A Disappointing Day

The day dawned deepest gray
with a plethora of clouds in the sky
and the feeling of winter in the bones.
It was a day most stay in warm homes.
Even the birds nest, refusing to fly.
Finally, thankfully, the sun came out to play.

And so, people began to emerge
anticipating fun jogging and cycling.
Birds flew in an out of the trees.
And then arose a strong breeze.
It wasn’t long until along came lightning.
All headed to home and nests humming a dirge.

The Master Gardener of Hate

The (p)-resident is a patient, master gardener —
plants poison seeds, fertilizes and
pours the water.
Venomous plants spring, grow
sprout wicked thorns.
Who knew with such patience he would sow?
Who knew he’s a master gardener
who painstakingly plants poison seeds,
fertilizes and
pours the water?
His attention span is short;
he doesn’t read, write or do math;
he does play rounds of golf
at his resorts very fast.
Who knew he plowed a path
for poison plants?
We knew. That’s who.
We’ve been pointing to the poison plants
warning of the fruit.
The Republicans know it, too
but have chosen to remain mute.
But the fruit of that gardening
has now come to fruition.
If we don’t confiscate those gardening tools,
and so stop the blooming of violence, death and terrorism,
then truly we are a nation of fools
who deserves a (p)-resident of hate —
master gardener of poison plants —
sealing our fascist fate. .

Humiliation and Hope

Of bodily necessity, they defecate and urinate
along the thousands of miles.
With what do they wipe after they eliminate?
How do they wash their hands?
How do they keep their babies clean?
They have no toilets;
do they bury their feces in sand?
They have no showers
with cleansing, hot steam.
They endure basic humiliation.
Of soap they can only dream.
But their dream is greater than that.
They march thousands of miles to escape
and put behind them violence, threats,
horrors, death and rape.
But they also march for fulfillment of their dreams.
They still hope beyond hope,
of reaching the border without greater loss.
Will they be met by Caesar’s soldiers as Caesar bombastically boasts?
Will the Statue of Liberty act as a benevolent host?
Or will it be Jesus’ open, welcoming, blood drenched arms
attached on a border fence, today’s cross?

Liar, Liar, Republican Pants on Fire

Liar, liar, Republican pants
on fire. Seventy times they

tried to kill Obamacare and
now, because the number one

issue is health care, they
are lying through their false

teeth, saying they (like the
proverbial fox) will protect

pre-existing conditions and
one of the candidates running

for US Senator from Arizona,
as a screaming metaphor for

all of them, has the ovaries
to falsely vow to protect all

pre-existing conditions while
on record in Congress as having

shouted on the floor of that
august body, “Let’s get this

f—ing (using the word) thing
done,” meaning “Kill Obamacare.”

Liar, liar, Republican pants
on fire. Thank you, John McCain,

late senator from Arizona,
for one of your last and

perhaps most important votes
ever — the one Republican

who saved Obamacare —
officially the Affordable

Care Act, the most important
issue for this incredibly

important mid-term election
to help save not just the

Affordable Care Act but
democracy itself.

Savvy

Street savvy traveller in Roseland, his
boyhood, South side town. Walking
home along the tracks from kindergarten

through second grade at one school,
walking to the bus stop from another
school, catching a ride from 107th and

Halsted to 111th and Halsted, trans-
ferring buses from 111th and Halsted
to 111th and Michigan Ave. at age

eight, running from home to Fernwood
Park to play — street savvy. A move to
the suburbs at age nine, fifth grade,

achievement tests — second grade math,
third grade reading — not very book
savvy. Don’t put the kid back to fourth

grade for a do-over his dad pleaded.
I’ll work with him. I’ll work with him,
too, said the teacher. On to book savvy

and deep, deep, deep appreciation at
every graduation — high school, bachelor’s,
master’s and doctorate. He, now a trail

savvy senior, heads out the door for a
jog through the woods, grateful for it
all, especially a savvy teacher and a savvy
dad.

I Just Knew

I was sure
To Kill a Mockingbird
Would surely
Win,
Surely,
But I hesitated then
When
For
“The Great American Read”
All hundred names were read.
But I trusted the wonderful words
Of Harper Lee would
Surely
Win.
When the count down
Ended and the top five
Were read
I knew, in my heart, it
Was Harper Lee
Who would win.
And she
Surely did,
And when she did,
I cried
For Scout, Jem, Atticus, Boo Radley
And the ill-fated Tom Robinson —
Integrity, justice, courage, compassion
And human strength and warmth
Would win.
I just knew.
I surely knew
What Harper Lee
Would do.
With pride
I cried.

So Much for the Regulars

They sit around the corner of the bar —
Each one a regular: a husband and wife team —
the managers, he, maintenance, she, the books.
They could have been stand ins for the couple
In Grant Wood’s American Gothic. They drink beer.
Around the corner sits a fellow from
West Virginia who moved to be closer to
His daughter, but apparently, never sees
Her. He wears a Marshall U. sweatshirt.
Then two to four more — all around
The same age, wine and mixed drink
Drinkers. All the guys are gray and have large guts.
One fancies himself a dandy with a large pompadour.
Then ownership changed.
Nothing else changed for a while. Then the Grant
Wood couple stopped drinking beer at
The bar and the guys were seen around
Town at different bars but not at their
Usual seats around the corner of the bar.
Another customer asked a bartender who knew their names
Where they all went, pointing to the corner.
The bartender asked who and on given a description,
Just shrugged and mumbled, “Don’t
Know.”

They Say He is the “Closer”

They say he is the “closer”
like Mohammed Ali, a fast,

flurry of punches to take
out his opponent while all

over TV. In this case,
the closer is the Devil

punching the heck out
of the truth and lying

like there is no tomorrow.
His predecessor has hit

the trail, but he tells the
truth and it fails and falls

flat. Apparently, a lot of
Americans don’t want that.

The masses want red blood
and the Devil’s lies

come like blood flowing
from the country’s carotid

artery. Nobody wants
the nice guy’s message;

nice guy’s finish last if
not dead. So, in the short

haul, the Devil wins; in
the long haul, the U.S.

will pay for all its self-
ish, paranoid, racist,

misogynistic, homophobic,
nativistic, xenophobic

sins. That’s in the long
haul; as for this election,

only God seems to know
even as the Devil is the

whole show.

That Beautiful Summer’s Day

He sits in his study and listens to the
classical radio station. The music is
Elizabethan. He is transported from

his study to the fine arts camp from
where the music originates only in
his mind he is sitting on a bare

wood plank next to his wife. They
brought stadium seats with backs
for comfort. They sit in an exact

replica of the Globe Theatre. It is
summer and they are watching “Much
Ado About Nothing,” which actually

is about something, the word “nothing”
meaning “noting,” or “to take note.”
The husband and wife take note of

everything including the fact that
they could rest their backs in a way
the original theatre goers couldn’t.

They take note of the length of the
play and wonder how those Eliza-
bethans did it. He sits up straighter

in his desk chair, stretches his back
and rotates his head around his neck
as the harpsichord and recorder music

come to an end and as he had done that
beautiful summer’s day they watched a
Shakespearean play.