"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker


Proud Bonaparte may sit upon his chair
and stare out upon the glaring plain ahead.
But my great, great grandfather,
Josef Ruhl by name,
Stood straight behind him
And with spying glass pressed
Too tightly to his eye,
Read out the charging army's plans
And made up strategy
To overcome the enemy.
Without my relative so close nearby,
The great Napoleon could not
Have won a thing.
Sure, the Emperor got some credit true,
But it was my great, great, grandfather
Who figured out the strategy
Of the approaching enemy
In great force
And called out plans to overcome the enemy.
Those tight, white pants of his
Did nothing to disguise his pain
When troops did fall
To bullets whizzing past.
But Josef stood his ground
And shouted out commands
To get the troops behind him grouped
To make the charge that
Successfully would overcome the enemy.
A sad thing happened at Waterloo.
My great, great grandfather wasn't there.
He'd burned the edges of his retina
From looking long, long upon the plain
To figure out most instantly
The plan so bold of charging troops.
Napoleon had sat too long upon his chair
And did not overcome the enemy.
But when all wars were lost or won,
The Island Elba gained a man
Whose name rings true
For cunning plans himself.
When all along it was Josef
Who gave the emperor
His greatest surge
To overcome the enemy.
Proud Josef sits with padded eye
Upon a stool in town, Colmar.
He thinks perhaps
Someday there'll be
A great, great grandson
Made like me to
Overcome the enemy.

Sid Hoskins