The Great and Powerful Zeno has issued a sonnet-writing challenge, but anyone who knows him from the Haiku Smackdown is well aware of his talents and wouldn’t go up against him without liquid courage and a double-dog dare.
Instead, I set HIM a challenge: “OK, impress me. Use my new motto, and have it before I wake up in the morning.” And this is what he had waiting for me:
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans; if you want to make him wince, tell him mine”
Ah, there but for the grace of God go I.
Knee deep in rats, arm in a sling and spraying
Lysol on a keyboard. There’s the sigh
That signals tight wound nerve ends almost fraying.
Ants marching two by two, or is it four,
Across the kitchen looking like they’re playing
Games on Mindy’s brightly polished floor;
They only came to visit, now they’re staying.
And in the background Molly gets the mail
Again, despite the fact for her the jury’s out,
While Mr Orkin’s looking rather pale,
His shiny face displaying mammoth doubt.
Your plans may make God laugh, but tell him mine
And you will see him wince at his design.
Only mild applause please for the Elizabethan, save it for the Petrarchan…
“There is a particular wry type of smile your stories evoke… you might consider trademarking it!”
There is a certain wry, unconscious smile
Evoked by words that tumble from your pen;
To the extent that sometimes now and then
One stops and wonders whether it’s your style
Or content, because both tend to beguile
The reader as he ponders. Other men
May think you’re strong and tough, but I know when
These written signals mark another milestone
On your path to safety, peace and health.
Your heart will almost always guide you through
the danger but your underlying wealth
Is found in friendships forged along the way.
Ten thousand readers will agree you’re due
A holiday from this unneeded stealth.
Being unsure which motto was meant, I did a doubler… two for the price of one, and cheap at half the price.
Bravo, Zeno. You.are.magic.