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Title: Gossip
Author: Gould, Mona, 1908-1999
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Gossip" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

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

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!

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