Mae Scanlan



A cloud gave a shake, and out dropped a flake,
And it silently fell to the ground.
Then more quickly followed; the passive earth swallowed
Them up, with no hint of a sound.

The blacks, reds, and blues, and the less vivid hues
Became blurred as the snowflakes descended.
The angular edges of rooftops and ledges
Were softened as they, and snow, blended.

The snow began piling, creating beguiling
Arrangements of powdery fluff.
The weekend’s debris one could no longer see;
Expunged, for the moment, was “stuff.”

Too bad there is no mental equal of snow
That might cover the mess in our minds,
Or those damnable parts that lie deep in our hearts
Which we keenly hope nobody finds.

Vegetable Love

It has come to my attention that botanists are proposing a new theory
(Of which I’m leery)
That vegetables have a predilection
For affection.
I guess that means
That carrots, brussels sprouts, corn, Swiss chard, asparagus, and beans
Harbor hidden passions, yes, and sensitivities
Toward one another, among lesser proclivities.
As I observe the green edibles on my plate,
It’s unsettling to realize that if they are capable of love, they’re also
capable of hate.
Do red and yellow peppers
Accept and welcome their green brothers and sisters, or treat them like
Do veggies feel fear,
And cringe when the knife or pot of boiling water comes near?
Figuring out the fragile, fickle feelings of human families, friends, and
foes is enough of a trial;
I certainly can’t get involved with emotions in the garden patch and
the fresh produce aisle.

Easy Come, ‘E’sy Go

This poem contains no E’s, à la Oulipo lipograms.

Down and up, up and down,
Frown and laugh, laugh and frown.
Pout or grin, grin or pout,
Find a way to stick it out.

Back and forth, forth and back,
Occasionally off our track.
Now it’s high, now it’s low,
That’s how Living’s apt to go.

Rich or poor, poor or rich,
On a mountain, in a ditch.
First it’s dark, but soon it’s dawn.
That instructs us: carry on.

Birth; and vita, short or long,
And you sing your final song.
Many sorrows, many joys;
That’s our story, girls and boys.

Mae Scanlan can’t remember a time when she didn’t write humorous verse. Happily, she’s managed to get a fair amount of it published, in both the U.S. and the U.K. Her other addictions are song writing, photography, and The Washington Post’s Style Invitational.