poem by josiah r. leet
A Nine-Candle Evening
“bred of disdain, this foundling nuance…”
It is as though some initiate
stumbled awkward inlike
here to address this vitriol,
a venom sulk, like embarrassment.
Wet behind the years
maturation threw one for a loop;
some damp history yearns
for saturation, a soaking simple dupe.
Tea in this cup
like some bedside opera glass
a brewing, magnified touch
steeped in a bungling upper class.
Rather sweaty palms might betray
this hesitant novice yet to speak;
until spoken to he awaits the fray
of conversation fearing his voice too meek.
How tedious the Governor's breezy prattle
ever artful his lesser minions contrive
a shred of attention in this weasels' battle
to advance ones' own opinion is to survive.
It has been said that there is nothing
quite like utter, dread silence
to make even the strongest of men shrink;
but a particular quietude was soon evident.
A welcome lull thus becalms the gale,
the novitiate clears his anxious throat;
but suddenly he bursts forth, a bolder wind in his sails
and barks from his trousers a vaporous boast.
In that instant the dour note had struck
there followed a damning soundless moment
as the entire starched still-life became stuck
in the vortex of this nasty gaseous omen.
The mortified youth weighed the remote chance
of outright escape or a brisk walk
against the probability that his yet smouldering pants
may have caused this painful lapse of talk.
Multiple mega-eons seemed to elapse
and the eolian stench by then was withering;
a composureless call for a match
brought about the spectacle of many men fidgeting.
A senator was first with the tinder remedy
cigars were awkwardly re-lit without delay;
although these proceedings bore no small levity
not a soul had as yet even a syllable to say.
The young innocent trembling under the weight
of his stiff upper-lip finally braved the quiet;
he managed to look straight upon this muted array
as though 'twas not he who caused such foul riot.
The ever-genteel assembly prepared to ignore
this obvious guilt and resume their idle chatting;
when at last he spoke and demurely implored
“Well…rather decent weather we're having?…”
—Josiah R. Leet