What Can Be Said?

I don’t even know what to say: https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-top-court-backs-companies-over-worker-class-141107855–finance.html.

At this point I think the prophets of old would be stymied, would scratch their heads and wonder what to say.

When will we regain our sanity? Will we?

I can’t even bring myself to write a poem about this debacle of justice.

My heart breaks for our fragile experiment in representative democracy.


It Might Be in Caracas, a poem by James D. Schwada

Might be in Caracas
Trading votes for bread
Might be in Damascus
Searching rubble for the Dead
Might be a hapless refugee
Intercepted out at sea
Interdicted at the Border
In the name of Law, and Order;
Or a missing Dissident
His family wondering where he went
Its raining but i’m warm and dry
Well fed and unafraid
But under no illusion
Its from choices that I’ve made
Or by the touted “grace of god”
Can’t make that leap
Can’t shake that doubt
Its down to Luck and mines been good
Hoping it wont soon run out.

Warding Off Being Bored*

The man never enters teleological arguments —
there is no proving or disproving the
existence of God from said “proofs.”

He enjoys theological discussions and
eagerly will argue his personally held “truths.”

Each stands before God and makes the “leap of faith”
or doesn’t and “there is the rub,”  as Hamlet stated
and Kierkegaard concludes.

The man’s dad was a courageous (thoughtful, honest) agnostic
who eventually made that “leap of faith,”
and was then an understanding listener of the opinions
of agnostics and atheists, their beliefs and anyone’s wraith.

The man’s dad had a heart attack; he shared a room in the
hospital with an agnostic and they had an enjoyable week;
though his dad was intellectually and spiritually energized,
he remained physically weak.

It was enjoyable enough that when the man’s dad died,
this former roommate wrote a letter to the editor and said he cried
when he heard of the man’s father’s death
because that man’s dad had an air of acceptance, so fresh
from what he had previously experienced so often —
evangelical Christians’ delegating unbelievers to hell’s coffin.

Apparently, it was as good a time as two could have in a hospital ward —
two earnest souls warding off being bored,

and enjoying each other thoroughly
and at least according to one, definitely eternally.

*thanks to an acquaintance for the idea

a trade war is a kind of poetry (with apologies to wallace stevens) by jdskool, aka James D. Schwada

Nothing really rhymes with “tariffs”
Excepting perhaps “County Sheriffs”
Trade Deficits don’t stir the heart
And might not make for works of Art
So it’s just as well the War is off
Trump tweets aside that’s it that’s all
Why cede the Chinese intellectual properties?
Perhaps they’ve agreed to build the Wall.

The REAL Teflon Don, a poem by jdscool, aka James D. Schwada

Giuliani with his rictus grin
Says The Boss can’t be indicted;
When he prosecuted Crooks like him
The news might’ve left him less delighted.

But a gallery of rogues remain
Donald Jr, Kushner, Cohn
Who should be reading up on Nixon’s crew
To catch a glimpse of where they’re going.

Justice delayed is Justice denied
To quote a much respected Jurist;
But perhaps like Revenge, it’s good served cold-
Apologies to you Shakespeare purists.

Hope on a Sunday

Donald Trump’s Sunday morning tweet storm
Is something outside the Sunday morning norm.
Usually, on Sunday God gets top billing
But it is the Donald’s cup that is over-spilling.
The Blessed Trinity, Father, Spirit and Son
Take it all in stride and just say “Ho, hum,
This too shall pass.”
Are they omniscient knowing that the (p)-resident’s
Tenure soon will be addressed in tenses past
Or do they get their info from Robert Mueller’s staff?
They must be all-knowing
Because Mueller’s cards are not showing.
And so far the Holy Trinity is keeping to themselves
About when the Donald and his administration will
Be put on the proverbial shelf.
This administration is infernal,
But hope springs eternal.


He was put in the back of the class for talking.
The back of the class was a perfect place.
He could hide because everyone’s eyes

were looking the other way. He could see
everything. The windows were in a semicircle
semi-encircling the person who sat in the back

of class. That’s where he sat for punishment,
but it was heavenly. He could sit and stare
out the windows at the first and second and

third and fourth grade recess knowing that
fifth grade, his grade was next. And the only
set of eyes that looked at him while he was

gazing were the teacher’s. “Class dismissed
for recess, except for you, mister. Come to
the chalk board and write a hundred times,

‘I will not stare out the window during class.’
What you don’t finish before recess is over
you can finish after school.”

The sophomore biology teacher told him that
he had a really good personality and it would
make up for any lack of intelligence.

His senior business teacher told the class that
they could expect to get one grade lower
in college than what they got in high school.

He was predestined to be C plus.

His high school guidance counselor told
him that given his test scores, junior
college would be a good choice.

While he was in junior college, his mother
saw his mid-term history grade: “Why don’t
you quit and get a job?”

The New American High School Normal

When he was in high school,
the most he had to fear was
being “pants-ed” by a gang
of bullies at the local park —
pants tossed high in a tree —
and the humiliation of having
to walk, read run, home in
his underwear. Yesterday,
a teen, at the Santa Fe,
Texas high school where
ten kids died and ten more
wounded in a mass shooting
by a student who had been
bullied over and over,
was asked if it came as a
surprise. Her answer? No.
The utter terror of pants
pulled off and tossed in a
tree? The shrug of a shoulder
at the terror of children shot,
mowed down somewhere be-
tween algebra and gym class —
the new, American high school
normal. A day after the shoot-
ing, the man had to scroll down,
seemingly endlessly like a boring
journey to the center of the
earth, to the bottom of an inter-
net news’ site to find anything
about the debacle, kind of like
reading yesterday’s newspaper,
he guessed.

I Surely Do

It’s spring.
Leaves sprout, unfold, unfurl;
You are born;
You broke the mold,
They say.
You think so, too.
Spring turns to summer.
Leaves turn from
Pale green to bright green;
They call you a green horn;
But from youth
You will soon be shorn,
Growing up, growing out,
Taking it all in
Believing life is ever “I win,” then
From summer, inevitably, fall
Green to yellow and then blood-red;
Sorrows — there are no barred holds.
Loved ones dead.
Vulnerable to all — your life begins to fold.
You learn you didn’t break
The mold;
Your genes begin to haunt
You from ancestors of old;
Winter arrives,
First snow, always a surprise,
Things in life — likewise.
And then the bone chilling cold
Stays and stays.
Leaves curl, furl and fall
And nothing stays
Including you.
You now know that;
You leave in peace
Having said, “Please forgive me.
I forgive you. I love you.
I surely do.”


My wife and I love foreign mysteries on the PBS channel
But grow weary of having to read the subtitles.
Sometimes the words move so fast.

The lip-reading deaf man said he can’t stand
To watch movies without the subtitles.
Sometimes the mouths move so fast.