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Title: Gossip

Author: Mona Gould

Release date: November 15, 2010 [eBook #34330]

Language: English


Copyright (C) 1949 by the Estate of Mona Gould.

Foreward The two Monas, whose joint name has confused Gossip readers these long years, have finally come out on the Canadian scene as the two distinct people they are - Mona Gould, the poet, whose verse has charmed and intrigued, and Mona Clark, the editor, who brought this verse to Gossip's pages.

The two Monas hope that this collection has all the poems you have liked best.

Mona Clark
Mona Gould

Apple Orchard

White as popcorn, was the tree
And underneath it on the lea
A little goat looked up at me.

Bright and wicked was his glance
In that orchard's sweet expanse
In a mocking sort of dance
Moved his hooves.

He was Pan, and he was Spring
With a sudden saucy spring
Off he flew . . .
Just a shadow in the air . . .
Was he really ever there?

For all Ear-Pinners

There are some people
Who delight
In pinning people's ears
Back tight.
I'd love to be on hand
That day
When things work out
The other way!

To Snow … or Not to Snow!

Feather down soft deep snow
Feather down . . . I implore you.
The part of me that's Poet
Simply adores you!
The part of me that's "working girl"
Equally abhors you!
Snow is like thistledown
Filigree-ing trees:
But waiting for street cars . . .
It's wet ankles and


Heart, be very cautious now
Remember . . . once before
Love was like a bright room . . .
Then a slammed door!

In a Fit of Pique

If you have not learned to give proudly
Do not prate to me of "love"!
There are those, who as children
Clutch tight the bottom, of the candy-bag
Saying "Help yourself"
But making very sure
The gift is limited.
These children grow up to be
Stingy lovers.
I have no patience with them!

It Doesn't Matter

It doesn't matter much to me
About a person's family tree
Or what his special vices are
Or if he drives a custom car
Or if his Clubs are old and formal
As long as he is nice and normal!


Sherry . . . twinkling in a little glass
Warm as snared sunlight
A pool of golden light
To make a flight of dreams.
(I can see your eyes
Twinkling back at the Sherry.
Merry as all "get out"!)
Even when I am a very ancient lady
And the decanter goes round
I shall remember you with a sweet shock . . .
I'll be bound!

Last of the Line

Ah, primitive and hardy
Our fathers were . . . of old . . .
But even on my brightest days
I can't quite shower . . . cold!

Teen Age

They talk of sooper dooper things
And wear each other's pins and rings.
They swim and dance and ski and smoke
And get a bang from lemon coke.

Play records . . . speak of Dizz and Duke
And dance wherever there's a Juke.
Chameleon-like, they change and vary
And suddenly grow up . . . and marry!

Top Toad

He always said:
"I'd rather be dead
Than be a small toad in a big puddle.
I like the huddle and power I have in a small town" . . .
Then, (with a black frown)
"I prefer to be a big toad in a little puddle"!
The only thing that struck you
As you watched his steam-roller tactics down his narrow road
He'd somehow . . . begun to resemble his own model . . .
The big toad!

War Weary

Some ladies love to sleep alone
In solitary state
Chaste . . . unruffled and serene:
This . . . I . . . hate!


Whenever it is "three below"
I wish myself in Mexico
Or dancing with a Hottentot
Or anywhere where I am not!


After holiday food
I feel so hell-ry
I long to subsist On tea and cel'ry!

Moot Question

Why is it
When the wind blows
I get a red nose
Some gals get all dewy-eyed
And fresh . . . and sort of
  "jeune fille"
You should see me!

Lunch Hour

The conversation murmurs in a steady "thrum"
With little quick arpeggios
Of treble laughter.
The tables are arranged
In precisely
The same order.
Nothing is changed
Save the day . . . and the year . . .
And the certain knowledge
You'll not be here!
Fair Warning
It may be wisdom, dearest man,
To subjugate me while you can.
Because some day I do intend
To seek the roadway's farthest end.


"I'll put a little 'hex' on you
To make your drinks a bitter brew
If you forget me!"
This, I vowed
And all you did
Was laugh aloud.

"Perched on an ice cube
In your glass
I'll scowl and say;
"A pretty pass!
To snatch a lady's heart … and run . . .
Egad! me lad! It isn't done!"
Silly of me, my Sweet, to taunt you
With childish threats of how I'd haunt you!
But still . . . I tell you, if I could
O darling heart . . . of course I would!

Ballet Moment

Color, that is like the diffusion
Of the bronze gong
And little tinkling cymbals.
Highlight on hands and cheekbones
Flying Oriental brow
Smooth hair!

Points . . . piquant as almond buds
Costumes like Chinese lanterns
Swaying . . .
Belling in . . . and out.
Pity sleep in the curve of her palms
Anger in the thrust of her shoulders.
This is a mask
Come to life
And dancing!

Brave Voyage

Come, my Sweet
Let us walk in the sleet
(If you can keep your feet!)

Creep like a couple of snails
Clinging to rails
When all else fails.
Poets have sung of walking in rain,
Or even snow . . .
Fain would I go in the sleet . . .
(If you can keep your feet!)


Another blizzard and
Well . . . I Warn Yuh
I'm off like a streak To California!

Black Coffee

Smiling sweetly, respected trulls
Drinking coffee from polished skulls.
A touch of arsenic, "One lump, or two?"
And the cups go round with their deadly brew.
The Atomic Bomb is an awesome thing
But so is woman . . .

Sufficient Reason

I prostitute my Art
Because it's tactical;
For starving in a garret
Isn't practical!

His Mistress is Heard Singing

"I long to turn to you and say:
Hullo my Darling. . .
How was your day"
What did you do
And who did you meet
And what was the 'to-do'
Down the street?"
These are the little
The darling things
That go together
With wedding rings!

Wide World

O when you lock your doors each night
You either shut the world outside
Or else your own four walls enfold
A planet twice as far and wide!

Tsk! Tsk! Mister Santa!
If Santa Claus comes down my chimney
This year
And puts sooty big foot marks
All over my white hearth rug
I'm going to give him What for!

Last year
He not only knocked half the ornaments off the tree,
And generally bunged things up,
But he insisted on putting beer bottle tops
In the twins' stockings
Instead of the annual quarter.
If Santa Claus comes down my chimney
This year
And doesn't mind his "p's" and "q's" . . .
I'll send him off to bed
And finish the job myself!


What is this shock of sweet delight
That puts all sober thoughts to flight
On hearing someone speak your name
This little candle in my heart
That glows and burns and warms each part
Of day and night. This friendly thing
That stirs in me till I must sing.
Your look and voice, the enchanting way
You pin a flower on my day!

Everywoman Song

O some men are married to gorgons
Who swallow them at one swallow,
And some are married to frigidaires
And dwell in an icy hollow.
And some there arc, that are bound in chains
As golden as they can be
But you're the luckiest one of all
For Darling . . . you've just got me!

Sung in High Dudgeon!

I'd like to be the deadly type
Who plunge the knife . . . before they wipe
The previous victim's flowing gore
From off the blade. Sad to relate I seem to be
The victim! … A chicken-hearted sort of thing
I've no desire for "skewering"
My fellow man.
But by observing I may learn
To give that rapier lightning turn!

Wise Child

To sing to you would be absurd.
You'd not believe a single word!
To touch you would be madder still,
And so I sit and fill . . . and fill
My eyes with looking. Like a child
Who sees an iced cake,
But knows from sad experience
The tummy ache!

Women are Like That

"Here, in the drift of the dunes" he said,
"Turn your head"!
"Now the curve of your throat is a troubling song
Your face is a flower, dreaming and white,
My heart cries out in the rapturous night.
Give me your lips and your heart", said he,
But she shook her head . . . emphatically!
"Gee, but you're sweet!", the other said,
And tilted back her little head
He didn't call her "fairest one",
She didn't mind … or think it queer …
But looked on him, adoringly,
And whispered . . .
"O my Dearest Dear"!


They get their heads together,
The honeyed malice drips.
And all the gentler little wives
Get out their blacksnake whips.

It's such a pleasant pastime
The hours simply fly.
Before they know it's time to go
But who will make the try
O who will have the fortitude
To rise and first depart
Knowing full well the hungry horde
Is dining on her heart!

Hobson's Choice

Life is a rose
And life is a thistle -
And life is the screech of a steamboat's whistle
But nevertheless - if you asked the Dead
They'd probably choose to be in your bed!

Letter from Paris

You write of Paris like a man
Telling of the woman he loves.
There is love in the lines that draw the city under rain;
The higgeldy-piggeldy garrets
That climb crazily against the tender pink of the sky;
Montmartre, with the cafés, just as you'd read they'd be!
Everything just as glamorous . . . just as exciting
A gay … a mocking . . . a shining, shimmering place
A feminine city!
Your regret at leaving Paris
Is like parting from a woman.
Paris has wounded you
With her loveliness!


Why should I think of you
As a Perewinkle?
Retired . . .
Out of sight in your shell . . .
I wonder what would happen
If once again in your lifetime
Someone, armed with a sharp pin,
Pricked you into the daylight?

Time Was

When you were here, life did not run
In prim and ordered placid rows
The sky was full of spinning stars
And laughter danced upon its toes!


This is release;
This, the sloughing off of the outer husk;
The spruces lean
To clutch you in a green embrace;
But your spirit has already outstripped them
Flying in arrowy rhythm
Round a sudden turn In the ski trail!


We traveled down a grassy road
O sweet it was to wander!
And parted at the forks of it
And this is what I ponder:
Would it have been a braver thing
For us to stay together,
In spite of any single thing . . .
Against whatever weather?


When neighbours' cats begin to yowl and yammer
You always want to hit them with a hammer!
But when your own puts on this spring display
You almost always wonder "Should we spay?" …
Or "Shall we add another to our flock
And just have kittens, all around the clock"?
O isn't it a thing both true and queer
That one cat's "calling" falling on the ear
Is troublesome . . . a noisome imposition
While with your cat it's just his disposition,
And all his other graces far outnumber
The yearly Spring nocturnal break of slumber!

Word to the Wise

Little lady never pray
A ring of gold to wear
Lest you find it in your nose -
Much to your despair!


I have never asked for much
From this world's anointed:
Strange to say from day to day
I've not been disappointed!


The lady 'neath the smallest hat
Is often very short and fat;
While "slivers", slick and very tall
Wear cartwheels, like a parasol!


I'd like to be a critic
But one who didn't write
Then, when I gouged their eyes out
They couldn't turn and bite!

Island Parting (Muskoka)

How hard it is to say "good-by" to an Island,
Rising tall, with its trees out of clear water
Tawny in the shallows.
Here, white birches bare their shining bones
To summer moonlight;
And one blue heron lifts himself with terrible beauty
Into the evening.
I cannot say why Islands do this to me.
I only know that putting out into the open gap
Bound for the Mainland
Is like loosing hands with one you love
Too much!


It must be nice to be photogenic;
To not have to get in to a panic
When you "see the birdie".
To just sit there . . . smug . . .
While they snap your mug.
And to know you'll look like
Garbo . . . or Hedy Lamarr
In the finished photo.
Not . . . Mr. Moto!

Salad Bar

There's nothing sadder in this world
Than stale stuffed celery, over-curled!

In The Swim

O to be a Petty gal
Now that summer's here,
With thigh and breast and tawny crest
And slick and stream-lined "rear"
To lounge against the gilded sands
As in a billboard ad
While some Adonis, thick of neck,
A great athletic cad
Leans over one with tender sigh
And whispers soft and low
"The Company who made your suit
Designed these trunks, you know"!


She stuck her little hat pin in
And gave a practiced twist.
The only thing that saves my pride
On someone with a tougher hide
She'll break her little wrist!


You said my face
Was like a mask
A little white unstirred expanse
Where no emotion came to dance.

You said my eyes were secret eyes
That wore a mocking shy disguise.

You said, "No matter how you try
Your mouth betrays you, by and by?"


An education used to be
A thing of strict gentility
With Classics solid as a rock
And stresses laid on culture talk.
Now . . . when he graduates - a man
Must just make money with élan!


O I am homesick every day
For places I shall never stay.
For tinkling bells in Samarkand
Where shadows weave a saraband,
And London streets and Paris nights
And O a thousand warm delights
In places strange and far from here
And . . . (naturellement) doubly dear!


I can't insult my heart again
By crying over gentlemen.
But rather trot it out to tea
With ladies of gentility,
Whose talk and bread sliced neat and thin
Will lift me from the straits I'm in!


Part of me is sad as sad And part of me is glad as glad. Part of me is pure as pure, And part of me . . . I'm not so sure. At odds within myself I be, And blame it on my Family Tree!


You may make your mouth up
Scarlet as a courtesan's . . .
Thin sophistication
Lurks in scarlet paint
Even masked in satire
Still your eyes betray you
Playing tarnished lady
Funny little saint!

If This be Good …

If this be good
Then it shall last
Far past the rasp Of Sexton's spade . . .
Far past the snow of winter laid
On sleeping garden;
Some part of this will still endure
On Time's wide stream;
Some single sure enchanted moment
Caught up in space will shine forever.
And in my heart I'm very sure
Which little moment will endure!


They always say, "Be good, sweet child
And let who will … be clever".
But does this course pay dividends?
I answer . . . hardly ever!


It's snowing feathers to-day.
Bits of maribou
From some very frivolous angel's

Unbiased Comment

Small furry creatures part with life
To deck each plutocratic wife.
And many a tender throat is wrapt
In silky softness someone trapped.
I don't condemn this savage rite
Nor wince to see the endless sight
Of lovely ladies wrapt in fur . . .
Egad! I only wish I were!

Venomous Woman

She has avaricious fingers
On which there lingers
The bitter scent of almonds.
Poisonous woman!
How her nails
Glitter in the candlelight.
Only her eyes
Suddenly tear you apart.
There is a look in them
Of one who gazed on death
And found it


Bookshops have a lovely smell
Sweet and sour . . . heaven and hell.
Dust and mould, and something magic,
Laughter, cheek by jowl with tragic
Songs the Muses used to sing . . .
I love bookshops, in the spring!

Powder Room

At every little crystal square
Grave women creatures sit and stare
At what the day has done to mar
Frail personal beauty; puff and jar
And lip rouge tubes are taken out
To dye each thoughtful waiting pout;
No hurried smear . . . a careful rite
Then infinite scansion in the light.
The final look,
The little smile
Triumphant . . . careful . . . full of guile
Absorbed completely in her task
Each "Eve" adjusts her powdered mask!

Bend Your Head

Bend your head and kiss my hand
And tell me tales of Samarkand.
Weave a web of lovely words
That I may count like singing birds
That I may set upon my sill
When you have left me . . . As you will!


I shall not weep when you go
But don a scarlet dress
And I shall sing a gay song
And you shall never guess.

And I shall dance when you go
With other eager men
And make my heart forget you . . .
And you shall want me, then!


You promised me Fidelity.
I got a ring -
I got a vow -
And now . . .
I got a ring!


I hope I never quite get over
The smell of rainy summer clover;
Or how a willow tree at night
Can make a silver sort of light;
Or how a child with lifted face
Can make a holy sort of place!

Out of Loneliness …

Out of a loneliness more deep
Than quiet death.
Out of a sleep
As cold as ice . . . more drear, more chill
I hunger up toward dreaming;
Fill my hands with flowers,
Tread a measure against bright candles,
Bare my throat to Autumn moonlight
Cry to the stars that love rides by
Against whatever midnight sky!

Chalk Talk

Sometimes I tell myself
"Chumley! It's about time you acquired a little dignity.
Not much.
Just a touch.
Take to wearing a hat
And the like of that.
Quit enjoying the society of youth in the formative stage
In other words . . . "Act your age"!
I've gone into this subject with myself before
But it's such a bore!
I know what will come of it.
One day they'll be saying
"What a silly old person she is . . .
Flighty . . .
Maybe touched in the head" . . .
And will my face be red!
But I fancy in the final analysis
We follow our natural bent.
So I shan't relent.
Dignity comes to us all
Dressed in a shroud.
Forgive . . . if just for a little . . .
I laugh aloud!

On the T. T. C.

Assorted people sit or ride
Forced intimates: and "hide to hide"
As close as in a double bed
They touch at thigh and arm and head
And then get off . . . and go away
To ride again . . . some other day!


If this is spring
You can have the thing!

Old Hand

Love is a dream
And love is pain,
Love is a song
And love is a chain.
But love is a thing
We can't forego
Take my word for it
I've tried . . .
I know!


A mermaid was a fabled sea creature
But beautiful of face.
Enchanting . . . heartless.
Half woman.
Half fish!
Do you know,
I looked about me to-day
And thought
Of how many women
Are really
Fall Fires
O scudding sky-O windy day
You snare my soul.
And fey . . . as fey
I wander down a curving street
To scuff the leaves against my feet
And smell the smoke that curls the air
And find the Autumn wondrous fair!

Now is the Time

Now is the time when falling snow
Drifts soft as flowerlets.
Far below
The dark earth stretching in her sleep
Is full of secrets.
Children keep one little ear above each cover
Lest in the night they might discover
The sound of hoofbeats in the air
And know that Santa Claus is there!

Self-Portrait. (Drawn in Dust on a Table Top)

Tho' I'd love to be neat
I admit defeat.
Some women's shoes are on racks
Mine are in stacks.

I can never find a needle or pin
They're never in what I put them in.
And when I emerge in confusion
From this rudderless fog
I closely resemble a something
You'd find under a log!

Be Good!

"Be good, my child" the sages said
And packed me off to early bed.
I didn't mind when I was small
And never loitered in the hall
But climbed the stair and clicked the light
And closed my eyes against the night.
But now . . . upon the sill I lean
And feel the wind across my throat
And tremble when the moon is new
And watch the stars the whole night through
For love has set his sign on me . . .
And I am neither young . . . nor free!


I said:
"I will sing you a song in the night
How your eves wear desire and your voice holds delight
But I'll sing it so softly you'll never believe
That this thing is my heart that I wear on my sleeve.


To find an oyster in a seafood salad
Is quite a surprise to the average "palad".


How can a guy absorb this knowledge
And get himself ready for ruddy college;
How can he concentrate at all
When he just passed a dream in the upper hall!


There is an hour
When earth and sky
Merge in the twilight
With a sort of sigh.
Trees touch the skyline . . .
Birds, the earth,
And stars are shaken
With twinkling mirth.
And it's just as well
If you're all alone
To plug the line
Of your telephone!

First Snow

Just a thin flurry
But the first snow!
Always exciting . . .
Full of pictures . . .
Overstockings of red wool,
Mittens to match,
And a toboggan cap
With a bob on it.
Bruised thumbs
From struggling with tight overshoes -
A plaid kilt
With a green velveteen jacket
And a real lace collar.
A teacher's face,
Slightly harried
Bending over solicitous buttons.
The beautiful breathlessness
Of the first belly flop
On the small red sleigh.
Just a thin flurry
But the first snow!


I looked in a mirror
And all I saw
Was the pitiless scar
Of Time's sharp claw.
But over a candle
I looked in your eyes
And there, reflected
To my surprise
Was a lovely person . . .
Unflawed . . . soignée . . .
So you'll be my mirror
After to-day!


She's sure of herself
Safe as the Mint.
And her soul is made
Of flowered print!