Didactic Doggerel

This Makes No Frankin Sense

The boswellia papyrifera,
A tree that grows in Ethiopia,

Produces frankincense, a curious resin
That has a bitter smell but isn’t poison.

In Africa and in the Middle East
It has embellished many a fine feast.

It’s used, you see, to make the air smell sweet.
For something bitter, that trick’s pretty neat!

They put it in the perfume lady’s dab
Behind their ears when they go out to gab.

In China it is said to cure a sneeze,
A cold, a colic, or a worse disease.

With all these uses you won’t find it funny
That frankincense is worth a lot of money.

Boswellia’s a scraggly, scrub-like tree.
It wouldn’t rate a glance from you or me.

They knife its bark to make the resin bleed
To where the blade has done its dirty deed.

Once and twice it strikes, and one more time.
The tree is overtapped to make a dime.

Its seedlings are consumed by cattle herds,
Reducing the supply by halves and thirds.

Collectors burn grasslands for greater ease.
They kill the saplings to get at the trees!

The lunacy defies belief. Good gents,
This positively makes no frankin sense!

Reference:
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/environment/story/2011-12-20/frankincense-endangered-
ethiopia/52130102/1

(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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