P&P Friday: Jack Prelutsky

Marilyn and Blaze
Marilyn and Blaze

This week’s Photography & Poetry Thursday isn’t only on a Friday, but takes a turn for the less-serious. This isn’t a serious photograph; in fact, it is most definitely yours truly on Halloween 2006, the last Halloween I actually celebrated. I had every intention of being a princess, because, let’s be honest, I kind of am, but the person who was supposed to bring a tiara for me conveniently forgot, so I was stuck wearing an old prom dress and a blonde wig. And everyone thought I was supposed to be Marilyn Monroe. Ha frickin’ ha.

Also, the poem that I’m featuring this week is totally a children’s poem. It’s been one of my lighter favorites for years. I think it’s so fun, that one year for Sigma Tau Delta‘s Fright Fest (formerly Horror Fest, but changed because it sounded to Whore-ish). So enjoy!

And Happy Halloween!

The Wizard

by Jack Prelutsky

The wizard, watchful, waits alone
within his tower of cold gray stone
and ponders in his wicked way
what evil deeds he’ll do this day.
He’s tall and thin, with wrinkled skin,
a tangled beard hangs from his chin,
his cheeks are gaunt, his eyes set deep,
he scarcely eats, he needs no sleep.

His fingers wave arcane commands,
ten bony sticks on withered hands,
his flowing cloak is smirched with grime,
He’s worn it since the dawn of time.
Upon his hat, in silver lines
are pictured necromantic signs,
symbols of the awesome power
of the wizard, alone in his cold stone tower.

He scans his mystic stock in trade-
charms to fetch a demon’s aid,
seething stews of purplish potions,
throbbing thaumaturgic lotions,
supernatural tracts and tomes
replete with lore of elves and gnomes,
talismans, amulets, willowy wand
to summon spirits from far beyond.

He spies a bullfrog by the door
and stooping, scoops it off the floor.
He flicks his wand, the frog’s a flea
through elementary sorcery,
the flea hops once, the flea hops twice,
the flea becomes a pair of mice
that dive into a bubbling brew,
emerging as one cockatoo.

The wizard laughs a hollow laugh,
the soaking bird’s reduced by half,
and when, perplexed, it starts to squawk,
the wizard turns it into chalk
with which he deftly writes a spell
that makes the chalk a silver bell
which tinkles in the ahsen air
till flash…a fire burns brightly there.

He gestures with an ancient knack
to try to bring the bullfrog back.
Another flash!…no flame now burns
as once again the frog returns,
but when it bounds about in fear,
the wizard shouts, “begone from here,”
and midway through a frightened croak
it vanishes in clouds of smoke.

The wizard smirks a fiendish smirk
reflecting on the woes he’ll work
as he consults a dusty text
and checks which hex he’ll conjure next.
He may pluck someone off the spot
and turn him into…who knows what?
Should you encounter a toad or lizard,
look closely…it may be the work of the wizard.


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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

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