"The Last Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon" by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones‘Bucket-Kicking Musings’ and Other Poetry by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society August 16, 2019 Humor, Poetry 25 Comments Bucket-Kicking Musings “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” —Mark Twain When my mortal coil has shuffled off, I’ll not lie in the buff; I’ll rock a chic sarcophagus in sequins, pearls ‘n stuff. I’ll be looking bloody marvelous for one not up to snuff when I tangle with the scythe of the Grim Reaper. Perhaps a Viking longboat with its deftly dipping oars will row me to Valhalla on a crest of music scores as multitudes of mourners lament in keening roars when I tangle with the scythe of the Grim Reaper. Or maybe taxidermy is my post-existence grail; I’ll be stuffed and coiffed and mounted; looking fit and hale— out-dazzling the ten-point buck stuck near the curtain rail when I tangle with the scythe of the Grim Reaper. My newly urn-packed ashes could be blasted to the moon, then tossed in space—the perfect place for ashes to be strewn to bloom as stars right next to Mars in a luminous festoon when I tangle with the scythe of the Grim Reaper. Perchance my destination could be cryopreservation: my frozen stiff cadaver awaiting osculation (resuscitation by a prince a century from cessation) when I tangle with the scythe of the Grim Reaper. In exploring funeral options, I seem to be ignoring my glum, humdrum existence is a catalyst for snoring— I could be the only person who is notably less boring when I tangle with the scythe of the Grim Reaper. An Elegant Atheist’s Epitaph Here rests the sartorial Minnie Finesse clad in a hint-of-mint-green McQueen dress with a tangerine trim on the collar and cuff, and a twinkling tiara with rocks big enough to purchase a palace on a tropical coast, and to chink crystal flutes in a pink Champagne toast to heaven on earth with the merriest laughter (for Minnie dismissed there exists a hereafter). She set stiff competition in casket couture; it’s not often a coffin claims a frock connoisseur. But this swanky cadaver has been dealt a cruel blow – she lies dressed in her best with nowhere to go! Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets). Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) 25 Responses Mike Bryant August 16, 2019 Wow!!! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 16, 2019 Thank you, biggest fan! 🙂 Reply Amy Foreman August 16, 2019 Susan, I am quickly becoming a devoted fan! Your poetry is clever, delightful, and laugh-out-loud funny. Thanks! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 16, 2019 Thank you for your appreciation and encouragement, Amy – you’ve made my morning! I will, however, confess to being a complete fraud when it comes to the art of poetry – I chuckle as I write. I know that any true artist must suffer in the name of art. I have way too much fun! 😉 Reply James A. Tweedie August 16, 2019 Susan, Your poems brought to mind a word I have not used for a while—wry. Deliciously wry! In that vein your bio/vocational note brought to mind my favorite bulletin typo (from a Lutheran Church in Northern California years ago). “Women’s Guild on Friday. Refreshments will be gin at 9:00 a.m.” With your sense of humor I can imagine you turning that into a poem! Like Amy, I am now a fan. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 16, 2019 Thank you so much for the inspiration, James – I love the bulletin typo. I will confess to having made a few of my own! Also, I’m thrilled you’re a fan of my dry, wry and wacky wit! Reply Paul August 16, 2019 Jolly good fun, and well-crafted. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 16, 2019 Thank you very much, Paul. I’m glad you enjoyed! Reply C.B. Anderson August 16, 2019 Fun stuff indeed, Susan. But I wonder if, in the second line of the first poem, “‘n” might have been better rendered “‘n’,” for after all you’ve apostrophied away two letters. But was there any reason for it at all, since writing “and” has only one syllable, same as ‘n’? Perhaps you thought the contraction was funnier, but there’s no need to gild the lily. Reply Mike Bryant August 16, 2019 C. B. As you well know, Susan means lily. If anyone has the absolute right to gild said lily, it is my Susan. 😉 Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 16, 2019 C. B, thank you so much for reading my poetry and offering a cherished compliment. As an English gal, I appreciate your critiques, and I’m wholly on board with your fine eye for grammar, but this usage was carefully considered having lived in Texas for eight years: “Chicken ‘n Salsa offers a huge menu with Mexican, Tex-Mex and American food” Neologisms pervade my life and my poetry, so it would seem… when in Rome… Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 17, 2019 Mr. Anderson, I was only having a little fun. I appreciate your point and feel the word “and” would probably be more appropriate. Thank you for your fine eye for detail. Reply daniel Val August 16, 2019 Give Susan a break from American dialect use. Susan written style quintessential poetry for most follows her ancestry genetic spirit keeping with tradition and pride with some of the greatest poetry to ever break ground and paved the roads of artistic human and enlightenment spirit. Some draw from dwells deep fountain wells and other from springs and still others thirst quenched from love hand drink. Express and articulate Susan, keep the heart and spirit one. Reply Mike Bryant August 16, 2019 C. B. After those two comments perhaps you should show a little respect! Reply C.B. Anderson August 17, 2019 Respectfully, D.V.’s comment was incoherent. And Susan should not stake her reputation on how Texans do things. Education in Texas is as bad as it is in any other place in this country. And no one is in Rome anymore except for Romans … and tourists. Mike Bryant August 17, 2019 Chill, C.B. I was only having a little fun with you. Susan Jarvis Bryant August 16, 2019 Thank you, daniel Val – I appreciate your passion for poetry! Reply Joseph S. Salemi August 17, 2019 I think one can best appreciate Ms. Bryant’s first poem by understanding its relation, in both rhythm and form, to the English music hall song from the 1890s, titled “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.” This song was written by Fred Gilbert, but was also popularized again in the 1920s and 30s by Charles Colson, I believe. Here are some of its lyrics: As I walk along the Bois de Boulogne With an independent air, You can hear the girls declare “He must be a millionaire!” You can hear them sigh and wish to die, You can see them wink the other eye At the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo. Compare the flow of Ms. Bryant’s repetend line: “When I tangle with the scythe of the Grim Reaper” (da-da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM-DUM) Take my above pattern not as metrical scansion, but as musical beats. There is probably an old recording on the internet of Colson singing the original song, where one can listen to the tune and rhythm. Bryant’s poem can be sung pretty much in the same way. Reply James A. Tweedie August 17, 2019 Joseph—nuts! I just read your post before entering a church for a funeral. And now I can’t get the Monte Carlo chorus out of my brain—endlessly repeating like a tape loop! Proof, I should think, that you made a good rhythmic comparison! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 17, 2019 Thank you for your informative and intriguing observation. I had heard of neither song nor singer before reading this. I am, however, familiar with music hall entertainment and its bawdy, quick wit, so I may well have drawn on its rambunctious rhythm when I wrote it – I only hope the form doesn’t outshine the content. Reply Joseph S. Salemi August 17, 2019 I’m informed by a friend that the actual name of the singer of the Monte Carlo song is Charles Coburn, not Colson. My mistake. Reply Susan J Bryant August 17, 2019 Thank you, Joseph. I’ve checked the routine out on YouTube – very amusing… it has me thinking, when it comes to humorous lyric poetry, I was born way after my time. Never mind SLAM, what fun I would’ve had with a music hall routine. Mike Bryant August 19, 2019 Form, which you’ve mastered, definitely does not outshine the content of your poems. Your work always gives me joy, and joy is a valuable commodity. Reply David Watt August 18, 2019 Susan, The enjoyment you had in writing these poems is evident to me as a reader. They are witty and lively, despite the mortal theme. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 18, 2019 Thank you, David. I thoroughly appreciate the feedback, including your astute observation. Poetry does indeed bring me immense joy – both writing and reading it. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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