This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Friday, July 28, 2006


Muir Woods National Monument, California © 2006 Jeffrey Hull

The trumpets of the greenwood
   Blow vivid reveille
Announcing morning's glory
   To meadowlark and bee

As honeysuckle tendrils
   Subdue a sagging rail,
A lurching, lazy boundary
   Patrolled by wary quail.

The sleepy ferns unfurling
   Close by the waking glade
Revere a toad Siddhartha
   Within their solemn shade;

The warty little Buddha,
   A dry leaf for his bowl,
Awaits a buzzing offering
   Then gulps the fellow whole–

And savoring the morsel
   With pleasure unconfined
Returns to meditations
   With emptiness of mind.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mr. Mojo

Chatahoochee River © 2006 Rick Lee

It seems me and Mojo have parted our ways;
He vanished last Wednesday–no sightings for days.
I've checked all the hospitals, bars, and the zoo;
By all indications the partnership's through.
It's not unexpected; you work like a dog
'Til joy disappears, and the dance is a slog.
I hardly can blame him for taking a hike
These days when so many are going on strike,
Away on vacation from keys or from pen,
Not knowing for sure if they'll ever again
Have just enough spunk and the requisite spark
To hit literarily out of the park.
For words in a string are an intricate thing:
It's devilishly dicey to get the right swing.
Without Mr. Mojo there's not much to do–
Play pool, or give up on a crossword or two,
Or hang down at Tony's and have a few tears,
Remembering the day, blubbering into my beers.
So here's to my Mojo, wherever he's gone
I wish him the best for the road he is on;
When that which he's seeking to find has been found
Someday Mr. Mojo might drop back around.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, July 14, 2006


Here comes that Broadway feeling
   I've had so many times;
My cheap burlesque reheeling
   Old jokes and pantomimes.

That good old Broadway feeling,
   The curtain's going up;
They laugh to watch me reeling
   To drink my bitter cup.

I’m just your stage door Johnny,
   Another decked out swell;
My clothes are flash, I'm scrawny:
   I'm just a burned out shell.

I'll pack my bags for Splitsville
   And forward all my mail;
These worn out shticks and bits will
   Just soft shoe down the trail.

That same sad Broadway feeling
   As sure as sure can be
Tells me you're double-dealing:
   Our time is history.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Loss of the George R. Whitcomb

With her casks to the brim and with ample supplies
On the tide she set sail while the moon on the rise
Cast its glow on the ship as the sails were unfurled,
Casting off for the lands at the end of the world.

On a westerly breeze she sailed smart as you please
With the helmsman directed to southern degrees
And the furrow she plowed lay as straight as a line
As wild water erupted from bow and from chine.

By the binnacle light where the compass read true
The stout steersman looked out on the indigo blue
Where he saw that the swell was beginning to mount
As the wind likewise rose, he would later recount.

By the midwatch white foam on the waves let them know
That the scudding low clouds now foretold of a blow,
And the deckwatch looked up as the stars ceased to shine
While the rigging above seemed to groan and to whine.

When the morning watch came up on deck to relieve
They could see by the sky there would be no reprieve,
So they grinned and they shrugged at the waves and the gale
And aloft the men clambered to shorten the sail.

The George Whitcomb now heaved on a mountainous swell
Like some terrified man on a sleighride from hell
Driving into a wave face, then shaking it off,
Vaulting over the crest, plunging down in the trough.

While a furious force drove her onward and on
The first mate took the foredeck, the captain the con;
As the ship lurched and staggered through old Neptune's realm
It took two of the crewmen to handle the helm.

The wild water washed over, a monsterous stream
Then Old Billy below cried, "We've opened a seam!"
With the perils of topside came danger below
As the cargo broke loose and was flung to and fro.

To the men below decks came a preview of hell:
As they struggled for footing the deck rose and fell.
Like the wildest of horses the ship bucked and jumped
And the water rose faster the harder they pumped.

Soon they knew that the storm meant to swallow them whole,
The good ship and its cargo and every soul,
For the splinters of two boats had washed overboard
And between them and death: one good skiff and the Lord.

Lying battered and smashed in Poseidon's great fist
Now the proud vessel Whitcomb had taken a list.
As she rolled and she wallowed, he feared she might flip
So the captain commanded, "Abandon the ship!"

Fully twenty-two men of the merchant fleet's pride
Were assembled on deck and went over the side
In the lee of the ship where the waves weaker churn
Swimming strong to the jolly boat close by the stern.

Now they clambered aboard and pulled smartly away
Although lashed by the wind and the rain and the spray;
With the storm skies above them now hinting some light,
Going down by the bow, the ship slipped out of sight.

In the stillness that followed the mate said a prayer
And the captain made certain that each man was there.
With each sailor accounted the oars were then manned;
Scarcely six sunsets later they sighted the land.

Well there's danger aplenty where men go in ships:
While the vessels look mighty when tied in their slips,
All alone on the ocean's as lonely can be,
And there's danger aplenty when men go to sea.

May the blessings of God fall on all of the men
Who go forth on the ocean again and again,
For the truth on the wind sings as plain as can be:
You may master a wave–no one masters the sea.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull
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