ShaneHalbach.com

Posts tagged “poem

Twitter Poetry

So, I did one of those things where it grabs random tweets from your stream and makes them into poetry? And I have to say…strangely poetic!

To hide
by Shane Halbach

Terrifying thing I’ve ever seen
Weird, how do you know my parents?
Queen
Same accounts!

Me 23 consecutive form rejects.
Leave a lot of wiggle room…
There could be side effects
“I have to go to the bathroom”?

Welcome to Night Vale
OwOwOhAhOhOwOw THUNDER!
Another story sale

Does everybody hate me? MADNESS
The $25 car repair
But it’s just different I guess.

Not too bad, actually (possibly with the exception of the attempt to type out the lyrics of Thunderstruck). Just, you know, watch out for those side effects.

MADNESS!

Give it a whirl and post the good ones in the comments!


A Valentine’s Poem

For all you geek lovers (and lovers of geeks) out there, I give you the best Valentine’s day poem ever: “Scientific Romance” by Tim Pratt (reprinted with permission).

The great thing about this poem is that, when you read it to that special someone, I think you’re going to know pretty quickly whether or not they’re the right one for you. Do you find zombies and space aliens and time travel romantic? ‘Cause I do!

Enjoy!

Scientific Romance

If starship travel from our
Earth to some far
star and back again
at velocities approaching the speed
of light made you younger than me
due to the relativistic effects
of time dilation,
I’d show up on your doorstep hoping
you’d developed a thing for older men,
and I’d ask you to show me everything you
learned to pass the time
out there in the endless void
of night.

If we were the sole survivors
of a zombie apocalypse
and you were bitten and transformed
into a walking corpse
I wouldn’t even pick up my
assault shotgun,
I’d just let you take a bite
out of me, because I’d rather be
undead forever
with you
than alive alone
without you.

If I had a time machine, I’d go back
to the days of your youth
to see how you became the someone
I love so much today, and then
I’d return to the moment we first met
just so I could see my own face
when I saw your face
for the first time,
and okay,
I’d probably travel to the time
when we were a young couple
and try to get a three-way
going. I never understood
why more time travelers don’t do
that sort of thing.

If the alien invaders come
and hover in stern judgment
over our cities, trying to decide
whether to invite us to the Galactic
Federation of Confederated
Galaxies or if instead
a little genocide is called for,
I think our love could be a powerful
argument for the continued preservation
of humanity in general, or at least,
of you and me
in particular.

If we were captives together
in an alien zoo, I’d try to make
the best of it, cultivate a streak
of xeno-exhibitionism,
waggle my eyebrows, and make jokes
about breeding in captivity.

If I became lost in
the multiverse, exploring
infinite parallel dimensions, my
only criterion for settling
down somewhere would be
whether or not I could find you:
and once I did, I’d stay there even
if it was a world ruled by giant spider-
priests, or one where killer
robots won the Civil War, or even
a world where sandwiches
were never invented, because
you’d make it the best
of all possible worlds anyway,
and plus
we could get rich
off inventing sandwiches.

If the Singularity comes
and we upload our minds into a vast
computer simulation of near-infinite
complexity and perfect resolution,
and become capable of experiencing any
fantasy, exploring worlds bound only
by our enhanced imaginations,
I’d still spend at least 10^21 processing
cycles a month just sitting
on a virtual couch with you,
watching virtual TV,
eating virtual fajitas,
holding virtual hands,
and wishing
for the real thing.


Merry Christmas

In the spirit of past Christmas videos (like the still-awesome Nicholas Was), I present to you Twas the Night by Norm Sherman of the Drabblecast.

I recommend listening to the audio, but if you prefer, here it is in text format:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the edifice
Not a creature was stirring, neither mouse nor St. Nicolas
The stockings were hung by the aperture gaping
Where smoke, in it’s wisdom, had ‘ere been escaping

Downstairs my uncle was strapped down in bed
While visions of ichor danced round in his head
His nightmares of late had been growing much stronger
And sense dared not trespass his mind any longer

Once a learned professor at Brown University
My great-uncle had often, in secret, conversed with me
In his study at night, over manuscripts moldering
With a pipe at his lips, always lambent and smoldering

All that research of his, into cults esoteric
Strange symbols and glyphs and arcane numerics
Of that Dutch survey crew and their frenzied report
Of a vast arctic city filled with sunken faced dwarves

And that journal recovered from one ‘Ensign Lamar’
Which references “He that rides beasts through the stars”
Gloaming and heaving with corpulent dread
Bloated, batrachian and covered in red

And then there’s the relic in my uncle’s display:
A 4-sided top carved of wood, or some clay
With symbols engraved into each of its sides
That surely must tell of coming end times

I was pondering this manifold doom that would smite us
When out from my window shone a miasmal brightness
How the pale gibbous moon shown down on his back
Which bulged with the throngs of some hideous sack

With some alien ululations in a primordial tongue
He froze me in place, and unable to run
I was forced to bear witness to things vile and foul
So unspeakably horrid I can scarce speak them now

He summoned his steeds by their blasphemous names
And with his gangrenous grasp he pulled down on their reigns
Then suddenly upwards that noxious horde flew
That red bellied nightmare rising up from my view

Cacodemoniacal laughter I heard from my roof
And the lumbering clomps of thick octopoid hooves
Then repugnant and hoary, his stench filled the air
While he writhed down my chimney as I watched from the stairs

He spoke not a sound as then off from his back
He heaved up that thick throbbing cyst of a sack
And from it a stench came so charnel and dense
That I nearly passed out when he drew from it thence:

An Amazon Kindle, and a few pairs of nice socks
A sweater, a tie, and Call of Duty: Black Ops
Law and Order Season V on Blueray DVD
And an espresso machine,…hope he kept the receipt

Then all at once swung round this tenebrous being
And with dark ancient eyes of unfathomable seeing
Their biliferous blackness spanning eons extinct
Revealing my own maddening fate, with a wink

Then into that monolith of chimney he lurched
With the gelatinous frenzy of invertebrate birth
Ripping free to the roof he launched into the night
With a vow to return when the stars are just right


To my mother-in-law, on her birthday

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Today isn’t my mother-in-law’s birthday, but here’s the poem I wrote for her when it was:

Some birthdays are bigger than others, and this is one such year.
When these milestones arrive, you should enjoy them with extra cheer.

Forget the rules, eat what you want, take cake and eat a bunch.
Don’t listen to your idiot friends, try not to drink too much.

Embrace your birthday, live it up, and all the days between,
because it is your special day, now that you’re sixteen.

What’s that? What did you say? You’re sixty not sixteen?
Wow, you’re like…waaaay older than you seem.

You’d better sit down, this advice might be a little harder to hear,
and anyway, at your age, your legs might give out I fear.

DO I NEED TO SPEAK LOUDER? Is your hearing okay?
I want to make sure you can understand what I’m about to say.

That advice I gave was terrible, please listen to your friends.
They might not have that long to live before they meet their ends.

Maybe put some cake back, how much do you really need?
I think prunes and fiber are more your body’s speed.

I hope that this is good advice, I hope you find it useful.
When I say don’t drink too much, I’m talking Metamucil.

It’s not all bad news though, being elderly,
because of all the wisdom gained in your long history.

Us younger folk depend on your advice to get us through,
and value all the different things that we’ve been taught by you.

You help us live a better life by sharing hardships, joys, and fears
accumulated through your many, many, MANY years.


Bacon, now in poetry form

When you publish a post, WordPress will automatically add “related post” hyperlinks at the bottom, with the idea that people might like to browse from related topic to related topic. Kind of like when you get stuck watching related videos on youtube for hours and hours.

I generally hate the idea.

The problem is that the “auto-generator” usually creates links that are barely related at best, and also tends to give the impression that I have intentionally linked in these posts, or endorsed them in some way. If I’m going to link to something, I’ll link to it. So I disabled the feature.

However, I recently got a ping-back on my Baconfest posts from Salut! Adventures, who had written an honest to goodness bacon poem. Now that’s a related link! In fact, it’s not just a bacon poem, but an awesome bacon poem, which I will now present to you. Although I didn’t write it, I wish I had. Enjoy.

The Vegan – A Baconfest Poem

Once upon a morning dreary, in my bathrobe, wan and weary,

I stood and gazed forlornly at my open icebox door.

There was no breakfast for the makin’, no smoky hardwood bacon,

And it seemed that I would soon be schlepping towards the corner store.

Schlepping sadly to the store.

But then there came a tapping, an annoying kind of rapping

On the wooden frame that stands around my humble kitchen door.

‘Twas my pink and chubby neighbor, come to ask of me a favor,

Come to borrow almond flavor that he knew I had in store.

Only this and nothing more.

“What’s the worry?  Why the hubbub?” asked the portly little cherub,

As he watched me grab my house keys and walk ‘cross the kitchen floor.

I explained I had no bacon, and the toll that it was takin’

As I gave him almond extract and I showed him towards the door.

Showed him firmly towards the door.

“That’s no problem, said my neighbor, “You can get the same great flavor

From the tofu products you can buy at any health food store.

We vegans really love it, and you too will be fond of it,

Really, going without bacon is not that much of a chore.

Not too terrible a chore!”

“Ye Gods!” I spat and sputtered, and some expletives were muttered

As I wrestled with my neighbor like a warring Carnivore.

In a rage I hit and pounded , until suddenly astounded,

I saw a curly, porcine tail slip out onto the kitchen floor.

‘Twas a pig! And nothing more.

An hour later I was sated, with my bacon crave abated,

And I never even had to journey to the corner store.

My freezer now is packed with pounds of bacon, neatly stacked

Enough to last through summertime, and maybe even more.

And my neighbor?  Nevermore.


Remember the Poems

A little explanation for you non-family types: in my family, it is customary to write poems for Christmas. Typically we had a name exchange, and you tried to write a poem about the person whose name you drew (especially if you had some good dirt or friendly ribbing for the person in question). Not everybody wrote a poem every year, but this year we didn’t have a name exchange, so I was worried people might be without the proper motivation to write poems. Therefore, I wrote this poem:

Remember the Poems by Shane Halbach

This year we won’t participate in a family name exchange,
And so this year’s Christmas party is feeling kind of strange.

Personally, I can do without my annual gift card,
And coming up with stuff to ask for does get kind of hard.
And the name you drew is always one who didn’t write a list (Rachael),
Or asks for something you can’t find, and maybe doesn’t exist.

No, the name exchange I can live without, but there is one other thing,
Usually about this time, the poem exchange is really in full swing.
The poems, the poems, what about the poems? We can’t forget about them!
A tradition like no other family, and proud of it I am.

The poems together tell a tale and document the year,
And without the family name exchange, we risk losing that I fear.
What if nobody thought to write down all of this insanity?
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Not in this family.

I’d hate to think that we’d forget to talk about the time,
That Laurie was watching Oliver, and he fell off the slide.
Or when Josh said he was engaged? It turns out he was hacked.
And who sent Rachael formula, just to see how she’d react?

Remember at the reunion when Steve and Char and Jay,
Had their tents destroyed by storms and almost blew away?
Are you sleeping Brother John, Grandma’s 85th,
Bernie’s tire falling off isn’t just a myth.

We need these poems or else there’s just too many things we’d miss.
Though some of you might be feeling now that ignorance is bliss.
It’s good to have a time of year when you can hear a poem,
And find out what we say about you when you’re not at home.

You might not know that Mike Debroux spent hours just to see,
If he could prove that Lady Gaga really was a she,
No, it’s up to us to spread the word, in case it isn’t known,
That when it comes to butter, Len prefers to bring his own.

Or take Cecilia, one might think she doth protest too much,
Since after holding protest signs, her arm’s too sore to touch.
Roger got a new job, but he must not work enough,
He’s trying to take his work home with him, but Grandma’s hygiene’s up to snuff.

And mom makes Ron use napkins more than 30 years old,
And I think that this decision was really rather bold,
Since they’re from when she married dad (it said so in the heading)
Of course Steve might not know she’s remarried, since he missed her wedding.

There’s Colleen’s lost luggage getting left out in the rain,
And cleaning Grandma’s coffee mugs leads to great financial gain.
Emily’s love of new recipes is known to Facebook viewers,
And Scott prefers his Cardinals over rooting for the Brewers.

But have you heard the one about Judy mowing in high heels?
Or Nancy almost running over Ryan’s runaway wheels?
The city of Janesville might be interested to hear what trees were chopped,
Since Lois isn’t even sure she owns the trees she dropped!

I can tell you Pat sneaks vegetables hidden into dessert,
But I need to hear a poem for Kris, I couldn’t find any dirt!
And Cecilia and Arleen aren’t even here, their virtue to defend!
Surely, someone could have written a poem ‘bout both of them!

There’s so much more that could be said, and anyone could say it,
Even without a name exchange, a poem we’d all okay it.
Between us there’s enough abuse to fill up tomes and tomes.
So please people, I ask you now: remember the poems!


E is for Evie

Evie asked me to write a poem for her, and this is what I wrote:

E is for Evie,
so innocent and sweet.

E is for Everyone,
that Evie likes to meet.

E is for Evelyn,
the woman you’ll become.

E is for Evie,
whose life’s just begun.