The Ballad of the Poor Troubadour

I’m past my prime
__and I’m out of time
I never made a dime from a rhyme.

There ain’t much worse
__than an empty purse
I suffered from the curse of the verse.

I am no more
__but I leave this score
The Ballad of the Poor Troubadour.


A Baby

A human egg, a human sperm
What else is there can come to term
But a baby?

Confronted with these simple facts
The wisdom of our time reacts
With a “maybe,”

While souls of babies yet unborn
Who’re from their earthly mothers torn
Cry out daily,

And those who hear it can’t but cringe
On selfishness’s state-funded binge;
They look palely

And summon in their chest a voice
That yells for those who have no choice:
“Hear the baby!”


A Children’s Tale

for Amy

Edward, the monarch butterfly,
__a gracious king, he ruled the sky!
Orange and black the cloak he wore.
__It was not bought in any store.
The loyal moths at his command
__made all of Edward’s clothes by hand.
The daisies danced, the lilies swayed
__each time he passed in grand parade.

But then one day a spider came
__and no one knew the villain’s name!
He wove himself a deadly snare
__to capture Edward unaware.
A fair young maiden set him free.
__The king was grateful as can be.
He made her queen of butterflies.
__Together now they rule the skies!


The Plastic Straw Ban

Behold the latest cause du jour!
For every ill we hold the cure!
The key to open any door!
The plastic straw will be no more!


Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

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7 Responses

  1. Michael Dashiell

    These poems made an interesting use of rhythm and rhyme. I liked the ballad the best. As for no dime for a rhyme, free verse poets fortunately suffer poverty and obscurity as well.

  2. Amy Foreman

    It’s always a pleasure to read your poetry, Joe, and today’s assorted selection is no exception! I especially like the rhythm of “A Baby,” with the ending pyrrhic-spondaic lines in each stanza. I think the da-da-DUM-DUM at the end of each phrase adds a nursery room quality to the poem, which helps the reader to focus on the central figure of the poem, the one we should hear, . . .the baby.

  3. E. V.

    I liked them all, my favorite being A Children’s Tale. For the poem, “A Baby”, have you considered using the last line, “Hear the baby!” as the poem’s title?

  4. Joseph Tessitore

    Thank you both.

    I had a co-writer for the “Baby” poem; mine were the first two verses, his the last three.
    I was at a loss for the title and he was right on it.

  5. Mark Stone

    Joe, Hello. 1. In “The Ballad,” the meter is a little unusual, but since it’s identical in all three stanzas, it works well for me. 2. In “A Baby,” I think L2 would make more sense if it read like this: “What else is there that comes to term”. And L11 is difficult to say, with three “s” sounds in a row. 3. In “A Children’s Tale,” I like all the lines, but especially S2L4, because of the two “war” sounds. 4. I have mixed feelings about suggesting changes to a poem that is officially published, but I guess that is the editor in me. If you don’t want this type of a response, please let me know. 5. I enjoyed the poems.

    • Joe Tessitore

      I’m glad you enjoyed them.

      It took me a good long while to get there, but I appreciate constructive criticism.


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