Ode (to My Toad)

(With faint apologies to William Wordsworth)


          Hail to thee, blithe trouser toad!
     Tumescent worm of Phallustine!
Imperious dragon, thou sleep'st in cotton caverns,
Survey'st the stalls of dim and odorous taverns,
     A serpent gorged with wine;
          White fires and ochre goad
The shrill, ecstatic urge to fond release:
Thou spurtest, loose thine arrows, then expire'st in peace!


O how I long to feel thee thus, my sweet.
I wake to tactilicious bliss. Thy feet
Caress me with their toes—how strange!
I am transformed; my face is changed:
     I blush,
     The tickling rush,
          Sweeps through my veins,
          My poor heart strains
     Like ten red ponies restless in their reins.
I yield command
To thy generous hand:
     O lead me on to dance the porky polka,
O hand divine! O lips like puckered petals
Where fuzzy bees with tiny sickles
Reap their harvest for their honey-feast.
The yawning, tendriled, sweat-soaked bayou beast
Roars famished for the Snake-priest's sacrifice.
     I fall into its toothless jowls which close
Around me, gripping me in trembling vice.
     Fair Venus and her nymphs are in the throes
Of revelry with Bacchus in these caves.
Flagellum-footed satyrs reel and jig like happy slaves
     To shrieking flutes and the tabor's lusty beat
     Around a crackling fire's damp heat.
But now I must depart, and now return
Depart, return, O make up your mind!
I sob, I leave a dewy tear
And many more shall I drop here
     Ere I return
     At last, to rest, to pine
Upon the nylon fields of Phallustine!


     Her beauty beckons
Like the star over some tabloid Bethlehem,
And she is my Jerusalem.
Thou art my merry shepherd
Who leadeth me into her greener pastures,
That the camel may slake its thirst in her hot-springs,
Her founts of milk and honey, and other nameless things.
I am a Wise Man, one of three great Kings:
Tom, Dick, and Harry; I bear the gifts
     Of cream and rank-incense, and pearly dew
To her sweet manger. Rise, accept these humble gifts,
     Thou queen of Israel and Xanadu
And Babylon, thou ebon-gartered seraph;
And lash me with the scepter of thy hair,
     Chastise me with thy bosoms' flailing heat.
     All nature is transfigured when the sheet
Falls from thy supine, outstretched limbs, O goddess fair!
My ruddy elf becomes a sleek giraffe,
     Stretches its neck to chew the tender leaves
And vines that flourish in thy murky grotto.
O happy day; my senses have gone blotto!
Thou garden of the Tigris, of the Nile,
     The Muse of all the bards of Phallustine.
O let me pant upon thine altar for awhile;
     O sing, my sweet Lascivia, thy lays divine!


O say can you see!
How a red flag ascends to the praise of Beauty,
That nation that breathless, swooning boys
     Pledge allegiance to on dark, humid nights
     When Mom and Dad are asleep, the swift delights
Of glossy pages. Thou wert ne'er less coy,
Thou terrible tigress, spreading thy labia
Revealing all the hot sands of Arabia,
Lovely like a wet net, velvet vortex:
Thy shameless pouts that e'er perplex.
Dream-haunted Bedouin prophets take to their camels—
Sweet-faced, spitting, famished, thirsty camels
Swaying their heads across the cotton Sahara—
     And scream, "O Allah! Make her bold and blonde!"
     The Borden Magus waves his mystic wand
And flecks of twinkling star-light pour their terror
Upon the world and lusty lads perspiring
Fall back upon the lap of night expiring.


          O wicked prince of phallusy!
     Thou blind, deceiving worm!
Thy dread temptations now may curse me sore
As I lie crushed beneath a lipid brontosaur.
     O woe is me! How I squirm
          In vain her fondness to escape. I see
The sun upon her monumental back
And hard blue veins and crusty moles: alas, alack!
     And the smell of 10 Big Macs and 5 large fries
Wags through the room in greasy clouds
     And herds of bloated flies
Are slain upon the fumes.
I writhe and contemplate my doom
     Which thou hast brought upon me, little root
In haste to plant thyself in easy soil.
My foolish crimson cherub, these, the fruits of thy toil
     Now burden me with heavy griefs, forsooth!


Exalted squirts the universal cock
     Which spawned the Milky Way;
Now squatting with a soiled and sticky sock,
     I end my merry lay!

John Smith (a.k.a. George Chadderdon) © 1996