Three Poems

Purple Cow

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one!

–Gelett Burgess

A Song of Thanks

It’s sensible that icicles
Hang downward as they grow,
For I should hate to step on one
That’s buried in the snow.

It’s really best that tides come in
And then return to sea;
For if they kept on coming in,
How wet we all would be!

I’ve often thought tomatoes are
Much better red than blue.
A blue tomato is a food
I’d certainly eschew.

It’s best of all that everyone’s
So tolerant today
That I can write this sort of stuff
And not get put away.

–William Cole

I Cannot Give the Reasons

I cannot give the reasons,
I only sing the tunes:
the sadness of the seasons
the madness of the moons.

I cannot be didactic
or lucid, but I can
be quite obscure and practic-
ally marzipan

In gorgery and gushness
and all that’s squishified.
My voice has all the lushness
of what I can’t abide

And yet it has a beauty
most proud and terrible
denied to those whose duty
is to be cerebral.

Among the antlered mountains
I make my viscous way
and watch the sepia mountains
throw up their lime-green spray.

–Mervyn Peake

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