Thanks For the Memories

As an old, white guy, he
Assumes the privilege of

Saying what others would
Warn was “ageism.” He

Thinks there are certain
People running for president

And some people interviewing
Those running for president

Who should retire, go away,
Enjoy the rest of their lives.

And if anyone wishes to
Ask for their advice on

Whatever, that would be
Nice and they might, if

They are lucky, attain the
Status of “States-person.”

Otherwise, they run the
Risk of being laughed off

The stage and out of the
Studio with people singing

Them along the way with,
“Thanks for the memories.”

Speaking Truth

Moonbeam Marianne spoke truth
to power; in this case, the power
in the hands of the other Demo-
cratic candidates who needed
to hear the truth that they can’t
keep playing it safe with “wonky”
policy statements without call-
ing out what needs, way beyond
political lip service, to be called
HOUSE. What she didn’t say
but probably would affirm — they
need to be like Jesus calling out
the Devil and the Devil’s deep,
dark temptations and what Jesus
said to the politically correct
Peter who wanted to play it safe
about Jesus’ passion, “Get, Thee,
behind me, Satan!”

The Game is Leveraged*

Simple-minded responses
and the blame game reveal
the endemic racism that
white America simply won’t

face in order to maintain
a sick system of privilege and
power at the expense of
fellow citizens who happen to

be of color. The game is leveraged
and the system is set up for
some to fail over and over and be
blamed for that situation when

they couldn’t have done anything
differently. Didn’t anyone take
a sociology class in high school
or college? Apparently not given

the simplistic responses to
the racist attacks on the city of
Baltimore. Nobody is defending
the city as the citadel of livability

but where is the exploration into
the roots of such dire living
conditions in some parts of the
city? Some of the issues in

urban living in many cities
seem intractable but that is
a condition that has evolved
since the first post-slavery days

and the subsequent cultural systems
fueled by bigotry and racism.
Now, people living in the prison of
that societal prejudice are blamed

for the circumstances. It’s like
keeping a person locked in a
dungeon for years upon years
and then when the doors are

opened blaming that person
for being afraid to come out
and pointing a finger of blame
when that person fights violently

to stay just where he or she has
been kept or angry and resentful
when they, the prisoners, see how
good those on the outside of the

dungeon have it and because of the
light on the outside breaking into
the dungeon, can see the dismal
reality on the inside.

*I read the poem “truth”
wrote The Game is Leveraged,
and realized that Ms. Brooks wrote
so exquisitely using the metaphor of
the sun which reminded me of what I
was attempting to say using the image
of the dungeon and then seeing the light.

He Can Steal Just About Anything Maybe Even Grief

He can steal just about anything but it is next to impossible
to steal someone’s grief except this man who has absolutely
no shame tries to steal even that most sacred and personal
and private of all experiences by telling audiences that he was

there, right there, with the first responders even though he
demurred by saying he wasn’t a first responder but that he was
there, right there with the brave, with the grieving, with the
horrified, with all those who were in shock. Yes, he said, he was

there and by now, if we know anything, it is that this liar wasn’t
near there. Probably, he was playing golf at one of his resorts
and now, we, even the sixty-million cult followers know that
he wasn’t there even if they don’t care and continue to believe

that this liar is ordained by God to lead the white people from
future captivity to black, brown, yellow and red people into
the new/old America which will be great again. You can trust
him because he has told us that he was there, right there in

all the dust, the chemicals, the pollutants, the carcinogens…
all the stuff that is killing the first responders except him, the
guy who was there with all those brave souls but who, because
of really good genes, is able to endure and withstand the stuff

that is killing everybody else, sure, the guy who was there
and is now, according to the wild-haired physician guy who now
claims that his office was raided by the president’s goon, the
healthiest president ever in the history of our country in spite

of the fact that he braved the planes that struck the twin towers.
Yeah, for sure, you can trust that, absolutely, for sure. No doubt.

The Precious Hills

He sits listening to
Appalachian Spring
and is transported
back in time to

the rolling hills of
Kentucky and his
former life with
his young kids

and his wife.
They were all
so young and

what they,
Yankees, were
doing in King

Court. But they
grew to love
the lakes and
the streams

and the forests
so green and
all that it seemed
and it seemed

so sweet. He
hears the horses
galloping and
he sees the

white fence
farms and rock
walls and Stephen
Foster’s old home

and he taps his
feet to the spiritual
beat of the gift so
simple and he

sees the Shakers
shaking in their
boots and dancing
up a religious storm.

The children are
grown and his wife
passed from eternity
to eternity. He just

saw his children and
and his stepson
and all their spouses
and all the grandchildren

from Chicago, Boulder
and Phoenix for a three-day
family reunion and he
and his wife spoke of how

every one of the children
and their spouses have
experienced the premature
death of a parent —

not one came through unscathed —
but they came through beautifully,
wonderfully, lovingly
and as the Suite

came to an end, he
choked back a tear
of sadness for losses but
gratitude and joy as he read

that today is Parents’
Day and, even though
it was probably fabricated
to sell cards and boost

the numbers at restaurants
around the country, he
and his wife couldn’t be
happier parents than

what they are this very
day as the mournful
horn signals the clouds
descending on the

mountains and the
dusk turning into night
and a good rest before
the sun comes up in

the East later than
other places because
it has to rise over those
verdant hills and, in

his mind’s eye, he
waits with patience
the surety of the
glory of the rising sun.

Lessons From the Animals About Being Human

Yuck. Yuck to men.
Men are pigs. I hadn’t
Thought that until,
Over the last year,

Hearing testimonies
About the boorish
Behavior of men. I
See the president and

I start hearing Oink,
Oink. And then I
Think about how
Smart pigs are and

How if you could teach
Them to be house
Trained, what good
Housepets they

Would make and
Then I was sorry
That I equated men
To pigs especially

The president. It
Was an insult —
To the pigs. And
Then I think about

My buddies, men
All, I have known
Over the years, and
How I know they

All are respectful
Of women and
Are as disgusted
As I am about

What we hear and
While many of us
Have had duffusy
male and smart as

A whip female dogs
As pets, none of us
Would ever use that
Derogatory term —

A dog — for a human
Female, because we
Have respect for
Women. And in part

Out of respect for
The pets we love.
There is nothing
Derogatory about

Being a dog. Our
Dogs are so good
At loving us un-
Conditionally, in

Spite, of ourselves
Much like the human
Females who love us
In spite of ourselves —

Helping us to know
Equality, sorority,
Fraternity, sister-
Hood, brotherhood —

Human-hood and how
We need to repent,
Get in step or step
Aside, get on board

Or run the risk of
Getting run over
As the #MeToo train
Comes rumblin’

Unconditional has its
Limits as those
Duffusy boys of ours
Were smart enough
To let us know

When they met our
Super-smart girl —

Time After Time*

Loss — wrenchingly difficult,
sometimes horrific, almost
unendurable. The man wanted
his father to live on — well beyond

the seventeen years. Now, fifty-
seven years after the fact, the man
is grateful for those seventeen
years, the memories, the love.

The man’s children were twenty
and twenty-four when his wife,
their mother died. While they
don’t talk about her death and

the booming, screaming vacancy
in their lives, and while he
doesn’t intrude on that sacred
territory with inquiry, but only

speaks from his own perspective,
the man hopes in the twenty-six
years since her death, that
they have gratitude that they

had the most loving person
in their lives for twenty and
twenty-four years respectively
and can be grateful that they

will go on loving that person
for the rest of their lives.


My late wife and I danced to these songs from the 60s.

Jet Setters Just Kill Me*

The super-rich buy Teslas
because they are expensive
and cool looking, probably
not because they are clean
transportation. Why would
that be? Because they in-
dulge every opportunity to
throw the big, expensive
polluters in the face of all
others — they pollute the
seas with super-yachts,
the air with personal, super-
jets and the roads with
super-vehicles. Why do
they do it? Because they
can and they have the
money to flaunt it like the
biggest male Moose flaunts
his prowess during the rut —
the difference being that
the big, male Moose is just
trying to procreate while
the super-rich are trying
to desecrate.

*idea from an article on the
gratuitous polluting habits
of the wealthiest humans.

No One Could Find The Entity

Legislators said, “Don’t look at me.”
Apparently, it just did flee.

It hasn’t been seen in years.
It just up and disappeared.

Someone thought it was over there.
Someone else said it was nowhere.

Everyone looked to see where it might be.
No-one could find that rare commodity

otherwise known as “now extinct” integrity.