A Paupers Parable

A Paupers Parable

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

Is this how life begins?


Gordon O'Gord and Michael De Ville

Lived next door to an old landfill,
Gordon was nine and a half, they say,
And Michael nine on the following day.
The boys were poor, they played about,
Their parents left them to holler and shout,
They played in the rubbish at Eden's Spill
And gathered their toys from the old landfill.
Gordon's mother was Mary O'Gord,
A lush in every sense of the word,
While Michael's mother, wherever she be,
Has gone to hell in a handbag, she!
One day, while foraging near and far
The boys uncovered an old bell jar,
A great big stopper was still in place,
The surface shone, you could see your face!
'Now this is gear!' said Gordon: 'Hah!
'We'll keep our treasures in this old jar,
Let's hide it well, so no-one can steal
The things we take from the old landfill.'
They took the jar, and carried it home,
To stand on a shelf where the bright sun shone,
Then filled it slowly with care, each mite
Like a piece of ore from a meteorite.
A lump of chalk, a carbon rod,
They each agreed with a wink, a nod,
Some Peacock ore from a copper mine
And sulphur pills were a special find.
An old watch face with luminous hands,
Some iron ore with rusty strands,
A fertilizer they found undone
That said: 'For replenishing nitrogen.'
It rained one day, poured down the sill
Into the jar that was partly filled,
The water level with rocks and ore
Trickled like streams from a waterfall;
Ran right over the toothpaste squeeze,
Dissolved the hint of an Alpine breeze,
The water took it on over the sill
Along with the essence of chlorophyll.
When Gordon challenged Michael De Ville,
'You dope, you left with the jar unsealed,
I told you to put the stopper back!'
Then Michael sulked at his mate's attack.
The boys fell out, as boys they will
O'Gord was bigger than Michael De Ville,
So Michael schemed and he plotted then
To get the best of his older friend.
He waited until the time was right
Then under cover of stars and night
He took some ammonium cleaner there
And poured it into the old bell jar.
It fizzed and hissed, gave off a cloud
Of greenish gas like a misty shroud,
And soon it filled up the old bell jar -
You couldn't see what was what in there.
When Gordon came, he said: 'Oh, great!
Well, that's the end of our friendship, mate!'
So Michael then, he cursed and he swore
To cut the lunch of Gordon O'Gord.
The days went by, and the passing weeks,
The bell jar cooked its ingredients,
The mist, it gradually cleared away,
The sun shone steadily, day by day;
Heated the jar, melted the ore,
Formed bedrock and an atmosphere,
Radiation from luminous hands
Sparked a miracle, carbon strands;
Amino acids were leached, all right
From the lump of ore from the meteorite,
And when young Gordon had turned thirteen
He chanced to look at the jar again.
But there in the beams of broad sunlight
Were things that moved, and things in flight,
A tiny people, as busy as bees,
Were building factories under the trees.
Cars were driving on tiny roads,
And sports, with all of the football codes,
Beaches, all with their golden sand
And cinemas featuring 'Superman!'
The sea was blue with an azure sky
And boats were bobbing there, by and by,
A scene like this was a pauper's dream
To young O'Gord, who was just thirteen.
And there in an open field, alone,
A building stood, it was made of stone,
A lofty spire with a Norman Steeple,
Where others prayed for the good of the people.
Gordon's jaw, it dropped to the floor
He muttered... 'Oh!' He shouted 'Gawd!'
The bell jar shook at the mighty roar,
And the people cringed... Muttered: 'O'Gord!'
Now every now and then De Ville
Comes round to work his evil will,
He drops great rocks from ancient heights,
The people think that they're meteorites.
He scrawls on tablets hasty runes
After he's eaten his morning prunes,
And drops them onto their mountainsides
'The Ten Commandments', then laughs ('til he cries!)
He shakes the jar to cause Tsunami's,
Provokes the people to raise great armies,
Bellows with glee through the stopper hole:
'The DeVille will get you before you grow old!'
Their cry goes up, 'Save us, O'Gord,
From the DeVil's work and his mighty sword!'
But Gordon has gone, he's headed for Fipps
Where he goes to purchase his fish and chips!
David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget

Author's Note

David Lewis Paget
(Readers seem bemused by the Fish and Chips ending of this - the point is that perhaps God didn't exactly set out to create man, but that we were a bi-product of his delving about with chemicals in 'the bell jar'. In the end he loses interest and goes off to pursue other things, leaving us to the tender mercies of the 'De-vil').

My Review

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Featured Review

David, I read and then I sit in wonder and amazement at your talent with this medium. Your poems sing, and the bard has a sense of humor as a spring, waiting and waiting, the reader knows, to unleash its power wound stanza by stanza with your skill. Your gift shines bright. I hope these works are published. They are too good not to find a wider audience.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Wow! A great poem that works so well! I enjoyed it immensely. Your rhymes, your rhythm, your timing--excellent, my friend!


Posted 12 Years Ago

Excellent piece of poetry. Great story telling ability

Posted 12 Years Ago

Well, I absolutely loved this! Then again, I cannot say a bad thing about any of your work. David, I have read very few poets, published or otherwise, that can tell a story as well as you can. Your work is simply amazing, and your imagination is at once thought provoking and humorous. Dare I say that your work is almost Shakespearean in nature?

For the sake of review, I realize that I should offer some semblance of critique, rather than just laud you with praise. But I could not offer such offense to a master poet and storyteller, such as yourself.

Posted 12 Years Ago

Very good, with the humor woven throughout the entire yarn, instead of in short little quips--which is to say, the humorous format you use is thought-provoking and usually taken much better than the latter. I really enjoyed this, and in very few areas (I can think of two) the rhyme seemed slightly forced, but in a poem this enjoyable something minor like that is completely forgivable. Really enjoyed this, keep it up


Posted 12 Years Ago

I feel some iffy rhyming in places, but fek me what a story! And the lengths of it in all meanings is very impressive. Good stuff!

Posted 12 Years Ago

Each time I read your work, I think this is the best poem I have ever read
Nothing has changed LOL, you have out done yourself on this one
Thank you very much for sharing this gem

Posted 12 Years Ago

David, you have out done yourself on this one..It is a story, a fable, hjas hidden truths and makes one laugh..You have the gift of blarney that needs to be shared and read all over the world..You absolutely amaze me..Then you bring in creation and how the world is being destroyed daily by human hands..I am putting this one in favorites..God bless..Valentine

Posted 12 Years Ago

An ordinary word, idea or thought becomes a brilliant fantastic work of art in the clever, skillful hands of the MASTER. A master of words. I agree with Todd that you have skillfully blended in the epic struggle between good and evil, with a perfect amount of humor. I absolutely love the word play. I can just see the mischief twinkling in your eyes and smile as you penned this marvelous verse for us.
You are a genius my friend.
Love It!!!!!

Posted 12 Years Ago

This is funny, however, it goes further than that, as Todd stated. Another great write, David.

My favorite stanza:

The sea was blue with an azure sky
And boats were bobbing there, by and by,
A scene like this was a pauper's dream
To young O'Gord, who was just thirteen.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't know what to say. This write is unbelievable. What a fantastic imagination you have. I enjoyed this more than I could tell you in any review. Absolutely wonderful.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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14 Reviews
Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on July 31, 2008
Last Updated on June 27, 2012
Tags: landfill, bell jar, meteorite, radiation


David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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