Ice I open my golden flowing fins, I dance beneath the ice, I dip and twirl and pose and spin: Tell me, don’t I look nice? Look at me! a glistening fish flowing fancy and free: I know if you could have a wish you’d be pretty as me. The Ballad of Titus This is the story of Titus the newt and his cruise in a conical shell. He thought that his puddle was all of the world; it was, for his world was small. As Columbus was brave when he gazed o’er the sea with its waves stretching ever so far; so too would be Titus, the size of a pea, when he over the puddle embarked. O, the sun will shine with the promise of life and of youth when we set off to roam; but as wave after wave after wave rocks your boat, why, you wish you were safely at home. So ‘twas with Titus when lonely he roamed o’er the vastness of uncharted seas; and though he might try to return to the start the winds of the world blowing free Tossed him first this way, then tossed him to that, and they turned him despite all his tears. He cried and he sighed to be tossed by the breeze and the waves of the sea that he feared. Till a beam of the sun broke the gloom of the clouds to land on the bow of the leaf. It shown like the diamonds of morning-dew’s crown on the tips of the waves of the sea. As the sun when it shines on a pea on a vine will fill it with love and with life, he looked on the puddle, a glint in his eye, and he grew by the fear and the strife; Then, Titus smiled wide at the wind and the waves as he took the grass rudder in hand— turned the wind with a will as if he was brave, then Titus the newt was a man. Lovebird The softly feathered little bird is steadfast in her nest. She singing tells—as I have heard— the gladness in her breast. She says, “He will return to me. He’ll come because we love. He’ll come to me. He’ll fly, you’ll see, we’ll see my handsome dove.” Michael Curtis has 40 years of experience in architecture, sculpture, and painting. He has taught and lectured at universities, colleges, and museums including The Institute of Classical Architecture, The National Gallery of Art, et cetera. His pictures and statues are housed in over 400 private and public collections including The Library of Congress, The Supreme Court, et alibi; his verse has been published in over 20 journals. Mr. Curtis consults on scholarly, cultural, and artistic projects, currently: Curator, Plinth & Portal; Co-Director, The Anacostia Project; Vice-President, Liberty Fund, D.C.; Lead Designer on the 58 square mile city of AEGEA.