Archive for November, 2007

Poodle Musings, Holiday Thoughts, & Mad Kane Video

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! And now that Thanksgiving’s over, have you finished shopping for holiday gifts yet?  And braced yourself for your office Christmas party?  And how’s that list of New Year’s resolutions coming? 

Aren’t holidays fun?

But getting back to the world of poetry, Totally Optional Prompts has asked for animal poems.  So here’s a very short one:

My parents’ poodle—
Their beloved pet,
The grandchild I denied them.

For a much lighter look at the same subject, here’s my humorous essay called A Poodle Tale.

Last, but not least, I’ve just start creating short humor videos starring — you guessed it — moi! So if you get a chance please check out My Family Needs Me on my other blog.

Misspent Youth?

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

Yes, I know this is supposed to be a humor blog.  But this “misspent youth” poetry prompt inspired me to write a serious limerick:

Misspent Youth?
By Madeleine Begun Kane

We tend to be charmed and beguiled
By a talented prodigy child—
One who labors all day
With his gifts on display,
Stifling youth, which is meant to be wild.

Why I Don’t Relish Shopping

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Why I Don’t Relish Shopping
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I stare at the shelves in confusion,
Wond’ring why there is such a profusion
Of sizes and styles.
Choices litter the aisles.
Is the simple life just an illusion?

(You can find more of my shopping humor here.)

First (And Last) Visit (Limerick)

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

First (And Last) Visit (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m allergic to felines; I sneeze 
And I tear when they’re near—then I wheeze. 
So I wish you had warned 
That your house is adorned 
With a half-hundred cats (Siamese).

Author’s Note: This limerick is based on personal experience. Many years ago, a composer asked my chamber ensemble to rehearse at her home, so she could record a work of hers that we were getting ready to debut. I’d barely taken my oboe out of its case, when I started having trouble breathing.  My attack got very bad, very quickly, and I was forced to leave without rehearsing. 

I later learned that our host’s hobby was breeding cats, and that her house was packed with them. Since I’m very allergic to cats, this would have been a good thing to have been warned about. 

(You can find more of my pets and animals humor here and more of my health humor here.

UPDATE: Happy National Cat Day! (October 29th)

Poetry Prompt Mashup

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Enough with the light limericks for today!  Here’s some heavy (for me) haiku, inspired by a handful of poetry prompts.

First up:  It’s A Blog Eat Blog World serves us gravy as inspiration, while Weekend Wordsmith hands us the word hand to run with, and Writers Island provides the friendship.  Put the three together and you get:

A hand in friendship
Would please and gratify me.
Love would be gravy.

Next, 3WW asks us to use the words compensate, modern and radio in poem or prose.  My classical music background probably had something to do with this haiku using that trio of words:

Modern radio
Fails to compensate for our
Dying symphonies.

Finally, Haiku Sunday requests haiku about belonging:

All my belongings—
The ones the thieves didn’t steal—
Scattered and estranged.

One Of These Days, I’ll Actually Say This

Monday, November 12th, 2007

This week’s theme over at BlogFriday is annoyances, and I’m betting this scenario will ring a bell:

One Of These Days, I’ll Actually Say This (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

We’re annoyed by your motormouth child.
He is boist’rous and noisy and wild.
So please put a lid
On your rude, rowdy kid.
Cuz, trust me, we aren’t beguiled.

Vive La (Brain) Différence!

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I usually don’t use the New York Post as a source of scientific info.  But this report on brain differences between men and women is very interesting. (Hat tip to

Here’s an excerpt:

In her book, the Columbia professor explores the chemistry of male and female brains – and, using up-to-the-minute medical research, reinforces some cherished “Men Are From Mars” stereotypes:

* Women remember better – even things that happened a really long time ago.

* Men are better at map-reading. They also get turned on a lot easier.

* Women thrive on talking and spending time in groups; men like to do things on their own.

But all this isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. For example: A woman’s brain is, in fact, about 10 percent smaller than a man’s, even when factoring in physical size difference – but it also has a lot more going on, neuron-connection-wise.

In other words, writes Legato, “women get more brain bang for the buck.”

Thanks to Stone Age wiring, women also have a far greater capacity for understanding speech and body language, and have “elephantine” memories, especially when it comes to negative experiences.


Men are better than women at focusing on one task and completing it. Women’s brains excel at multi-tasking, which like many of their traits has origins in childbearing: “You’re not just going to sit and stare at your baby. You have to process a demand from your child and move on to different tasks.” In the brain, this means more connections across the corpus callosum, which divides the brain into two halves.

As you can see from that New York Post article’s dateline, it only took me a year to celebrate our differences with a poem:

Vive La (Brain) Différence!
By Madeleine Begun Kane

We gals and guys are diff’rent—
You must know that old cliché.
Now some scientists have proven
That our wiring’s night and day.

The brains of men are larger,
Which shall surely make them proud.
Will it hurt gals in the workplace—
Only big-brained folks allowed?

But women’s brains have neurons
Whose connectors are first-rate.
We are multi-tasking mavens,
And our memory’s just great!

With diff’rences so striking
(Guys and gals, I mean to say)
Our commingling’s quite amazing.
I’m surprised we all ain’t gay.

(You can find my feminist humor here.)


Problem Poetry

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Problem Poetry (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“Your verses belong in the can,”
Said the prof to a man. “They don’t scan.
The problem’s your beat,
Plus your poems have no meat.”
I’m guessing he wasn’t a fan.

(You can find more of my poetry here.)