Says Simon Cowell (A Villanelle) “Which came first, the egg or fowl? This is what I’d like to know.” “Who cares?” says Simon Cowell. (Not so much “says” as speaks in growl) I care, I think, and tell him so -- “Which came first, the egg or fowl? An answer would be nice,” I scowl. “We can’t accept the status quo.” “Who cares?” says Simon Cowell. “Sir, you don’t care!” My bitter howl. “Others may be curious, though, Which came first, the egg or fowl, The chicken or the rounded vowel ...” (‘Cause eggs are shaped like letter O). “Who cares?” says Simon Cowell. I might as well throw in the towel. No one cares, I think with woe, Which came first, the egg or fowl. Who cares, said Simon Cowell. Five Small Children, Painted Well Five small children, painted well, Upon a green and fragile shell; One small boy and four small girls Lie within a tomb of jewels. Interred in rich and rare display, Immortalized by Fabergé; But they would never reach old age. Their childhood of privilege And their naïve sincerity Provided them no guarantee Of lives lived long and free from grief; No promise kept with lives too brief. The children live in diamond frames; The egg keeps record of their names And holds the sanguine tears they shed In wreaths of flowers, ruby red, With funerary leaves of gold, In place of children growing old. War exacts its human cost; And yet, in art, not all is lost -- It lives, this green and fragile shell With five small children, painted well.