NaPoWriMo 09 – day 7

Raising the Admiral

Frankly, I blame the goldfish, but
who else could man a fleet so far from sea?
Apart from me?

It came to nothing. No, to less
than less than that.
The Iowans were waiting, and now
Nebraska’s burning. Oh

farewell, farewell, the endless fields
of corn, where I dreamed
of ships and slaves and creaking oars
and husky whores.

Now KoolAid runs like blood
along the Hundredth Parallel
and who can tell what will be next?

Goodbye, goodbye Nebraska
and your stately ponderosas.
I leave to you the tadpoles and
my heartiest condolences.

From up here, I can see
where we went wrong, I can
see it all so plain.

Such a shame.



This image by Pensiero was the ReadWritePoem prompt for day 6. Somehow, the figure on the right looks to me like someone wearing a Napoleon-esque tricorn hat. That gave me the title. So I did a quick Wiki-surf to get some background, and stumbled upon a real gem: the Nebraska Admiral. It’s an honorary title, and the wording of the award begins:

And I, [the Governor of Nebraska], do strictly charge and require all officers, seamen, tadpoles and goldfish under your command to be obedient to your orders as Admiral …

No, I’m not making this up. Apparently among the list of people who have been made Nebraskan Admiral are Jack Benny, Bill Murray, Bob Hope and George W Bush. (Also Sir Edmund Hillary and Queen Elizabeth II, but I have a moral objection to putting them in the same sentence as Dubbya.) From that point onwards the poem more or less wrote itself – some inept, deluded dude who fancies himself a military leader, being rescued from the scene of the carnage he has created, staring down between his feet and waving goodbye.

Hmm. There are possibilities for serious political satire …

Comments and suggestions welcomed.

3 Replies to “NaPoWriMo 09 – day 7”

  1. I liked it, before I read the explanation, but found it a bit puzzling. I think it’s one of those poems that definitely benefit from footnotes, though in this case, that’s not a bad thing. (I’m not a big fan of footnotes on poems and long-winded explanations at poetry readings, on the whole)

Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: