A Screed with Seven Days To Go

Washington still smells like a swamp.

We send living representatives
to dredge out the grime
but they die from the stench
and we keep re-electing their corpses.

If you want change— change your vote.
Even if he’s from your tribe,
if he’s been there long enough,
he’s lost whole fingers to the rot,
hands corrupt and greasy
from the money like methane
bubbling up from the boardrooms.

Vote out the zombie incumbents!
Be the term limits you seek.

For the Living Poetry Prompt: Outrage.

Just one week until the election is done and the shenanigans begin. If enough of us vote, they might not be able to steal it this time. I’ve done my duty. Have you?

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Summer Picnic

Summer Picnic

Fresh cut grass under our blanket
your warm skin ‘neath my fingertips
a tree is blooming above us
and its petals envy your lips

The low branches waltz in the breeze
to the music guiding your hips
flowers open to catch the sun
and their petals envy your lips

That summer picnic long ago
like that bottle of wine we sipped
still I remember that blossom
how its petals envied your lips

Photographer and model, Renee Staticage

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Brave and Reckless: Mad World

The Brave and Reckless Blog posted a little poem I wrote for one of their prompts. It’s called Sleep the Sleep of the Dead and it was prompted by that wonderful song Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears wrote and Gary Jules covered, Mad World.

Diligent readers may remember Brave and Reckless posted a COVID-19 poem of mine back in the Spring when I figured the pandemic would be contained in the States within three or four months. How naïve I was.

Thanks, Christine!

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Beggars Night

Beggars Night

It must be Halloween.
There are little boys marching
through my neighborhood,
fondling their guns,
wearing grown men costumes—
Junior dressed as a Brownshirt,
little Eric as a Proud Boy.

They want us to be as frightened
as they are. I give them candy
but can’t keep a straight face.
Their corporate sponsored
goodie bags have pre-ripped holes
yet they blame everybody else
for losing their treats.

(I voted this morning. How about you? With just two weeks until Election Day, if you haven’t voted yet, better make a plan and stick to it. Only with a massive turnout will we be able to overcome post-election shenanigans.)

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Naugatuck River Review

I’m honored to have a poem included in the latest edition of the Naugatuck River Review. They accepted Flowering Dogwood, a poem I wrote a decade ago, when I was just beginning to take poetry seriously. It’s a true story too.

While everyone knows that good poetry is priceless, for a limited time, nearly eighty pages of “narrative poetry in the tradition of great narrative poets such as Gerald Stern, Philip Levine, or James Wright” can be acquired for just $10, which is $2 off the usual price. You should buy a copy for yourself, while keeping in mind that the gift-giving season is fast approaching. (hint hint)

As a teaser, here are the first few stanzas of Flowering Dogwood. Buy the book to see how it ends.

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Tricks and Treats

Tricks and Treats

Don’t be frightened by the monsters
in television ads promising prosperity
and predicting pandemonium.

Don’t be frightened by the beggars
in your email, requesting treats
to prevent someone else’s tricks.

Don’t be frightened by politics,
be angry that money decides elections
instead of We the People.

Continue reading
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Danger Haiku

We’re just like children
fighting over the last slice of pie
in a house on fire.

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How Many More?

How Many More?
for Breonna Taylor

When you kill my sister
and praise her murderer
do not condemn me
for breaking glass.

When you crush my brother’s neck
and anger inflames a city
do not demand the restraint
your police lack.

When your promises of reform
are broken easier than a window
and forgotten faster than a bullet,
do not expect compliance.

You raped my mother because you knew
no jury or judge would believe her.
You hung my father from a tree
then took selfies at the after party.

How many storefronts would you smash
for each of your sons and daughters
gunned down in the street?

How many buildings would you burn
for their justice?

Four weeks until Election Day in the States. Are you registered to vote? Are you sure?

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Timeless Love

Timeless Love

What would you think if I begged
you to be the Eurydice to my Orpheus
and swore you wouldn’t have to wait
as long as Penelope for my return?

And I would return, unlike John Keats
to his Fanny, I’m too old to die young.
How many proposals would you reject
like Maud Gonne, leaving me bereft?

But you’re a twenty-first century girl,
these references mean nothing
so I’ll draw you like Jack did Rose,
though with words instead of charcoal.

I’ll feel like the king of the world,
holding you, at the bow, as you fly.

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Problem Haiku

It’s not protesters
It’s the rampaging police
That are the problem

Posted in Ephemera | 3 Comments