Goat Ballad

The songs
Of goats
Ring sour notes,
Mostly coughing
And clearing
Of throats.
Their bleat is
Onerous,
Shriller,
Less sonorous
Than sheep.
Don’t be counting
On goats
For sleep.
A ruminant,
The rumination
Is mud and cud
Not meditation.
He won’t pass any
IQ quiz;
He doesn’t “think
Therefore he is.”

His raison d’etre
Is his luncheonette;
He eats
Therefore he bleats.

Teeth like a razor,
He’s a browser,
No grazer;
Let it grow
High or low
Your goat will get it
Even so.
Turn him out
For a good chew
And he’ll clean up
Your kudzu.
Of animals
In zodiacal heaven
He’s one of seven,
But if you’re born
A Capricorn,
Your life’s no frolic;
You’re a workaholic.
His coat is weird
And can’t be sheered
Like sheep or others.
He’s a goat
Of many colors,
White, gray, black,
Brown, tan,
And mangier than
A flea-bit cur...
A worthless fur.
But HEY KIDS!
No kiddin’;
The hide
That’s hidden
Beneath
We love,
From which
We make
A perfect glove
For handling
Silver spoons
And knives,
And precious glass,
And nervous wives.
A goat lives
In a village
Of silage
And tillage
Where the smell
Of manure
Is a sinus cure.
Men may sport
A silly goatee,
But his beard hangs free;
His is the Natural
Beard of Pan,
Not the bellicose
Beard of Man,
As when I beard you
And you beard me,
Uncivil as an
Ape man.
No goat abuses
A scapeman
By counting up wins on
Or heaping his sins on.
For sacrifice
A goat is nice
Or maybe a lamb
If you’re Abraham,
Or a first-born son
If you can’t find one.
And whether he should’ve
Abraham would’ve.
But God is Great
And Isaac’s fate
Improved when He
Found Abe a goat
Behind a tree.
Isaac was glad
And thanked his dad
For not slitting his throat.
Did he thank the goat?
Probably not,
The little snot.
And the goat
Has a page
In our Western stage.
Wherever the play goes,
Follow the tragos; *
The whole point of
Tragedy, drama,
And farce is
To kill a poor goat
For a little catharsis.
But the term Old Goat
For a slob in his dotage
Is a slur on goatage,
A hateful usage.
It’s goat abusage!
You may be a
Toothless old nibbler,
A whiney old quibbler,
And a bad pome scribbler,
But have a heart!
You’re not an old goat.
You’re just an old fart.
And there’s no satanic
Witches’ coven
Just because
Your hooves
Are cloven...
Poor Nanny,
Poor Billy...
That’s just silly!
And last,
If you please,
Is the tasty cheese
So good on salad
That merits our
Ballad.

* TRAGOS in Greek means "he goat," from which we get the word tragedy. Tragedies serve the purpose of letting us examine a subject which obsesses us above all others but about which we know almost nothing: death. In tragedy we can examine an individual's death in detail, but a protagonist (a tragos) must be sacrificed for our inspection. The aim of ancient tragedy was not to show that death was tragic, but that it was just. In tragedy the release from nervous ignorance about death and the relief from our feeling of unfairness about death is called Catharsis.