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.



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.

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

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

3 Responses

  1. Janice Canerdy

    These poems are a breath of fresh air–creative, entertaining, and skillfully-written.

  2. Bud "Weasel" Rice

    Delightful bagatelles. I particularly like Lovebird, an exquisite lyric.

    I recently came across another poem relating to wildlife that may be of some interest.

    Mike Curtis Raptors
    by Red Was Iceblue

    Dynamic heads and beaks, wings, tails, bodies, legs and claws,
    he brought America his eagles, powerful as laws;
    Mike Curtis raptors have been stationed all across the land,
    from California to New York, his sculptures take their stand,
    from Florida up to Wisconsin, down to Arkansas,
    beyond the Rockies to Alaska, back to Iowa.
    They symbolize the sacrifice in honoured laureals,
    adorning wilderness locations and memorials
    for racers, veterans, and law enforcement officers,
    departments, corporations, presidents and connoisseurs;
    they symbolize the strength and freedom of Americans
    for distant times and future lives, our values formed in bronze.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...