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Jerome Betts -- A Touch of Entasis

''The exterior is dominated by the fine broach spire,which has a slight bulge or entasis giving it an air of great strength and dignity." Olney Church Guide

Assist me, Periphrasis, Euphemism,
Locutions quite exquisitely oblique,
To bend Truth's light within a verbal prism
And veil exactly how the flesh is weak.

For how much better to be now divulging
Some succulent affaire (mock-bashful grin)
Instead of (gasp!) that one is slightly bulging
And Lord alone knows what can keep it in.

It hardly gives an air of strength, or Olneyness,
To be possessor of protruding pounds
More like regrets for days of skin-and-bonyness,
Irritability, and puffing sounds.

Nor does it lend the dignity much backing;
With wounds to self-esteem too grave to staunch
Youth dies, not singing swan-like here, but quacking,
Preceded by so palpable a paunch.

If not, it sneaks right back to babyhood
Through ego-salving sneers at larger pots,
A cue for Nash, perhaps, or maybe Hood,
Or some sadistic saw from Isaac Watts.

Recession! Pain! Draconian ferocity!
Yes, trainers, treadmill, weights and Lenten fare
Until my entasis (not adiposity!)
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre, and hair.

 

 

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