The Back Page

This “The Back Page” appeared the Summer 2007 issue of Texoma Living!.

I met George Nolen of Pottsboro when I interviewed him for the story about Icky Twerp and Slam Bang Theater. His friends mentioned that Mr. Nolen was a poet, and so I asked him to send me some of his pieces.

He did, and here are a few. But first, from this pen, a short introduction.

George Nolen
78
Hasn’t written much of late
But when he does
It’s got
Panache
That makes one think of Ogden Nash

George is,
No doubt, a clever scribbler
Whose verse
Is nimbler
And funnier
And certainly punnier
Than other poets
Of Pottsboro town,
Are there more like him around?

Haywire Ballads
By George Nolan

I wish I had written “Casey at the Bat,”
“Gunga Din” and poems like that
Instead of these,
But please,
Know that I am glad I didn’t write
“The Cheshire Cat”
Or
“Trees.”

I look back and what do I see?
A different drummer marching to me!
That’s ec-cen-tric-i-tee!)


Down at the P.O.
It seems by now they should know
Please!…
To stop the disgruntled
And other criminalese
They must hire only gruntled employees!

To: The corny but (but loveable) Edgar A. Guest
In iambic pentameter
I’m merely an amateur
The lines do not run true.
The thoughts lack rhythm
The truth’s not with ’em,
So the poems I write are few.
But weak as they are
I prefer them by far
To the ones written by you.

At the market
What a lark it
Is
To find among the cans and meats
Fresh European beets!
When the girl inquires
(As she does to all the buyers)
“How will you pay
“This amount?”
I love to say,
“Just put it on my Swiss chard account!”

I suppose…
That at creation
There was an obligation
For origination,
So
(Although no one knows)
Maybe God made the plea…
“Let there be me!”
(And I suppose
It was so)

If up was down
And down was up
And square was round
Like a coffee cup
And ought was naught
Then
What’s the capital of North Dakota?
(…It appears I have lost my train of thought…)


At the ballet…
Any lover of “le danse” knows
The girls must stand upon their toes.
But what I say,
For all those lifts and twirls…
Why don’t they just hire taller girls?


“Courage is being scared to death—but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne (1907 – 1979)

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)