Xob of Chocolates

Drawing of a box of chocolates, with some of the spots empty where chocolates used to rest.

Who put the chocolates in the wrong places?
The caramel-filled piece is supposed to go
in the box’s top right corner,
but it turned out to be hazelnut
when I ate it.

Someone moved all the pieces!
They’re mixed up from the original package!
This is no longer a box of chocolates,
it’s a xob of chocolates.

And someone threw away the paper guide
that tells which chocolate is which,
so I could figure out some of the chocolates
by their shapes.

What if I’m in the mood for a coconut cream,
and I pick up a strawberry cream?
When I bite into it, my plans would be ruined,
my dreams smashed!

This is chaos!
This won’t do!
The chocolates should be a certain way!
We have to straighten this out!
We must have order instead of mayhem!

Without the guide, how could I arrange
the pieces in the correct positions?
It’s an impossible situation!
All hope is lost!

Well, they are tasty chocolates.
I guess this could be an adventure,
not knowing which flavor I pick up next.
Okay, I’ll give it a try.

Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. This poem is in my book, The Dancing Fish. And this poem is included in my narration of four poems from that book — click here for the YouTube video.

Pick the Aspic?

Illustration of a bowl filled with liquid, and an old ship is sailing inside the bowl.

If this restaurant carries it,
I might pick
the aspic.
Don’t look sick—
it’s not a trick,
or a nasty deer tick.
And it’s not soup or stew
or a regrettable tattoo.
It’s aspic,
and if you have the choice among the menu picks,
then you and your friend from New Brunswick
may just pick the aspic.
But be careful its gelatinous trembling
doesn’t make you seasick.

Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. This poem is in my book, The Dancing Fish.

Polk It Up

President Polk entered the tavern and made his way around the full tables and knifed through the bustling crowd at the bar to order an ale from the harried bartender. Nobody showed a sign of recognizing the president of their country being among them. They were busy drinking, eating, and making boisterously merry with their fellow countrymen.

Once served, Polk took a large gulp of the brew, appreciated the taste, and then raised the tankard high and bellowed, “Polk it up!”

Silence clapped the room.

Chair legs scrapped the floor as a customer slid so as to easier see the speaker. Silence swallowed the sound and digested for another long second.

“Eh?” asked an extravagantly bearded man standing next to the president. “Polk it up? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It’s a catchphrase, my good man!” the president belted. “It means be bold, be daring, be adventurous!”

“Do you mean Polk as in President Polk?” another man asked.

“The very one!” the president said. “Recently inaugurated and ready to get things done!”

“Don’t know anything about him,” another man said. “Is he really bold and daring?”

“Remains to be seen,” someone said. “I’m just glad Tyler’s out of there.”

“We all are!” the president said. “I’m simply spreading this soon-to-be-very-popular catchphrase!”

“I miss Van Buren’s sideburns,” the extravagantly bearded man said.

“I voted for Clay,” another man said.

“Clay’s done,” the president growled and raised his tankard again and again bellowed, “It’s time to Polk it up!”

Frowns deepened and curious expressions grew curiouser–until someone at a table started laughing, and then the laughter spread like frantic wildfire, racing ’round the tavern, with the place quickly rolling in mirth.

President Polk scowled at the lot, took a deep swig of ale, theatrically wiped his lips from the back of his hand to the end of his forearm, and stormed out of the place.

A dark cloud followed the president as he made his way back the the President’s Mansion, inside to his desk, where he scratched the tavern’s name off a list and peered at the remaining three taverns at the end of the list.

He nodded at the names and said, “It’ll catch on eventually,” then went to bed.