Elegy on the Irregular Verb


The poetry of language once

Began my love of words,

But poetry is giving way

To easiness in verbs.


I dedicate these simple lines

To those whose memories, like mine,

Allow for lit in lieu of lighted,

And shone instead of shined.


For we who strove instead of strived,

At least we’ve not been blessed with “drived”.


an irregular verb


Today is World Poetry Day

In honor of World Poetry Day today, I offer


        – by Gifford MacShane


how time does pass

and yet not dull

           the thrill and silent words

                               the lightning glance


the spark

            electric in its charm lives on


startled once

       the swift and eerie message in the air

                    did touch my heart and lodge there


and rending now and then does still abide




Please Say Goodnight by Gifford MacShane
Sung to the tune of “All Through the Night”

Not familiar with this Welsh carol? Here’s the Kingston Trio’s version of the original. Obviously recorded from vinyl, so the quality is poor, but the harmonies are delicious!

Midnight now, my head is hanging,
Time to say goodnight.
Voices in my head, stop clanging,
It’s time to say goodnight.
I know there are chapters waiting,
Characters anticipating.
I don’t need your conversating,
Please say goodnight.

Heroes have good deeds to do,
But please say goodnight.
Villains will do evil, too,
But please say goodnight.
Demoiselle is left in peril,
Terrified of all things feral,
I don’t really mean to querul,
But please say goodnight.

Night is gone, the dawn is breaking,
PLEASE say goodnight.
My eyes are fried, my hands are shaking,
PLEASE say goodnight.
If I don’t sleep I will perish,
And your story none will cherish.
Voices, please, it may sound churlish