Calpurnia’s Paranoia

Beware the Ides of March, she said—
if you ignore the signs, you’re dead.
But Caesar did not share her dread
and shuffled off to work instead.

Once on the Senate floor he knew
Calpurnia’s portent would prove true,
for there among that motley crew
was his best friend: Bruté, et tu?

From out their togas flashed their knives
and cut short mighty Caesar’s life.
His last sharp thought was one of strife:
I should have listened to my wife.

Since then we’ve learned we must obey
when premonitions come our way
at night or in the light of day:
if we don’t heed, our lives we’ll pay.

Yes, all ten Roman months have Ides,
so if a voice inside says hide,
you’d better harken to your bride,
avoid the workplace, stay outside.

In fact, if I could have my way,
I’d make the Ides a holiday.
I’d let the people dance and play—
but from Acropoli keep away.

That said, I guess I’ll take my leave,
I’ve no more quips left up my sleeve.
The moral is you must believe
your spouse—unless her name is Eve.


Arnold Decides to Sell his Hummer

Gas hit four bucks a gallon last summer
and the recession began, which is why
Arnold decided to sell his Hummer

on eBay. It wasn’t such a bummer
as it sounds; it was gas-guzzler good-bye
once premium hit four bucks last summer

and Arnold lost his job as a plumber.
That’s when he saw he had to downsize
his life and sell his beloved Hummer,

but it wasn’t just about the numbers:
Arnold knew it was time to simplify
when gas went over four bucks last summer

and he realized he had been dumber
than the forebrain of a housefly
when he signed on the line for his Hummer.

Sure, Arnold will be poorer, but humbler
and wiser for the ten-speed he’ll buy—
all because gas hit four bucks last summer
and he decided to sell his Hummer.


I Know a Dog Who Thinks He is a Man

I know a dog who thinks he is a man.
He gets up every morning at five
and drives a late-model Volvo sedan.

After his usual breakfast of bran
muffins, orange juice and coffee, he contrives,
as only a dog who thinks he’s a man

can contrive, where to pull his caravan
that day. Should he visit Spain, the Maldives,
Mexico in his late-model sedan?

He opens his atlas and makes a plan,
then shifts his Volvo into overdrive.
Here is a dog who thinks he is a man.

To date, he’s been to France and Pakistan,
Borneo, Lapland and Tibet. He strives
to span the world in his Volvo sedan.

Did I mention his name is Caliban?
Did I describe the dangers he’s survived?
He’s not just a dog who thinks he’s a man:
He’s a dog with a late-model sedan.


Wayne Lee is a poet living in New Mexico.

Featured Image: “Julius Caeser” from Versailles, photo by Carrie OBrien Sibley.

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5 Responses

  1. Alan W. Jankowski

    Perhaps the dog was smarter than Arnold when he chose the Volvo over the Hummer…or maybe he just listened to his spouse…either way, nice job btw…


  2. Shyamal R Swamy

    Love the poem, “Calpurnia’s Paranoia”. It has a pleasant and light tone to it.
    I especially liked the last two lines of it.
    Good one. 🙂

  3. Lucie Frost

    Very nice poem, but marred by a mistaken diacritical mark, a vaulting foreignism that overshoots its mark. It should be “Brute” and not “Bruté.”

  4. Evan Mantyk

    A comment on these from one of my favorite writers (who I shall leave nameless):

    “First hilarious, other two weird, overall delightful. “


    There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you discover another written treasure you’ve really been wanting. I found a copy of the Enchanted Forest chronicles 4-in-1 hard back addition at a thriftstore for 46 cents once. I think I did a little dance, myself!


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