John Morgan

The following is the only biographical material we could find on John Morgan:  "I was born in New York City in 1941. I grew up in Houston, Texas, where I graduated from high school. That was the end of my formal education. At the age of 12, I discovered Ogden Nash, and began writing light verse. At that age I also wanted to be a farmer. I've supported myself at odd jobs, preferring no other profession than writing. I have a performance sculpture show, using everyday objects in new ways. I have loved several women in my life, but all of them were sensible enough not to marry a poet ..."

We can add that John Morgan's poetry has appeared in journals which include Light Quarterly, The Neovictorian/Cochlea and The Eclectic Muse (the journal from which we purloined the bio).


The Moon

 I've never written a poem about the moon,
 And don't plan to anytime soon.
 Although it's true the moon has some pull,
 Still the literature's already full,
 So I expect that nothing from me is due,
 As there's nothing to say that's new.
 In these circumstances, the risk is
 That any new poem would be meniscus.
 So, Diana, I trust you'll forgive us
 If this gibberish grows gibbous.
 If this poem doesn't shine,
 That's because it's mine,
 And would probably be more refulgent
 If it weren't so self-indulgent.
 "No rain if a new moon holds water."
 But for that I wouldn't give a quarter.
 It just doesn't hold water,
 Not by Artemis' daughter.
 Already this poem's too taxing,
 Which is why it isn't waxing,
 So it's easy to explain
 Why it's best to let it wane.
 With this subject I can't come to grips,
 So let it remain in eclipse.

Fifty Thousand Years Ago

Fifty thousand years ago
Folks didn't have a place to go.
There were no ballparks and no bars,
No restaurants and no cars.
Oh, things indeed were mighty slow

Fifty thousand years ago

People didn't have any dough.
They'd just sit around the cave,
For they could neither spend nor save.
How they survived I just don't know

Fifty thousand years ago

They didn't have a picture show.
They would have to rise at dawn
To go and spear a mastodon.
The social graces were pretty low

Fifty thousand years ago

You were either friend or foe,
and the only club in town
Was the one that knocked you down.
We had a lot of room to grow,
Fifty thousand years ago.


One day light walked into the night.
One night dark walked into the light.
Led face to face,
They fled into embrace.

Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather
Would work up a lather
His flock to gather.

His brother, Wool,
More amiable,
Liked to pull
On a snootful.

His sister, Flax,
Often made attacks
And wisecracks
On Cotton's lacks.

His sister, Silk,
Not of their ilk,
All honey and milk.


The world is coming apart at the seams.
So it seems.
Sew its seams.

Gregory Street

An August day, where Gregory Street
And Knickerbocker nearby meet,
I pause and feel, in summer heat,
A little while, the world complete.

In a canopy of elms
Beside the high-banked railroad track,
Descends a peace that overwhelms
A lone traveller looking back.

Where the garden for the grower
Is the moment's only care,
The smoke of barbecue and mower
Floats and mingles in the air,

Incense of an afternoon
Ineffable beyond compare.
By a fence, the odd bird's tune
Holds me rapt, listening there.

A crop of crooked license plates
In ragged row runs down the street.
One, aptly lettered, wryly states
What others sometimes must repeat.

A bounding cat flees down the walk,
In hot pursuit by householder.
A sunflower nods upon its stalk,
Its yard anchored by a boulder.

A rusty pickup, curbside, rests
Beneath a tree where squirrels nest.
A van with confidence attests,
Writ large, "We rid your home of pests."

Tricycles lie in the grass,
Childish laughter on the breeze.
They speak to me as I pass,
I, who once was one of these.

Song of the Cardboard Box

You may think it's mystical
 Or say my head is full of rocks,
But how could we exist at all
Without the cardboard box?

Everything you eat and wear,
It came in a cardboard box.
They're here and there and everywhere,
They're life's essential building blocks.

So many ways they're bound and battened--
How many now got rich and fat
By going and getting themselves a patent
For making a box that won't fall flat!

Down at the patent office one day,
The inventors arrived in droves and flocks,
And each one had a better way
Of making a cardboard box.

At every hour, day or night,
No matter what the clock says,
There's things (I hope they make it all right),
Coming your way in cardboard boxes.

Now, they come in large and small,
There's a box of every size.
Without them we wouldn't be functional.
For sure, we'd be immobilized.

The day the cardboard box came out,
It was a great event.
People in the streets were heard to shout
"The cardboard box is Heaven-sent!"

Now, when you go to Paradise,
They say you can't take it with you.
But if you pack some things, you're wise.
In a cardboard box you can take a few.

They're passing the Pearly Gates in swarms.
St. Peter frowns and shakes his locks,
For they all are carrying in their arms
A great big cardboard box.

In the days of plagues and poxes,
When life was possibly more obnoxious,
It's one of your pretty paradoxes
How they got by without cardboard boxes.

The 31st Century


In the 31st Century
The Police Department
Will be replaced
By the Please Department.

The Please will be out
To please people
Instead of police them.


In the 31st Century
The Please will have
The power to arrest anyone
Who looks like they
Need a vacation.

If convicted by a jury,
They will be sentenced
To two weeks
In the Caribbean.


In the 31st Century
It was discovered that farming
Is a hereditary condition
Caused by cows and vegetables.

Scientists immediately set out
To find a cure.


In the 31st Century
Farm Relief Laws were passed
To give farmers some relief from
Farming while a cure was being sought.

Consequently, farmers began
To build swimming pools
In the middle of their fields.
At high noon
They'd take a dip before
Nipping back on their tractor after
Lunch, and begin to feel more human.


In the 31st Century
There were no exports or imports,
No tariffs or quotas.

Whatever people made extra,
They packed up and floated
Out to sea.
Wherever it wound up
Is where it went.


In the 31st Century
A few pieces of money
Were left in glass
Cases in museums.

Whatever people made or did
Was all they were or had
To give each other.
They lived to give,
Not to grub or grab.


In the 31st Century
there was no war
And no pacifism,
No isolationism
And no interventionism.

Countries regularly
Invaded each other
With unarmed armies
Bearing armloads of
Clocks, chickens, olive oil,
Whatever people could use.

On holidays they would
Bomb each other with
Boxes of toys, musical instruments,
Poems and cherry pies.


In the 31st Century
There were no summit meetings.
The leaders of the world
Got together once a year,
Jumped in a big swimming pool,
And got drunk,
And never talked shop.

This way peace was preserved,
And people who were made
Uncomfortable by peace
Gradually said they supposed
They could tolerate it.


In the 31st Century
It was concluded that economics
Was the science of measuring
Everything carefully to make
Sure that some people have
Too much and some people
Have too little.

Thereafter, all books on
Economics were converted
Into garden mulch.


In the 31st Century
It was discovered that
History causes cancer.

Scientists immediately
Set out to find a cure,
And within a generation,
Everyone had been
Vaccinated against


          Health Questionnaire

Have you been vaccinated against politics?
Do you wear rubbers against religiosity?
Do you carry an umbrella against ideology?
Do you practise prophylaxis against prophecy?
Do you guard against truth decay?


"Where would you like to be delivered?"
"Deliver me to the 31st Century."

Maybe someday in the
Delivery room of
The 31st Century,
Civilization will be born.