Poems by Esther Greenleaf Murer


Confessional poem


I obfuscate for geckos.

I coruscate for clams.

I whittle avocado bones

while juggling flims and flams.


I adumbrate for aye-ayes,

and when I've got the blues

I make an extra effort

to put on matching shoes.


I nictitate for narwhals,

I scintillate for skinks.

I'll take my gingko to be spayed

and then catch forty winks.



a black line




Insouciance gives weight to all

that blunder on the lea;

while gravitas, however small,

will be the death of me.


I wish I cared for mugs and mops

rebounding in the van;

I wish I could grow muttonchops

to emphasize my tan.


If I had never learned to read

my life would then be easy;

I'd feast on marzipan and mead

and never once feel queasy.


And so, when all the world turns pink,

I throw myself away

and try my utmost not to think

what I should do today.



a black line


You don't really want that job

(Quasi-triolet on a line from G&S)


Your style is much too sanctified, your cut is too canonical

(O would that it were otherwise! Alack and well-a-day!)

to fit the corporate image of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Your style would be less sanctified, your cut much less canonical,

and it would add a certain dash, were you to wear a monocle,

a diamond stickpin, spats, and suchlike. Be that is it may,

you’ll never fit the image of the San Francisco Chronicle;

and should it turn out otherwise, you’d come to rue the day.



a black line


And since Winamop publishes "Round Robin" poems, here's a poem written by eight of my relatives (now all deceased) ca. 1947, going around the circle and each contributing one word per turn:




Nonfunctional stars in a saffron dome

Oblivious, summon the wanderer home;

While mother – functional, chiffon, or wise –

Drowns the kittens and blatantly lies.

Even the waspies, zooming along,

Feel despondent at evensong;

While mud turtles murmur beneath their biers,

Huffily mourning the bygone years.

Anemones lift their lymphatic limbs

and fold their petals in silent whims.

Jaundiced, happy, untutored, calm,

The daisies wait for the atom bomb.


a black line

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