Straighten Up and Fly Right

A couple of years ago, I wrote an abecedarian. This type of poem has twenty-six lines, and each line starts with a letter of the alphabet in order from A to Z. You can find an example here. Below is my  abecedarian, but first, click here for the song that inspired it.


On Straightening Up and Flying Right



A buzzard and a monkey wouldn’t fly together

because a monkey wouldn’t be stupid enough to

climb on a buzzard’s  back since a buzzard is a

dirty old bird with no morals.

Everybody knows that monkeys don’t

fly–buzzards do. My

guess is that monkeys prefer to associate with their own kind. 

Heaven knows why the song was written. What an

imagination someone must have to

justify writing it–but

knowledge of values would lead one to believe that there’s a

logical message here. The

monkey makes a point when he tells the buzzard

not to blow his top and to do right.

Of course, not blowing your top and doing right are important.

People who are angry blow their tops, but the

question is do these people not do

right? I’ve blown my top a few times.

Still, I try to do the right thing. I

think that even the best of us,

under certain circumstances, blow our tops.  It’s not

very unusual.  But back to the monkey and the buzzard,

Why would a monkey allow a buzzard to take him for a ride? It doesn’t require

x-ray vision to determine that a buzzard is smaller than the average monkey.

You should realize that a monkey would be safer riding a

zebra. He wouldn’t have as far to fall.



If you haven’t written an abecedarian, you might want to try it. Pick a topic, and see if you can come up with a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet in order from A to Z to start each line. This can be tricky because there aren’t a lot of words that start with X, U, and other letters. Good luck, and have fun. You can leave your poem as a comment below. If you have trouble with the form, please e-mail me at the address above.


Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver


Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at:

6 thoughts on “Straighten Up and Fly Right”

  1. Thanks for straightening up and flying right Abbie! I enjoyed this. Although the end is confusing since a zebra is buch bigger than a buzzard. 🙂 …Or maybe the buzzard is flying and that’s why the monkey would fall further….


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