Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May the devil write your obituary in weasel’s piss. –old Irish curse

Hold on — how did that get there? Either the devil made me do it, or me computer is up to no good (which wouldn’t be the first time). To be sure, me fine lads and lassies, this post is about curses in verses, but a curse alone does not a poem make. As for that derelict curse above, there are no weasels in Ireland unless you count the sloat (which is often mistaken for a weasel) or the lowly human (which often acts like a weasel, but technically is not).

Be that as it may, I haven’t got all (St. Patrick’s) day, so let’s get on with it. Here is a cultivated selection of VERSES WITH CURSES which, not least among its Hibernian virtues, could serve to show America’s petulant President how to insult his inferiors with a bit more savoir fairy (class, in plain English) than is typical in his limited vocabulary:

THE CURSE by John Millington Synge

Lord, confound this surly sister,
Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
Cramp her larynx, lung, and liver,
In her guts a galling give her.

Let her live to earn her dinners
In Mountjoy with seedy sinners:
Lord, this judgment quickly bring,
And I’m your servant, J. M. Synge.

from THE CURSE OF DONERAILE by Patrick O’Kelly

Alas! how dismal is my tale,
I lost my watch in Doneraile.
My Dublin watch, my chain and seal,
Pilfered at once in Doneraile.
May Fire and Brimstone never fail,
To fall in showers on Doneraile.
May all the leading fiends assail
The thieving town of Doneraile,
As lightnings flash across the vale,
So down to Hell with Doneraile.
The fate of Pompey at Pharsale,
Be that the curse of Doneraile.
May beef, or mutton, lamb or veal
Be never found in Doneraile,
But garlic soup and scurvy kale
Be still the food of Doneraile.
And forward as the creeping snail,
Th’ industry be, of Doneraile.
May ev’ry churn and milking pail
Fall dry to staves in Doneraile.
May cold and hunger still congeal
The stagnant blood of Doneraile.
May ev’ry hour new woes reveal
That Hell reserves for Doneraile.
May ev’ry chosen ill prevail
O’er all the imps of Doneraile.
May not one prayer or wish avail
To sooth the woes of Doneraile.
May the Inquisition straight impale
The rapparees of Doneraile.
May curse of Sodom now prevail
And sink to ashes Doneraile.
May Charon’s Boat triumphant sail
Completely manned from Doneraile.
Oh! may my couplets never fail
To find new curse for Doneraile.
And may grim Pluto’s inner jail
Forever groan with Doneraile.

RIGHTEOUS ANGER by James Stephens

The lanky hank of a she over there
Nearly killed me for asking the loan of a glass of beer:
May the devil grip the whey-faced slut by the hair,
And beat bad manners out of her skin for a year.

That parboiled imp, with the hardest jaw you will see
On virtue’s path, and a voice that would rasp the dead,
Came roaring and raging the minute she looked on me,
And threw me out of the house on the back of my head!

If I asked her master, he’d give me a cask a day;
But she, with the beer at hand, not a gill would arrange!
May she marry a ghost and bear him a kitten, and may
The High King of Glory permit her to get the mange.


And so we can see, Donald T.,
What the problem may well be:
In your entire immigrant ancestry,
Of Irish blood, you’re entirely free.

But on St. Patrick’s Day, luckily,
Every man is an Irishman, glory be!
So depart for today from your family tree,
Uproot this curse, branch out, and be free!

From ass act to class act, verily
This very day, you can transformed be….
Therefore, by virtue of the Irish in me,
I dub thee, please God, President Donald O’T.




The title of my last post got me thinking about how much time I spend on the first paragraph of most of my posts, introducing or setting up what I’m getting at — sort of what I’m doing now, except I realize that some set-ups are necessary and others could just as well be dispensed with, thereby freeing time for better things, such as reading your stuff (if that doesn’t ingratiate me with you, you’re just plain un-ingratiateable). My point is that this set-up is necessary in order to explain what I’m getting at here, OK?

Now where was I? Oh, yes — inasmuch as the drain on my brain is a pain to explain, each of my next x number of posts will consist of a single poem, un-introduced and un-set up….so don’t be upset if you’re on your own to navigate the depths of such odes as this:


Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray there’s been one helluva mistake.

No need to get all hot and bothered if you don’t ‘dig it.’ Simply send $100 cash or money order (if you order before 10:01 a.m. next month, add $10.01 because I’m kinda busy right now) to the address on your screen, and you’ll receive an explanation that’s as transparent as the address on your screen. Satisfaction guaranteed, or double your dissatisfaction back. As our gift to you, the first 100 callers will also receive who-knows-what absolutely free (simply pay an additional $101 to cover the cost of bs&h*). This offer is limited to the first 100 callers, and because I’m not giving out my phone number, the odds against your being the 101st (or later) caller are all in your favor. So act NOW! And pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

*bullshit and handling


Great” is a great multi-purpose word which can be used in many ways: from prosaically (“Have a great day”), to pompously (Alexander the Great), to — if you follow me — pied piper-ly (“Make America great again!”).*

*pied piper: 1. One who entices others with delusive promises. 2. An appealing but irresponsible leader. –Webster’s New College Dictionary

In my previous post (GREAT EXPECTORATIONS), I used it playfully. I hope the great writer Charles Dickens would have approved (I hold no Great Expectations that he would have). In any case, in this post, I will play it musically. It’s gonna be a Great Day!

If a Great Day isn’t enough, how about a Great Life?

Or, put another way, It’s Great To Be Alive.

Of course, it’s hard to have a great life without great leaders — men like Napoleon, Disraeli, Alexander the Great, The Pied Piper….contenders, all. But who’s the greatest?

Sorry about that, Pied Piper. You promised pie in the sky, but Wintergreen said Let ’em Eat Cake. Looks like Pied will be paying the Piper and eating crow before all is said and done….speaking of which, I am.



There’s nothing like a mid-January, low-near-zero-degrees day with snow underfoot and icicles overhead, to remind us that spring is just around the corner — if not the nearest corner, then a corner in Arizona or Florida, where Major League baseball will soon begin spring training.

Baseball, as you will recall, is that sport where spitters are both frowned upon and commonplace — frowned upon, as in a long-illegal pitch called the spitter (spitball), and commonplace, in that few are the players who don’t partake in the manly art of spitting:

One would think that in this day and age, with so much attention given to sanitary practices, ballparks would be required to have spittoons placed at various points on the ball field. For example, how about replacing the bases, home plate, and pitching rubber with spittoons sunk into the ground and covered with a grate? Wouldn’t that be great? Same idea in the outfield and coach’s boxes. Hey, if grates work great on storm sewers, they should be able to handle all the spit coming down at baseball fields. As for the dugouts, a few dozen buckets strategically placed within spitting distance of the bench should do the trick, along with maybe a sandbox for those who need a bigger target. All this spitting image improvement at no great expense — what’s not to like?

While we’re at it, why not cover all the bases by replacing some of the uncouth music played at major league parks, like The Chicken Dance, with spit tunes such as this:

Speaking of covering all the bases (and then some), Who better to do so than….

I’m out of here.




Do you have a favorite conspiracy theory? Not to be morbid, but my theory is that we have all been set up for elimination. The proof of my theory is that every one of the billions of human beings born before 1900* is dead (with apologies to a possible unknown straggler or two still hanging in there)….and there’s no reason to believe that anyone born post-1900 (who hasn’t yet perished) will be able to avoid this deplorable fate in due course. Let’s face it — the god(s) on high created a helluva mystery down here, and we’re the fall guys.

Of course, there are many who believe there is no death, professing that the body will be resurrected with the soul in a next life — even  cremated bodies, whose ashes have been scattered to the four winds and seven seas, will go to that great watering hole in the sky for another round. I would drink to that theory, but given the untold millions who have suffered agony in this go-round, who could drink enough to forget that the hereafter operates under the same management as the present? Raising the bar won’t bury the past.

Now, unlike most conspiracy theorists, I do not hold my theory to be the god-honest truth. It could be wrong. Maybe the gods have a heart; maybe we will live forever. Michel de Montaigne wrote, “Socrates thought, and so do I, that the wisest theory about the gods is no theory at all.” A rather unconsoling thought, perhaps, but one, at least, that’s not dead in the water. In any case, there’s no use losing any sleep over it.

*If you doubt that billions of human beings were born and died before 1900, click here:


I’m a big fan of old sayings, but even I concede that some sayings could no more pass the proverbial smell test than a rodent could pass a spell(ing) test. They may seem innoscent enough, but smellegant isn’t the same as elegant, and you must admit that a proverb like A turd in the hand is worth two in the tush is less than elegant. Really, close encounters of the turd kind could leave you holding your nose….if not checking your rear-view mirror.

That said, are such askew old sayings any less farcical than the twisted tweets America’s Tweeter-in-Chief oft twitters? “Fake news!”…”fake news!”…”fake news!” And if ANYONE can smell (like) a rat when it comes to fake news, it is obviously President Tweety Turd.

Leaving the President’s behind for a moment, here are some classic old sayings. Can you make out the fakeout — aka smell the rat — in these venerable gems?

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and mocks like a mocking bird, duck — it’s The Donald.

A watched pot never boils….but it may get a bit peeved.

A rolling stone gathers no animosity.

A fool and his honey are soon parted.

Faint heart ne’er won bare lady.

Oil and water don’t mix — got that, Slick?

You can’t get blood out of a turnip, but you can get honey out of two-lips.

Monkey pee pee, monkey do do (easy come, easy go).

Dead men tell no tales, but some may leave a will which does.

Friends and would-be heirs, some of the above were almost enough to make me gag, but I can assure your butt that not every old phrase strays in dubious ways. For example:

….and this:

….and this:

Oh….and I almost forgot this old saying: HAPPY NEW YEAR!





Friends, if you Xpected an X post after my W post, U haven’t been paying attention, because as I’ve previously Xplained, X is out. Even X post facto, there is no X factor here. Y? There are no old songs with girls named X in the title, that’s Y. That’s Y U C Y here.

Now that we got that straightened out, a word to the Ys: even if I were a Ys man (or a Ys guy, for that matter), I am not Ys enough to know more than one or two Y girl songs. So let’s start with that, and then, if necessary, I’ll pray for God’s help to find another Y song.

Sorry I asked, Lord. I could have done without that last one.