Everlasting Chesterton

The author, G.K. Chesterton:
A playful epigramist,
A master of the terse bon mot,
And witty dithyrambist.

He loathed pomposity and claimed
(And I believe quite rightly)
That angels fly simply because
They take themselves so lightly.

A staunch defender of his faith,
He was a Roman Catholic
Whose personality displayed
A flair for the dramatic.

His character named Father Brown
Solved many a mystery.
And in his “Everlasting Man”
He wrote theology.

He was a man who smoked cigars
And loved to eat because
His ego needed lots of space—
It was as large as he was!

Some say that he was arrogant,
Self-righteous and offensive.
That may be true, but then again,
His stature was extensive.

A simple, complicated man,
He was quite enigmatic,
And capable of being both
Dogmatic and phlegmatic.

But underneath the bluster and
The sharpness of his tongue,
His words still speak to us today,
For truth is ever young.



The word “dulation” I find most amusing;
A word I‘ve never been accused of using.
It’s not a verb (objective or subjective),
It’s not a noun, or even an adjéctive.
It’s not a word at all, apparently.
It isn’t listed in the OED.
“Dulation” by itself is most absurd.
But if you add a prefix? It’s a word!
It seems this non-word can find abrogation
When it appears in the word “a-dulation.”
It also can be found in its negation
When it appears in the word “un-dulation.”
If someone could define the word “dulation,”
I’d use it gladly without hesitation.


The Attic War

A squirrel moved into my house
And claimed my attic for his summer home.
At first, I thought it was a mouse
That nibbled on my insulation foam.

Outside my window I could see
Him gather pine nuts for his winter stash,
Not knowing at the time that he
Was sneaking in my roof to hide the cache.

Evicting him was hard to do;
He had, it seemed, the law upon his side.
For using poison was taboo—
I.e. Roast peanuts laced with cyanide.

For every hole I blocked, he found
Two others he could use to enter in.
Holes in the eaves, holes in the ground,
He was a break-in artist veteran.

His midnight scratching drove me mad,
His cleverness upset me all the more.
I failed with every plan I had.
It wasn’t just a nuisance, it was war!

It took two months to win the fight.
He chewed through wire mesh and steel wool
Until I locked him out one night
By stuffing foil into every hole.

I won the war but to this day
I’m wary of that squirrel who did me wrong.
And though he now tucks nuts away
And stores them in a tree where they belong

I worry that he still recalls
Those nuts he piled so neatly in a stack
Behind my upstairs bedroom walls . . .
And that he has a plan to get them back.


James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.


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16 Responses

  1. James Sale

    Love the Everlasting Chesterton – my favourite C20th author (Yeats my favourite poet, though) – wonderful observations and great fun too. Fabulous!

  2. James A. Tweedie

    I am quite satisfied to know I brought a smile onto a face or two today. On the other hand, CB’s comment re his R-Rated relationship with squirrels both begs the question and generates a reluctance on my part to ask it!

    • James A. Tweedie

      I am, however, savoring CB’s linked poem, “Lactose Intolerance,” along with the witty citation of G.K.C.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    Concerning “Dulation,” there is also the extremely rare “pendulation,” which refers to the rate of momentum in the pendulum-swing of a clock.

  4. James A. Tweedie


    Perhaps I should add an additional couplet along the lines of:

    And sometimes (rarely) rhythmic vacillation
    When it appears in the word “pen-dulation.”

    I like it! Good catch, Joseph!

  5. David Watt

    Your poems are witty and entertaining. I still watch episodes of the ‘Father Brown’ series. Although the stories were written more than one hundred years ago, their lighthearted plots remain appealing.

  6. Fr. Richard Libby

    All three poems are very nicely done and very whimsical indeed! Congratulations!

  7. Crise de Abu Wel

    G. K. Chesterton could perhaps become the first Roman Catholic English saint canonized since the so-called Forty Martyrs of England and Wales executed between 1535 and 1679.

  8. David Hollywood

    Nicely informative poems and finally amusing as well. Lovely, thank you.

  9. Nyashadzashe Chikumbu

    Playful , witty these poems are a delight. Great work I daresay !


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