Iowa Anomaly: A Town Ignored by Candidates


Ev’ry town in Iowa has candidates galore,

pleading with their voters while they knock on ev’ry door.

But Eagle Grove is quiet; there’s no Clinton, Trump, or Cruz.

The residents are able to lay down and take a snooze.

The Town that Politics Forget, is what they ought to boast —

and stay in husking bees and corn cob jelly all engrossed.

There’s something very pleasant about villages sedate

where politicians never come to bluster and to prate.

Oh, Eagle Grove, the French would call your town the ideal beau;

and may it ever thus enjoy such quiet status quo!  





Fighting for Iowa Voters, Bernie Sanders Leads in Yaroslavl

bernie sanders

Oh, Bernie Sanders took a trip to Russia long ago — 

to Yaroslavl, where the citizens don’t mind the snow.

Ever since that trip our Bernie has displayed affection

for anything that smacks of Slavic taste or introspection.

When he’s in the White House, how the vodka will decant!

They’ll be singing O Chechornya in a growling bass descant.

He’ll have a little dacha at Camp David, sure as shootin’ —

and probably get palsy-walsy with that fellow Putin.

I guess I do not mind if Russia is his big main squeeze —

it’s either that, or else he’ll have to learn to speak Chinese . . .  

Negative Interest Rates?


From the Wall Street Journal:   “The Bank of Japan on Friday joined a host of European peers in setting its key short-term interest rate below zero. The move, long denied as a possible course by the bank’s governor, came a week after the European Central Bank president indicated he was ready to launch additional monetary stimulus in March—and days after the Federal Reserve expressed new worries over market turbulence and sluggish growth overseas.

The patient lay unconscious, breathing shallow, pulse so weak;

the economic doctors hardly knew what cures to seek!

Its markets were unsettled; paltry growth had slowed it down —

the central banks looked at it and could not suppress a frown.

They finally decided that the int’rest rate must fall

into the minus column to break free from fiscal thrall.

It would mean inflation and a weaker yen and euro

(meaning better sales for sake and the Spanish churro).

But still the pale economy did languish, invalid —

and economic health was still not quite up on the grid.

What’s next, you mountebanks of money — have you got the key

to resurrecting wages in a dead economy?



The Power of Daily Writing in a Journal


From the Wall Street Journal:  Taking 15 or 20 minutes to write freely about emotions, secrets or upheaval can be a powerful tonic, says James Pennebaker, a psychology professor at the University of Texas and author of several books including “Writing to Heal.”

I keep a daily journal that’s the mirror of my soul.

In it I don’t worry about any self control.

I write my in-most thoughts and feelings, letting it hang out.

With my pen I whimper, grumble, sob, and sometimes shout.

The insight that I’ve gained from pouring out my private psyche

I’m selling to be put on running shoes produced by Nike.


Trumpocracy: A Vision of the Future.

donald trump

On January 20th, Inauguration Day,

Trump took the Oath of Office while he sipped a Dubonnet.

His victory a landslide, he was carried by a flood

of voters who were fed up and were out to shed some blood.


With ceremonies over, he pushed back his wavy hair,

and had the White House staff start counting all the silverware.

He emptied out the closets and made Washington turn pale

by holding an enormous Oval Office rummage sale.


“We’ll put this country on its feet!” he told the correspondents,

“even if we have to sell the Smithsonian’s fine contents!”

Suiting word to deed, turnstiles were installed about toot suite;

each congressman must pay a buck each time they take a seat.


He changed the brand on lots of things, which didn’t make him nervous;

the Post Office he christened as The Trump Delivery Service.

He treated his Vice President as someone not momentous;

in fact he just might fire him, as he used to on Apprentice.


He made the military dress itself in lowly chino

and turned each mess hall on each base into a grand casino.

He sold the state of Maine to some investors for a billion.

(Some say they were Korean, but I think they were Brazilian.)


Next he turned his baleful eye, just like the basilisk,

upon the Muslim question and its terrifying risk.

He chartered lots of boats and sent ’em packing off to Cuba.

(Since the boats were leaky, let’s hope they knew some scuba.)



And anyone on welfare was ignored as long as they

didn’t rent where Donald held a landlord’s ruthless sway.

But if they tried to live in territory he had marked,

they’d find that their belongings on the street were rudely parked.


His views on marriage are unique; he isn’t any prude.

He isn’t what you’d want to call a fan of rectitude.

He overturned the old laws and put in some laissez faire:

“Go marry often as you want if you can pay the fare”.


In terms of law and order, Trump has done a splendid job;

he’s turned the matter over to his friends within the Mob.

They run it like a bizness; profit margins are immense.

The crooks say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ while the cops collect the cents.


He’s making deals with China, telling them Taiwan’s for sale.

He’s drilled the oil out from Iran to make the mullahs fail.

He’s told all South America to pay their legal debts

or our Marines go marching in, with lots of crippled vets.


No tax for corporations, and the IRS is hobbled

so all their audits on the rich are suddenly quite bobbled.

With so little coming in and great monies going out,

our infrastructure wilts amid the tumult and the shout.


“We like this new America” say voters stubbornly.

“The Donald will go down as savior in our history!”

“He’s got the common touch, and has been bankrupt just like us.”

“So we will put up with his foibles and unholy fuss . . . ”


And somewhere in the heavens, there’s another businessman

from early times who relishes Trump’s preposterous game plan.

Yes, P.T. Barnum looks upon our President and smiles —

since his administration is using all of Barnum’s wiles.

"There's a taxpayer born every minute." P.T. Barnum.
“There’s a taxpayer born every minute.” P.T. Barnum.








In Hong Kong, Frost Chasers Seek the Thrill of the Chill

From the Wall Street Journal:

“As blizzards and ice storms pummel cities from New York to Hangzhou, Hong Kong—a place where residents rarely need to break out the fleece—is thrilling over its own extreme-weather phenomenon: frost.

A cold front across east Asia has brought thousands of Hong Kong frost-hunters to the city’s peaks during recent nights. The chill-seekers are hoping to see ice-rimmed leaves, sleet or even snow—many for the first time ever.”

If you’d really like some chilblains, oh ye people of Hong Kong —

just come to Minnesota, where the winter’s nine months long!

You can thrill to wind chills that go down way past the zero,

and freeze your tuchus off as a bold ice fishing  hero.

Watch icicles impale unwary walkers in a rush,

or stand upon a street corner and try to dodge the slush.

Your nose will turn to blue as you admire an ice palace;

if you survive you just might catch Aurora Borealis.

Or better yet, don’t bother coming out to this outpost —

I’ll send you a large snowball via U.S. parcel post.

The grass is always greener and the weather more extreme

here in Minnesota, where a thaw is just a dream . . .



I’ve heard of eating crow, but this is ridiculous!


From US News & World Report:

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are wondering whether gut bacteria from skinny people could help curb obesity in others. 

A new clinical trial — which is not yet open to participants — will study the effects of gut microbes from lean, metabolically healthy donors on the bodies of people with obesity and/or insulin sensitivity.

To get the microbes from one person to the other, scientists will freeze the feces from donors and case the material into pills, to be taken orally by the subjects.


I may be fat, with double chins that wobble when they’re wrung —

but there is not the slightest chance I’ll swallow any dung.

I don’t care if it can make me lighter than fine tulle —

Hell will welcome penguins long before I welcome stool.

It’s not that I don’t honor someone like the great Pasteur

as a fine researcher — but did he propose manure

to combat dread diseases like obesity or pox?

The very notion would produce abundant Gallic squawks!

The eggheads who propose this little gambit with our poop

have got the protozoa as their only true peer group . . .



Drunk Texting is for Amateurs!


From the Wall Street Journal:

The smartphone has become one of the world’s most powerful communications tools. That can be a bad thing if you’re drunk.

Ronnie Rocha learned that the hard way after texting a profanity-laced tirade, while drunk, to his boss. In the missive, he demanded to be paid more and given more responsibilities at his job as a computer programmer.

Mr. Rocha, 23 years old at the time, managed to keep his part-time gig. But he admits he had no recollection of sending the text.

“The devices of power and productivity become weapons of everything once you have some alcohol in you,” Mr. Rocha said.


I think I’ll write a little poem, soon as I finish up

this little teeny weeny bit of wine that’s in my cup.

I haven’t had a lot, you know; I’m feeling pretty fine.

And poets should be given lots of praise and good red wine.

The muse is sloshed but I am not — I’m simply in the zone,

and I could play my lays and rimes on flute or slide horn-thingy.

A poet celebrates the life around him all the time —

to neglect this duty is a literary, um, faux pas.

So here’s to drunken rhyming, and to comments on your piece

of journalism that is like old Jason’s Golden — rag or chamois or some kind of crap like that . . .

and hey . . . how come you never return my calls, huh?  You think  you  ar sum king of big sot or wat? Im gunna . . . yeah, I’m gunna right now, son as I use the y’know the bathroom . . . be right back ~

The Art of Curling


It’s not correct to say that curling is a non-event;

that compared to bowling it lacks minimal content.

Also it is unfair to imply that such a sport

is only an excuse to belly up and have a snort.

It takes a certain skill set to slide granite over ice.

It’s not like playing Bingo or the toss of brittle dice.

A bonspiel is a meeting of the minds, as well as brawn.

(At least there are no cheerleaders decked out in pink chiffon!)

In Minnesota, where the frost of winter seems eternal,

curling is a warming way to share a chill fraternal.

So do not call it ‘fremmed’ in a tone that’s undiscerning;

it sure as heck makes better sport than going out and gurning!

The NBA Team That’s Bullish on the Opera

From the Wall Street Journal:   “This season, for the first time, Gasol and Mirotic both have been starters for the Chicago Bulls. But around town, they’ve become known as something else: the city’s biggest patrons of the arts. Gasol and Mirotic are regulars at the opera house. They have been backstage guests of the symphony orchestra. Officials from the city’s highbrow cultural institutions say they can’t remember professional athletes coming to any of their performances—let alone as many as these Bulls.”

Okay youse guys, now listen up — I think we caught a break,

if we can dribble with the ball  like they do in Swan Lake.

Portis, try for bank shots — pop up like a freakin’ genie,

while the P.A. system plays us something by Rossini.

Now Gasol, bump the cutter ev’rytime you get the chance,

and Bairstow watch that pivot foot — this ain’t a morris dance!

Hey, Brooks and Jimmy Butler, you two open up a spot

for Zubin Mehta to come out and try a granny shot.

Take us all the way up on that great O’Brien route,

and management will take you down to see The Magic Flute.