Great-Uncle’s Birthday Bash, #Light Verse

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Doves were bathing in the punch bowl,

Flapping up a serious splash,

One of many strange happenings

At my great-uncle’s birthday bash.

Outside, the weather was all fair,

Except for the chaos that reigned.

Guests were flinging pieces of cake

At a crooner that entertained –

With a voice like a tortured cow.

Cake was sinking out in the pool,

Where swans were swimming all around,

Some old, wacky, besotted fool

Belting show tunes at top voice

In a nauseating duet,

With that crooner whose presence

Every guest had come to regret.

A party hat stuck on its face,

The blinded dog was running wild,

All through the mud in the garden,

Then knocking over a small child.

Inside, some of the younger set

Somehow organized a mosh pit

And my great-uncle in his wheelchair

Was riding over top of it.

A week ago, my great-uncle,

Who’s now a centenarian,

Had a discussion with Grandpa,

An old nonagenarian,

They discussed the celebration

Of great-uncle’s hundredth birthday,

But as both are hard of hearing

The discussion went far astray.

“Don’t make a fuss,” Great-uncle said.

“Did you say to rent a party bus?”

Grandpa took very active notes

And relayed all he heard to us.

Great-uncle said all he needed

Was fam’ly, friends and tons of love,

But somehow this translated

To renting party swans and doves.

When it came to hiring singers,

Great-uncle approved of all that,

But with his acute hearing loss,

A smile and a festive top hat

Was impression enough to hire

That talentless, crooner in rhyme,

But in the end, at least, it seems,

Great-uncle had a real good time.

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

This was written for dVerse’s Poetics prompt in which we were asked to pick one of several Ernest Hemingway quotes for inspiration. I chose this one, “It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…” from The Torrents of Spring (1926.) I’m pretty sure though that Hemingway wouldn’t appreciate being the muse for this one, but perhaps Shel Silverstein or P.G. Wodehouse would nod their approval. A while ago, I saw a prompt to write a story backwards on Reedsy. I didn’t act on it then, but I had the thought to start out with chaos and then rewind to some explanation of it. Of course, I decided to start out with comical chaos.

24 thoughts on “Great-Uncle’s Birthday Bash, #Light Verse

  1. What a fun romping rolling back the reel to the beginning of things. I actually think Papa Hemingway would have LOVED having a party like that for his 100th birthday! I’m sure he would be smiling at the thought of it.

  2. I so enjoyed this one, Susan 😀 You have made a wonderful use of the Hemingway quote here. 💝💝

    1. Ha ha. Thanks Helen. I’m glad to hear it gave you the giggles. 🙂 Mission accomplished.

    1. I’ll have to look that one up. It sounds maybe vaguely familiar, but I need a reminder. Thanks for that comment. 🙂

    2. I looked it up and read a preview on Amazon. It does look like something I’d enjoy reading. The author comes from your part of the world — something I didn’t remember — but, of course, it’s available in English.

    1. Thank you, Sunra. This is pure fiction, and I don’t have any living great uncles. My grandmother did live to be three days’ short of her 100th birthday. I am hoping longevity might be (partly) inherited. 🙂

      1. 😀 That’s hilarious, Sue! I believed the whole thing! I’m sure longevity is inherited, and even if it’s not, you can still make it so! 🙂

      2. Oh, that’s so funny, Sunra. A lot of my poetry has been more reality-based/autobiographical, but I have a wild imagination and am a fiction writer also. I like both art forms. 🙂 Yes, I am trying to take care of my health and my parents’ health also which should help a lot in living a long life. <3 :)

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