Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Few Poems

While doing some digital housekeeping recently, I ran across some poems I wrote back in the mid 90's when I worked with a very creative group of people at a now-defunct company. We were programmers, each responsible for one or more inter-related components of a large distributed system. When someone released a new module, the others would have to recompile to incorporate the changes. Often, a new-release email would be accompanied by a poem -- most often original -- or maybe song lyrics or even particularly elegant snippets of code.

My component was called the Data Access Daemon or DAD, for short. My first release email included this haiku:

Restless, like a child,
searching for its potential,
DAD, ever-changing.

Many of the poems I wrote were related to some feature of the DAD, i.e. stupid when taken out of context in a blog post, but a few of them I think stand on their own, or are at least "somewhat less stupid":

I happened across a big pile of stuff
And decided that it should be sorted.
The time I could spend was hardly enough,
Any more time could not be afforded.

I picked up a thing, at random, I'm sure,
And to each of the rest I compared it.
I made two more piles of stuff, as it were:
The things found above and below it.

To each of those piles, the same thing I done,
And to those thereafter created.
And not 'til the size of each pile was one --
Were my efforts quite quickly abated.

Hardly a minute of time had passed by,
When I realized something important.
The stuff that had been on that very first pile,
After just a short while, was now sorted!

A Little Number I Call "9"
Begin with twelve and four,
then take away seven.
If you add two more,
You're left with eleven.

Eleven, you could say,
Is two one's combined.
If you take those away,
You end up with nine.

Stressed (Chill) Out
Never settle (Be still) for less.
Always strive (until) to be best.
Never stop (your will) to rest.
Everything (is nil.) is a test.

Work It
"Work it, baby, work it!"
I heard some dancers say.
"Toil it, baby, toil it!"
I joined in their refrain.

At this, they hesitated,
And turned, and frowned at me.
"What did you say?!" they shouted.
For dancers, they seemed mean.

A misinterpretation
Was all that had occurred.
Instead of inspiration,
It was "toilet" that they heard.

Men and Women
"Men are from Mars," of course,
"And women are from Venus."
As if those stupid metaphors,
Some wisdom they could gain us!

Men and women are different,
But not because of Venus.
Only women can get pregnant,
And only men can have a... prostate!

Kicking Squirrels
A squirrel came hopping through my yard,
And got a little careless.
The distance wasn't all that far --
From him to my Adidas.

Ducking behind the nearest tree,
I lied in vengeful wait.
And by the time he noticed me,
It was much too late.

In mid-jump I caught him square --
Just like that fella, Pele.
Soaring higher into the air,
I watched him sail away.

He landed atop my neighbor's house
A little shaken, but still alive.
About that time I spied a mouse,
But my mom called me back inside.

The chains descended from the ceiling,
And fastened to the tops --
Of the cubicles.
The motors began slowly turning,
Then rising were the walls --
Like theatre curtains.
The workers stopped what they were doing,
And looked up from their desks --
To peer at themselves.
Then came some men who owned the building,
Too late to warn the folks --
Of their new plans.

Nashville and Seattle
What if Nashville was Seattle
And therefore, vice versa?
In the place of Mother Maybelle
Could be Ann and Nancy Wilson.

Then Little Jimmy Dickens
And Minnie Pearl, yes ma'am,
Would be Little Jimi Hendrix
And Minnie Pearl Jam.

We could hear Kurt Cobain
Or even Courtney Love
Sing "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain"
Or "Wings of a Dove"

Wouldn't it make you feel alive
To see Shania Twain
Hockin' loogies between stage-dives
Apparently in pain?

Well, maybe not "alive" per se,
But it would be pretty rad,
Seeing Alice and Reba in chains
Switching cities, switching fads.

Arial is fairly boring,
And Courier's way too plain.
Modern is the same ol' story,
And frankly, Script is a pain.

Garamond comes off as haughty.
Sans Serif a tad too smooth.
Lucida strikes me as naughty,
And Roman a bit long in the tooth.

Symbol is symbolic of nothing.
Terminal should be put to rest.
Hardly better is Times New Roman,
And Wingdings is simply a mess!

In the end, the font doesn't matter.
You may choose whichever you like.
Whether one or another is better --
Counts far less than how well you write.

Long-Eared, Pickle-Toed Pirate
Wouldn't it be funny --
If my ears were long, like a bunny?
I'd tuck 'em up under my arm pits.
That wouldn't be gross, would it?

Wouldn't you be tickled --
If instead of toes I had pickles?
I'd clip off the nails and make relish.
Everyone would be so jealous.

Wouldn't it be a riot --
If my leg was a peg, like a pirate?
I'd buckle swashes, say "Aye" and grin,
And eat relish, and... um... listen?

Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn's amazing,
But a little overweight.
It won't be getting past him
If it makes it 'cross his plate.

There are rooms to do your sleeping,
And rooms to take your bath,
Rooms to do your eating,
And rooms in which you laugh.

Most realtors show you common rooms
In the houses that they sell.
But an agent took me on a tour
I'll long remember well.

"Here's a room for your improvement,
And one for you to grow.
These rooms are not the kind you rent
They're rooms you come to know."

That's what the agent sang to me.
That's right, my realtor sings --
'Bout rooms that ain't so roomy,
But let you spread your wings!

It won't be long for her.
It will all be over soon.
What now seems like November -
Will tomorrow seem like June.

What Is Is
By the definition
In my deposition,
I have no recollection
Of a sexual relation.

I mean to be truthful
Without being helpful.
To admit that I'm a mouthful
Would be very, very harmful.

A Crappy Poem
"Roses are blue,
Violets are red." that's not true.
Nevermind what I said.

"Stars in the morning,
Sunshine at night."
Now wait just a minute!
That can't be right.

"Ships on the prairie
Planes in the sea."
What am I saying?
What's happening to me?

"My eyes won't steady --
I feel like a nap."
Shut up, already.
Enough of this crap!

Seven Fools
Seven separate fools considered their lot,
And in turn, each of them ruled,
"I know well enough to know I know not,"
"I'm content", as fools are, "to be fooled".

"Be wary of too-happy people", one claimed,
"And also avoid the too-sad",
"Try to eat well!" "Make beautiful things!"
"And be a good mother or dad."

Mr. Stroustrup
An email, from Bjarne,
today I received.
"Thanks" was all that --
it said.

Ironic that he
should be thanking me.
I should thank him --