Once upon a time, a long time not ago, in Flint, Mish.,
Lived a man who was very affluent and well-to-do and rish
With six sweet children lovely and long shiny motor cars three
And a wife charmante and a home charmante and a thoroughly life happy.
When in the midst mist leafy of a Flint-gorgeous warful Fall
Pronto this man popped out with symptoms several of withdrawal.
Not that! A thousand times never! If nothing he saw.
Nor aught heard, yet morals him gird so in US Of Awe law
That rose he from chaise to posture of possibly speaking
To blurb, "Bomb Hanoi. Bomb Peking."
It was as if built had rish burgher (as business expense)
Around him a fence.
Behind which as in age golden he reclined in or in sat
In his own burgher eden garden armed to his hat
Where was stirring forever nyet, but abounding the peace
That his was in sickness tragical to fight without no cease.
So his wife in arms up his specialist soonest summoned
Who came with bag grande and chest and knee burgher drummed on
And asked sweetly burgher if sweet loyal burgher were there?
But alack, burgher weren't. In garden were. C'were la guerre.
Once upon a time when man begun
To fight his fellow man with all them big gun
And them bomb.
And bomb got big and dangereux, then come
Much talk not use big bomb, or use not much.
But use ze old small bomb, or use small leaflet and like such.
Mixed in was money talk, how fellow men.
If put in clover were, be pronto frien'.
At which some old wise guy jump up, act funny
And rave, "If give you must give more you must than money."
Den walk away!
So den much argue what ze old guy say:
Give quarter? Give no quarter? — so fight
Long into night
And tempers hotted up like lectric light.
Till one heap ,big-voice chief say what to do
Was give ze works to fellow men: give bomb and dough.
So did. But plan no good. Ze fellow men
Got foeful fierce and heap much bad words pen.
So chiefs got mad and said them words not nize
And said old wise guy best been shot sunrise.
—How come them dumb no get ze wise guy's wise?
Mebbe Soon Rickshaw Shaggy
Mebbe in China soon on some ole junk
In middle of Yangtze as go clunk clunk
Ze mandolin from shore of ole Yangtze,
Some kind ole warlord fix it with chief Commie
To bring back Chiang Kai-shek from cross ze sea.
And give ze freedom back to poor coolie.
And give Good Earth again stability.
Where sip ze tea and talk philosophy
(On nice ole junk as mandolin clunk clunk).
And mebbe get US change policy.
Upon a time there wast Geneva once.
Of truces full, and peaces, and spy hunts.
Oh city belle of lake and alp - the works -
Oh Geneva, whence then cometh now these smirks
On all the pippul's faces when thy name
Be dropped like as if it ill of fame?
Geneva oh, Genevah oh!
Wast it League of Nations or Conventions laidst thou low?
Why peace with thee to make, man nohow able?
What wilt thou dost with all them conf'rence table?
A Diversion: Modern American Nature Poet Shaggy
Once upon a time, only quite recent, in a truth moment,
A poet pauvre struggling his fame to foment
To somewhat and more, hired a van
Out to move him en toute famille on the autobahn
To pasture new where his oaten stuff cd be heard
Farder than like he were lumpenprole merely bird.
And so on. So the van kommt and got loaded
With all the goods worldly of poet fomenting real pauvre
And pasture for forth set. Pasture flowed over.
But anyhow poet to work quick and pomes chinee rural writ
On typer electric to sheepfold and all the wunderbar it
Folded: ze images and ze basics ze eyes cd essential
When heschwingled were not by pot-and-pan Kulch by the vanful.
See! So life mit the sad sheep
Did heap many riches mit critics and publishers reap.
And holly wood heavenward poet no longer pauvre ran.
Sheep also ran.
Sad Postscript Shaggy
"The thought of 'those American boys' being labelled
war criminals, he [President Johnson] said, was 'deplorable
and repulsive'." - NEWS ITEM
Once upon what time would loyal USA boy
If boy said loyal bomb kill "peaceful citizen,"
And if that muddle youth shd madly add then (oh fie)
That him who drop bomb crime done did, that lie
For no one else to speak it but Hanoi.
Rule l: all US soldier; boy.
Rule 2: no boy Hanoi.
But are we Red Cross knights not mucky lucky
That rules is side of always our boys plucky?
And labels like such "criminal" the thought yet
So righteous we that never have we thunk nyet?
For hearkened we to speakspooks we might find
Our bomber boys did but as Dad opined.
Come label then, could Dad be far behind?
These poems appeared in the September 10, 1966 issue of the magazine.