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AL DANTE

Canto II


[Inferno]
The part of school that's worst is writing lists
Of words my classmates just don't understand.
Ces't tres facile, but dull -- I wish I'd missed!

[Purgatory]
Much better, yes, but still, to me, quite bland
Is science class, where we must try and do
Experiments, and study factors grand.

[Paradisio]
The best for me, and also maybe you
Is more creative than the boring others
And I can draw, and I'm allowed to, too!
School Subjects
Carolyn Lamb
(with minor metrical assistance from Stanley)


[Inferno]
Oh, wow! You mean that you're allowed (with Mother's
permission, I assume) to draw a gun?
Perhaps it's just a squirt gun dual with brothers.

[Purgatory]
Or maybe where you live, you don't have run-
ning water, and you really mean you git
to pump the handle on the well? How fun.

[Paradisio]
Well, I would much prefer to do my bit
with lobster, lobster bib, and butter drawn,
Enjoying lobster meat while dipping it.
Drawing
Stanley E. Anderson


[Paradisio]
I too enjoy to nibble shrimp or prawn
Or feast upon most any crustacean
And lick the carapace clean, 'til all is gone.

[Purgatory]
The crayfish, here, on most any occasion
Is the preferred delicacy. They're swell!
Others, to eat them, require great persuasion.

[Inferno]
But are they crayfish, or crawfish, do tell?
In the argot of creole Louisiana,
One spelling or the other serves as well.
Crustaceans
Martin H. Booda


[Inferno]
But as for me, I wouldn't call them manna,
All legs and shells and eyes on stalks -- I shudder
And make my sandwich -- honey and banana

[Purgatory]
On whole wheat bread, with crunchy peanut butter.
A glass of milk -- oh, 'tis a snack divine!
(But sticky, so it makes me gulp and stutter.)

[Paradisio]
But far the best, the food for which I pine --
Clam chowder (the New England), thick with 'taters,
A loaf, some butter, wine -- now we may dine.
Favorite Foods
Vera A. Nazarov


[Paradisio]
Our pick of wine? Or shall we ask the waiter's?
Perhaps a Cabernet from Sauvignon
poured swirling down into our crystal craters.

[Purgatory]
A glass of Chardonnay might set the tone:
"A white with seafood," so tradition talks.
We'll wait, and leave the choice to the "garçon."

[Inferno]
Well, hmm..., no wine yet from the cellar stocks.
Let's sneak downstairs and see what he's about. --
Oh, horrors! Look! He draws it from a box.
Wines
Stanley and Angelee Anderson


[Inferno]
For meals less fine or when the wine rack's out,
I'll settle for a metal can of beer
Or, for that matter, porter, ale, or stout.

[Purgatory]
Good taste ordains that glass contains our cheer,
With malty beverage poured from vitreous jug
Or bottle, be it brown or green or clear.

[Paradisio]
But when I'd rather sip than chug-a-lug,
I totter down to tavern, order fresh
From cellared cask, a draught in frosty mug.
Delivery systems for beer
Bill Flis


[Paradisio]
Within the public-house, good friends may mesh
To renew auld acquaintances, catch up
With gossip or just press the flesh.

[Purgatory]
Oft times are friendships, or much more, o'er cup
Or glass or mug begun or amplified.
The milk of human friendship is a savory sup.

[Inferno]
True, a grouchy drunkard is occasionally spied.
And drink has spawned more than one melee.
But eyes are loving, e'en those that are pied.
Pub-lickin's
Martin H. Booda


[Inferno]
But, pie-eyed, meaning too oft goes agley;
Communication suffers with dull wit,
'Til only slip 'twixt brain and lip we see.

[Purgatory]
Once mouth is opened, what will come of it?
Spirits imbibed, often the truth will out,
Though frequently the 'out'ing will not quit.

[Paradisio]
Still, balance and true moderation shout
That riposte and true wit may be engaged,
From the oiled tongue of most any lout.
Loose Lips Sink Quips
Rick Strong


[Inferno]
On t'other hand, one oft becomes enraged
Or lachrymose when one is in one's cups--
The heavy toper might better be caged.

[Purgatory]
The worthy drinker imbibes as he sups
Creating no unpleasantness or scenes.
No dancing on the table, no chuck-ups.

[Paradisio]
Wise Socrates (and Plato) spoke of means,
Of balance, moderation in all things...
'Sides, with a beer gut, you can't zip your jeans.
The Golden Mean
Vera A. Nazarov


[Inferno]
And after one too many, darling flings
discretion to the wind in(deed!) and song.
Married, one is more mindful what one sings!

[Purgatory]
Searching, to be sensual is not wrong. . .
Be mindful who you touch and how you fall,
in case that someone special comes along.

[Paradisio]
Marriage can be the sweetest joy of all
on earth (though I have known some who went sour)
with one who holds you (dear)--and comes when you call!
Sensuality
Nicole duPlessis


[Paradisio]
Decreed it was in time's first blooming hours
that trees adorn the earth's new maiden head,
as hair from Eve's inviolate beauty flowers.

[Purgatory]
Thus, shining forest from earth's crown o'erspread --
'til sin-grown hands of man and tool defrock,
and beauty fell and earth untress. Instead

[Inferno]
of glory, shame, and smirch, and baldness mock.
The hewing made of man's own soul a stump;
and he is timbered by the rape of the lock.
The Cutting of the First Tree
Monica Shearer


[Inferno]
Our palm tree now is nothing but a clump
of shavings on the ground; a scattered dream
that waits to waken at the heav'nly trump.

[Purgatory]
Planted right up against the house, 'twould seem
the previous owners did not have a clue
that it would shoot up far above roof beam,

[Paradisio]
and to the house, potential damage do.
Oh, for the day when man and nature live
no more at odds, and fit a plan more true!
Paradise Pulverized
Barbara Peelles


[Inferno]
The palm tree can no longer its shade give
No shady rest provide? -- no longer tree,
But felled and fallen low waits to relive.

[Purgatory]
A shadow of its former self only
Sawdust to dust; yet hopes in Heaven's ray
of Son, whose rising bids all shadows flee.

[Paradisio]
And nature, long subjected to decay
Immortal grows in that new morning's sun.
The palm will rise on its own Palm Sunday.
Palm Psalm
Monica Shearer


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