William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings


May my wants and my needs always be one and the same. I want a larger coaster to place under the teacup I brought home from the thrift store, because the coaster I have is too small. I need the teacup because I broke the old one when I was washing it. The sink is hard, like petrified whale bone. But I do not want a new sink. I need to be careful. I want a new broom, because the old one no longer quite reaches the sidewalk. And upon hearing such talk, the walk smiles a smile of pebbles and moss. Why? Because we’re both cracked, and would not want it otherwise.


Whittleweecumble is not a word.
But whittle is, and so is wee,
And cumble rhymes with bumble.
Whittleweecumble went to bed,
Delighted from head to toe.
The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Weecumble,
Whittle was a shiny little teapot —
Or so it was told from town to town.
In Brattlesby they heard it,
All the way down to Nornsfeather,
Where the mayor spoke
The bright-red dialect of chickens
And no one had heard of TV.
Blue rain sputtered in the dust there,
The breeze was yellow and green.
Farmers grew pickles on trees,
Librarians mined precious ice cream.
Such was life in Nornsfeather,
Each day from noon to three.
The citizens thought it was splendid,
And so did Whittle, you see,
Who loved to sit on the stove,
Gleaming and steaming with tea.
He traveled there once in a bundle,
With Mr. and Mrs. Weecumble.
They rode on the spokes
like regular folks through miles
of bacon and eggs.
They sizzled and grumbled —
Oh! how they fumbled
To untwist their tiny old legs.
In Nornsfeather they looked like pretzels,
And were scooped up by Grady O’Sam.
I can sell them at my tavern, said he,
Along with my whiskey and jam.
Pleased were the bards
While playing their cards
To find pretzels such as these.
But when they saw Whittle’s spigot
They started to fidget
Like men who were covered with fleas.
Grady! cried they, Oh, Grady, Grady O’Sam!
Why do these pretzels have knees?
Grady came running.
I thought you were funning, said he,
And noticed the aroma of tea.
It’s Whittleweecumble! the bards all sang,
Friend, we have heard of thee.
We thought you were a pretzel.
And though it was late for the others’ fate,
Whittleweecumble was grateful.
From that moment forward,
Grady served oysters and beer.
Whittleweecumble, wouldn’t you know it,
Fell in love with a kettle of soup.
It happened quite sweetly.
He fell in quite neatly,
And Grady paid for the group.

Songs and Letters, September 14, 2005

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Categories: Songs and Letters

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