Wednesday, 29 May 2013

We chonk, they chirp

I recently came across this description, in Wikipedia, of the Pin-striped tit-babbler;

The species has a distinctive yellowish supercilium and rufous crown. The throat is yellowish with brown streaks. Call is a loud repeated chonk-chonk-chonk-chonk-chonk somewhat reminiscent of a Common Tailorbird.”

This similarity of calls must be a source of constant irritation to the Pin-striped tit-babbler as there is clearly a pronounced class difference between it and the Common Tailorbird.

Pin-striped tit-babbler – note the discreet flecking, the aloof expression

Common Tailorbird – cocky stance, garish décor

On the rare occasions the two interbreed an interesting hybrid occurs;

Pin-striped Tailorbird – he's never sure whether the milk goes in before or after the tea

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

School for Born Leaders

Enrique Peña Nieto, just one of our many alumni

Day one; we add mania to your stare.
Day two; we teach you how to blow hot air
(For the promotion of din and despair).
Day three; doesn't matter, you won't be there.


Friday, 17 May 2013

Game not without risk

A maven in vernal Israel
Once ate a migratory quail,
Laid low by the bird,
He studied the word
“Coturnism” to help him prevail.

When the Common Quail performs its Spring migration north through the Holy Land it consumes en route toxic seeds (probably those of a Woundwort – Stachys annua) that are harmless to the bird, but regularly poison those who, shortly afterwards, dine on the migrant.

A keen ladies' man from Israel
Once ate a migratory quail,
Half dead from the bird,
He employed the word
“Coturnism” to impress a female.

People have been aware of this phenomenon (the poisoning) for millennia; the Old Testament blamed God's wrath (Numbers 11: 31-34). The resulting medical condition, coturnism, has its etymological roots in coturnix, Latin for quail.

There was a gourmand from Israel
Who had eaten a cow and a quail
His abdominal grief
Wasn't caused by the beef
But the galliform in his entrail.

I think I've developed limerickism.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Influence of Desire

The momentary touch that leaves a doubt,
An incitation that may not have been,
It's the paint our reason tries to throw out
That colours our vision of worlds unseen.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Poulpe Fiction

Simon Warmer

None who was in the Dog and Mollusc that night will forget Cephalo Pod's emotive instrumental. Like all octopuses Pod had three hearts, we saw them, they were worn on a variety of his sleeves as he squeezed from his lap Charles Trenet's haunting ditty;

There wasn't a dry eye in the Dog when Ceph mumbled his farewells. Shouts of “Encore!” echoed in his statocyst as he waved multiple goodbyes and left via a crack in the wainscotting.