Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 49 - Rat Watchin'

Ok, so this entry is mostly going to be about watching the rats run across the top rail of my back fence (along with the other critters, like possums, skunks and the occasional raccoon). I know this blog is supposed to be about my novel progress, and I was going to write about that, but there's nothing really interesting enough to blog about at this moment so you get rat poetry instead. That said, here is the quick novel update: I got my manuscript back yesterday from my editor--I'm very happy to get cracking on that--and I got a call from Createspace again wanting to know if I am ready yet, which obviously I am not. So, that's the book update, minus a cussing rant about how much of a pain in the ass trying to do my own website is proving to be. If you want to laugh at my ineptitude, feel free to go look at it and enjoy the train wreck I have made out of my theme. ( (sigh). All good things in time, they say.

So, that said, and without further adieu, here is my new, illustrated poem, "Rat Watchin."

Evening in my back yard
Rat Watchin’
By John Daulton

Staged upon the top most rail
Of my gap-toothed backyard fence
Runs a rodent play we love to watch
Each night it does commence.

The backdrop hangs a sky of gray
Above distant city lights
The glow of them behind it all
Blacks silhouettes just right.

Each character makes its entrance
Dark shapes and nothing more
A furtive wave of rats that run
From offstage to next door.

The players enter
Little nimble Romeos
With pointy noses sniff the air
Rat Hamlets do soliloquies
Speaking silently of despair.

"To be or not to be ..."
On the Broadway of our back yard
While the ghost of Willy Loman
Eats the garbage we discard.

I’ve seen those little hunchbacks
Running the fence line now for years
A Street Car Named Desire
Done with whiskers, claws and ears.

But soft, what light through yonder city breaks?
It is the west and Juliette is a rat...

My wife and I, we sit there
and gaze upon the show
While the rodents keep performing
As if they didn’t know.

It’s like they have no worries
No care, we’ll think they suck
They fear nothing of our criticism
Although they watch for LeRoy’s truck.

For LeRoy does our pest control
And the ensemble he could kill
Only we, the audience
Know if he won’t or if he will.


So caper, prance and pirouette
Rat Macbeths and Gertrude queens
To keep your thespian freedoms
Make this the best we’ve ever seen.

Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed the poem. I'll be back in a few days with a real update on my progress. Oh, and if you live in the greater Sacramento area and need some pest control, LeRoy (Outback Pest Control) is seriously the most awesome pest control guy you will ever get. He is courteous, thorough, uses all the right chemicals so the bugs die and your cats don't, AND, he puts up with stupidity like us not letting him kill the snakes and pigeons and other crap that we are too soft and bleeding-heart to want dead. Yet. LOL. One too many actors up on that stage and the Globe is going down, if you know what I'm saying.


  1. Love it! Bravo!

  2. You have to love it. Contract of marriage. But I'll take it anyway. :)

  3. Ha! Here it's chipmunks, possums, and crows.

    And yes, slapping up a website is not the intuitive, no sweat project it should be. Every time I've tried it I've given up after about six months of me swearing before and after patient, friendly people (who are not tech-challenged) explain things to me that I cannot understand--over and over and over again.

    I think I was smarter when I was younger and better looking. (At least that's what the guys said...)

  4. Yeah, well at least you had a better looking period in your life. I started out looking meh and have declined to WTF.

    And you may be presaging my experience. I still have some videos to watch in the series, so hopefully I can save it. But right now it's pretty jacked up.

  5. Hey. Awesome poem...and excellent illustrations too boot. Ima gonna go check out your website. Mine is up and running, though not yet complete. Still building. Have a sneak peak at the all new Crusty Curmudgeon.

  6. WEll, I'm sure once you see my website you will laugh, or cry, or vomit. LOL. Upside is, got the summer to fix it. :)

    Off to check yours out now.

  7. Yea, LeRoy is taking care of our rodent friends here in Davis. Thank god for LeRoy! Keep up the great stuff John!

  8. This is what makes you a genius. The only thing that ever comes to mind when I see rats is "EEEEEWWW!" You, on the other hand turn it into literary fun for all. Makes the rest of us green with envy, really. Hmmmph. ;-)

  9. See, that's what I like about you. You can turn my redneck, back-yard sitting, beer drinking, rat having take on the world into "genius." I love it. :)

  10. I'm just that damn good, I guess. lol We all need a hero! ;)

  11. Loved it John, I could write about rats to. I lived with them long enough when I was a boy, my job was to catch them with the rat catcher my mother would call in and together we would dispose of them. Yikes some were almost as big as cats. hate rats. Will go take a peak at your website, nice to read your poem. Ewwwwwww is right.

  12. Thanks, Saddlerider. It's nice to think a real poet was amused by my silly rhymes. As far as rats as big as cats... um, no thank you. So far, we haven't seen a real issue evolving yet, I think the neighborhood cats (and exterminators) are keeping them from getting a foothold. But, that could be optimism. :)