Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Terza rima

Two brothers lived in a city so fair
That no one who visited felt alone
Or threw to the wind their hope or their care,

So fair this city. To me it's unknown,
For I heard this tale second-hand, the name
Of this fair place, so let's call it Atone.

As I'm inventing, let's spice up the game
And say this city was not as it seems;
Say this city was fair only in name.

Perhaps in Atone the gold tower gleams
With the blood of the martyrs and rebels;
Is it gallows making use of the beams

And the stone of archways? Are prison cells
Stuffed so full that the bars brand the convicts,
The floors filthy, in the air wretched smells?

I leave it to you what this tale depicts;
I should tell only what things I have heard
About brothers, about family conflicts.

Each brother knew of the other no word,
Raised by different families of different class.
They shared one father; his title conferred

On one son, but not the son of the lass
He sought when he went to the bordello;
For, in truth, he was an unfaithful ass.

The lady, his wife, did certainly know,
But for a tale of brothers, let suffice
That one was born high, the other born low.

The father was Nimrod, a man of vice,
Who pranced throughout Atone in dainty dress
With bells and jewels intended to entice

Any unwary blossoming young Miss.
When Nimrod had pranced his fill he would sit
On a brick wall, and feign the greatest bliss.

Lucky for the reader, chance would have it
A picture of the pandering father
In his oft found pose I can now submit.

You must now wonder, why should I bother
To tell a story of such an egghead
As Nimrod? Well, it's only another

Step on the path of the story you tread,
And you know it soon will lead to a fall,
To his breaking. Then enough will be said.

His wife home pregnant, from pubs he would crawl
To the night-town district in broad daylight,
This foolish Nimrod had no wherewithal.

He drunkenly followed where lust invite,
He fell up the stairs and into the room
Of his mistress, who worked hard to excite

Masquerading manhood from his costume.
Then she squat down and loosened her girdle;
She put in his face her bosom perfumed

With lavender and sweet smelling myrtle.
She writhed and rolled all around his fat gut;
He sprang up -- then her womb which was fertile

Accepted the seed. Then that lousy mutt
Staggered and wobbled towards his abode;
All his clothes inside out, and still half cut;

He made of a doorway his own commode.
The citizens of Atone jeered at him,
"What depravity! What of honor code?"

Then some had their fill, right up to the brim
When he told them to mind their damn business;
Some swore they would tear him down, limb from limb;

But perhaps their hate and jeering dismiss
Nimrod not for his infidelity,
But for his part in their oppression. His

Job for the tower of absurdity
Repossessing the homes of the down-trod
Made him apt to their animosity.

He finally was home, spared from the hot rod,
And was told a rebellion had begun.
He shuttered and bolted his doors -- asked god

To protect him till the violence was done.
And so it was, thought not through divine grace,
Nimrod lived to see the birth of one son

By his wife, one by his mistress. In case
You are worried that this fool got a pass,
I tell you, no, for him was saved a space

Beneath a high brick wall from which, alas,
He was pushed and crashed, in the end to succumb
To gravity. But before he was cast

Named his sons Twiddledee and Twiddledum.


Jon said...

Um... I've been reading a lot of Dante these last few days... wanted to give a try to his form and see if I could keep a narrative together... it kind of got out of hand!


Jenny said...

I really like your sense of humor, Jon. The eggs! I think it is good that this narrative goes where it want to go, that is grows in unexpected directions. The ending is priceless.

Devin said...

I agree with Jenny Jon! This is superb-I don't think you got out of hand at all!
I also loved the ending-it was indeed "priceless" as Jenny said
I have Dante's Inferno picked up on a ten cent sale rack at the library -but haven't read it yet.
all the best to you and I will try to get caught up on more very soon-again fantastic work!!

timmy said...

very impressive. what's next - spenserian stanzas?

the walking man said...

Alas poor Nimrod
in ages past
great soldier and warrior he
wanton fat and full of self
placed his morals upon a shelf
and his best was found in neither Tweedledum nor Tweedledee
but in the story of him
left behind from you to me.

Here ya go Jon...my PlunderVerse. I decided to plunder YOU.

Series and Videos said...

It's kind of twisted but in the good way, I guess that's why I decided to follow your blog. I must admit I didn't understand everything due to being Swedish. But I followed the thread and it was good!


Little Lamb said...

That was so neat!

Harlequin said...

Ok-- I died at this....
encore encore !!

Famous Last Words said...

Absolutely brilliant! You wrote "...it kind of got out of hand". No - that's exactly what made it fascinating!

Escapist said...

Wow......A different kind of work ......its my pleasure to visit your post..


Jimmy Bastard said...

In a word... Superb!

Anonymous said...

So cool! I laughed so much that my teeth almost feel out. Thank you!

Jon said...

Thanks! Glad you like the humor in this one... I had a good time drawing faces on these eggs too

Yeah, you should dig into inferno whenever you get a chance... it's bustling with history... glad you liked where this story went and thanks for dropping by.

hmmm... spenserian stanzas, eh... just maybe... maybe

Nice plunder! I like the twist you put on this with the "you to me"... thanks for this poem

Twisted is a great compliment on this... you should wait to see what I do with the eggs next... it'll be a story about an omelet!

Thanks! It was fun to write... c ya soon

you may get that encore another day... i'm thinking there could be more come of this tale... we'll see...

glad you liked the letting go in this piece... i am usually surprised myself when the stories tell themselves.

Thanks for stopping by... different kind of work as often as i can do it... that's almost my motto!

High praise from the master himself! Thanks mate...

well you'd better keep track of those teeth... wouldn't want you deprived of any of that cud!
thanks for your comment and for reading... i'm happy to have such thoughtful readers as yourself.

Anonymous said...

aha hah ha
haha ha ha hah

egg-cellent work -- v.cool


Jon said...


ah yes... i was waiting for someone to have a crack at an egg pun


ANNA-LYS said...

ha ha ha :-D

ANNA-LYS said...


Francis Scudellari said...

It's amazing where structure can lead us. I certainly didn't expect to be taken on such a far-reaching journey. Good stuff.

Jenny said...

I just had some of my stuff accepted by online mag ditch, and now when I was checking out their poets I found you there. Nice coincidence!

Seems like an interesting site, I must say.

Ande said...

This was a piece of art; it made me laugh while feeling oldish gods flap about.

Jon said...

you're most welcome! glad you got a laugh out of this

creativity exists within constraints or it perishes... or so THEY say... i liked working in this form... kind of encourages naughtiness...

yeah... that's me... congrats on your success there... it's a cool magazine with lots of other poets from our community that you know as well...

glad you liked this one and happy to give you a laugh... i aim to entertain... at least some of the time.

BBC said...

There is no perfect place I guess, but I've lived in a few small towns that were okay, generally speaking.

Not this one though, it has some good points but all in all it drives me nuts.

Jon said...

I kind of prefer small towns myself... and it sounds like you're in a gem of a place... what with the nice climate and the abundance of places to pitch a tent...
thanks for stopping by and for your comment.