Svendonnie Succeeds Svengali

Svendonnie just hangs on and on
tweeting lies that he has won.
He has a third of America (not just Svengali’s singer) mesmerized
with all his 23,000 lies.
But what he doesn’t know
is that he has just a third of the show.
Two-thirds furrow their brows
asking, “It’s day 1400! Can’t we throw him out now?”
No, the Constitution is right.
On January 20, Svendonnie runs
(not for office in 2024 but) for his Svengali life.

After Nine-Months in the House

Reluctantly, he unspooled his secret life
before his long-suffering, faithful wife,
revealing things
with lots of entwined strings
exposing himself as a significant fool
to which she said, “It’s time to re-tool
my life and don’t let the door
knock you to the floor,
just hit you in the derriere.”
The open door brought in fresh air.
Finishing the honest task,
she graciously reminded him to wear a mask —
“Bye bye.”

now that’s a tragedy

it’s pretty disheartening
(oh, what a wonderful
but such a sad word —
something not of the
heart or against the
heart). excuse me
for wanting to
scream bloody
murder, but 250,
000 dead is a
statistic while
one dead is
a tragedy so
the cliche
goes and
if that isn’t
ening, have
you heard
that cain
killed abel?
now, that’s
a tragedy
of mythic
for the

A Lifetime Ago

A lifetime ago
his father said,
“Make it under-
standable, kid.”
The kid, now a
senior, writes
poetry, which
he hopes is un-
and not a dummy—
down exercise,
because he
reads so much
that isn’t under-                                                                                                                 standable in his
opinion and he
is no dummy
even though
he allows a
lot of poetry
to make him
feel that way
and he’s not
talking about
allusions to
and metaphors
of Greek, Norse
and Roman
myths. Hey,
he can read
about those
which he
does and
really likes
and finds that
he can use
some in some
of his own
poetry es-
pecially the
Norse stuff
because he
is mostly

Say What!

His joints hurt
to which he said,
“I’ve been thrown
out of better joints
than this.”
His butt hurt
to which he said,
“I quit smoking
years ago.”
His head hurt
to which he said,
“I’ve always wanted
to get ahead.”
His lungs hurt
to which he said,
“Breathe on me,
breath of God.”
His eye hurt
to which he said,
“I’ve got my eye
on you, doc.”
To which his
doc said,
“You only have
one eye.”
To which he
“Oh, right.”
To which the
doc said,
and then added,
“Happy 76th
To which he said,
“Do I hear trombones?”
To which
the doc said,
“I’ve ordered a hearing
test for you.”
“Say what!”

The Thief on the Cross Got It*

He, matter of factly, stated
that it had all been fraudulent,
that he, in fact, was that
fraud, spoken after every-
thing, all accouterments
like the clothes and the car
and the income had slidden
away and, such an admission,
in its own way, revealed a
set of core values that en-
abled him to see it and then
say it and as tragic as it had
become for him, how many
others never ever see the
seductive myth of the American
dream as simply a grifter’s

*idea from an article in the New York Times by

Soothing Music/Scary Weather

The area classical music radio station
on-air personnel, at least once per
half-hour, give the weather report, not

as part of the news, just as part of
the regular programming, like, as
Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common

Man concludes with a sense of
musical triumph and affirmation, we
learn that the temperature for the

middle of November here in the
upper Midwest along the shores
of the Big Lake will be a high of

forty-two with a forty percent chance
of rain, overnight 32 with snow
showers and then for tomorrow,

seventy-two degrees and sun follow-
ed the next day by a hard frost and
balmy spring-like temperatures, gale

winds, further erosion of the dunes,
some homes falling into the lake
followed by a freaky Polar Vortex.

A listener says Michigan and some-
one else says global warming and
a third person pleads into the radio, 

could we please have Ralph Vaughan
Williams’ Lark Ascending or Cope-
land’s Our Town or Appalachian Spring,

something to take away the dread?
Do you think they give the weather
just so you will beg for soothing

classical music kind of like when
Saul implored David to play the lyre
to soothe Saul’s weary brow before

throwing the spear at David’s head?

The Descent of the Peaceful Dove

Childish, stupid, hurtful behavior
stared him in the eyes —
She’s gone; too late to apologize.
Was there nothing left to savor?

Guilt and shame followed
on his heels —
an infinity of appeals;
he heard only echos so hollow.

Then he looked at one constantly grooming
who couldn’t care less —
nothing to confess,
only finger-pointing, blaming and repugning.

Maybe it would be better
to live with a solipsistic mind —
so narcissistically unkind,
to live with a conscience unfettered.

No! Such a life knows nothing of love.
Thank God for expiation —
the chance to be forgiven,
where grief anticipates the descent of the peaceful dove.

The Poetic Roots of War Games*

The boys and now the girls,
too, stand in lines, feet stomp-
ing, rifles on shoulders, deep
breathing through the nose
Beowulf and exhaling through
the mouth Grendel, shouting
Grendel! Grendel! Grendel!
and Oorah! Hoorah! Hooyah!
and then they leave the field
with torn limbs of the vanquish-
ed lying all over the ground,
blood soaking into the soil and
the drill sergeant shouts, “Good
work, macho, macho men and
(in hushed tones as if not even
to be heard) macho men in
the making girls.”

*idea from a meditation by
Matthew Fox

As Time Goes By

for Geoffery Palmer

The 76th anniversary of his birth
rolls in the middle of November.
Thanksgiving rolls near the end
of November. He will not have an
in-person rock and roll celebrat-
ion for either. He will wear a
mask and social distance and pray
that there will be a vaccine for
everyone by this time next year
so that the guy in the mask will
take off his mask and have an in-
person rock and roll reunion with
his friends and family in the hope
that they still recognize the old
boy, after all, it’s just twelve
months and, Lord knows, how fast
the months fly as time goes by.