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Poems About Silly English Spellings

via Boing Boing, the web site for the simplified spelling society has a bunch of cute poetry illustrating the goofy-ness of English spelling rules. For example,

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it's said like bed, not bead -
For goodness sake don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose -
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I'd mastered it when I was five!


From the April 15 installment of The Writer's Almanac, "Headlines" by Robert Phillips from Circumstances Beyond Our Control: Poems, The Johns Hopkins University Press:

Headlines War Dims Hope for Peace. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told. Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead. Miners Refuse to Work after Death. Include Your Children When Baking Cookies. War Dims Hope for Peace. Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say Prostitutes Appeal to Pope. Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half. Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide. War Dims Hope for Peace. Stolen Painting Found by Tree. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over. Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms. Police Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers. War Dims Hope for Peace. Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead

We Bring Democracy To The Fish

As featured on The Writer's Almanac: "We Bring Democracy To The Fish" by Donald Hall from White Apples and the Taste of Stone

We Bring Democracy To The Fish It is unacceptable that fish prey on each other. For their comfort and safety, we will liberate them into fishfarms with secure, durable boundaries that exclude predators. Our care will provide for their liberty, health, happiness, and nutrition. Of course all creatures need to feel useful. At maturity the fish will discover their purposes.

People Who Take Care

by Nancy Henry from Hard, © MuscleHead Press, as featured in the February 11 The Writer's Almanac:

People who take care of people get paid less than anybody people who take care of people are not worth much except to people who are sick, old, helpless, and poor people who take care of people are not important to most other people are not respected by many other people come and go without much fuss unless they don't show up when needed people who make more money tell them what to do never get shit on their hands never mop vomit or wipe tears don't stand in danger of having plates thrown at them sharing every cold observing agonies they cannot tell at home people who take care of people have a secret that sees them through the double shift that moves with them from room to room that keeps them on the floor sometimes they fill a hollow no one else can fill sometimes through the shit and blood and tears they go to a beautiful place, somewhere those clean important people have never been.

Explaining Relativity to the Cat

by Jennifer Gresham from Diary of a Cell, featured on today's The Writer's Almanac.

Explaining Relativity to the Cat
Imagine, if you will, three mice.
Contrary to what you have
heard, they are not blind
but are in a spaceship
traveling near the speed of light.
This makes them unavailable
for your supper, yes.

So these mice, traveling near
the speed of light, appear
quite fat, though there is
no cheese aboard. This is
simply a distortion of mass,
because the mass of a mouse
is nothing more than a bundle
of light, and vice versa. I see
how this might imply mice
are in the light fixtures,
undoubtedly a problem, so
let me try again.
If two people attempted
to feed you simultaneously,
no doubt a good situation,
but you were on a train
traveling near the speed
of light, the food would
appear unappetizing, falling
to the plate in slow motion,
an extended glob of protein
that never smelled good,
if you ask me, train or no.
The affinity of the food
for the plate, what we call
gravity, is really just
a stretch in the fabric
of a space-time continuum,
what happens when you
have sat in a seat too long,
perhaps on this very train.

Oh kitty, I know how you hate
to travel and the journey must
have made you tired. Come now,
lick your coat one more time
and let us make haste
from this strange city
of light and fantastic dream.



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