May 7, 2011

"I remember the day when I first came here/And smelt the sweet Abbottabad air."

Those are the first 2 lines of a poem by Major James Abbott about the city named after him — the city where Osama bin Laden hid until the bullets pelleted his lid. It continues, reflecting on leaving the city, which, of course, bin Laden did, before they fed him to a squid:
The trees and ground covered with snow
Gave us indeed a brilliant show
To me the place seemed like a dream
And far ran a lonesome stream
The wind hissed as if welcoming us
The pine swayed creating a lot of fuss
And the tiny cuckoo sang it away
A song very melodious and gay
I adored the place from the first sight
And was happy that my coming here was right
And eight good years here passed very soon
And we leave you perhaps on a sunny noon
Oh Abbottabad we are leaving you now
To your natural beauty do I bow
Perhaps your winds sound will never reach my ear
My gift for you is a few sad tears
I bid you farewell with a heavy heart
Never from my mind will your memories thwart
Get scribbling, my dear poets. This is too easy to miss.


Carol_Herman said...

Well, if the lunatics who live in Abbottabad can keep from blowing up tourists, I'm sure there are enough people who'd go there. Just to look. And, bring back souvenirs.

While most other folk wouldn't waste their money.

Ann Althouse said...

Come on, Carol. How hard would it have been to rhyme that? There are no rhymes for "lunatics," but for "tourists," there's "puristis" and "jurists."

Chip S. said...

I think that I shall never see
Osama's snuffing on tv.

ricpic said...

Osama Bin Laden went into the mountains
Lookin' for adventure and found a fetid room;
Obama Bin Shifty made up seventy two versions
Of the way he transferred OBN from room to tomb.

Steve said...

There once was a terrorist named Sheikh Osama,
Who was hunted down and shot by Messiah Obama.

Sheikh Osama, like a girl hiding behind the skirt of her mama,
Was protected and defended by his young wife Amal Sadah.

In the end, Messiah Obama would take no prisoner,
So Osama was forced to become a submariner.

edutcher said...

There once was a guy named Osama
Whose Pak house had no panorama
He never saw the SEAL
Who sealed Panetta's deal
That we doubt was ordered by Obama

PS "Come over to my home blog, Althouse, where we have comments"

Lifted off Insta. As Teddy would have said, "Foah shaaaame".

Coketown said...


Kashmir and Afghanistan
Tibet and Pakistan
Were once happy havens
For New Age mavens
And hippies and gurus--
But why? Who knew!
For the cuckoo's song,
Melodious and gay,
And the Tibetans' gong
From Himalayan chalets
Ring out and around
The snow-covered ground
Like chimes and bells!
And hippies they compel
To climb snowy the peeks
For the serenity they seek.
While somewhere back home
In a low somber groan,
The Crack Emcee says
--what fags.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick said...

Did you catch that "The military officers I met—many of them retired, living better than bin Laden, in lavish Latin-American style mansions with pure-bred dogs, English-style cooks, and manicured lawns—..."

What's that author been eating that "English-style cooks" means "living better"?

ip727 said...

There once was a raghead named osama,
Moved to abbottabad with his mama,
While strolling with his cloven hoofed "wife",
He ran into a bit of strife,
Where seal team 6 ended his drama.

Brian Hancock said...

If a poem doesn't start with "Here I sit broken hearted" then it is totally over my head.

Jeff said...

Hickory dickory dock
Bin Laden ran out of clock
In the SEALs flew
Shot him times two
And pushed him off the dock.

buck said...

Heyyy, Abbottabad! The capital of Costellostan, of course...

Fred4Pres said...

Sweet home Abbottabad,
Where the Americans do not go,
Sweet home Abbottabad,
Pakistanis love me so,

Well I heard Mr. Bush sing about me,
Well I heard Mr. Obama put me down,
Well I hope they both will remember,
An Islamic Jihadi don't need them aroudn anyhow.

Now I sleep with the fishes,
It is cold and dark down here,
So that is the end and there are no virgins,
Just many versions on how I got here.

Fred4Pres said...

Abbottabad? Costellobad?

Q. Who's on first?

A. I do not know, but Osama is out!

Donald Sensing said...

The grounds were covered with SEALs
that would make great video reels.
My house was under attack
so I ran to my room in the back.
They shot my courier on the lawn.
My son also died before dawn.
My wife took a round in the leg
and I didn't even have time to beg
before a bullet entered my chest
and one through my head sent me to rest.
Six good years have passed very soon
I'd rather leave you on a sunny noon.
But I'm carried out without a fight
and flown away at midnight.
Oh Abottabad I am leaving you now,
my security I thought would never allow.
My gift for you is a puddle of blood
Now I lie on ocean floor mud.

Less said...

It may not be a poem, but the Abbottabad song WILL stick in your brain.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh how I love Abbottabad
Best city Pakistan ever had
Sun seems to rise to greet us
Farmers at the market do feed us
I like to play soccer there
Watching the ball in the air
Osama bin Laden died in this town
Navy Seals gave him a great big frown
There was a weird looking helicopter
His wife jumped, they didn't pop her
Off his body went to the giant sea
Like in a field of grass a flea
But was his heart left in Abbottabad?
It's the best city Pakistan ever had.

dmohle said...

There once was a shanty in Pak
We watched and put under attack
And we at last we went in
And capped Bin Laden
The Pakis were talking some smack

But one thing they could not explain
Was how their guest came to attain
His humble abode
With a single commode
And the showers fed only by rain

Believe us! they demanded with bile
He's only lived here a short while!
But nevertheless
His stay they did bless
A fool could see by a mile

So now the question becomes
How to punish these Pak army bums
Do we cut off their cash
So to China they'll dash?
Or reduce them to high interest crumbs?

I know! Sell them treasuries! eleventy!

dmohle said...

There once was a shanty in Pak
We watched and put under attack
And we at last we went in
And capped Bin Laden
The Pakis were talking some smack

But one thing they could not explain
Was how their guest came to attain
His humble abode
With a single commode
And the showers fed only by rain

Believe us! they demanded with bile
He's only lived here a short while!
But nevertheless
His stay they did bless
A fool could see by a mile

So now the question becomes
How to punish these Pak army bums
Do we cut off their cash
So to China they'll dash?
Or reduce them to high interest crumbs?

I know! Sell them treasuries! eleventy!

Rialby said...

There once was a tall man from Yemen
Who did evil to get into "heaven"
Jihad's always wrong
As we knew all along
So much for the promised young hymen

burtegel said...

Were there any justice in the world, we'd be dishing it out as indiscriminately as Abbott's contemporaries did with the rebellious Sepoys. Then we could name the whole region after Sir Thomas Crapper.

mm said...

Tommy This and Tommy That
Went lookin’ in caves
For trouble and knaves

Having no luck
They gave not a fuck
And refused to give up

Then one day the lads
heard Mr Bad
Was right there in Abbottabad

When they dropped in to see
Osama called out,
Who dat?
They answered rat-a-tat-tat

Next up, Old Mullah Omar

Greyhawk said...

Ode to Abbottabad
by Osama bin Laden

a lovely town
I feel safe
no one around

the song of birds
the buzz of bees
the cool of night
wind in the trees

outside is dark
and in the gloom
a helicopter
outside my room

Wait, wha...

traditionalguy said...

Osama is dead, and Chomsky is blue. The Seals have cigars and Osama is glue.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ddh said...

Two Senryuu for Osama

Abbottabad night.
SEALs drop by to pay respects.
The Sheik meets his end.

Airlifted aboard,
Osama Bin un-Laden.
Splash! Goodbye, ol' chum.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
themightypuck said...

Wow that is pretty awful.

Rialby said...

There was a murderous Saudi
Who'd led boys restless and rowdy
America found him
His end it was grim
Tell the devil we said "Howdy!"

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Once upon a midnight dreary, Osama pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While he plotted, clearly scheming, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some SEAL gently rapping, rapping at his chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," he muttered, "tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more."

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled him - filled him with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of his heart, he stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some Paki Minister entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently his soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Infidel,” said he, "or kafir, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was plotting, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here he opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long he stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "helicopter?"
This he whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "helicopter!" -
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, his black soul within him burning,
Soon again he heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said he, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here he flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately SEAL of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, bursted through his chamber door -
Looking down his rifle’s gun sights just beyond the chamber door -
Locked, and loaded, nothing more.

"Prophet!" said Osama, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if SEAL or devil! -
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Abottabad? - tell me - tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the triggerman "Nevermore."

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

I came over from Costelloland
to see what you are on about.
To be believed it must be seen
You said to me before the rout.

But all I saw when I arrived
Copter bits strewn far and wide
Not here is seen your leathery hide.
Into the briny sea you slide.

Donald Sensing said...

Susan, you got a Donald-lanche!

William said...

Bin Laden been leadened and deadened/ And been laid to his rest beneath the waves crest/ There among the caliphate of hagfish he is really quite a king/ Say seventy virgin hags who nibble at his thing/ And are really very glad about Abottobad.

Scott said...

A Sonnet of Praise for Our Dear President

I never would have thought the putz Osama
bin Laden would catch caps inside his dome
(a hit contracted by our sage, Obama)
while wandering 'round in jammies in his home.

Indeed it was our nation's shining hour
A Navy SEAL with .45 in hand
did perforate bin Laden's face, and our
revenge restored the pride of this great land.

Behold the dusky visage of Barack!
With furrowed brow and perfect teeth he smiles,
His critics find no weakness they can knock,
His TelePromTer's rhetoric beguiles.

Huzzah! No feckless poseur leader, he
has taken action affirmative to
allow the Navy SEALS to cross the sea
and slay the vile pyjamaed Arab poo.

Our President can murder any meanie.
So vote for him, or you're a racist weenie!

Chip S. said...

Susan's is far better, but this one had to be tried:


I met a traveller from Pakistan
Who said: "A large and squalid house of stone
Stands in the Khyber. In it, on a mattress,
Half sunk, a bloody stain abides, whose brown
And wrinkled surface, unmade by bold commandos,
Tell that its owner well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these worthless things,
The tapes that mock him and the head that bled.
And from the video these words we hear:
`My name is Osamandias, Sheik of Sheiks:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal villain, boundless and cold,
The gray and roiling seas stretch far away."

Ambrose said...

I think the moment calls for a hai ku:

Once, an evil man
A knock at the door, hello?
My brain on the wall.

Suburbanbanshee said...

First, this isn't a horrible poem. Nothing here that couldn't be straightened out by a friendly editor. Nothing like the nightmares that come out of college poetry workshops. (Shudder.)

Second, "thwart" is being used in the archaic or Northern sense of "passing across". Good vocabulary, but obviously doomed to be misunderstood by the masses.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Christie said...

Oh, Abbottabad, Abbottabad,
Or is it Abbotabad, Abbotabad?

Oh, Abbottabad, my Abbottabad,
How to this wan heart you are dear and near.

Your light doth shine, your shade doethn't,
Your sweet odor lingers even after deodorant.

Hale and hearty we lingered often there,
Amid those trees with that fruit on them, where!

Amid the crusty plain and palms verdant
My eye-like lashes saw none discordant.

Peace, peace, Abbottabad, Abbottabad, ere
Thine future brings on lorry trucks hare.

Amen, Abbottabad. Amen.

Suburbanbanshee said...

Also, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner rhymes "were" and "there", as well as rhyming "there", "are", and "prayer".

So "here" and "air" is not all that improbable. (And may have rhymed quite well, in Abbott's pronunciation.)

Suburbanbanshee said...

In Abbottabad,
the air is free
Of Osama's breath,
and so are we.

Long laden by Bin Laden's
burdensome tread,
The land now bears only
the blood from his head.

How sweet is the sound of the town of his doom!
How handy the fish of the sea
for his tomb!

In Abbottabad,
the sky is blue,
And we are not,
because he is through.

Suburbanbanshee said...

Make that "for he is through."

Didn't want to be all complain and no game.

ddh said...

The Blackhawk Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Blackhawk hour.

I hear on the rooftop above me
The patter of booted feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and fleet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
A gunman, a menacing phantom,
And a bang with blinding flair.

A ringing, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their staring eyes
They have plotted and planned together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They open up on me with bullets,
My legs weaken and I fall,
As I try to finish the Shahada,
I’m carried feet first out the hall.

Did I think, o blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Would be a match for you all!

You put me deep in the ocean,
And I never can depart,
What brought me down into the briny
Was the blackness of my heart.

And there you have laid me forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the bones shall crumble to ruin,
And my flesh washes away.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Though I've shot you and I've bled you,
By the sharks to which I've fed you, You're a deader man than I am, Osama Bin.

Lincolntf said...

"...pelleted his lid..." is still the best line on the thread.

Myself, I've really got nothing to offer, so I'll be quiet now.

Joshua said...

Oh, good grief, the alien conspiracy theorists are right.

Maj. Abbott was clearly a Vogon in disguise.

On the other hand, I'm sure Mark Steyn is relieved to know that the place wasn't named for George Abbott.

Triangle Man said...

Amo amas amat.
Osama bin Laden was shot
Twice in the face.
A fair price for his disgrace.
In the abad of general abbott

Eric Bowen said...

***ODE TO @ ReallyVirtual***

Was notabad
Place; in fact, 'twas good
For peace and quiet
'Til the riot;
"There goes the neighborhood!"

("@ReallyVirtual" is the Twitter name of Sohaib Athar of Abbottabad, who "liveblogged" the Bin Laden raid on Twitter as it happened. The "poem" paraphrases his tweets.)

Blue@9 said...

The death of Osama
Wasn't by robot,
But by men
Descending from choppers
In the skies of Abbottabad.

Badass rocking
Doctors of death,
Those awesome SEALS
Offed one ugly terrorist.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Roses are red

Osama is blue

into his head

the SEALS put two.

The end.(bows)

Kent said...

Twas ever thus, from robot spy to poet hack,
That Abbottabad suffered from drone attack

Like the original, I would drone and drone,
Were I not responding via iPhone.