion of using
cockroaches for bait
-- Don Marquis
If you came in late, do look up the previous two 'archy and mehitabel'
poems, poem #36 and poem #76, before returning to this one.

Today's poem is somewhat different in style - it's a series of disconnected
verses, so it lacks some of the helter-skelter streaming effect. The maxims
do share the other characteristics of Marquis's work, though, being both
witty and thought-provoking (and ofttimes just plain funny). I also like the
way he hasn't descended into a series of thinly veiled platitudes - I
usually find the archy and mehitabel poems refreshing, and todays is no
exception.

m.

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