Simple Life

By Jim Dodson

As you read this, I’m sitting by a trout stream in an undisclosed location somewhere deep in the North Carolina mountains. If I was wrapped in hickory smoked bacon, Lassie probably couldn’t find me.

But fear not, friends, I’ve left behind a few well-chosen words from my dear old friend Ogden Nash, who always has something timely to say.

To Donald on his way to Cleveland:

Love is a word that is constantly heard,

Hate is a word that’s not.

Love, I’m told, is more precious than gold,

Love, I have read, is hot.

But hate is the verb that to me is superb,

And love is a drug on the mart.

Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,

But hating, my boy, is an art.

   *

The danger of a hole in the porch screen:

God in his wisdom made the fly

And then forgot to tell us why.

   *

An ode to poison ivy:

One bliss for which there is no match,

Is, when you itch,

To up and scratch.

   *

Song of the Interstate:

I think I shall never see

A billboard lovely as a tree.

Indeed, unless the billboards fall

I’ll never see a tree at all.

   *

Wish you weren’t here:

Some hate broccoli, some hate bacon,

Some hate having their picture taken.

How can your family claim to love you

And then demand a picture of you?

   *

  *

To the family at the start of the week:

How pleasant to sit on the beach

On the beach, on the sand, in the sun

With ocean galore within reach,

And nothing at all to be done!

No letters to answer,

No bills to be burned,

No work to be shirked,

No cash to be earned.

It is pleasant to sit on the beach,

With nothing at all to be done.

     *

To the same family at the end of the week:

One would be in less danger

From the wiles of the stranger

If one’s own kin and kith

Were more fun to be with.

     *

And finally, a few original Ogden-inspired lines jotted down by a
pristine stream where the trout are laughing at my hand-made flies:

A gal at the beach paints her toes,

To catch the attention of beaus;

But a guy at the beach will just scratch his feet,

And wonder if anything good’s left to eat.

     *

Gardener’s lament:

To a gardener  in the heat of late summer,

Oh, my, what a seasonal bummer,

With hydrangeas so wilted, you feel almost jilted,

It’s a wonder you bother to rose.

     *

Politics as use-you-all:

I suppose I’m the Average American,

Tho I can’t say  just how the hellican,

Vote for these two, either one of which who

Make me wish I was just a mere skeleton.

     *

A brief escape:

So here I sit by a stream,

Dreaming the American dream,

I might not come home, just pick up and roam,

At least till I find some ice cream.  OH

Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@thepilot.com.

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