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Best Poems Written by Maurice Rigoler

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An Old Wise Fish

An old wise fish who said to a fry:
Beware of a hook in worm’s clothing,
or the skimming of a flashy surface fly –
both are the fisherman’s camouflage
designed not for your but his advantage,
and for both develop a deep loathing.
For in our Ancient Writ it is written: 
He who by said worm or fly is hooked
will from the living be taken and cooked
and with guiltless satisfaction eaten. 

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

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I rarely give thought to my feet, much less 
the feet of others, aesthetically, I mean, 
unless attached to polished marble, say, 

Michelangelo’s Moses, or Rembrandt’s 
painting of Bathsheba washing hers,
to name but two notable examples. 

Anatomically I find the feet of young women 
more attractive than those of older women.  
They’re nicely shaped, smooth and comely. 

Less so older women’s which usually
suffer from aging and weight gain, and a life
style more sedantary than active.

As for painted toe nails, in colors often 
garish and tasteless, most men find them 
vain, infantile, silly, and eyesores.

As sexual stimulants, feet, unlike legs,
rarely catch a male’s roving eyes, though they 
are the usual first rung up a lusty ladder.

In the world of “high art,” female feet
are low on most male’s list of things that
arouse. Breasts, hips, and butts dominate 

and are showered with unrealistic
importance when they carry a pretty face,
for there is no limit to the imagination.

Another drawback to feet is this: 
They have nothing of the expressive quality
of, say, a pair of hands, male or female.

Think of Leonardo’s La Giaconda (Mona Lisa). 
No pair of feet, no matter how refined, 
captures the contented nature of her hands.

At one time everything in the world
depended on feet – war, trade, news, even
wine making. Feet made the world go round. 

But no longer. Modern mechanical modes 
of transportation – cars, trains, jets – have made
the use of human feet almost obsolete.

Consequently, our feet have become heirs 
to chronic aches, pains, and ugly deformities.
Little wonder so many complain about them.
Aging, of course, is largely the villain here, 
often turning feet into ugly lumps
of unwholesome looking flesh, barnacled 

with bunions, corns, callouses, dry skin, 
ingrown toe nails, and other annoying
foot conditions most feet are heir to.

But it’s not all bleak. There is an antidote:
Preventive care and proper hygiene 
like weekly soakings with salts and other 

therapeutic solutions along with a healthy 
diet, regular pedicures, daily walks and proper 
shoe wear help keep feet healthy and comely. 
And here’s an analogy unrelated to feet
though appropriate and applicable:
People who talk a lot rarely have sore mouths.

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

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Gardeners Unite

Gardeners, listen up, give heed
to the woodchuck’s insatiable greed!
Cock your rifles, set your sights
keep a vigil, days and nights,
and when the moment’s right
blow off his head – and appetite!
Then, if you have a mind to,
skin him down to bone and sinew;
gut him clean, wash him down
with a devilish grin, not a frown!
Amply sprinkle with salt and pepper
or some herbs you prefer better
(thyme or garlic or lemon zest
which old Yankees say are best).
And if your palate favors Escoffier,
soak the critter in wine or beer,
it’ll tenderize him nicely, it’s said,
just make sure the critter’s dead.
Then bake him until fork tender.
At that point do not surrender
your determination but be firm
and resolute, without a squirm.
It may help to revive your rage
by recalling his eating rampage,
how he hoggishly ate your veggies down
to leafless stem and nubby crown!
Then sit at table with contentment
savoring the long-awaited moment,
when the object of your hunger and hate
is laid supine upon a serving plate!
Then let your anger no more harden –
eat him greedily like he did your garden!

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

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My Surgeons Specialty

My doctor is a surgeon, a man of know-how and expedience.
I set before you now his methods from personal experience:

When, to my despair, I developed ED, he transplaned me another
and quipped: It may not always rise to the occasion, it’s from a cadaver.

I turned to excessive drinking, so he advised without a quiver:
“Jaundiced skin and burning bile, I fear, are symptoms of a diseased liver.

With Murphy’s law on a roll, I developed diabetes, so he took me aside:
“Your pancreas, I feel, would serve science better in formaldehyde.”

When stomach aches increased along with mortifying diarrhea,
he said:  “Which would you prefer removed: your stomach or your rear.” 
A head-on car collision left me all but paralyzed and one ear deaf.
“Let me operate, you won’t complain,” he whispered in my one ear left.  

Reduced to a living carcass or cadaver, he saved the worse for last:
your arms and legs need amputating, the gangrene has spread too fast.

But don’t lose hope, and please try to control the loud hysterics.
I’ll have you walking in no time with state-of-the-art life-like prosthetics.

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

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The Postman

The postman brings the mail
through rain and snow and hail.
What an example of reliance –
his arrival’s certain as a science!
With care and pride and scrutiny
he sorts the mail responsibly:
Name and address must agree
with the box of each addressee.
Every piece he carefully inserts
where it belongs, lest it reverts.
My one complaint is that he fills
my box with far too many bills.

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

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Say, are you dysfunctional

Say, are you dysfunctional
always late, never punctual?
Are you habitual
in putting off medical
appointments critical
to your health, physical 
or psychological?
Lastly, given his schedule,
has your doctor cancealed
attending your funeral
knowing you’ll be late as usual?

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

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Our All Too Human Nature

"Kings and philosophers defecate, and ladies too."
		               – Michel de Montaigne

He spared no one his pen. Humanity was bound 
to its flesh like a donkey its burden.

Montaigne, that intrepid apologist for 
our squeamish humanity, had no misgivings 
about it or any other bodily function he –
or we – experienced. In particular that
function that brings us down on a footing 
with every other creature we share 
the planet with. – how it puzzled him 
that this marvel of biological engineering 
and expedience should be so disturbing 
to so many of his countrymen, as though 
it posed an unwanted and embarrassment 
to their “loftier” and “superior” natures. 

Few men were as comfortable in 
the fallen flesh as was this Frenchman – 
unless, of course, it interfered with his 
well-being or pressed its discomforts too 
acutely. Was there any aspect of his – our –
human nature he did not deem worthy 
of his study, contemplation or tireless pen? 

It puzzled him that so many of his
privileged countrymen were uncomfortable 
with the flesh, particularly over-refined ladies. 
They found it too animal, too earthy, 
too lacking in acceptable and noble graces. 

Not so this ex-mayor of Bordeaux 
and addicted bookworm. He loved nothing 
better than to enclose himself in his tower, 
and there read and absorb the ancient 
Latin lights – Horace, Virgil, Lucretius 
and dozens more like them, who spoke 
to him through their poetry and wisdom, 
such as it was, and which he made his own – 
even at the expense of his religion 
and the Nazarene to whom he paid weak
lip service without a pang of conscience.

Like a donkey, he bore his flesh without 
complaint, grudge, or disgust. As for those 
who found the burden harsh and heavy, 
less than tolerable, he would have laughed 
with derision and contempt at how they
so easily failed at seeing themselves
as they really were, less than dumb 
and braying asses.

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, also known as Lord of Montaigne, was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with intellectual insight. 
Born: February 28, 1533, Château de Montaigne
Died: September 13, 1592, Château de Montaigne

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

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Our Puritan Mentality

Our Puritan mentality
still informs our sexuality.
The prudish say it grieves
to be mortifyingly exposed,
but are consoled that clothes
conceal better than fig leaves.

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

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Of course I don’t believe in UFOs.
What aliens in their right mind would go
	so far out into space
	to see an “alien” race
as whacky as ours, unless they were also? 

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021

Details | Maurice Rigoler Poem

Night Geese

A white full moon. Geese calls. 
I rush to the window to catch a glimpse 
of these night travelers flying over 
the house like fugitive shadows. Too late. 
There is only moonlight and diminishing
geese calls somewhere in the distance.

They have no fear of the dark, these wild geese. 
They have flown over my roof many times before.
It is their time, their season. The night is a starlit highway, 
a trustworthy guide to a welcoming destination.

Shall I call them blessed? Happy? To be pitied?

They know the guiding voices of stars
but unlike us are deaf to the voices of darkness
and the light we search for, burn for, they are blind to. 
They live out their predetermined lives unaware
of any alternative and die according to laws 
set down on the stones of ancient origins – fixed, 
unchangeable, without variation or deviation.

Shall I call them blessed? Happy? To be pitied?

Freedom is not a concept to them; they know
only the air – limitless, infinite – the exhilaration 
of flight. They have never struggled to achieve it, 
never offered blood to safeguard it, never fought 
to defend it. Heroism, valor, the praise of peers – 
none of these mar their freedom. Neither do they 
grasp or thirst for fame.

Shall I call them blessed? Happy? To be pitied?

No creed lifts their nature above their kind
or any other creature that shares this planet. 
Not one dictates its behavior to others. They do not 
struggle with right and wrong, good and bad. 
They acknowledge no Power, nor seek one. 
Yet they are not outside the eye of Providence. 
Content simply to be, they carry out, fulfill 
the dictates and purposes unknowingly written
in the blood, which benefit each one, those they 
engender, and wage no harm or reprisals against 
their own or others.

They are blessed, happy, to be envied. 

And when Death calls, they go willingly, without 
qualm or fear. They hear no inner voice of condemnation 
or approval. They do not look back with regrets 
on the life they lived, whether it was marred by mistakes, 
wrong turns or fatal decisions, or shameful behavior and acts.
They do not seek forgiveness, have no need to be contrite,
and look for no mercy or saving grace.

I call them blessed, happy, to be envied.

The night is silent. Sleep will not come easy now, 
and I will ask myself timeless and worn-out questions 
that only we humans ask and seek answers to, 
and I will burn for days with envy, wishing I were 
as blessed as those night geese.

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021