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  • mistermuse 12:02 am on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , birds, , , , , , Orrin Hatch, ,   


    Last month, a red-winged whitebird from Utah, Senator Orrin Hatch, laid a big GOP egg when asked about allegations against President Donald Trump:


    Hatch later apologized for his fowl apathy, but he needn’t have. After all, a number of other non-peons down through the eons haven’t given a hoot about one thing or another, including these warblers:

    No doubt the Nuthatch in the White House thinks Orrin Hatch is a sage Grouse. Not to crow, but I don’t give a tweet….and from heron, never let it be said that I never write posts that are for the birds.




  • mistermuse 12:00 am on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: birds, , , , Superman   


    January 5 is National Bird Day, a day to…. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman (alias Clark Kent, alias George Reeves)! What’s more, January 5 is Reeves’ birdday — er, birthday! Of such happy ‘coincidences,’ ideas for posts are born.

    No doubt you are too young to remember George Reeves as Superman in the early 1950’s TV series, The Adventures of SUPERMAN. These many years later, the above Intro-clip seems either unintentionally laughable or laughably camp, but the series was highly popular and made Reeves a national celebrity. Unlike Superman, however, the actor wasn’t made of steel and self-destructed (took his own life) in 1959 at the age of 45.

    So much for the coupling of the birds and the Reeves. Bee-lieve me, the rest of this post is strictly for the birds.


    Chancing to glance out my kitchen window
    one early spring morning, I notice two robins
    in the yard battling over the prize one of them
    has extracted from the ground. Having always
    thought of robins as harmonious birds, I watch,
    fascinated, as the feathered fiends engage in a
    furious tug of worm to claim (you would think)
    the last night crawler on the face of the earth.

    Finally, one of the orange-breasted warriors prevails,
    and down the hatch goes the winner’s breakfast.
    I don’t know if the victor was the one who found
    the worm first. All I know is the ill-fated victim was
    the one who didn’t have much choice in the matter.

    But let us not end on a downer. Look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap; they sing and tweet. So let’s all sing like the birdies sing:

    Yes, my friends, there was a once-upon-a-time when tweets were carefree, joyful and strictly for the birds/bird lovers. What has this world come to? Tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet!

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: birds, , Goosey Goosey Gander, , , , , , Mother Goose, Nursery rhymes, , , second childhood, The Tortoise and the Hare, Universal Children's Day   


    Because I have long taken a fancy to light verse, I wrote a number of nursery rhyme-like poems in my early poetry writing days because such poems are in the light verse vein, though seemingly just for children….but look at Mother Goose: if a bit of wit (in the telling) warrants a closer gander, the simplicity may not lay an egg in the eyes of grown-ups.

    November 20 being UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY and WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY, I thought I would bring back a selection of those poems — say 20% of 20 — for a second childhood look. Two have been published in children’s magazines, two have not. You might even say that two of the four are for the birds. Well, as Humpty Dumpty may have shrugged after his fall, “Wall,  you can’t win ’em all.”


    Free as a bird —
    That’s what I’d like to be.
    But, if I were a bird —
    Who would be me?


    The tortoise and the hare
    Ran a race from here to there.
    The winner, of the pair,
    Was the tortoise, by a hair.


    Birds build nests
    Where they will —
    Gutter, building ledge,
    Window sill.

    One I saw
    Amazed me —
    It was nestled
    In a tree!

    (N)ICE TRY!

    There was once a brave lad from Nebraska
    Who went off on a trip to Alaska.
    To climb up steep slopes, he bid —
    But they were so slick, he slid
    Almost all the way back to Nebraska!

    Is word play child’s play or hard work, you ask? As both a light verse and jazz lover, I can tell you it helped to have….


    • scifihammy 2:11 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Your Nursery Rhymes are great fun. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:31 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. I guess you can take the boy out of the “pun tree” (country), but you can’t take the “pun tree” out of the boy.

        So much for bad punditry.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joseph Nebus 2:36 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like the bird one. I know more than a couple folks who wouldn’t mind swapping with a bird, actually, although I haven’t met any birds who were looking for a trade.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:37 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I were a bird, I probably wouldn’t trade either. It doesn’t take a wise old owl to figure out human nature is (not) for the birds.


    • arekhill1 10:03 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I vote for the limerick, one of my favorite art forms.


    • mistermuse 11:54 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like limericks too, but the format doesn’t adapt to appearing in a blog like it should. For example, in the old days bc (before computers), the 3rd & 4th lines of a limerick were always indented about 3 spaces, which of course is no problem on a typewriter….but I couldn’t do that with the limerick in my post because the 3 blank spaces won’t “stick.” Thus, the 3rd & 4th lines begin even with the 1st, 2nd & 5th lines, and there’s nothing I can do about it (that I know of). I know it seems a minor thing, but poetry in general and limericks in particular are precise literary forms, and it irritates me that, for all its wonders, technology can’t do something so simple.


    • Don Frankel 5:45 pm on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t ask me why this song jumped in my head other than it has an element of a nursery rhyme.


    • mistermuse 10:02 pm on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I’m not mistaken, Don, that song is by Cole Porter – a sophisticated composer one normally wouldn’t associate with nursery rhymes, but in this case, I can see your point. In a certain sense, I guess you could describe many popular songs of that era as light verse set to music.


    • RMW 11:29 am on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed your rhymes very much. I still have my first book of nursery rhymes “Original Nursery Rhymes with Variations” by Anne Hope. No date but must be circa 1950, printed in England with an illustration of Bo Peep on the cover. When I was about eight my mother donated the book to some organization and she says I was so upset she had to go retrieve it! Thanks for the video, I was tapping my toes while drinking my first cup of coffee!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:56 am on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      RMW, you made my day by appreciating (and toe-tapping to) the video “Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes.” It’s a song I knew of and like, but I didn’t expect to find such a “swinging” version of it (shown with accompanying nursery rhymes) on YouTube. As you probably noticed, both the recording and the nursery rhyme pages were English, just like your first book of nursery rhymes….which I’m very glad your mother retrieved for you! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • inesephoto 3:03 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Witty and fun, thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:59 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My pleasure.


    • Don Frankel 9:16 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Muse that’s it. Yeah, there’s a certain lightheartedness to the song and the music even though she shot her man and they hung her.

      I love the song and my favorite rendition is the one I found here by the great Nancy Wilson. I’m always happy that I managed to use her image in one of my short stories.


    • mistermuse 11:49 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, Nancy Wilson indeed does the song justice. For some reason, I never appreciated her voice as much as I should have — perhaps because I’ve always been such a big fan of Billie, Ella, and some others who are mostly forgotten today.


    • Leyla 12:13 pm on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ohh so cute!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:05 am on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: birds, , , early color film, Henry David Thoreau, , John James Audubon, John Muir, national parks, naturalists, , , Theodore Roosevelt,   


    You’ve heard of Charles Darwin. Also, concordantly, Henry David Thoreau. If you’re really into national parks, naturally you’re familiar with John Muir (“Father of the National Parks”). If you have an avian fixation, you’re birds-of-a-feather with John James Audubon, world famous ornithologist and painter of our feathered friends.  But I suspect that the name of John Burroughs probably drew a blank when you saw it in my last post.

    Fame is fickle. In his day, Burroughs (1837-1921) was as well known as any of the above naturalists who remain well remembered today. But, according to biographer Edward Renehan, he was more “a literary naturalist” than a scientific one, which (along with his rejection of religious orthodoxy) may account somewhat for his fading into relative obscurity.  Whatever the case, Burroughs, who was a contemporary of Thoreau and Audubon, a good friend of Muir (as well as of Walt Whitman and Theodore Roosevelt), and has been called “America’s Darwin,” has been left in their shadow. More’s the pity.

    The last of his many books was ACCEPTING THE UNIVERSE (1920), from whence the quote in my 9/20 post. Other quotes I like from Burroughs’ works include these:

    Nature is not moral. There is no moral law until it is born of human intercourse. The law of the jungle begins and ends in the jungle; when we translate it into human affairs, we must take the cruelty of the jungle out of it, and read it in terms of beneficent competition. Man is the jungle humanized.

    The greatest of human achievements and the most precious is that of the creative artist. In words, in color, in sounds, in forms, man comes closest to emulating the Creative Energy itself. It seems as if the pleasure and the purpose of the Creative Energy were endless invention.

    How beautifully the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.

    Only a living tree drops its fruit or its leaves; only a growing man drops his outgrown opinions.

    I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I close with a curio: a 1919 prizmacolor film of “a day in the life of John Burroughs,” which ends with words wise in the ways of what really matters:

    • arekhill1 12:04 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I am already campaigning for Darwin Day as a national holiday for rationalists. They should put this guy on a postage stamp, at least. Thanks for bringing him to our attention Sr. Muse

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 1:37 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      An excellent suggestion, Ricardo. Now that America has the “FOREVER” postage stamp, we have a stamp fit for making up to Mr. Burroughs for his country’s forgetfulness.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 4:08 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You never know Muse. Sometimes these type of people come back into vogue. Naturalists might become the subject of some documentary or movie. Hey almost no one had heard of Scott Joplin until that movie The Sting. Till then Muse, you keep them alive.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:55 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Among Ken Burns’ many great documentaries was THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA (in which John Muir was a major figure), so it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to do one on naturalists.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mike 8:24 pm on October 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Gifford Pinchot, flawed though he was, created the conservation ethic. He found the way not to wreck the economy of man while at the same time not clearing all the forest in the process.

      He did however oppose Muir a few times and his view was economic only as he didn’t value preservation for the sake of beauty; his biggest flaw in my opinion. Though likely viewed as an enemy by some contemporary conservationists, Pinchot and Teddy Roosevelt did help to get the ball rolling in the process of creating National Parks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:12 pm on October 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for pointing that out. I agree with your opinion of Pinchot’s biggest flaw, but, as they say today, whatever works!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 1:17 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , birds, ,   


    Lord love a duck,
    And the flighty flea;
    Yet the skink liz., I think is
    More grounded than we’ll ever bee.

    And Lord love a fly
    (Only God knows why) —
    While no toucan swat flies, you can….though
    It takes deet-o to defeat-o a mosquito.

    Which leads one to wonder
    What makes parasites tick?
    Ticks are such louses,
    They damn well make me sick.

    Pray tell, when hyenas laugh,
    Are they howling at jokes?
    When possums play dead,
    Are they living a hoax?

    Do hummingbirds hum
    ’cause they don’t know the words?
    Why don’t emus fly?
    Do they think they’re not birds?

    Do deer mice to mere mice
    Write “Dear Mouse” letters?
    Do billy goats bill,
    Willy-nilly, billy goat debtors?

    How hip are hippos?
    Do garter snakes wear socks?
    Are sockeye salmon
    From the school of hard knocks?

    Do caribou care?
    Do antelope elope?
    When push comes to shove,
    Can two cockatoos cope?

    If given an inch,
    Will inchworms grow feet?
    Are fool pigeons stool pigeons
    When they rat on the street?

    What makes a dog bark?
    Does it think it’s a tree?
    And why do owls look wise?
    They must think that they’re me.

    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:46 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I got the heeby jeebies reading this tome
      Please tell me those animals don’t live in your home
      For company may visit but never come back
      Could be those yak antlers you use as a rack.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:55 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No need to worry, Michaeline:



    • arekhill1 3:36 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Questions, Sr. Muse, that remained unasked by zoology until now. Most of them remain unanswered by contemporary researchers. Those people need to get on the stick.


    • mistermuse 3:55 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That reminds me that I forgot to include elephants and donkeys in my poem, but the Repubs & Dems are already hogging all the attention, so they can do without mention from me .


    • Osyth 4:51 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love this … it has a Spike (Milligan) like quality to it. This is huge praise

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:12 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think many Americans are familiar with the English comedian Spike Milligan — I wasn’t — so I watched his youtube clips IRISH ASTRONAUTS and IDIOT SCOUTS. Jolly good show, don’t you know! So….thanks for the comment and the exordium (it’s not often I get to use that word) to Milligan. 🙂


    • Don Frankel 5:09 pm on July 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply



    • mistermuse 9:00 pm on July 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, except for “Poem,” that could be the Science Channel’s version of Eight is Enough.


    • BroadBlogs 1:22 pm on July 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Especially love these opening lines:

      Lord love a duck,
      And the flighty flea;
      Yet the skink liz., I think is
      More grounded than we’ll ever bee.

      Thanks for this, oh wise owl.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:00 pm on July 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad you said “oh wise owl” instead of “old wise owl” (although the latter would be closer to the truth).


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