The Philadelphia Pepper Pot Legend

This day in 1777,
American soldiers, at Valley Forge, camped.
By hunger and winter’s breath, spirits were damped.
Paying a toll for the new revolution,

Frostbitten, starving, they needed a boost,
So Christopher Ludwick prepared a rich meal.
Directed by Washington, he cooked to heal.
It’s pepper pot soup that he chose to produce.

Meat—mostly tripe they’d decided to store—
Peppercorn, veggies, and other small bits
Helped them when they’d reached the end of their wits,
And gave them the strength to push on with the war.


Bunyan and Blue

Folklore well-known throughout each U.S. state
Exposes the lives of Paul Bunyan and Blue,
A huge man and ox of implausible weight
Who’ve both shaped the land in ways we can’t undo.
Paul dug and filled each and every Great Lake—
Watering holes all sufficient for Blue.
Dragging his ax, as the legend does state,
He carved the Grand Canyon. The land, he cut through!
Paul piled rocks up to put out a fire.
By now, we’ve named the formation Mt. Hood.
This lumberjack could have stacked them much higher!
He was enormous, as folklore reports,
Which should be expected from someone who could,
As a newborn, require five traveling storks!


Both poems are from The Alliday Poem Book of Silly Celebrations

S.M. Westerlie is a writer and poet living in Seattle, Washington.

Featured Image: “Pepperpot” by John Louis Krimmel

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.