Poet Laureate for a Day

Poet Laureate for a Day

May 5, 2019

We’re concluding our “Arlo & Janis Poet Laureate for a Day” contest with an effort from our outgoing Poet Laureate for a Day, Omar Khayyam. We thank Omar for his service and wish him the best. Now, with no further ado, our incoming Poet Laureate for a Day is Ken from Framingham, for the following limerick:

The alarm clock jolts you from sleep
But you think your morning will keep
Don’t hit the snooze button
Unless you’re a glutton
For hearing that son of a bleep!

We think Ken’s verse is witty, melodic, and we had to pick somebody. Jim Young was disqualified for lack of originality, because he inserted the word “Nantucket,” but we did think his limerick was funny:

There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who kept all his clocks in a bucket,
The alarm clock would ring
The bucket he would fling,
Far from the sound of Nantucket…

The Honorable Mentions are too many to mention, but you can see most of the entries by returning to Tuesday’s post. Thank you, and drive safely going home.

59 responses to “Poet Laureate for a Day

  1. Sorry I never got my contest entry entered. I blame that on having other pressing duties. And on sleep deprivation. Anyway, I look forward to Ken’s gracious acceptance speech. I hope he won’t forget to thank all the many little people that made it possible for him to receive that tremendous award. As for me, had I managed to make a submission, it would have been an honor just to have been considered. As Jimmy said, drive safely.

  2. @ Rick in Shermantown, Ohio: Here in Utah whether a school is a middle school (grades 7 & 8 with 9th grade part of the HS experience) or a junior high (grades 7, 8 & 9 with HS being 10 – 12) depends on which school district you live in. Also when the schools were built and how population has shifted over the decades. In Memphis, we had junior high schools.

    • Yesterday, I told Dawn that my town changed the name from “junior high” to “middle school” several years ago and that was the only difference that I could see. Your comment shows me that I forgot two other changes.

      Originally, we had k-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Then, we went to k-6, 7-8, 9 by itself in one building, and 10-12.

      Now, we have k-5, 6-8, 9-12. The rumor is that we went to 9-12 for band and sports and to save money in busing.

      Otherwise, we have seen no difference in curriculum or in state testing outcomes.

  3. Yeah, I know I’m too late, but it’s hard to be creative as early as I read this; so, here’s what mine would have been:

    The alarm clock jolts every neuron
    Hitting “snooze” gets the same thing anon
    But the question I gasp
    Ripped from Morpheus’s grasp –
    “I’m retired – who turned this **** on??”

  4. Rick,

    I attended school back in the days when there was elementary, junior high, and high school. We were far enough out in the sticks that we had 6th-grade graduation and 8th-grade graduation. The 8th-grade graduation was a carry-over from earlier years when not everyone went to high school. My grandfathers both graduated from 8th grade but not high school. My parents were the oldest children in their families and the first to graduate from college– they both had advanced degrees. My mama had a Master of Arts in English and my daddy had a Doctorate of Education. I didn’t quite keep up, though I do have an MBA. One sister also has her doctorate.

    • I remember hearing about those days, and they weren’t long ago in this small town.

      Don’t downplay your MBA. That degree is definitely no cakewalk, and I’m impressed.

  5. The last line of the poem in the comic doesn’t scan properly; the other three are ta-Da ta-Da ta-Da ta-Da ta-Da (ten beats) but the last has only eight. It can be fixed by inserting a two-syllable present participle between “each” and “word” – but if Nantucket is out of bounds, so would be the obvious choice there.

  6. I went to school in 4th and 5th grade in same school in Louisiana. It was grade school.

    Then I went to school in 6th, 7th and 8th grade in same school in Venezuela. It was junior high. Wow! I never realized I got to stay in same school for so long?

  7. I have found a new to me blogger/columnist/author I like because he reminds me of Jimmy Johnson and A and J but written, They may know each other.

    Ghost will furnish details but his name is Sean Dietsch at http://www.seanofthesouth.com. Born in Alabama he lives in that Florida area called Redneck Riviera. His sailboat is named Squirrel.

    Ghost instantly liked his writing. I read two collections of his columns here in hospital.

  8. David I know you have suffered serious kidney issues and may know great advice about diets and cooking to PREVENT high potassium accumulation. I do not have kidney failure, my problem is dangerously high levels of potassium due to medications for cancer and other illness.

    The hospital food is so high in potassium (!!) I had to be flushed out even though I am trying to “eat around” their offerings.

    Who do you recommend I read and follow? Ghost will be probably cooking for me and he needs cookbooks and recipes. Thank you or anyone else.

  9. Jackie, high potassium levels can certainly be dangerous. Just taking supplements can cause severe depression. Did anyone else attend grammar school?

    • Grammar school, K-8, inclusive; high school, 9-12, inclusive. Life was simpler then! [1940-50s in NYCity.] Sometimes, grammar school was referred to as “grade school”…all the same to me.

  10. I attended grades 1-6 at an “elementary school”. Then grades 7 & 8 were at a “junior high school”. Grade 8 was at a “high school”; then grades 9 and 10 were at a “junior high school” again. (We moved, and junior high in the new city was grades 7-10.) “High school” was grades 11 & 12. And just to be more confusing, there were grades 13 & 14 at the “high school”. (A two-year “junior college”. Which was a good deal for me…most of my “high school teachers” were also “college instructors”.)
    Another thing is that (at least in smaller cities) school buildings seemed to get recycled. The elementary school I attended for 6 years was in the same building where my Mom attended high school for four years.

  11. I worked all day Saturday, so I didn’t get word of my glorious victory until this morning! Jimmy, I’m glad you felt you had to pick somebody– someone else might have yielded to the temptation to just call the whole thing off– and I’m honored that I was the somebody you settled on. If I were more motivated, I’d have composed an acceptance in Limerick form! Thank you! This isn’t the greatest moment of my life, but, hey, it’s up there!

    • BTW, I would like to add a question mark to line 2. I think it reads better that way, and hope my title, already expired anyway, won’t be vacated.

      The alarm clock jolts you from sleep
      But you think your morning will keep?
      Don’t hit the snooze button
      Unless you’re a glutton
      For hearing that son of a bleep!

  12. I just downloaded from KindleUnlimited all of Sean Dietsch novels and his books of columns. Many sound like Jimmy Johnson wrote them and titled them. As a side big for Arlo and Janis?

    Returned unread all the Tolkien books, the Tolkien analysis, all the dark other worlds. Can take no depression besides my own.

    Plan to read All the Arlo and Janis archieves as far as To Comics goes. I need heart warming not heart breaking.

    • Jackie, I think you will enjoy the archives. I have. This past year I have been reading all of the Arlo and Janis archives. I have tried to read each day of the year for each year. So this morning as the latest example, I read all of the December 7 strips from 1994 to 2020. Surprisingly there wasn’t even one Pearl Harbor comic that I can recall.
      It has been interesting to see the changes year by year in art and content. It is also interesting to see how the strip developed during the same time period or season treating the holidays with different approaches.

  13. Today is special, but it was special long before 1941. It is, most years, the date of the earliest sunset. Why isn’t that 21 Dec.? Blame Kepler.

    • I acknowledge the Creator as the reason the dates of the latest sunrise and and earliest sunset aren’t identical in either hemisphere. And that our apparent solar days aren’t the same, 24 hour days, measured by clocks which use the mean solar time. The Earth’s orbit is elliptical and its axial tilt doesn’t coincide with its apsides. I thank Kepler for figuring all that out.
      OTOH, the history of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo and their interaction with The Church weren’t as simple as we think they were:

  14. My poem was for Arlo hanging Christmas lights.

    Yes, Pearl Harbor. I read and signed off on every U.S. civilian injury and death case, everyone who suffered in attack. A file cabinet full sat in our office there in Honolulu. No one had read them since filed.

    Did on my own time, unpaid,
    Just went in and read, one by one. What happened, what resulted. Signed off as going to records center.

  15. Re today’s live comic about sizing Janis up. It’s cute and gave me a chuckle. But why doesn’t Arlo just go into Janis’ closet and look at the tags? Answer: Because this way, he gets to cop a…….hug (or two or three).

  16. If I understand correctly, isn’t today the last day for those incessant TV ads touting medical insurance for retireds? Three months of those ads is four months too much….

  17. Jackie, I don’t have any specific recommendation for an author, but and “dialysis” diet planning will help on the potassium. Dialysis patients also have to watch for phosphorus, due to long term effects on calcium cycle and bones. You should be able to ignore the guidance on phosphorus, which includes issues with meat and beans. Potassium on the other hand, is more insidious and is lots of places you might not think. Unfortunately, potatoes, tomatoes, and many fresh fruits are high in K. Here’s one link that gives a quick rundown of some foods and ways to remove potassium from some others.

  18. I kept telling hospital my meals were loaded with sugars and potassium. I tried ordering around it but choices were loaded. Ended up with dangerously high potassium levels and an overnight flushing.

    Tonight my magnesium was dangerously low. Getting ready to read about. NPO until morning.

    • They could order a diabetic-renal diet for you…. but then the cafeteria food is really bad! I always just tried to manage it as much as I could, sometimes with varied success. Hopefully they didn’t have to give you Kayexalate! The lower gastric effects of that are “not good.” 🙂

  19. They gave me the gooey stuff they mix and make you drink then give you all the IV fluid to flush out the Potassium and lower levels.
    I hated it. Had avoided up to now by diet.

  20. A lady whose space/bed I am waiting to take over in the rehabilitation center is refusing to leave! They are dealing with it and promised I will be able to transfer there tomorrow.

    It must be a very nice place.

    I am expecting to be there for 20 days, longest time that Medicare and insurance allows. So I will be there until December 29 almost New Year’s.

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