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A REFUGE FOR POETS WHO WRITE IN THE LYRIC TRADITION,

WITH RHYME AND METER, WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC




I KNOW A CROOKED MAN

I know a crooked man
Who surveyed a crooked line,
Claiming bits of lovely land,
One pin at a time.

He said the line was straight.
He drew it on a plat,
And filed it with the state,
Thinking that was that.

He made us close a trail
And take the markers out,
Thinking we would fail
To check the survey out.

The pins set in the rocks
And the flagging on the trees
Were sometimes off by even more
Than forty-five degrees.

And always in his favor,
To give him extra land,
The fairest alpine meadows,
The finest timber stands.

He thinks hes very clever,
But his method is too flawed.
There is a word for such endeavors.
The judges call it fraud.

He needs a legal summons
And a lien upon his land,
And I would the story
Upon the witness stand.

Though he is only bluffing,
He will find that I am not,
For if we all do nothing
This is never going to stop.

Perhaps hell be forbidden
From working in the field,
For there is nothing hidden
That will not be revealed.

Lake George, New York, 2007



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