The Same As Up North

The pink flamingo, occupying
yards in the summer in the
upper Midwest, stood proud

and hungry in the shallow
water next to two surf fishers
along the shore in Gulf Shores.

Have you two guys had any
luck?” asked a walker. “Quite
a few Whiting and a Pompano.”

“Pompano? I’ll be over for din-
ner.” Score? Fishers: 10 Flamingo:
0. She’s not having any better

luck than when she adorns the
fishless yard of the family on
James St. back north, but as

the walker glanced back, he
saw the flamingo continuing
to stand motionless and stare

at the fishers with a hungry
look in her eye — the same
look seen up north.


they whistle in the dark,
they spit in the wind,
they whistle dixie,
they speak truth so stark;

they won’t win the day,
they won’t win the verdict,
they won’t win the vote,
they will have their say,

they say all that counts,
they say all the facts,
they say all the truth,
they climb the mounts,

and what they say,
will win the day,
and by grace,

one day,

we will be okay
okay, okay
we pray,
we will be


Window Shopping

In his dream, he was back at college,
not his college, but college, and he
didn’t fit in; he was all alone; he
never went to basketball games;
he never went to football games;
he never went to games. On
weekends he just roamed the
campus; walked the couple blocks
to town and window shopped;
his personality got him through;
he was popular and nice-looking;
he had a good sense of humor
which would serve him well
in his chosen line of work; he’s
now an old man and he woke
up from that dream to the stark
realization that he just plain never
fit in.

The Blind

The man watched a local PBS
program on suicide and it’s

dramatic increase in recent
years. The guest, a woman in

her thirties, discussed her suicide
attempt of eight years ago. Her

eyes were vacant, distant as if
looking for something, some-

where before the attempt. Then
she said it. The attempt left her

permanently, totally blind. As she
said it, she chuckled but her chin

quivered. He, almost blind in one
eye, felt momentary relief, a

reprieve, one of those in-com-
parison-experiences, “See, I can

still see,” and then guilt at that
feeling and then as he stared

into her blind eyes, he saw that
she could see, perhaps, better

than he. He felt a tear run down
his cheek from his near-blind eye.

Hope Springs

They don’t know
it, but they are
already in hell,
all the people
seduced by their
position, purse,
privilege, power —
ever so smug
in all things —
screams fear,
fear, fear, grasp,
grasp, grasp,
harm, harm,
harm. That
which is
down below
will be shouted
from the roof
tops; that which
is done in the
dark will be
exposed in
the bright
light of day —
one day,
one day,
one day.
not this
day, but
one day.

“Ashes to Ashes” A Eulogy for the Republican Party — A Poem by Dr. Barbara Edema*

Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.

A simple song the children sang,
The Plague, black death, on breath did hang.
Posies in pockets could not protect,
From small red rings announcing death.
From ashes they came, to ashes they fell,
Not fooled by posies, death cast its’ spell.

We watch the trial of a foolish man,
His followers sing while holding hands.
“He’ll give us riches, and White shall reign!”
Bigotry seals their decisive shame.
Simple fools hitch to his lies,
Stare at the ground, instead of the skies.

Democracy, where freedom rings,
Is threatened by fake offerings.
Trump’s betrayal of liberty,
Has wrenched apart what once was “we.”
Now it is hatred between “us” and “them,”
The fire fueled by Republicans.

“Cage brown children! Attack human rights!
Trod down the poor! Keep this nation White!”

Beware, oh leaders of the land,
Democracy will surely stand!

This cruel circle you refuse to break,
And reject to honor the oath you take.
Not a bit impartial, and gravely unfair,
Ignore all evidence, slumber in chairs.
Your false king daily spreads his plague,
Your arrogance is badly played.

Republicans take hands and sing,
A foolish song of rosie ring.
Your party’s demise is your sure fate,
No pocket posies at your waist.
And even if there might have been,
Ashes to Ashes, your song’s end.

Ashes, Ashes, you all fall down.
No fake king, no fake crown.
Lady Liberty with hand held high,
Will shed her light on this darkest sky.

Then all the children will rise and sing,
With joy at the final reckoning.
Children welcomed from every land,
To be cherished and held by gentle hands.
No more cruelty, harm, or hate,
New songs of life for them await.

This sad eulogy should not be,
But Republicans, this seems your plea.
Unless you step from dark to light,
“We all fall down!” Your certain plight.


At the Physician’s Office

We were at the physician’s office
for something I, as an adolescent,

don’t remember but was about me.
The physician, new to us and not

our primary before the word
primary was used, spoke in poly-

syllabic words to describe my
condition, which neither my

father nor I understood. The
physician more than seemed

satisfied with his considerable
acumen not to mention his

academic credentials. That
would be the last time we visit-

ed that physician. On the way
to the car, my father said that

the best communication is the
most understandable commun-

ication. Keep it simple, son. That
physician wanted to impress us

with his knowledge, apparently,
more than he wanted my healing.

His need to impress, perhaps only
himself, only served to drive us

away from the healer he, osten-
sibly,  was supposed to be.

Miles to Go Before the Gentle Hybrid Sleeps

The hybrid animal moved nicely
down the two-lane road. Looking
in the rearview mirror, the driver
of the animal saw a muscular

Mustang rush up to the hybrid’s
behind. When the road turned to
four lanes, the easy-going hybrid
moved to the right-hand lane, the

muscular Mustang roared past.
The gentle hybrid eased to the
red light and next to him sat the
muscular Mustang. When the

light turned green, the muscular
Mustang’s driver put the peddle
to the metal. The hybrid eased
away from the light and steadily

moved up toward cruising speed.
At the next red light…well, you
get the picture. Yes, there sat
the rumbling and grumbling mus-

cular Mustang next to the easy-
going, quiet hybrid. And when
the light changed, the muscular
Mustang roared ahead, pulled in

front of the hybrid and the hy-
brid’s driver wondered why the
muscular Mustang was going
so fast when the brake lights

came on and the muscular
Mustang made a quick right
turn into a gas station. The

quiet, easygoing, clean, green
hybrid, eased on down the
road for many, many, many
miles to come.