The Dash For Cash

A poem inspired by reading this forum


I read of a woman who wrote a verse
of inspirational rhyme,
She wrote about birth, she wrote about death
and the intervening time.

Her message was simple: this life is brief
and when it ends, we’re gone,
And only with people we leave behind
does our memory live on.

Show kindness and love and respect, she said,
so that when your life is through,
The mourners who come to bid you farewell
will have good things to say about you.

And her words were recited at funerals
every day throughout the land;
Her poem grew famous: it spoke to the heart,
it rhymed and it fairly nearly scanned.

You’d think that a writer would have been glad,
but this is what she said:
“They’re putting my words on the Internet
and I’m not getting paid!”

She went to her lawyer and told him to sue
any club or church or school
That published her poem without paying fees
in breach of the copyright rule.

Now he’s claiming huge sums for her thirty-six lines
and citing the U.S. Code,
Which raises the question: in cases like this,
exactly how much is one ode?

This poet should live by what she has penned:
show kindness and love and respect,
For if she doesn’t cease and desist, in the end
her name, and her verse, will be wrecked.

So writers, think about this hard:
when you’ve finally “spent your dash,”
Will you be remembered for what you said –
or for how you made your cash?

CC0 To the extent possible under law, PQR Theorist has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to The Dash For Cash. This work is published from: United States.