A short narrative poem with stanzas of two or four lines and usually a refrain. The story of a ballad can originate from a wide range of subject matter but most frequently deals with folk-lore or popular legends. They are written in straight-forward verse, seldom with detail, but always with graphic simplicity and force. Most ballads are suitable for singing and, while sometimes varied in practice, are generally written in ballad meter, i.e., alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming. (Shadow Poetry)

They Spit – Ballad One ( August 6, 2013)

I want to talk of camels
great disgusting creatures
ships upon the desert
with a most disgusting feature
…they spit!

Living near the desert
I got to know some camels
they’re right nasty buggers
smelly, always cudding
then…they spit!

There was one nasty beast
(even nastier than most)
he’d try to stomp his feeder’s feet
trample them in the dust…
then…he’d spit


I met a camel driver
what offered me a ride
his camel was bad-tempered
it looked me in the eye
then…he spat


Lines 4 – 6 spoken alla Arlo Guthrie
Well not so many years ago
I went off to Amerikey
I went to see a baseball game
for which that country’s famed.
When what was I to see
the batter at the plate
was working on his jaws
his chaw to ruminate
My mind went back to camels
and their nasty ways
the pitcher and the batter
challenged with their eyes
then…they spat.


They Spit – Ballad 2 (19 May 2014)

Yes, they’re always grouchy and they spit
You’ll have to hope you won’t get hit
By the gob they let sail through the air
Aiming at anything without nary a care!

Have you heard about those crazy camels?
Those humpy lumpy silly mammals?
They’re called the ships of the desert waste
They’re always grouchy and they spit!

They sail across the desert sands …
In the hottest and most hostile lands,
They’re dusty and they have no taste,
They’re always grouchy and they spit!

The Tuaregs ride them in their treks …
(They really love these wretched wrecks!)
Certainly they can never be misplaced,
They’re always grouchy and they spit!


I met one when I lived near the desert …
It stank and I found it was quite an effort
Not to run off in the greatest haste …
They’re always grouchy and they spit!


Gwyn and Her Sisters (May 1, 2014)

Although those days have long gone by
We still remember Gwyn and her sisters…
Their bright red silk dancing gowns
And their sleek black colt forty-fives?

Now in those days of long ago,
Lived a family that was dirt poor
In Will County in a wooded glade
In the hills of Ap-pa-la-chi-a…


No sons had they just six sweet girls
And Pearls were they each and every one
Gwyn was the brightest gem of them all
And she sang like a nightingale …
It all happened back in twenty-one
The bankers wanted to take their home
The girls walked into the director’s office
With Gwyn a looking quite forlorn.


“You took our parents for a ride,” she sighed
“You’re no more than a common crook …
Your interest rates compounded until of course,
They couldn’t get off your tether hook.”


“You’ve cheated half the town this way…
Leaving widows and children high and dry
We of the family have hereby decided …
It’s now high time you begin to cry!”


So the girls began a month-long run
Bank robbing with their black guns
The feds tried to round them in
But they got no leads from anyone.


The girls disappeared from the countryside…
The people in Will county were richer and wise.
The bankers had to compromise
All thanks to Gwyn and the girls.


Now no one knew where the girls had gone.
No one saw them after that month-long run.
Some say they went into the hills.
Some they sailed over the seas.


I’ll tell you something if you want to know
I was a walking in gay Paree back in thirty-three
I saw sweet Gwyn a dancing in the Moulin Rouge
And asked her if she’d marry me.


We’ve been together for fifty years
We’ve had a lot of laughs and some tears
My sweet little pearl from the wooded glade
In the hills of Ap-pa-la-chi-a.

in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.