NaPoWriMo 2023 (Day 14)

Dear Bill,

Today, I challenge you to write a parody or satire based on a famous, favorite, or unfavorite, poem of the past.

Happy writing! And regards,


PS: Don’t forget, Yolonda’s birthday is in exactly two weeks.

I love Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. However, I decided to use it for my ridiculous (or maybe not) parody.

Say What?

Half a league is still
over a mile and a half—
The Valley of what?
Did you say death?
Now hold on there, Cowboy.
Right, we got six hundred.
The rooskies got way more.

Blyme, Sir. Did I hear right?
Charge their cannons
with our lancers?
Another Army SNAFU.
I need to explain something.
I don’t give a rat’s ass why.
We’re all going to feckin’ die.
Not in this man’s life,
not even with six hundred.

All of them artys on three sides,
no cover, no air support, and
whose idea was it
to bring our knives to
this crazy cannon gun fight?
Me and this horse will
just mosey yonder and wait.

What the hell is wrong
with you, Captain? I say
we let them Cossacks
and Rooskies be. They mean
no harm to me.

Oh, shit! Now look what
you did—another “oopsie”
by our genius leadership.
There has been some ugly
stuff out here. We’re not
six hundred no more.

I heard you say that
glorious death awaits me.
Maybe so. But I prefer
don’t be stupid and live
to fight another day.
“Noble six hundred” my ass.

Look both ways, but knives are no help in a gun fight.
Mind the gaps and pass the ammunition.

To learn more about the history of this event, click here.

To read and hear read Tennyson’s poem, click here.


*Click on the NaPo 2023 button to see the challenge and to read more poems (not all are on prompt).

Parody Poetry: Older than before (NaPoWriMo day 26)

For NaPo day 26, I was to write a parody. I was to find a poem or song and write an altered version of it. A parody is also called a spoof, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on something, or a caricature. It is a creative work designed to imitate, comment on, and/or make fun of its subject by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

I decided to work on the song(s) “Old Hippie” by the Bellamy Brothers, a classic paean to male boomers that many of us related to. David Bellamy wrote three of these: one at 35, one at 45, and one at 55. Mine goes to 75 (the age of the other brother) and is more about me.

He turns seventy-five on a Tuesday
sometime late this next July.
Can’t believe his friends’ all dead,
but down the same old road he’ll  still try
to understand and to keep his level head.
But now he craves those crazy days
with his shoulders back,
his chin held proud and high.
He still looks at life and wonders why.
He stopped with church and never prays
but he never wonders when he’ll die.

He still loves old soft county rock,
his poems come from just such songs.
His only friends are now computer faces,
and medicine pros working to help him get along,
with medical-grade stainless steel heart parts.
But he’ll run no more endurance races,
Just the tips and bits on legs that hate him.

He’s an old soldier who wants to be
a hippie getting older every day,
with hair and colors and closet disco music.
An old hippie who knows what life is for,
still wanting to be her man, before
she goes knocking on his door.

He’s an old man who always hated war,
but seemed to know what it was for.
He’s been confused by a government
he both supports and finds disgusting,
and people who tell him to forgive,
while he decides to let them live.

He likes people but not in crowds.
He craves his tribe, but they’ve all died.
Spending quiet time at home alone,
his kids are still his universe,
and Texas is still his home.

He’s a boomer till the day he dies,
he now fears life more than death,
he’s looked at evil in the eye
believes in love and wonders why,
then drums to ten below his breath.

Look both ways and avoid reading the obituaries.
Mind the gaps in everything but believe
you’re this damn old.