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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: It's a Colorful World (12/03/09)

TITLE: As a Fowl Hath
By Beth LaBuff


Subjects in a kingdom with
A vastly different culture,
Were a flock of finely feathered fowl,
Ruled by a vulture.

The vulture had a press conference,
Announced some shocking facts,
Their infrastructure needed fixed,
He’d have to raise their tax.

To start with a committee had
To analyze decay.
It seemed that bumps and potholes
Plagued their landing strip runway.

The vulture used conscription
To draft a common loon,
His job— to raise tax revenue—
Find ways to do it soon.

Taxes charged— “as each fowl hath
And based on what they wore.
Some birds would pay a little
While others would pay more.

Each fowl, taxed on its colors,
Whether tone or whether hue,
More colors— higher taxes
To compile new revenue.

A census was mandated
To count colors on each bird.
Single-file before the loon,
Much grousing could be heard.

Rich peacock, wealthy humming bird—
Or so the loon assumed,
And placed on them a premium tax
For iridescent plumes.

A shy goose in her gray down coat,
From fright, started to swoon.
She left a pile of feathers
As she molted near the loon.

Canary yellow, chartreuse, teal,
Cardinal red, and heather,
Sapphire, crow black, indigo—
To tally colored feathers.

The new tax program—a success,
The loon assumed free rein,
Became a little crazy and
Imposed more tax campaigns.

A mandate stated every fowl
Must pass a wing inspection,
Then openly display a tag
On their hindquarter section.

For every flight-plan filed,
A flight-plan tax was due,
Was payable at take-off
By every fowl who flew.

The robins, charged a wing and leg,
And sought to take up arms,
Because of sky-high property
Tax on their earthworm farms.

The mallard sought a tax shelter,
A duck blind— his escape,
Was forced to buy a duck stamp
And attached it with duck tape.

A warbler tax on twitterers,
A clean tax on birdbaths,
The loon became creative
With his loony tax-brained math.

Not content to tax the living
With their levies, so absurd,
The loon and vulture looked for ways
To tax the dodo bird.

Disenfranchised in their kingdom,
Fowl citizens— distraught.
The cuckoo vocalized the words
That other birds now thought.

Colors! Numbers! Visa verse!
They left the loon insane,
Contributed to his demise,
He’d overtaxed his brain.

His eulogy delivered by
The vulture’s raucous spiel,
Who seized the opportunity,
Not one to waste a meal!

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This article has been read 1372 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beautiful ballad stanzas telling a funny tale from the world of fowls. Majestic lines dotted with puns and coloured with alliterations. 'And sought to take up arms'.. Perfect pun that reminds me of Alexander Pope. And so many other elegant stanzas that I admire. Content...rich. This also is like a Level 4 FW poetry. Atimes I wonder how you create these funny stories in so short a time. You know I'll find you. Congratulations on your last submission.
Lynda Schultz 12/11/09
Absolutely delightful!
Linda Payne12/12/09
Delightful, funny, creative, well done take on this week's theme and a poke at the never-ending headache of taxes.
Noel Mitaxa 12/13/09
This swan-derful entry is so star(t)ling-ly good that we should avoid trying to emu-late it, lest we be ostr(ich)asised or labeled as raven loon-atics.
Maybe this poem could be part of an FW propa-gander program. But seriously, great imagination with a beautiful sense of rhythm and fun.
Dianne Janak12/14/09
HA! Clever, presently dated, funny, sad :( 'cause it rings true, and VERY VERY well done as usual! Where do your ideas come from?? Continuing to amaze and delight my reader's eyes!
Colin Swann12/14/09
I though this was extremely funny and being a birdman wondered how much the loon would tax my once seven coloured finch (the goldfinch)I had as a pet.

Verna Cole Mitchell 12/14/09
As usual, you made me envious of your creative/poetic mind. I chucked all the way through and cackled at the last line.
Jim McWhinnie 12/14/09
A celebration of the richly imaginative bard that you always prove to be.

Absolutely delightful.
Sheri Gordon12/14/09
You are so darn talented. This was so funny, and sarcastic...and scary. Great job.
Charla Diehl 12/16/09
This was superb in wit, rhyme, meter and entertainment. Your carefully chosen words in each verse are evidence of your master level talent. I expect to see this in the EC list.
Linda Wright12/17/09
This was witty, creative and humorous! Loved it. The poetry itself was good in rhyme and meter.
Elizabeth Baize01/27/10
As someone else mentioned, this is amazing satire. Thanks for the great read. I especially enjoyed the lines,"The mallard sought a tax shelter,
A duck blind— his escape,
Was forced to buy a duck stamp
And attached it with duck tape."
Betty Castleberry08/26/11
Love, love, love this! Great commentary on today's political environment as well. Excellent job.