A Gift to The Throne

A roll of toilet paper

Begins as a fully formed commodity

It is first seen in its full paper power

Stylistically and securely wound

Yard after yard like a sacred scroll

Layer upon layer surrounding a tube

It is softly ornamental

But its practical objective is indisputable

It contends with no rivals

For it has no rivals

Nor can it be rejected

When summoned to a throne

It has no vanity

Though its popularity is unsurpassed

It carries its silent secrets

Far from probing eyes

As it travels with fluid speed

Below the structures

Holding up the universal throne.


Ted Goodell

June 3, 2019



Cartoons are like

An animated Rorschach test

Their unique configurations

Activate the imagination

Giving us the space

To think with the freedom

Rendered by the cartoon artist

They are a safe escape

As technicolor waves

Rock us softly

In the interior night

Of a movie matinee


Ted Goodell

May 28, 2019

The Runner

There is an old sporting event

Called the “Runs”

The participant engaged in this sport

Suddenly and with no prior training

Becomes an elite athlete

Resembling a Jesse Owens

Or a Doberman Pincher

A classic sprinter who obeys

Nothing but the explosion

Of the starter pistol

Who quickly displays skills

That make an Olympic champion

Look like a jogger

This event can take place

In the participant’s home

But it is optically spectacular

In a Wal-Mart parking lot

Dodging cars and hurdles of shopping carts

Unlike the safety of the Olympics

There is no celebrating gold medal

Only the lonely victory

And the silent satisfaction

Of a paper reward

Praised by the cheering

Flush at the finish line.


Ted Goodell

April 11, 2019

The Gnat

What eternity of time

Travels this tiny insect

To the unknown world of porcelain bowl

Trapped traveler long lost

In Paleozoic memories

Its fluttering message

Speaks as if we understood

The inexpressible union

Between evolutionary rivals.


Ted Goodell

March 20, 2019

The Geography Lesson

Mountains are high because they

Are ambitious and they work hard

To get up in the world

They believe in the theory

Of the molten force of plasticity

And if they are angered they can erupt

With explosive force rearranging

The territory they occupy

Forcing the crust of the lowlands

Into a strategy of resist and contain

Creating at times a climate of chaos

That cripples nations

And makes the priorities of governments

As ambiguous as the territorial boundaries

Of a flock of hungry ravens


Ted Goodell

March 11, 2019

The Brown Bear

The life of a wild animal is very brief

Especially when it suffers the indignity

Of being stuffed and posed and parked

In artificially dramatic situations

Or posed under conditions

Unrelated to its wild habitat

Like the stuffed Brown Bear

With his ferocious mouth

Stretched wide in fearsome form

Staged menacingly wearing a Santa Claus hat

At the company Christmas celebration

This gruesome comedy used as a prop

To support the winking bravery

Of the inebriated guests


Ted Goodell

February 25, 2019


How blond must the portrait

of a man be

As blond as an Aryan Emperor

must be

Conspicuously blond radiantly blond

Shimmering blond bleached

Like a statuesque Sun God

With sparkling hair

A metallic veneer gloriously lit

With a color so blond

That only the first rays

Of the morning sun

Dare mirror the glory

Of a man made sun


Ted Goodell

February 6, 2019