Roman Holiday

As seen previously on Twitter.

Have yourself
A merry Saturnalia,
If the Fates allow—
And if Zeus
Does not turn you in-to a cow.

Have yourself
A merry Saturnalia
Let your heart be light!
The Alps will keep
Those elephants all out of sight.

Here we are as in olden days
Pre-Triumv’rate days of yore—
When Senators had no cause to spill
Caesar’s blood on the floor!

Even with
The Goths upon our doorstep,
Rome may yet endure—
Or Justinian will say the fall’s deferred.
So have yourself a merry Saturnalia now!


Actually, I don’t think I want a Muse of fire.

Fire is finicky, hard to get started,
Especially when the wood is wet.
And then it burns too hot, and consumes everything.

None of this is helpful when you’re on deadline.

I’d really rather have a Muse of electricity.
Sparking with sharp, blue wit,
Casting bright, fluorescent light on all its subjects,
Summoned at the tap of my keyboard.◼

A limerick for Darwin’s 200th

Thursday is, of course, the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. To kick off a week of commemorations, symposia, and nerdy parties, I humbly submit a limerick:

The vicar, one Quite Reverend Darwin
Considered, whilst penning each sermon,
How he might have advanced,
Had he taken that chance
To go with the Beagle a-voyagin’.

(It is widely considered that Darwin, had he not taken an interest in natural history, would’ve ended up as a clergyman; see David Quamman’s excellent pocket biography, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin.)