A Food Truck Explodes in Lakeville, Minnesota.


(Based on a story in the Minneapolis StarTribune newspaper)

The Sixth of March in Lakeville will not soon become forgotten,

When the food truck blew up – shredding metal into cotton.

Nothing but the steering wheel remained in place that day;

Ev’ry other particle was blown to Mandalay.


The ev’ning had been peaceful, with most folks tucked into bed,

While visions of the Weather Channel or hockey round them sped.

Sidewalks had been shoveled, and a thaw was on its way;

The quiet bourgeois neighborhood in guiltless stupor lay.


But forces beyond man’s control were working late that night,

Preparing to give man and beast a brobdingnagian fright.

(Of course the ladies are included in this epic tale;

Common gender nouns in English tend to often fail.)


The clock had struck eleven when the detonation brought

The residents of Lakeville underneath a juggernaut

Of sound and fury so severe that many thought a rocket

Had targeted their wardrobe down to the very pocket.


Condiments in packets fell like sleet, and bread rolls too;

Had there been a sheep about there would be Irish stew!

But miracle of miracles, although the wreck was vast,

Not a living soul was injured in that lusty blast.


The angels, or the dybbuks, or whatever you may please

Protected all those innocents from looking like Swiss cheese.

But sadly not a one of them was ever heard to claim

That a higher power had preserved them from the flame.


The crater quickly filled with slush and ketchup, while the smoke

Of the embers glowing still the firemen did choke.

Shards of glass lay scattered round about like gemstones freed

From the hoard of misers who repented of their greed.


Authorities swarmed over the explosion site with care,

Examining debris under the microscope’s stern glare.

They broke for coffee often (and to have a little smoke)

And with their rods and rulers they did prod and they did poke.


What caused this fulmination is debated with contention;

Was it cooking gas or was it terrorist invention?

Was there sabotage by a competitor’s paid lout,

Or had there been a discontented jar of sauerkraut?


No one knows for certain why catastrophe made sport

Of such sober people who but rarely did cavort.

But just remember food trucks, though they serve a menu broad,

Can suddenly and noisily become the hand of God!


Eavesdropping Doll.


Little Suzy got a doll at her birthday party.

It could sing and dance and talk, so she named it Smarty.

In her bedroom all alone with Smarty, Suzy harkened

To the tiny dolly voice as the shadows darkened.


“Look in Mommy’s wallet for her credit card pin number”

Said Smarty to sweet Suzy as she began to slumber.

“Does your daddy pay his taxes?” Smarty asked next day.

(Suzy was quite sad when the police took him away.)


Suzy and her Smarty went together ev’rywhere,

Recording who said what to who at home and at daycare.

Ms Rodriguez, Suzy’s friend from the dollar store,                                                                                                                                                    

Was picked up by the sheriff and was heard from nevermore.


One day poor Smarty’s battery began to fade away.

She whispered to her Suzy to go down to the parkway.

And there a van as black as night took both of them inside,

And now in a large dollhouse underground they do reside.


From a story on Yahoo News

A Message from the Next Dalai Lama.


I’ve had this funny feeling lately that reincarnation

Will make me Dalai Lama for the coming generation.

The current Dalai Lama’s getting on in years, you know;

 When he kicks the bucket I believe I’ll get his glow.


No need for monks to go to sacred lakes or dream their dreams;

I’m the boy they’re looking for, without undue extremes.

I’m the 15th guru, and to Zhu Weiqun I’m stating

I’ll wear the yellow hat without your frivolous debating.


My reign will be a peaceful one, with colored sand design.

Prayer wheels will keep rolling inside ev’ry Buddhist shrine.

The Communists can rant and rave about my blessed state;

I’ll simply smile upon them as I start to levitate.   

(Inspired by an article in the New York Times)

The Saga of Rolly, the Rolltop Desk.


(Inspired by an article by James Barron)


Rolly was a rolltop desk, the finest desk you ever saw.

Mahogany with copper knobs; more splendid than a Persian shah.

Made by artisans when men worked with their hands and hearts and pride,

Rolly went from factory to an office tall and wide.


The head of clerks took care of him, polishing his deep rich tan;

And filled him full of documents (and stamps from letters from Bhutan).

When at last the clerk retired, Rolly had no place to go.

Offices were getting smaller; no longer was he status quo.


In the basement they did put him, next to dust pans and the mop.

The janitor ate lunch upon him, spilling cheap red soda pop.

Now the spiders lace his fretwork with their ghostly webs so fine,

And he’s cracked and rusted open, covered in white dust like brine.


You and I are just like Rolly, if we grow too fat and wide;

Offices will never hold us – they will make us work outside.

Office space is so restricted, desks are smaller than tea tray;

Midgets are the only ones who work in offices today.

King Salman, My Pal . . .

My old buddy . . .
My old buddy . . .

(Inspired by a story by Ben Hubbard)

Hey, Salman, buddy, don’t forget your old pal from the days

We used to go on picnics in the khareef’s misty haze.

Just you and me and retinue of a thousand men or so

(and of course the harem that was with you on the go).


I see you got the old man’s seat; congratulations, pal!

You’re passing out the beaucoup bucks to boost the state’s morale.

I do not wish to seem like I presume too much from you,

But times are tough; I’m in the rough; some cash would see me through.


About a million dollars sure would be enough for me;

I guess I can rely upon your generosity.

Send the check down to the county jail and I won’t squawk.

I’ll pay my bail and get my shirt and pants right out of hock!

The Minnesota DNR.


(Inspired by a story by Doug Smith)

The Minnesota DNR is like a fairy tale;

Without the magic sticker they will toss you into jail!

If you a just a peasant from another state who tows

A boat through Minnesota, they have trolls that grab your nose.


They will not let it go until you spin some golden yarn,

Or guess their middle name or agree to paint a barn.

Yes, the DNR has witches who do flit about the skies,

Peering down your chimney and then snitching all your pies.


The purpose of this sorcery ain’t hard to comprehend;

The laws are made to emulate a Kingdom of Pretend,

Where princesses and ogres caper round ten thousand lakes

And ev’ry bureaucrat leads snowmen out to find more flakes.



Larry Storch, Get Out of My Memories!


(Inspired by an article by Benedict Carey)

Memory is retroactive, so the big brains say;

Consolidating recollections in a pungent way.

Reminiscence harries me like a flock of crows;

The farther back I take myself the more unquiet grows.


Trivial though they may seem, these nuggets lodged inside

My head begin to pile up and beget a brisk landslide.

Neuroscience eggheads may say anything they like,

But when I smell bananas I think of my old bike.


And that in turn reminds me of dead leaves piled on the porch,

Which leads to something vague concerning actor Larry Storch.

These flashbacks are benumbing, distractions from my goal

Of resurrecting Marcel Proust and going for a stroll.