Very Well Then

Contradicting myself, always contradicting myself

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It’s Better Than Turkey — A Thanksgiving Poem

Posted by verywellthen on November 9, 2008

At Thanksgiving Dinner with Brother 3, you have to sing for your Thanksgiving dinner.  Or perhaps read a poem.  The weekend before Thanksgiving Brother 3 and wife give “assignments” to their guests, with the homework read/performed out loud between dinner and dessert.  A few years back, I came up with the poem below (I’m sure the “assignment” asked for something Dr. Suess-ian).   A few touch-ups and it’s ready for a November posting.  


It’s Better Than Turkey

Copyright 2008

At the International Order of Odd Fellow Turkeys
Gathered two hundred Toms, nervous and quirky.
It was Thanksgiving Season, the time of the slaughter
Where every Tom had lost a son or a daughter.
They told horror stories of where stuffing got stuffed
“How do we stop it?” one of them huffed.
“Petition the president”, “Incite a riot”
Then somebody yelled “Everyone, Quiet!”
It was Murky the Turkey who stepped out of the fray
All cool and collected with his new MBA.
“It’s a modern world,” he said, ” and until legislation passes,
We need the power of the media to save all our – tail feathers.”
You may need an economics degree to understand why
But if we lower the demand, we save us, the supply.
So Murky set up the projector and set up the screen
And rolled the slickest infomercial these Toms had ever seen.


[roll projector]

[cue music]

America, America consider your choices
America, America please hear our voices.
You have beef, you have chicken, you have duck, you have goose.
You have quail, you have venison, you have elk, you have moose.
I don’t give a damn if you lamb, ham, a clam or spam.
Pork is renowned for being so sweet
So eat, eat the other white meat.
You have steak, you have burgers, you have liver, you have jerky
All of it, It’s better than turkey!
It’s better than turkey.
The Indians gave that first Thanksgiving treat
Honor their spirit: eat buffalo meat.
Start the countdown to Christmas from truelove to thee
Eat roasted partridge from a roasted pear tree.
If you’re so hungry you could eat a horse, then of course, eat a horse.
It’s been 400 years since Standish and Squanto
Eat back-bacon by god like they do in Toronto.
Or eat posada like your amigos down in Albuquerque
Si, It’s better than turkey
It’s better than turkey.
Just don’t chop our heads off with an axe.
Don’t freeze us and thaw us, that’s all we ask.
Don’t pluck our feathers, we don’t look good naked.
Treat us like cows in India, you know: sacred.
How now, brown cow. Aren’t we holier than thou?
Can’t we all just get along
Can’t we hold hands and sing a song
and eat Tofu and sprouts like your friends out in Berkley
Dude, It’s better than turkey
It’s better than turkey.

[end projector]

In the Odd Fellow Hall, the Odd Toms were all flapping
The idea had merit, they all stood up clapping.
They pledged money for air time and called it a night,
But one Tom was heard on his way out of sight,
“I  hope that it works, but I’m kind of suspicious
Vanity may be insanity, but I know I’m delicious.”




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A poem — inspired by Billy Collins*

Posted by verywellthen on November 9, 2008

On the Next Line


I do not like it when poets finish their sentences

On the next line.  My reading eyes have a

Carriage return — a tiny hand reaching up and

Pushing them from the right side of

The socket back to the left, down one line.  Time

To pause.  Writer, your pause can be my pause – the end of a

Phrase, a

Thought, a


You don’t know how long it took me to accept

that rhyming wasn’t necessary.  And the lower case letters and poor punctuation. 

I’ll give you modernists credit for stopping the use of words like o’er and morn.

But please, finish your thought on the line you started it.  

I won’t think of you as anything other than





*It seems to be his humor.  I don’t mean to imply that he’s the type to abuse the use of the carriage return.  The carriage return — it’s a responsibility.  Use it wisely.

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