Friday, March 06, 2009


MEERSCHAUM, n. (Literally, seafoam, and by many erroneously supposed to be made of it.) A fine white clay, which for convenience in coloring it brown is made into tobacco pipes and smoked by the workmen engaged in that industry. The purpose of coloring it has not been disclosed by the manufacturers.
There was a youth (you've heard before,
This woeful tale, may be),
Who bought a meerschaum pipe and swore
That color it would he!

He shut himself from the world away,
Nor any soul he saw.
He smoked by night, he smoked by day,
As hard as he could draw.

His dog died moaning in the wrath
Of winds that blew aloof;
The weeds were in the gravel path,
The owl was on the roof.

"He's gone afar, he'll come no more,"
The neighbors sadly say.
And so they batter in the door
To take his goods away.

Dead, pipe in mouth, the youngster lay,
Nut-brown in face and limb.
"That pipe's a lovely white," they say,
"But it has colored him!"

The moral there's small need to sing —
'Tis plain as day to you:
Don't play your game on any thing
That is a gamester too.
—Martin Bulstrode
2009 Update: A soil into which crops are sown leaf-first. Smoker's loam.


Mo'a said...

Plants Icelandic flag she is first again.

My Father and my Husband have many beautifully carved Meerschaum Pipes...originally white but now yellowed from use...not their use, as they both inherited their pipe stash.

TLP said...

Meerschaum: Small town friend?

Anonymous said...

I can't spell it, I can't pronounce it, I can't define it...ergo it is another made up Doug word.

weirsdo said...

Material for a professorial accessory of yesteryear.

pia said...

Meerschaum: literally a mix of fish oil and fish pee--very pretty to look at

Somehow I think Jenn's right :) Do you use Word Verifications?

Jim said...

I had one, it had a screw on meershaum bowl. I was told once on a NYC bus, 'yes, smoking a pipe is smoking and you will either have to get off or put it out.' Out the window went my aromatic mixture.
BTW, I quit back in the 70's.
BTW#2, that object that Adi operates is a tree digger, hauler, and planter all in one machine. Those big trees were hauled there from the tree farm by that machine.

quilly said...

Now I am wondering where my grandfather's pipe collection is. I would like to look at the white ones and see if they are this Meerschaum of which you speak.

Minka said...

Meerschaum? really?!

natural bubble-bath!

Ariel the Thief said...

Meerschaum, white mineral trying to live the Tao?

sauerkraut said...

humsolve... that is the word veri... and I hum whilst I try to solve the riddle of where I put that amish pipe. meerschaum, of course. somewhat common around these parts. sepiolite magnesium oxilate from the cuttlefish, or something like that.

drats... not I feel the need to dig out some of those old chemistry books.

MJG said...

Yes, meerschaum is a real word. It is the common term for hydrous magnesium silicate which is a naturally occuring mineral found in many parts of the world with the finest that is used in pipe production comes from Eskisehir, Turkey.

Also known as Sepiolite, Venus of the Sea, White Goddess, sea foam, Aktas, Eskisehir's Stone, Lületaşı, Patal, Pierre de savon Maroc (rock of Morrocan sopa), and Vienna Stone.

the amoeba said...

MEERSCHAUM, adj. Type of bong noticeably absent from the collections of Sherlock Holmes and Michael Phelps.

Nessa said...

meer schaum: german for sea foam

Tom & Icy said...

In my backyard it is compost.

Nessa said...

Ok, so obviously I wasn't paying close attention.

Anonymous said...

seasoned with age,
a fine taste,after use...
not to be confused
with american/british
bankers and short sellers,,,
stuck in tar and resin
of over use,
taste buds seized
in the past.

Doug said...

RIght, of course, Mo'a. They were like that when we got'em!

Big city rival? Welcome back TLP!

Not me, Miss Jenn. Bierce makes them up and I gullibly copy them.

Weirsdo, you know what's wrong with higher education, nowadays? Professors have no authority without a pipe.

Haha, Pia. Lovely.

Amazing equipment, Jim, in both examples.

Prolly, Quill.

You can't put German past a German, Minka. Freude!

Maybe, Ariel. That will get you burnt.

Saurkraut, they're probably still smoldering.

Ah, welcome, MJG. It's nice to have a visiting expert.

A couple classless tokers there, Amoeba.

Sehr gut, Nessa.

And in your front yard the tree of life, Ice?

Not to worry, Nessa. I do that sometimes too. Some days the RSS feed owns me.

Alas, alas, Bear. We cry for our country together.

tsduff said...

That is an awful story! Dog died - guy died, weeds and gravel - sheesh. Not a happy tale upon my waking this morning... Smoker's loam is a clever term though I prefer seafoam.