The swan barely moved for years
Sometimes art is that way
When it did there was cause for tears.

The owners kept the swan away from shears
Letting the vines grow destructively astray
As such, the swan barely moved for years

The owners decided to change gears
Selling their home under the condition to take the swan away
And as they did they would cause tears.

They offered the swan to the artist over a few beers
She liked the idea as if it where a beautiful bouquet
Even though the swan had barely moved for years.

The artist saw no room for cheers
When she saw the swan was past his heyday
And the move was the cause for her tears

Before a judge they would all appear
Talking of neglect of art as foul play
Because of this swan that barely moved for years
The moving of which was the cause of so many tears.

“What about you, do you want to play on the varsity team?”

“I did, but I guess not now.”

“Why do you say that?”

“That’s why we’re here, right? You’re cutting me.”

“No, I want you to play on the team.”

“Oops, I do.”

With that, I was on the varsity basketball team. When Coach Farrior called me over to the middle of the gym, I was sure I would be cut. Little did I know how much I would learn and how fun my basketball experience would be. There were two sophomores on the team that year. Tim Marsh was an athletic point guard with quickness that I would never know. He was also confident enough to sing Jack and Diane before practice in a way that would have made Marvin Gaye and John Cougar (Cougar-Mellencamp, Mellencamp) fall over laughing. I was a spot up shooter and Danny Ainge type of annoyance on the court. Without a fearlessness to playing defense, I would never have been able to play basketball. Whatever the reason, Coach Farrior kept me on the team.

There were many rules to being on the team. Most had to do with scheduling and since there was only one gym at Lafayette practice times were regimented. There were two practice blocks. One week the boys went first and the girls went second. That would switch the next week. During the non-practice block we were supposed to go into a classroom and have a study hall.

Supposed to…

Coach Farrior would set the tone at the start of the season and stay in the room. I can only imagine how bored he must have been. I sat back in the corner trying to balance open eyed naps with getting some homework done. I assumed the rest of the team was doing the same. One day, Coach left the room and that was it. Court was in session.

Mondays were the best because my older teammates were out committing “crimes of gossip” that needed to be brought up and judged by a testosterone fueled jury of adolescent males. As I remember it, Maurice would bring the court to session. He would announce the charges, most often those would be levied against someone who had dared to close the door to a room at a party. Whenever there was a strong denial or weak defense, JIP would bring his Shaft like intensity and call “BS” to the whole thing. Finally, there would be a confession and the sentence was a public humiliation of laughter.

Again, as I remember it, one person took most of the brunt of this kangaroo court. I was stealthy, so none of my stuff got prosecuted and there was plenty enough to strap me to the laughing chair for many practices. When the season was over, I tried to get the same thing going with the baseball team, but we just weren’t funny enough to make it happen. Too thin skinned, I guess. No matter, the basketball court was something I still laugh about today.


Little Lucy, before the judge
Had the matrimony in mind
Legal wisdom would need a nudge
To see if this seventh grader was indeed the marrying kind
Testimony was duly sworn
The judge had a lot to think about
He seemed to be morally torn
But the bride, her parents, and groom gave him no legal doubt
So married they were down Sea Isle way
Just after she finished elementary school
Lucy was bound to this thirty three year old man on this day
With the judge hoping the law was no fool

The union of these two sure seems wrong
Unless of course their love was seriously strong.


Author’s Note: Based on story in the NYT 7/3/1937, p.32. Crazy…

Photo Credit: By Costică Acsinte Archive [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

The forecast for Artis foretold time
Little did he know it was his lawyer in the news
The world thought of him in crime
As he shuffled about in prison shoes
He didn’t make a livin’ pimpin’ pimps
But the negativity was everywhere
Each day he was only able to catch a glimpse
Because his imprisonment was justly unfair
The judge didn’t buy his lawyer’s plan
Sticking with his original ruling
But Artis never thought his innocence as less than
While knowing the appeals would be grueling

Years would pass before he was out
The forecast knew what the law was about

Photo Credit: See Below

Six true sighted witnesses
Suddenly became blind
To the violence of the underworld bosses
Who were standing trial
For killing other crooks
And cooking trash collection books.

Six true sighted witnesses
With sworn affidavits
Impeaching the perpetrators of mayhem
Forgot what they had seen
Saying that they must have been mistaken
With a voice obviously shaken.

Six true sighted witnesses
Saw all too clearly
The consequences of their fate
Were they not able to forget
Everything they had seen
So life continued as it had been.


“Interior of Albury Court House” by Photographic Collection – Flickr: Interior of Albury Court House. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –