Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sun Signs and A Weird Day

Image courtesy of SunSignsMoonSigns

We Write Poems has a prompt this week all about conversation.  The poem I'm posting today, a rather long-ish tale which involves a number of conversations, is actually part of a collection I'm working on with (gasp!) rhyming anthropomorphics.

The reason I'm using it here today (beside any self-aggrandizing motives) is because Western Zodiac has been in the news recently, and therefore, it's kinda sorta timely.

In case you might be wondering, since the media has been covering those stories which state that now there are thirteen 'houses', 1.) I am an Aquarius and will always be an Aquarius.  So there!  and 2.) my poem only uses the traditional and original twelve.

Your Horoscope Says You’re Going to Have a Strange Day Because…
(The saga of a literal, naive and very earnest goat)

“If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.” – John A. Wheeler

Today was such a strange, strange day:
At noon there was zebra
who asked a goat, “What is your sign?”
The goat said, “I’m a Libra.”

“Well, I am Sagittarius
and you know what that means,”
the zebra whispered to the goat,
“Yep, we are full of beans.”

The little goat looked very puzzled, and asked,

“What kind of beans?  I am confused -  
Did you mean string or lentil
or navy, pinto, green or just
some bean that’s incidental?”

“It really doesn’t matter now,
since legumes simply bore us,”
the zebra yawned and then he sniffed,
“Go ask the pig – he’s Taurus.”

The goat continued down the road
and quickly found the sty.
He ventured straight to Taurus pig;
he had to ask him why

those zebras whom one meets at noon
are mainly made of beans.
The pig turned to the billy goat
and quipped, “By any means,

“I wouldn’t know why zebra said
that I would know a thing
about some beans since I prefer
to sit and play with string,”

and then the pig, he snorted, “Ha!”
while lacing up so fine
a deftly strung cat’s cradle game
made fast with purple twine.

“I hope that you will solve your quest
which is at best precarious.”
He added, “Try the tiger’s house –
she’s hot – and she’s Aquarius.”

Perplexed, the billy goat begged leave
and hurried on his way.
The puzzle of the beans and such
could fill a dossier.

With trembling hoof, the young goat rang
the doorbell of the tigress.
She answered with the sweetest purr,
“Come in - and please be my guest!

“What brings you here to visit me
in my fe-lion lair?”
“I want to find what beans are which -
I’m baffled, I declare,”

the goat said to the tiger gal
with politesse most plain.
She said, “Your interest in those beans
seems weird.  Let’s toast.  Champagne?”

The goat demurred.  “I’ve wasted
your most precious time, o cat.”
She said, “You must be Virgo man.
They always act like that.”

“I am a Libra,” sighed the goat,
“of zodiac, I swear,”
“Well, my mistake,” the tiger sulked,
“then try the Aries hare.”

The goat said, “Thanks,” and headed off
to find the hare of Aries.
He soon got lost but got some help
from Leo twin canaries:

“Bewildered goat, don’t bother with
that hare, the cusp she’s on!
Instead, seek out a Scorpio
go ask the stately swan.

“He’s down by yonder pond,” they chirped,
“beneath the willow tree.
If anyone can solve your bean
conundrum, it is he.”

And so the goat, he sauntered on
the path to yonder pond.
He wondered if this bean enigma’d
vex the great beau monde.

He also pondered on the point
of horoscopes: would Cancer
tortoises and terrapins
be quick to give an answer

should meeting with this wise old swan
prove to be mostly lacking.
He thought, Should I give up the bean
or should I just get cracking?

He didn’t have to think for long
because the swan did squawk,
“I know you’ve been in bean pursuit.
Come sit - let’s have a talk.”

The goatly lad spread out his legs
beneath the willow tree
“O wise old swan,” he queried thus,
“can you please answer me

“why Zebra, whom I met this noon,
says beans – and here I quote -
is what he’s fully full of – or
did he just get my goat?”

The swan confided to the kid,
“I really don’t know why
he said he’s Sagittarius
when he’s a Gemini,

“and also why he said he’s made
of beans, when that’s not true -
it’s more like something Capricorns
are known to say or do.

“I think the zebra surely meant
he’s full of old baloney
and clearly you must see that he’s
a phony one trick pony.”

And also,” squeaked a small fruit bat
who’d wandered on this scene,
“I’d think you’d think it over first,
young goat, and use your bean

“to realize that things like this
do never make for crises,
and by the way, in passing
 I’d just like to note, I’m Pisces.”

Feeling like a fool, the little goat slapped himself upside his head.

“I feel so dumb; I fell for it!
the zebra saw me coming!”
the goat announced for all to hear,
“My brain, I fear, is numbing!”

“Get over it, what’s done is done,
and yes, that’s my opine,”
the fruit bat said while swooping ‘round,
“he is a swine equine.”

“I take exception,” squealed the pig
who joined this little pack,
“though pigs are not considered part of
Western zodiac.”

“I’m sorry,” blushed the small fruit bat,
not wishing to offend
another kind of species.
“I’ll try not to condescend:

“I only meant to offer some
advice and also have a
chat on all the sorts of beans
like snap, wax, pole or fava

“and how they mix with horoscopes
and anthropomorphic narration
especially when they come straight from
a fairy tale foundation.”

And then, suddenly, there was that proverbial flash of insight-light directly over the young billy goat’s head…

“I think I understand you, sir,”
the billy goat explained,
“I guess I should just see it as
I had been entertained

“instead of feeling as I do,
which is a wee bit tricked.
So, based on your astrology,
here is what I predict:

“Next time I see the zebra
when he’s trotting down the lane
I’ll ask if he’s still full of it,
‘though it might be in vain.

“But, it’s been written in the stars –
here’s what I really mean…
like Shakespeare said, the question is
to bean or not to bean.”



  1. RJ, What a fun read and so well put together. Very creative.

  2. I did enjoy that! Worthy of Hilaire Belloc at his best.

  3. Viv - thank you! I think that is one of the most awesome compliments I've ever received, I so admire Belloc's poetry and humor! ☺

  4. Reminds me of Lewis Carroll - good poem!

  5. Thank you so much, Sara! And what a kind comparison! ☼

  6. beans for breakfast, beans for lunch... oh, sorry and old nursery rhyme... loved it!!! it reads as an ol' aseop fable...

  7. Ms. Pie - thanks! That's such cool beans! ☼

  8. My friends and I have agreed that we are the signs as they were defined when we were born, because that's how the stars were aligned and where the sun sat at the time. That means I am still a Scorpio... so there too! ;D

  9. Yay Colette! To quote Ke$ha (and I cannot believe I am doing that) - We R Who We R!