(November 2001) Page 2

Christopher Mulrooney
by artist Heather Lowe


Christopher Mulrooney has poetry, fiction and translations in Fire, Frank, The East Village, Brooklyn Review, The Third Half, Elimae, Shampoo, The Burning Bush, Zine Zone, Breakfast All Day, Poetry and Audience, etc.

Click HERE for his website.

song of the iguana
© Christopher Mulrooney

I learned all my alphabet
from watching a black and white TV set

now I shake my tambourine
in a wayside poetry magazine

waiting for some happy nurse
to exhibit her purple purse

splitting like a cantaloupe
to put at stand the antelope

filling all the lion's nose
with the scent of yellow rose

Chansons pour Elle, X
by Paul Verlaine
translated by Christopher Mulrooney

Horrible night of sleeplessness!
-- Without the blessed presence
Of your dear body near me,
Without your lips so often kissed,
Although cunning I wist
In all insincerity,

Without your lips all lies,
But when I think of them, so blithe,
And knowing how to console me
Under the aspect and under the mien
Of strawberries -- and, good scene! --
Of a quite plausible parley,

And above all without the pentacle
Of your senses and the miracle
Manifold and single, flower and fruit,
Of your hard witching eyes,
Hard and gentle after your wise...
True God! terrible night!

London Bridge
© Christopher Mulrooney

London Bridge is broken down
Dance over the Lady
It must be builded up again
With a gay ladee
How shall we fashion it again?
Dance over the Lady
Fashion it with iron and steel
With a gay ladee
Iron and steel will wry and snap
Dance over the Lady
Make it up with wood and stone
With a gay ladee
Wood and stone will tumble off
Dance over the Lady
Shore it up with silver and gold
With a gay ladee
Silver and gold can’t be made sure
Dance over the Lady
So we must have a man to watch
With a gay ladee
An if he should fall asleep?
Dance over the Lady
Light a pipe fit to his mouth
With a gay ladee
Suppose the pipe went out and fell?
Dance over the Lady
Give him nuts that he might crack
With a gay ladee
What if the nuts were all gone bad?
Dance over the Lady
He shall have horses to gallop upon
With a gay ladee
And if he fall asleep again?
Dance over the Lady
Give him a barking dog all night
With a gay ladee
What if the dog should find a bone?
Dance over the Lady
Set him a cock to crow all night
With a gay ladee
Yet the cock might meet a hen
Dance over the Lady
Here comes my Lord so all may pass
With a gay ladee
Except for he who comes the last

© Christopher Mulrooney:

Roye des Ribauldez


what is the agio on this
Capitano? two and a kick
I reckon says the
Governor well then says this I
this incompetent swap meet layabout
this dirty straying gone a-maying
fiddle dee rover-o
letter from home


bless my boldlings I have spawned them
all of a truckling mickle I
bless ye all wee bairns and lawned them
for a pretty pickle I

[email protected]


was born on March 11, 1945 in Guelph, Ontario Canada. He was raised on the Naval Base, H.M.C.S. Cornwallis, on the Western shore of the Province of Nova Scotia in the Maritimes. After traversing the beautiful Bay of Fundy many times during his childhood, he became addicted to the sea.

When Richard was 10 his family moved to Stratford-upon-Avon, in southern Ontario, sister city to her namesake in both England and in the United States. The new Shakespearian Theatre was constructed there in 1953.

He then went on to high school and graduated from Grade 13 with flying colours, taking the Ontario Scholarship Award for his school. Then he went on to earn an Honours B.A. at Sir Wilfred Laurier University (1968), and a Master of Library Science degree at the University of Western Ontario, London (1975).

After that he worked for several years as a Reference Librarian, first at Sudbury Public Library, then Alqonquin College of Arts and Technology (Ottawa), and finally, the University of Ottawa.

Severe alcoholism forced Richard to retire on long-term disability, nine years ago, at the age of 47. He says this is the best thing that could have happened: "I stopped drinking cold turkey on March 25th., 1992, and have never looked back since.... Before age 47, I might have composed about 200 poems. Since that age, I have written at least another 1,500, of which about 1,000 are sonnets. It's just mind-boggling! Oh well, there are always late bloomers in life. I guess I'm one of them."

Since then he has lived a "passionate, sometimes a 'tempest in a teapot' - but almost always reasonably happy life". He lives in a happy, long-term relationship with his boyfriend, Louis-Dominique Genest, who was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on April 11, 1950. They have been together for four years.


  • 1. A Quilt of Sonnets: Forty Four Familiar Poems. Ottawa: Providence Road Press, (c) 1998 56 pp. ISBN 1-896243-07-x
  • 2. "À la belle inconnue (Robert Schumann)", in: Arts and Literature Review. Lakehead University. Vol. 1 (3), 1972
  • 3. "Chanson d'Auverge", in: A Ray of Hope. (c) 2000. 257 pp. pg. 129 ISBN 1-58235-559-2
  • 4. "Pow Wow", in: An Hour at Sunrise. (c) 2000. 313 pp. pg. 167 ISBN 1-58253-539-8

    Autumn Leaves [May/June, 2001] - and several of his poems will soon appear in A New Millenium Anthology [also in CD] and in another journal, which I am not yet at liberty to disclose.

    Yahoo Groups:
    Describe Adonis
    le jeune matelot
    Poetry Lynx Links
    and co-moderator, along with Scotty Snow at: Narcissus Reflects

    UK Smart Groups:
    Wil Shakespeare and Pierre de Ronsard - Across la Manche
    Illiassia - Homer's Iliad - Smart Groups (UK)

  • Whoso Squeals or Grunts *
    © Richard Vallance

    October 28th., 2001

    Whoso squeals or grunts, I know where is a boar,
    But as for me, I'll hunt, and hit his hind.
    His vain travail to even up the score
    Does not avail to cut him from the grind.
    Yet may I, by all means, pursue the blind
    beast, lay him low, and as he blurts off before
    Taunting I follow. I'll pourchasse therefore,
    Since in a net I know I'll hold his wind.

    When he is spent, I ken I've got him pinned,
    As well as done, for he's a poor roughneck.
    For snorting with bristles that puff his neck
    He is cornered, and makes a puling sound,
    "Noli me frangere, for rabid I am,
    And musky as hell, though I am ham."

    *Author’s Note: I recently composed this little ditty, as a parody of Sir Thomas Wyatt's, Whoso List to Hunt. Rest his soul, this sonnet is in nowise aimed at his lofty genius. It is simply intended as a jibe against so-called pundits, who prize themselves as being literary and poetry critics, when "malheuresement", they fall somewhat short of the mark.

    The World Trade Center
    © Richard Vallance, 2001

    Across the bay, Manhattan's Towers soar
    reflectively as calmly Tuesday dawns
    on you aboard where on Deck B eyes pour
    down high gain stocks as if to snap up pawns
    with power plays until you'd yell, "Checkmate!"
    and wave your bid, as you speculate
    at other's losses (you've known when to sell).
    Clang! Stare at your watch. "Ferry's late... oh hell."

    "No! It's dj vu!" someone screams she sees.
    Stare again... a horror flick? "Smoke! Fire sears
    my eyes, spewing tons of ash on Hudson's breeze!
    Most of my friends are..." You'ved gasped, eyes in tears...
    (Reports explode so loud they've hammered waves.)
    "... pulverized in our World Trade Center's graves!"

    Afghanistan (October, 2001)
    © Richard Vallance

    October 24th, 20019

    Aghanistan, some parched and acrid land.
    No water there. Each passive mountain range
    obstructs the view, no matter where you stand.
    The roads are bowls of dust, clouds some strange
    if cirrus lewd against a thin hued sky,
    where, Allah's Mercy save us, pallor reigns
    and rains incessant suns on fields so dry
    it kills the seed germane before it grains.

    If you just live on grass, have you a prayer?
    "We'll drop you supplies." Our children die, starve
    of meagre fares, while hidden mothers gawk
    at space, where eyes, tear-dry, drains of love carve
    out desperation's petroglyphic glare.
    Bin Laden is the Wolf; and you are a Hawk.

    Au Seuil
    © Richard Vallance
    le 30 décembre 1999,

    Tu me permettras, si, neige tant miroitée,
    j'arrive aux ailes du soir, tranquil
    appel au séjour inespérée à la famille,
    d'où je fus le premier cygne, toujours sans voix,
    dans les glaçons nets autour des lacs fragiles
    que j'ai entouré plus de cent mille fois,
    avant ton arrivée au même séjour,
    dont ma conception nourissait les bois.

    Qui sait que tu m'entends, les bras ouverts au ciel
    au seuil saupoudré de trois heureux espoirs?
    -- soit de me régaler, soit de te recevoir
    à l'aube crispée par les givres clairs,
    où je t'appelle, voix douce, hérault d'hivers,
    à mille printemps d'éclairs?

    dédié à la famille Genest

    Linear translation into English prose -

    On the Threshold
    © Richard Vallance
    30th December, 1999

    Will you allow me, if as snows shivering reflections,
    I arrive on the wings of an evening's, as if I were
    making a quiet appeal for stay, though uninvited, with your family,
    from whom I once arose a swan[1], whose voice was always stilled,
    trapped in the frosty ice all over fragile lakes
    lakes which I alone had encircled over 100,000 times,
    before you ever even arrived at the same resting place,
    that place, where my birth gave the forests their nourishment.

    Who knows whether you can hear me,[2] your arms outstretched skywards,
    as you stand alone on the threshold sprinkled with three hopes for happiness?
    -- whether it be to entertain me royally, whether it be for me to entertain you
    as dawn comes on, crisp with shiny hoarfrost, herald[3] of winters,
    for every 1,000 springs where lightning strikes?

    Written 30th December 1999
    dedicated to the Genest family

    (prose transliteration by Richard Vallance,
    November, 2001)

    NOTES on the subtleties of the French sonnet:

    1. The text reads, "cygne", meaning, "swan", but when the sonnet is read aloud, it is almost certain that a French-speaking (francophone) audience would hear, "signe", the same thing as would any English listener. The pun is, of course, deliberate and key to the symbolic meaning of the sonnet.
    2. Here (hear?) again, the French text is a double-entendre, since in poetic French, the verb, "entendre", which normally means, simply enough, "to hear", here (sorry, I just can't resist it) it also distinctly means, "to understand".
    3. Once again, we are faced with the same "phénomène" or poetic device. The sonnet reads, "herald", but again, anyone actually listening to a live reading of the poem would almost certainly hear, "héros", meaning, "hero" - as indeed I have justly intended.

    [email protected]

    (Rhyme Master)

    Jim has just been notified by the Marquis, Who's Who In America that he will definitely be in the 2002 edition, which was originally scheduled to come out in September of this year, but has been postponed until the end of November.

    He has also recently had a poem accepted by "The Acorn", which brings his list of magazines to 67 (over half of which are no longer being published). His list of publications include "Candelabrum", "Plainsongs" and the "Paris/ Atlantic"; and he is now (or has been) online at "Die Niderngasse", "Midnight Edition", he is a resident poet, and an Alpha poet at the Poet's Porch, is usually on Poetry Down Under and has had about six hundred poems published to date. He has been in the Writer's Digest top 100 three times, although he no longer enters their contests as the entry fees have gone out of sight. He is currently the newsletter editor for the Des Moines Area Writers' Network.

    Jim's website includes a lot of favorite poems by other writers, as well as his own.

    His work appears online at:
    on Describe_Adonis in the Yahoo groups,
    and on his own poetry page is presently
    (which may be changed as Netscape is doing away with sites.netscape, and who knows what the replacement program will be?)

    from Jim's book, "Entwined In Wonder", which he has just had reprinted:

    © Jim Dunlap

    We think our civilization
    Is a wonder, without peer --
    Sandwiched between ice ages,
    We're lucky to be here.

    In all the world's long history,
    There've not been many times
    When the race of man could have evolved
    In such beneficial climes.

    Do you think it was an accident
    That things worked out this way;
    And luck that man did not appear
    When dinosaurs held sway?

    I'd like to think that there's a point,
    Or some thing accomplished here --
    But we truly just despoil and burn...
    My, how the Gods must leer!

    And when the ice age comes again,
    Will we be here to see it;
    Or will we simply self-destruct
    In a misanthropic fit?

    Published in MOBIUS, Fall/Winter, 1994

    © Jim Dunlap

    I toss in strangely troubled dreams
    Of rolling hills and woodland streams --
    Of soft, pale skin, so smooth and fair,
    And moonlight glancing off her hair.

    What can I say? What can I do?
    Sad to say, she's just not you.
    True love calls..."Come, please be mine...
    We'll drink to good Saint Valentine."

    And if, perchance, you choose to stay,
    We'll leave her there and go away:
    To roam the world, to wander far ...
    Beneath fair Venus, morning's star.

    For fate could never put asunder
    Bonds of love, entwined in wonder ...
    Though our souls should dare to brave
    A bright new land beyond the grave.

    Why waste one day, one minute more?
    Let's bite the apple to the core;
    And while the years and seasons fly,
    Our love will grow ... and never die.

    The Politics of Verisimilitude
    © Jim Dunlap

    With thanks to Dennis Greene for the use of his phrase:
    "What you say at breakfast can eat you for lunch."

    An ill-thought-out statement can pack quite a punch
    So its best to be careful while speaking:
    What you say at breakfast ... can eat you for lunch.

    A knuckle sandwich might be what you munch
    If your words cause inordinate freaking:
    An ill-thought-out statement can pack quite a punch.

    Unwelcome visitors might join you for brunch
    If bad thoughts from your mouth exit streaking:
    What you say at breakfast ... can eat you for lunch.

    The state of the world, at last forced to the crunch,
    Throws a stench thats quite powerfully reeking:
    What you eat for breakfast may inconvenience your lunch.

    Of the species on earth, were the worst of the bunch,
    And well likely not find what were seeking:
    Mother Nature could just simply CANCEL our lunch.

    No bang and no whimper can make just such a
    As the blast where the fuel line was leaking.
    An ill-thought-out statement can pack quite a punch:
    What you missaid at breakfast ... can eat you for lunch.

    Entwined In Wonder, Cedar Bay Press, LLC, Beaverton,
    Oregon, by Jim Dunlap

    © Jim Dunlap

    A giant crater was discovered
    Off the coast of Yucatan
    And the meteor that caused it
    May have given birth ... to man.

    One hundred fifteen miles wide ...
    The impact must have seen
    A catastrophe unparalleled
    To this planet, lush and green.

    A tremendous cloud of dust
    Must have nearly blocked the sun.
    Dinosaurs by millions found
    Their reign on Earth was done.

    Nine-tenths of all Earths species
    Destroyed in one fell blow:
    The time of mammals had arrived
    With the reptile race brought low.

    Was it a cosmic accident?
    Did luck give us the nod?
    Or was it evidence, in fact,
    Of the puissant hand of God?

    PABLO LENNIS, Sept., 1994

    © Jim Dunlap

    Many brash, young English lads
    Went to fight for fame and glory.
    All too many met an end
    Ignominious and gory.

    Then many lovely English girls
    Found never men to wed ...
    Their futures void of promise,
    Just like each lonely bed.

    Old maids proliferated
    And most kept several cats.
    These scoured field and forest
    Devouring mice ... and rats.

    Bumblebees grew common
    With no mice to wreck their nests;
    And their pollinating clover fields
    Made hay ... the land was blessed.

    There was beef to feed the armies,
    Since cattle ate the hay
    And Englands mighty Empire
    Kept expanding ... in this way.

    MIND IN MOTION, issue #29, Spring, 1993

    © Jim Dunlap

    Theres a star-spangled banner waving daily
    In 300 million hearts throughout our land.
    It floats across the clear blue skies of freedom
    And that, Osama, no terrorist could understand.

    On September 11th of Two Thousand and One,
    A naive myth was totally debunked.
    If we thought America invincible,
    In reality's school, we flunked.

    America is not those fallen towers,
    No landmark, town, or other place ...
    Nothing in the worlds invincible today:
    Theres no safety on earth ... or out, in space.

    What terrorists can't comprehend,
    (They destroy, but don't create),
    Is that America is above all an idea:
    Its that idea that makes us great

    [email protected]

    Jan Sand in New York

    JAN SAND, poet and illustrator from New York, is a regular contributor to Poetry Life & Times and the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments. A great deal of his work is about animals, or science fiction.

    Recently Jan was published by Kedco Studios Artist Profile Press, on their latest CD ROM e-book, "A Way With Words (Poetry Real and Surreal), which also includes complete books by Dale Houstman, Sara L. Russell and Keith Gabriel Hendricks. Jan's illustrated book on the CD is called "Wild Figments And Odd Conjectures", which is also sold separately, in a limited-edition "single" CD.

    To see an illustrated article about Jan's poems, visit the November '98 issue of Poetry Life & Times, and scroll down past the Editor's Letter. He also has his own poetry pages on Charlotte's Web at Artvilla.

    © Jan Sand

    I am rather fond of up
    And equally of down.
    East and West go endlessly
    When going out of town.
    North, of course, is limited,
    For when you're northest North,
    If you keep going straight,
    Moving, not to hesitate,
    With grim grin on your mouth,
    You'll find that you
    Can only view
    That you are going South.

    These features of your movement are
    Particular to planets,
    The habitat of you and me
    And bats and cats and gannets.
    For if you wander in the stars
    Or even venture out towards Mars
    Very far from all boudoirs
    You'll find no trace of up,
    And down is just as scarce.
    You cannot use a glass or cup,
    All liquids float in wobbly spheres
    To end up on the walls as smears,
    Realizing your worst fears
    That you must then mop up.

    © Jan Sand

    I am an instrument erected
    Mostly by myself.
    Although I have much suspected
    I am off the shelf
    Of a bio-engineer
    Who fumbled with his chemicals,
    It becomes very clear
    He must possess clever pals
    If they could construct me.
    I walk alone,
    I talk alone,
    I think you must agree
    I am a most unique machine
    That works completely free.
    I write, I eat, I love, I run -
    I have all sorts of active fun
    But mostly what delights me most
    Is not to be a gassy ghost.
    It's my solidity.

    © Jan Sand

    Frogs dance the tango in Durango
    With the twistings of a snake.
    They rise up on their pointy toes,
    Twisting hips with grinning lips
    And snuffling with their nose,
    Then whooping, swooping, swinging, looping,
    Wiggling, waggling with a shake,
    They gracefully dip their head,
    Kneel on their heels with fingers spread
    Become sinuous and plastic.
    Their movements smooth
    To calm and soothe,
    Nothing strange or drastic.
    Then, as the yellow moon dips down,
    They cry a bit, then they frown,
    They tremble, then they bark,
    Wish each other a goodnight
    And fade into the dark.

    © Jan Sand

    The girls are pale behind the veil
    In Afghanistan.
    They may not sing , they may not dance,
    Bells do not ring, there's no romance
    They may not swing their sexy tail
    In Afghanistan.
    For men do fear to lend an ear
    To happy songs or big brass gongs,
    There's no joy, that's very clear
    In Afghanistan.
    Men drape their girls in black cloth swirls,
    They're scared of legs and scared of curls
    And never give out rings or pearls
    In Afghanistan.
    It's so sad no one is glad.
    There's no TV to be had.
    No girls schools - the men are fools
    All they want is nasty rules
    In Afghanistan
    They spend their day to go to pray
    Knowing not another way
    While birds can sing and squirrels play
    The men cannot understand
    That time has but one command.
    Live life now, enjoy today
    For death will soon have his way
    In Afghanistan.

    [email protected]

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