Tag Archives: poetry by Professor Percival P. Pennywhistle

The Love Song of Ghouls Verne by Percival P. Pennywhistle


The Love Song of Ghouls Verne, formerly of Aarhus, DK
(Decomposed by Ghouls Verne, Esq, and Communicated to Professor Pennywhistle, PhD, Ed, via the medium of a Medium on 14 Feverary 1893, in the Low and Tortured tones of a Heartbroken shade, and a thick Danish accent)

Ten t’ousand leagues under de zea
Dat’s me
Doze ashen flakes you zee

For Yulia could not bear nor loss
Nor cost
And zo my ash she tozzed

Vrom off de rocky Danish reef
Her grief
Azzuagéd by relief

But mine vas not. Zo, pale and gaunt,
I haunt.


©2012 Percival P. Pennywhistle, PhD/Peas Porridge Press

About the author

Ghouls Verne was burn on the Worst of Dismember, 1783, in a little crematorium outside of Aarhus, Denmark, on the Horsens side. He was revived by his parents, Karl and Grete Verne, twice, and by his new bride, Julia, once, but it didn’t take. Hence the cremation.

Percival P. Pennywhistle, PhD, is a poet and a purveyor of poetry for perspicacious and precocious people of all ages. “The Love Song of Ghouls Verne, formerly of Aarhus, DK” is part of a planned anthology of sickly sweet and darkly ironic poems and prose called Gothic Dreams and Other Things. You will wish to purchase it. You will also wish to sleep light after reading it.

Portrait 1 is a representation of what Ghouls and Julia might have looked like if they had married, lived in the late nineteenth instead of the late seventeenth century, and were named Peder and Severin Krøyer.

Portrait 2 is of Ghouls in happier times, when men whose heads were heavy with sleep or worry had the option of carrying them in the crooks of their fashionably (if somewhat poofily) clothed arms.

Heather McWeather by Percival P. Pennywhistle

Heather McWeather Screenshot


To satisfy any curiosity you might have about the Professor and enjoy more of his artful aperçus sprinkled about on WIZ, go here, here, here, and here.

M is for mollusk by Professor Percival P. Pennywhistle


I am the very model of a mollusk* made of minerals.
At least my calcareous** shell is, and that shell is typical—
You’ll find me in the finials
And jewelry made by criminals—
I am the very model of a mollusk made of minerals!

Our bodies aren’t segmented so no one can tell a part from us
(Excepting snail antennae, octopodal arm***—they’re obvious):
We’ve all a mantle, nephrostome,****
We metamorph in monochrome
And if you mean to murder us, just be aware, we’ll make a muss!

It’s true that though we’re spineless,***** this is merely anatomical,
For we’ve defensive strategies both multiple and plentiful:
Our bites and stings aren’t minimal,
We’re poisonous, in general,
Our reputation’s well-deserved: when threatened, we’re maniacal!******

So if you meet a mollusk at the mall, though we look marvelous
Do not make contact (hand or eye), don’t moon about or munch on us
For gastropod or octopus,
With venom or tongue chitinous,*******
We’ll make you wish you’d minded us and leave you feeling bilious!
*With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan, those alphabetical augurers in matters ‘most poetical.

**This particular word should be pronounced “kal-kuh-rhee-us,” but never in polite company.

***“Octopodal” here means “of the octopus.” It may mean something entirely different somewhere else, like in Finland, for instance. The professor notes that many people think octopi (more than one octopus, not eight different kinds of pie, though pie is delicious) have legs, but this is ridiculous: the Professor has never seen an octopus in pants or leggings, never mind shoes or socks.

****According to Random House, a nephrostome (neff-row-stohm) in zoology is “the ciliated opening of a nephridium into the ceolum.” In embryology, it is “a similar opening into a tubule of the embryonic kidney.” The professor trusts that you now understand perfectly.

*****The scientific term is “invertebrate,” which hardly seems applicable to a mollusk that is right side up, but may well describe one that is up side down.

******Of course, it’s silly to ascribe (that is, ‘assign to,’ usually in hushed, gossipy tones when the mollusk isn’t looking or has just left the room) human characteristics like “mania” to animals. Except to sharks. Well, sharks and tigers. Well, sharks and tigers and snakes. And housecats.

*******This word, “kitten-us,” does not have anything to do with kittens. Really. Unless, of course, you’re talking about the ill-tempered, scratchy kind of kitten. Then it is appropriate to call the kitten chitinous.


NOTE: In the accompanying image of a common nudibranch–pronounced “noo-duh-branck” (the ‘c’ is silent)–found in that great German study of the subject of nudibranchia by the famed nubranchist Rudolph Berg (1824-1909), entitled, naturally, Neue Nacktschnecken der Südsee : malacologische Untersuchungen (1873), we see clearly the sinister and duplicitous nature of all mollusks on clear display. This sea slug, rather coquettishly presenting itself as a fuzzy little puppy with short legs waiting for its belly to be scratched, is, in fact, poised to swallow the unsuspecting urchin–the sea or land variety (for mollusks are indifferent eaters)–whole.

For Professor Percival P. Pennywhistle’s bio and more of his work published on WIZ, go here, here, and here.

(Post edited to add illustration and Note on August 18 at 6:01 p.m.)

Mercredi by Professor Percival P. Pennywhistle

This mudstick, midway, turnabout Wednesday
(Stalled out, curbstruck, high-centered, roughluck,
Dimeandnickel, halfdone, deadbeat, nofun),
Punch a ticket, skip a class, take a hike, and make it last.


To peruse more of the esteemed Professor’s erudite work published on WIZ and view his bio, go here and here.

Make like a tree by Professor Percival P. Pennywhistle

like a tree* and
grow, bloom and bear fruit,
give shade, give shelter, sow seed,
weather storms, dig deep,
breathe deeper.
Be useful
in your
the soil,
a tree.


*This is, of course, a variation on the common adage to “make like a tree and branch out,” and the less common adage, used primarily among canines (the dogs, not the teeth), “make like a tree and bark.” Puns about leaves will not be tolerated.


Professor Percival P. Pennywhistle despises children and loathes nature, which often gets on his shoes and under his fingernails, but he recognizes that both are important enough to be addressed, and so he writes poetry and other things for children, some of it about nature. Bits and pieces of his work can be found here, and he can also be reached on Facebook and via email at pennywhistlestop@gmail.com. The poems published on WIZ come from Poems for the Precocious and Alphabet Stew: Poems in a Particular Order. Other projects in development include Mythiphus, Me Grimms and Melancholies, Kid Viscous and the Mysterious Substance, Jonah P. Juniper and getting Ben Crowder to be his illustrator.