My mother raised me to respect the rules and regulations
Of all the many branches of the sciences and nations.
The pattern and the symmetry of rote and standards thrilled me.
(But in the end this fetish is what finally did kill me.)
I had my girlfriend beat me when I breached our staid decorum,
Or whip me with a leather thong that I had tipped with aurum.
Correlating ev’ry aspect of my time and leisure
Was to me a scintillating, enervating pleasure.
But when I reached my 27th year I noted with acuity
That my life was nothing more than existential vacuity.
Using winged technology to end my null existence
Required nothing more than pilot’s license and persistence.
The friendly folks of Ferguson make welcome ev’ry guest.
One and all are treated with a gratifying zest.
If you are a black man you’ll be targeted each night
For a special greeting (that might give you quite a fright).
You will find that officers and city workers, too,
Want you to be carefree (and may lock you in the zoo).
Shootings are prodigious, but it’s all in merry fun,
With ev’rybody looking down the barrel of a gun!
Won’t you come and see us? We’re as friendly as can be.
The town administration changes very frequently.
And if you do behave yourself when you do first arrive
You’ll have a jolly time of it (and might get out alive).
I may be small and made of wood leftover from a door;
But I contain potential that will last forevermore.
An entertaining novel or a tome of sober fact;
Biography, geography, or strange religious tract.
No barriers or bar codes keep you from my grand largesse;
I freely offer up the wine of ev’ry printing press.
The heft of solid book in hand was never meant to dwindle
In this age of iPads and the apathetic Kindle.
Small graces in this life of toil can speed us on our way
To better understanding and a more contented day.
So open up my shutters, made of glass or plastic sheet,
And tarry with my wares that are sustaining and so sweet!
Based on a story from MPR
I met a man who wasn’t there, with clear blue eyes, brown wavy hair.
I asked him was he gonna run for President – he said “What fun!”
And furthermore, his eyebrows knit, he said “I am the man called Mitt.”
Was I to worship at his feet, or write a check or post a tweet?
I met a man who wasn’t there – his halo tilted in the air.
I asked him “Mr. Romney, sir; will your ambition long endure?”
He gazed into a crystal ball – then said “I’ll let you know this fall.”
Upon the stairs, his footsteps light, he disappeared into the night.
I met a man who wasn’t there – and never IS found anywhere.
Except where fat cat donors snooze; he likes to visit them and schmooze.
He’s running – yes he is, by gum! But is he running TO or FROM?
I hope when he makes up his mind I am not old and going blind.
from an article in Political Insider
My duty took me from my home and fam’ly frequently;
While I was gone the bank foreclosed on all my property.
They also took the car and my retirement account.
(I don’t believe they know about the Sermon on the Mount.)
I was on active duty, being shot at and assailed –
Meanwhile when my wife protested, she was nearly jailed.
It seems the laws in place protecting soldier’s basic rights
Are just about as potent as wee mosquito bites.
Just WHAT have I been fighting for, if ev’ry snotty banker
Can barge into my home at will to tell them to weigh anchor?
The next time Uncle Sam requires militant defenders,
I am staying home — and they can draft the money lenders!
Based on a New York Times Story
The puzzle of the ages is to store up energy,
Releasing it when needed in a stream and not a spree.
Scientists make batteries two stories high in places
To hold electric juices twixt metal sheets and braces.
A power pack that holds a megawatt, or two or three,
Is like the Golden Fleece from ancient Grecian history.
For so much power is a genie hard to keep in bottle;
Either it will leak out or is impossible to throttle.
I hear tell they are pressurizing air as a solution;
It’s cheap enough and doesn’t cause a bit of air pollution.
But if they really want to capture air in hot compression
They should fill their tanks when wordy Congress is in session!
from a story in the LA Times
Hear them marching, marching, marching, down the avenue;
Conservatives are coming – and they’re coming after YOU!
YOU who pushed gay marriage on an unsuspecting nation.
YOU who made pot legal, leading to moral degradation.
See them waving, waving, waving, arms in jubilee;
Their leader is Ted Cruz and he will clean up YOUR debris!
He will put the Ten Commandments back up in the schools;
He will make jaywalkers obey all the traffic rules.
Feel them glowing, glowing, glowing with a holy light;
It burns up Clinton with its flame and makes her look so trite.
In their countless numbers the conservatives prevail;
The day of judgement’s coming and Obama won’t make bail!
from coverage on BuzzFeed
I went to see my broker just the other day for kicks,
To ask just what the market had inside its bag of tricks.
My broker looked unsettled as he sat me in a chair;
He bit his tongue and ran his hands through thinning, greasy hair.
“My friend” he said so sadly that I thought someone had died,
“Your IRA no longer has a place here by my side.”
“It’s too small for the trouble I must take to guide its path;
If you want I’ll show you why with just some simple math.”
He took a pencil and drew lines and circles and some squares,
Then with a muffled sob he kicked us down a flight of stairs.
My IRA and I did wander through the streets that night;
Finally I spent him on a hotdog and a Sprite.
Inspired by a story by Lee Schafer
My bucket list has just one thing to do ‘fore I Go Home;
Write a piece that will become a well-beloved poem.
Perhaps like Ernest Thayer and his ‘Casey at the Bat’
I can write of ping pong with such assured eclat.
(If editors say it don’t rhyme I’ll gladly knock ‘em FLAT!)
And then there’s Clement Moore who wrote of Christmas Eve so well;
His poem is corny and archaic – but causes hearts to swell.
Dear Emily wrote short and sweet (and bitter as a viper);
She and Edna were about as focused as a sniper.
(Don’t hold me back – the muse is taking hold and I am HYPER!)
“The best is yet to be” was written by the poet Browning;
I hope he’s on the level, and was not just merely clowning.
I’d like to leave my grandkids something they will call a hit,
And that will be recited where the goodly bards do sit.
(And, yes, I know full well that this here piece ain’t hardly IT.)
Based on a story by Abby Ellin
Dozens dead in Yemen from a crazy bomb attack;
ISIS murders women in the country of Iraq.
Homicides in LA County are thick as urban smog.
But outrage is reserved for shooting up a biting dog.
Tunisia is mourning those who died in a museum;
Children die of hunger in Sudan – that’s “carpe diem”.
A Karen refugee gives children such a fatal cut –
The media is covering a San Diego mutt.
Alberto Nisman murdered by a shot in Buenos Aires;
The violence increases, making busy actuaries.
I guess the world is going to the dogs without a doubt,
When the death of one lone cur can carry so much clout.