There Once Was a Lesson Not Learned, poetry by Ken Gosse at

There Once Was a Lesson Not Learned

There Once Was a Lesson Not Learned

(as read by Rod Serling)

written by: Ken Gosse


The brilliance of bright golden light
can entrance us all day and all night
even though what may glitter
can turn out quite bitter,
a lesson ignored by hindsight.

An old owl flew down from a tree
and saw evil was grasping at me,
but said not a word—
now my soul and that bird
fly through Hell throughout eternity.

Don’t seek evil then try to untask it
or your soul will be placed in a basket,
then your bucket is spilled
as it’s kicked and you’re billed
by the Piper to pay for your casket.

Each basket contains its own soul
watched by ghoulish fiends darker than coal.
Even Jack and Jill knew
that you need to have two,
for a fall takes a very hard toll.

A preface oft’ comes with pride’s fall,
our thrall to those we shouldn’t call.
See the signpost ahead?
We should read it in dread—
that’s not twilight, but wormwood and gall.

A limerick is often accorded
much scorn, but should it be aborted
before its last line?
I’m of the opine
some hold lessons which must not be thwarted.



The poem was written for the Ekphrastic Review Writing Challenge for October 2019. The painting is “Witches,” by Francisco Goya, 1797-1798.

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