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AL DANTE

Canto I


[Inferno]
That bane to comfort, modern men endure.
Yes, even epicurean treats are stained
at times by 'tie' food rules. Is there no cure?

[Purgatory]
Encumbered, still, the neck might yet be trained
to bear the Blue cravat and not to hollar,
for only light constriction has remained.

[Paradisio]
But far the best (and cheapest) for my dollar
and worn with ease by those who self-employ
is naught but freedom gained: the open collar!
Neckware
Stanley E. Anderson


[Inferno]
But still, it's often easy to deploy
The tie, if one should lack a serviette,
To sop up chin-stains which sometimes annoy.

[Purgatory]
I sing of straight-ties, not the loathesome set
Of bows loved by Simon of Illinois,
Pee Wee Herman, and other such fools. And yet

[Paradisio]
If one eats shreaded wheat or petit pois,
The best device for catching fallen bits
Remains a fullsome beard. That is my choice.
Napkins
Martin H. Booda


[Inferno]
But MINE is not the organ's droning blitz --
Though time yet it preserves, I cannot cheer,
However liltingly the trained hand flits.

[Purgatory]
A plain piano strikes the tune more clear,
When halting congregations must needs warp
The music of the spheres to bend God's ear

[Paradisio]
From where, unfaltering, sounding flat nor sharp,
A seraph choir uplifts its chants of praise
To the accompanying of a Celtic harp.
Musical Instruments for Sacred Songs
Angelee Sailer Anderson


[Paradisio]
By chance, if chants required the choir to phrase
its lines in pentametric iambs, then
'twould be the Muses' gift that it conveys.

[Purgatory]
The bouncy sound we found so fun, the pen
will put to paper. Nurs'ry first, then, worse
the pun, and limerick the rapier -- The End.

[Inferno]
The current style sees rhyming as THE curse
and forges so-called pomes from well-formed prose.
Please Re-'verse' the omnipresent free verse.
Poetic Structure
Stanley E. Anderson


[Inferno/good]
I find I use all my fingers and toes
To measure out the length of ev'ry line
Lord, send inchworms! I could use some of those.

[Purgatory/better]
I'll teach each larva to crawl from the vine
And calculate my barefoot poesy's worth;
While I imbibe in deeper things (like wine).

[Paradisio/best]
Let these, my meter-checkers of the Earth,
Free me to pursue Venus's fair charms
And rush, like Mercury, to soul's rebirth.
Wine, Women, and Song (not necessarily in that order)
Martin H. Booda


[Paradisio]
To see the orbs of gods forgot, in arms
of darkness; sparklers held by Zodiac --
or fireflies in fields of country farms,

[Purgatory]
becomes a glory dulled when rendered back
in digital displays from telescopes
controlled by cold computers' memory stacks.

[Inferno]
And dead at last on graphs to chart the hopes
of Ken and Barbie minds who read their fates
in stale, generic, daily horoscopes.
Planets in the Night Sky
Stanley E. Anderson


[Inferno]
And all this time observ'ed by their mates,
Who shake their heads and mumble with despair
And count the moments to those pearly gates

[Paradisio]
Where, greeted by cherubim (golden hair
In much profusion), they will spend their days
In paradise without a hint of care.

[Purgatorio?]
If such place boasts knot-garden or a maze
(Not certain to be found in heav'nly parts),
'Tis sure to have capacity to faze.
Heaven for Ken or Barbie Minds
Brian E. Smith


[Inferno]
Of all tormentous slings, arrows and darts
Hell could possess, the atrophy of mind
Would be the torture which most surely smarts.

[Paradisio]
Heaven, contrariwise, would be most kind
To feature games and pastimes which would hone
the blesseds' sapient wit, by God design'd.

[Paradisio/Inferno]
That, and music of melodious tone
I strive for. But the loathesome tune of Hell
Would surely be a ringing Telephone.
A More Discerning Mind
Martin H. Booda


[Inferno]
Our cars now house that loathesome tune, as well
as fax and prob'ly soon some web-based toys;
A sort of driver's Tomaguchi bell?

[Purgatorio]
We have (in parking lots) that beeping noise
to signal theft (or quakes) and locking doors,
and air bags not for baby girls or boys.

[Paradisio]
Instead of cruise control and Four-by-Fours,
I'd like some kind of 'traffic internet'
with 'auto' Netscape/IE browser wars.
Auto Luxury Options
Stanley E. Anderson


[Inferno]
Aggression and the raw "highway-mindset"
Have transferred easily to cyberspace
Good thing there are no virtual guns...yet

[Purgatorio]
Imagine if you got in someone's face
And they sent cyber-shot to blow you down.
God forbid we should ever meet that case.

[Paradisio]
Better, by far, encount'ring some rude clown
One could embellish his or her image,
Say, with drawn-in moustache or pointy crown.
Cyberspace Aggression
Martin H. Booda


[Inferno]
The inner city walls show signs of scrimmage
between the street gangs, spraying their graffiti
to mark their territory and their lineage.

[Purgatorio]
And in the fields of England -- not so seedy,
but pranksters still -- blokes fashion in the night
crop circles to mislead the spiritually needy.

[Paradisio]
The Nazca shapes as seen from aerial height
appear mysterious, but perhaps were made
by E.T. taggers on an Earth-buzz flight.
Graffiti
Stanley E. Anderson
(with fine tuning by Angelee)


[Inferno]
Do Aliens kidnap folks who to Them prayed,
subject them to indignities demonic,
then leave them free but mortally afraid?

[Purgatorio]
Less dreadful, yet how bland are embryonic
ghoulies of the Close Encounters race.
True "otherness" demands a stronger tonic:

[Paradisio]
The unknown tongue I hope to hear 'mid Grace
and Glory, is my dog's, no longer dumb,
yelping my name before he licks my face.
Non-human Species
Angelee Sailer Anderson


[Inferno]
I often wonder what strange voices from
Pets' mouths would speak, if they were sapient.
Would they respond, "Get lost!" when I yelled "Come!"?

[Purgatorio]
Or would they hide their feelings and intent?
Conspire they to control our dominus
Or are they truly with their lot content?

[Paradisio (for the animals?)]
What bodes, when, midst the circumstance and fuss,
They march in triumph, opening each cage
To free their brethren...and imprison us?
Revenge of the Quadrapeds
Martin H. Booda


[Inferno]
No need! We struggle at an early age
to build our own, with toys and worldly stuff,
and lock 'em with a decent living wage.

[Purgatorio]
Then, peering through the bars that seem so tough
we may, if lucky, notice that the lock
is on the inside. Can we say, "Enough!"--

[Paradisio]
and pour out tithes and off'rings to unblock
our road to Heaven, helping others on
their way who have forgotten where to walk?
Bars of Gold
Stanley E. Anderson


[Inferno]
Thick lie the dead litt'ring the autobahn
that speeds the hasty to an end, indeed:
a block to fit their stiffened necks upon.

[Purgatorio]
Wiser the war horse, trained to quickly heed
each twitching of his reins, till strife's own sod
a pasture seems, if but his lord there lead.

[Paradisio]
Yet happiest of all, though slow I plod,
I'd fain a donkey be -- my stable sure,
if but my halter's handler be my God.
Roads to Death and Life
Angelee Sailer Anderson


[Inferno]
That bane to comfort, modern men endure . . .
(return to Neckware)

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