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Short Poems

and Other

Long Poems

Short Stories




The Medfly

*Press-Enterprise* News Headline--November 9:
" Officials declare Medfly banished for now."
November 22: Eradicated? 2 Medflies defy state; 
discoveries follow long spraying war."

Once upon a midnight, eerie,
While I read with eyes so bleary,
The propositions, their pages and pages,
I realized then that reading them all would take
ages and ages.
While I nodded my brain a fuzzing,
Suddenly, there came a buzzing,
As if some wings were in a flutter,
Caught outside upon the shutter.
"'Tis the wind," my lips did mutter,
"Blowing a leaf---'Tis that, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember,
It was early in a bleak November,
That I read the propositions
And the politicos' positions
On the use of pesticides
In the air and on our tides.
Then again there came a flutter
Out upon my window shutter.
"'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger.
Hesitating then no longer,
Opened I the shutter door---
Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering,
Long I stood there, wondering, fearing.
But the silence was unbroken,
By the words that were unspoken:
"'Tis some creature that's awoken.
Merely this and nothing more."

When soon again I heard the flutter,
That racked my soul with a somber shudder.
"Surely," said I, "Surely this is something
At my window---
Surely, that is not the wind though,
All my soul cried for this answer:
"'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open again I flung the shutter.
Then with many a flit and flutter,
In there flew the dreaded Medfly.
And then did he about my head, fly.
For a moment did he watch me,
Slowly circling above, about me,
'Till he stopped and calmly sight he,
A landing place upon my right knee.
Thinking then of Malathion,
I asked him then, "Would you die on,
My knotted knee?" that he did lie on.
Quoth the Medfly: "Nevermore."

Much I marveled at this pest,
Upon my knee as he did rest.
Though its answer little meaning.
For we can't help all agreeing,
That no Medfly hiding or fleeing,
Had survived, despite what I was somehow seeing.
Hadn't the spray served in all occasions?
How much longer must we see invasions?
As if his soul in that one word did he outpour,
Nothing further had he uttered.
Not a wing had he fluttered.
Till I scarcely more than muttered.
With a voice that nearly stuttered,
"There's some Raid within my cupboard.
I can find it, though it be cluttered."

Suddenly, his wings did flutter,
At my hasty words of war.
And in a moment he had headed,
Headed toward my chamber door.
Springing then onto my feet,
For the kitchen I did retreat,
Grabbed the can and then I beat,
A path to my chamber, the fly to meet.

In the room I quietly stand,
With the can clutched in my hand,
Waiting patiently for him to land.
And when he did, the spray I fanned!
Then me thought, the air grew denser,
Poisoned as if from an unseen censer.
"Wretch!" I cried as I grew tenser.
Suddenly I felt like I was choking.
Quoth the Medfly loud an clear:
"Raid!? After Malathion, you must be joking."
Then to the window he did flutter.

And through the space beside the shutter.
Then to freedom he flew and darted,
With these words as he departed:
"I'll be back forever more!"

Many weeks have now gone by.
Narry a once have I seen the fly.
But hark! What do I hear upon my shutter?
Could it be? Is that a flutter?
Will I again be plagued once more,
With those buzzing words of yore,
Words that say: "Forever more"?

By Phill Courtney

This Poesque parody came out of the creative poemness 
of Phill
Courtney, an English teacher at Perris Lake High School 
in Southern California and also the host of the "Riverside 
County Almanac," a Riverside variety show. Recently he ran
for Congress on the Green ticket.