Every so often, I’ll be writing poems based on suggestions from my readers. This week marks my first entry, on the nonsense topic “louder chowder.” Thanks to BKB for the suggestion! (If you’d like to suggest a topic, you can send me a message here, or look for announcements on my FB page.)
A steaming bowl of chowder—
Mmmmm, I licked my lips with glee.
My stomach grumbled in delight
At yum-ness from the sea.
I sat myself down at a spot
That overlooked the water
And sprinkled on a little sauce
To make my hot bowl hotter.
I lifted up the spoon
until it nearly reached my mouth
And don’t you know, that’s right when dinner
started heading south.
“STOP!” I heard, and started
So my spoon fell with a clatter,
The soup dripped from my nose and chin,
My shirt was all a-splatter.
“What the what?!” I asked myself,
Eyes round with disbelief.
I could’ve sworn it was the soup
That caused me all this grief.
But no, the soup just sat and steamed,
The spoon lay undisturbed.
I picked it up and huffed a sigh,
My mind was quite perturbed.
“I must be going nuts,” I thought.
“I swear I’m hearing things.
Next thing you know, I’ll start to think
I’ve heard a clam that sings!”
I loaded up the spoon again
With chunks of steaming stew,
And once again, I heard it: “STOP!”
NOW what was I to do?!
I took a breath to calm myself
And put the spoon back down,
Then quickly looked this way and that—
Nobody was around.
“Is something in there?” whispered I
Into the bowl of soup
(feeling silly, oh so silly!
Surely I’d been duped).
But lo! Behold, a voice arose
From in the steaming crock.
The voice was just a whisper now;
I hardly heard it talk.
“Psssziiiibbbdiiziiib,” it whispered,
As I strained so close to hear.
“What’s that, you say?” I asked it back
And leaned in with an ear.
“Pfffiiigaaarooooo,” it croaked out,
And by now I felt frustrated.
“You must say it louder, chowder!”
And I sat back and I waited.
And then the voice piped up and said
As plainly clear as day,
“I say good chap, please dump me out
Just over in the Bay.
“It’s warm in here, and I’m afraid
I’m feeling rather steamy.
A clam like me’s not meant to be
In liquid quite so creamy.
“So be a good bloke if you would;
Return me to the waves.
I’d rather not be late for lunch;
That’s no way to behave.”
So with a sigh I slowly stood
And overturned the dish
Into the churning waves nearby
Where Clam could join the fish.
I walked back to the table, dazed,
My stomach still a-rumble.
My mind still reeled in disbelief,
My thoughts were still a jumble.
The waiter came and took the bowl,
And I just paid the bill.
Not one small bite had crossed my lips
But I had had my fill.
So next time that you’re craving soup,
Rethink your choice, my friend.
Perhaps it’s not the clams you want.
Here’s what I recommend:
When your stomach’s growling
and it’s time to break the bread,
Please save yourself some trouble;
Have the onion soup instead.
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(c) 2013, Karen E. Martin
image: tiny banquet committee, some rights reserved