A Moving Experience

We’re the Stooges Three—your moving company.
If it ain’t broke before we tote, it soon enough will be.

Your furniture and prized possessions
We handle as if our own.
Employed, of course, movers’ discretion
When choosing which “Fragiles” are thrown.

We’re the Stooges Three—your moving company.
We drop the ball on all we haul, then charge an extra fee.

Your piano posed us not a problem.
We do whatever we please.
So why are you looking so solemn,
So what if it’s not in one piece?

We’re the Stooges Three—your moving company.
You’ve tried the rest, can’t pay the best, then we’re your cup of tea.

We trust that you’ll give us a reference
Whenever your friends need to move.
We’ll treat them with the same irreverence
We have a reputation to prove.

We’re the Stooges Three—your moving company.
We haven’t met a lawsuit yet from which we didn’t flee.

 

 

Your Other Left

The Brits drive on the left side;
Americans on the right.
It’s traffic flow apartheid
When at the other’s site.

And then there are Australians
Who do things differently,
Who Brits consider aliens
To all propriety.

They’re from the Land Down Under,
So opposite you’d expect.
Their British kin may wonder,
“How come they’re now on the left?”

Americans are cousins
To whom they’re opposite.
Apparently there doesn’t
With British seem a fit.

So if you are to travel
And drive around with ease,
Make sure that you unravel
These left-right tendencies.

 

 

Raymond Gallucci is a retired Professional Engineer who has been writing poetry since 1990.


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24 Responses

  1. Alan Steinle

    It sounds like you’ve had some experience with the “Stooges Three,” or at least with some other company that goes by a more respectable name, such as “Two Flabby Guys with a Semi.”

    I guess most of us know which side the British drive on (changing our instincts when driving there is another matter), but what about cyclists and pedestrians? I’ve never heard the rules for them, though I think I know which sides of the street they are supposed to use in the US.

    “Who Brits consider aliens
    To all propriety.”

    Speaking of propriety, would a Brit use “whom” in this case? It seems that your lines mean, “Brits consider them to be aliens to all propriety.” I realize that “who” is replacing “whom” in many cases these days, but we are talking about proper British English here! (Please don’t take me too seriously.)

    Reply
    • Monty

      Your question above has left me mildly puzzled. You say you’re aware that in Britain we drive on the left, but then you ask: “What about cyclists and pedestrians?” What do YOU think: left or right? D’you think there’s a country on this planet in which cars drive on the left and cyclists on the right? Answers on a postcard, please . .

      Reply
      • Alan Steinle

        Sorry, but I’m out of postcards. I guess I was thinking more about pedestrians than cyclists. In the US, pedestrians are supposed to walk on the left–maybe so they can jump out of the street if they see a car coming towards them.

  2. Julian D. Woodruff

    You’re right! Let’s be more objective in situations like this (cases like this?).

    Reply
  3. Monty

    I feel the first piece is a jolly good effort. A novel subject for a poem; well-written with clear diction throughout; fairly well rhymed; and in an unusual form. Good idea.

    It can be seen that the past tense ‘employed’ in L5 should read ‘we employ’, in keeping with the present tense of the rest of the sentence:
    ‘We employ, of course, mover’s discretion..’
    To remain as ‘employed’ would require changes to the preceding line, to maintain the past tense:
    ‘We employed, of course, mover’s discretion
    When we chose which ‘fragiles’ were thrown.

    The last six lines of the piece are quite outstanding, containing good word-usage; especially the last line.. it’s a stunner. What a line to go out on.

    I felt that the second piece wasn’t anywhere near as well-written as the first.

    Reply
  4. Mike Bryant

    I agree with both comments. I must say that I think both poems are marvelous. I’m an American married to a Brit and we ALMOST have our lefts and rights worked out after ten years. In my opinion, all the rules are unimportant when it comes to humorous poetry. I think Douglas Bader said it best (according to my wife) “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”. He must have been talking about humorous poetry or, perhaps life.
    Also, the first poem highlights an important principle – don’t take the high bid, don’t take the middle bid, don’t take the low bid, take a bid between the middle & high!
    Your poetry is humorous and educational. My wife & I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Reply
    • Raymond H Gallucci

      Thank you – the positive feedback is much appreciated. I wish my poetry fit other categories of interest on this site (beauty, translations, classic culture, etc., are not subjects I usually address) beside humor, for humor is just a small portion of what I like to write. I especially enjoy writing poetic reviews of the many movies I see, with over 100 such poems already. Science, science fiction, skepticism, cynicism, history, etc., are other prime categories.

      Reply
      • Alan

        I would be interested in reading your other types of poems. If you are interested in sharing some of them, you can contact me through my website, which you can find by clicking my icon (the bird). I enjoyed your poems, especially the first. Keep it up.

  5. Mark F. Stone

    Raymond,

    Hi. I enjoyed both poems. Regarding the first poem, assuming that one reads the sixth stanza in trimeter (as I do), I think the meter could be improved by changing “the same” to “equal.” Also, the last line is wonderful. Regarding the second poem, if you could revise line 7 so that it would end with the words “all aliens,” you could have the rhyme: “all aliens / Australians.” Also, if you wanted a possible improvement to the inversion in line 16, here is one idea:

    Apparently with Britons,
    they do not seem to fit.

    Finally, as I was reading the last line, I thought that it should end with the word “mysteries.” Of course, “tendencies” also works just fine. Best,

    Mark

    Reply
    • Raymond H Gallucci

      Thanks for the comment. I like the change to “equal,” which I will make in a revised version for my records. I appreciate the other suggestions as well.

      Reply
  6. C.B. Anderson

    Yes, these poems were amusing, but did you know that light verse is most funny when the prosody is most exact? The manifold metrical infelicities detracted from the inherent humor. I won’t lay it out syllable by syllable, but I will defy anyone to establish regular scansion in any three successive lines. You, Raymond, may think that this is unimportant, but how important is it for you to write the best funny poem you can possibly write? I don’t really care. Do you?

    Reply
    • Raymond H Gallucci

      The publisher modified them a bit from their original forms (below) – I would have to read them to you in their original forms to show that the rhythm is consistent throughout. I am quite a stickler for rhythm, more so than perfect rhyme, but if the publisher chooses to modify, that may end up being relaxed somewhat – the price of publication.

      A MOVING EXPERIENCE

      “We’re the Stooges Three – your moving company.
      If it ain’t broke before we tote, it soon enough will be.”

      Your furniture and prized possessions
      We handled as if were our own.
      Employed, of course, movers’ discretion
      When choosing which “Fragiles” were thrown.

      “We’re the Stooges Three – your moving company.
      We drop the ball on all we haul, then charge an extra fee.”

      Your piano posed us not a problem.
      “Experienced” our middle name.
      So why are you looking so solemn,
      Was not in three pieces it came?

      “We’re the Stooges Three – your moving company.
      You’ve tried the rest, if want the best, we’re not your cup of tea.”

      We trust that you’ll give us a reference
      Whenever your friends need to move.
      We’ll treat them with the same irreverence
      For we’ve reputation to prove.

      “We’re the Stooges Three – your moving company.
      We haven’t yet a lawsuit met where not escaped scot free.”

      YOUR OTHER LEFT

      The Brits drive on the left side;
      Americans on right.
      It’s traffic flow apartheid
      When visit other’s site.

      And then there are Australians
      Who always different be
      Whom Brits consider aliens
      To all propriety.

      They come from Land Down Under,
      So opposites expect.
      If British kin, then wonder
      Why drive they on the left?

      Americans are cousins
      To whom they’re opposite.
      Apparently there doesn’t
      With British seem a fit.

      So if Down Under travel,
      You might feel right at ease
      Provided you unravel
      Your left-right tendencies.

      Reply
      • C.B. Anderson

        Raymond,

        I’ll take you at your word, because moving up and down for the purpose of comparison is nearly impossible. Your poems are funny, which is good enough, and I’ll leave it at that. My son has sometimes worked as a mover, and he assures me that there are times when things get much worse than you intimate. Often this has to do with circumstances in which the movers don’t share a common language. Translation errors exact a heavy toll.

      • Monty

        What? When you say that “the publisher modified them a bit from their original forms”.. are you referring to the editor of these pages: Mr Mantyk? I didn’t know that this was a policy at SCP.

        So, you’re saying that the versions above (in the comment) were the ones you originally submitted; and the versions at the top of the page have been subjected to the editor’s modifications?

  7. Evan Mantyk

    C.B. and Monty,
    Yes, I am the editor so I do frequently suggest edits. I hope the edits improve the poem, of course. I leave it up to you to judge. I look at both the outer form (the meter, rhyme, grammar, and so forth) and the inner form (the meaning, theme, it’s ability to communicate movingly and effectively, and how it will be perceived by the online public).

    Original
    Your piano posed us not a problem.
    “Experienced” our middle name.
    So why are you looking so solemn,
    Was not in three pieces it came?

    Edited
    Your piano posed us not a problem.
    We do whatever we please.
    So why are you looking so solemn,
    So what if it’s not in one piece?

    Original
    The Brits drive on the left side;
    Americans on right.
    It’s traffic flow apartheid
    When visit other’s site.

    Edited
    The Brits drive on the left side;
    Americans on the right.
    It’s traffic flow apartheid
    When at the other’s site.

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      In the examples you cite, the edited versions are much clearer, with normalized syntax etc. I don’t know what to make of a construction such as:

      When visit other’s site.

      Reply
    • Monty

      Well, I’m fairly stunned, Evan: I had no idea that such a policy was in place at SCP. Just for future reference, could I ask you to clarify how such editing takes place? You say that you “frequently suggest edits”; does that mean that if a poem(s) is submitted in which the state of the diction renders it unfit for publication (as is clearly the case with the original versions above), do you tell the author that you’ll only publish it if they permit you to make modifications?

      I’m in no way questioning your right to make such modifications (anyone can see that the puerile diction in the original versions above – akin to the abomination of modern-day text-messages – simply HAD to be modified to get anywhere near these pages), but I was wondering if, in such cases, a poem could come with a disclaimer stating, for example: ‘This poem(s) has been modified by the editor’.. just to put the reader in the picture. The two versions of both pieces above are practically two different poems: one by the author, and one by yourself. Consequently, those commenters above who said they “enjoyed” the poems . . actually enjoyed YOUR poems, not the author’s. Surely they should be made aware of that.

      As for myself, I feel slightly deceived, Evan. In the past, I’ve been appropriately scathing in my comments on the author’s previous submissions (the two Golf pieces, for example, ‘coz they were riddled with the same kind of careless eyesores that we see in the original versions above – ‘as if were our own’ . . ‘was not in three pieces it came’ . . ‘we’ve reputation to prove’ . . ‘when visit other’s site’ . . ‘so opposites expect’ . . ‘there doesn’t with British seem a fit’ – and I use the word ‘careless’ as two words, as in the author seemingly couldn’t ‘care less’ about the state of his diction) . . . So, when I first saw the ‘Moving’ piece above, and noticed that it was fairly well-written with clear diction, I thought to myself: “This is such an improvement on the author’s previous stuff; I’ll be glad to be able to make a positive comment for a change, hence he may realise that my previous comments last year weren’t just unnecessarily negative. No hard feelings, and all that.” And, as can be seen by my original comment above, that’s what I did. I forgot the past, and judged the poem on its own merits; and willingly wrote my comment accordingly.

      Thus, I feel slightly deceived to’ve since learnt that I wasn’t praising the author’s poem at all, I was praising what is effectively your poem! The author’s poem, it now transpires, is as badly-written as his previous submissions (and I can now see that the second piece about ‘driving’ was – despite your best efforts to edit it into something presentable on the page – virtually beyond improvement).

      Hence my query for future reference, Evan: how is the reader to know if or not they’re reading the author’s own words?

      Reply
      • Raymond H Gallucci

        The Full (Fool) Monty – see previous responses on Golf Poems, et al.

      • The Society

        Hi Monty, perhaps “frequently” is not the right word. I suggest edits on maybe one-third of the poems that appear on the site, and usually the edits cover a tiny bit of the poem. Most of the time 99% is the original poet’s. This is all a bit subjective, you can compare above and do your own assessment. The above case is one where more editing than usual has been done. There is sometimes back and forth. Sometimes poets refuse to change and I refuse to publish, and sometimes they refuse to change and I decide to publish the original. Often they will ignore my edits and suggest their own, which usually works out. This is just standard editorial procedure, not something very earthshaking or out of the ordinary to my knowledge.
        -Evan

      • Monty

        You just don’t get it, Ray, do you? By making my initial comment in this thread, I showed that I’d always be fully prepared to praise one of your poems if I ever felt it was warranted, which unequivocally dispelled the notion that I held anything against you personally when criticising your previous offerings. It showed that I criticise when I see fit, and I praise when I see fit (as I do with every poem I comment upon at SCP). Which indicates that I give honest and balanced appraisals. In which case, do you not now feel that “fool Monty” is a futile and puerile moniker: and that it would read better as ‘honest Monty’?

        Well, as has been shown, you’ve now been left in no doubt as to the state of your pieces above, and of your previous pieces. For many months now, me and CB have tried to tell you that your diction is always senseless, and reads like that of a non-native English speaker who writes in the same broken-English with which he speaks – and you’ve always stubbornly dismissed our advice. But now, it’s been shown to you in no uncertain terms by the fact that the editor of these pages decided that your pieces were so poor as to be unpublishable; and he was only able to publish them after virtually re-writing both pieces (which leads one to wonder how many of your previous pieces were re-written by the editor). You can ignore mine and CB’s views, but you can’t ignore the editor’s!

        Have you no pride, man? Is there no part of you that thinks: “I wanna see my OWN poems on these pages, not those re-written by others. I’m gonna start making more of an effort – and taking more care – with my diction.”? Will you always persist in writing unreadable poetry which has to be re-written by others to make any sense? And will you always be prepared to deceive readers into believing they’re reading your poetry . . when in fact they’re not? What’s the point? What.. is.. the.. point?

        Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be glad to learn that you’ve heard the last from me. I can and will never again even read anything you submit to these pages, let alone comment upon it; and I wouldn’t be surprised if CB feels the same.

        The fool Monty.

  8. Alan

    Monty,

    I don’t think anyone needs to be “scathing” when commenting on another person’s poetry. After all, we are all continually learning and improving our skills.

    As John Mellencamp sang in “Serious Business”:

    Take my life
    Take my soul
    Put me on the cross for all to see
    Put my name around my neck
    Let those people throw stones at me
    This is serious business
    Sex and violence and rock and roll

    In our case, the last lines could read:

    This is serious business
    Rhyme and meter and poetry

    But seriously, if we can’t have some fun (and some breathing room) when writing and sharing poems, then why bother? Let’s lighten up a little. It’s just poetry.

    Reply
    • Monty

      You’re right, Alan: nobody NEEDS to be scathing about other people’s poetry; but they can certainly CHOOSE to be scathing if they feel it’s warranted. And when I encounter a poem written virtually in broken-English, I feel it’s warranted, and I CHOOSE to be scathing. I don’t NEED to be . . I CHOOSE to be. Ray’s not “continually learning and improving his skills”; he’s been submitting the same broken-English poems to this site for a cuppla years now (check his previous submissions if you wish), and they all seem like they were started and finished while he was waiting for a kettle to boil! That’s not what writing poetry’s about. Writing poetry is about patience, craft and discipline; not something which resembles a modern-day text-message, with vital conjunctions shamelessly omitted.

      I should tell you: before I discovered SCP around three years ago, I’d spent the previous six months trawling through innumerable poetry websites in the search for quality; and I was shocked to discover that most of them were of the lowest imaginable standard. When I finally bumped into SCP, I knew instantly that this was the one I’d been looking for. You might’ve noticed yourself, Alan, that SCP is a high-class website: and as such, poems submitted will be judged accordingly against SCP’s high standards. Just read the last 10-20 submissions to these pages by others, and it’s impossible not to notice the glaring disparity between Ray’s abominations and all the others. Contributors to SCP don’t submit poems because they want to have some “fun”; they do so because they take their poetry seriously. As I once found, there are plenty of lesser poetry-sites around for those just seeking a bit of “fun”. SCP is different: SCP is serious. If I may paraphrase your paraphrasing of Johnny Cougar:
      This is serious business . .
      Poetry: rhyme and meter.

      As I made clear in my last comment to Ray, my “scathing” remarks were never made out of any kind of nastiness; they were made purely because of the high esteem in which I hold SCP, and the quality I’ve come to expect from poetry on its pages. If you wanna read more about my views on poetry criticism, enter the name David Paul Behrens into the search-bar above (or below), and you’ll find one of his poems: Seabirds. Underneath which is a comment I made which unintentionally turned into a lengthy rant about poetry criticism. If you read it, you’ll then know where I’m coming from in this instance.

      Reply

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