Category Archives: Politics

The Path Forward

 

 

The Path Forward

no dumbass in a MAGA hat
is going to solve this one
all the bluster you can muster
will do nothing at all,
remember that guy
who got first in the class
the one wearing glasses
who never got the girl
he’s the one who will save our asses
so get out of the way
you won’t be missed
this one will be solved by scientists.

 

The challenge over at earthweal is to write a poem about The Crossroad we are at. Well, this is possibly not the subtlest poem ever written but hey…..these are not subtle times.

Ironic Distancing (with bonus haiku)

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Ironic Distancing

The mind wanders
I think of a word that rhymes with ‘banker’
and marvel at how
in the middle of a global crisis
my brain still tilts
towards the trivial, the juvenile.
I try a sound poem
panic, pandemic, pandemonium
but it’s missing something,
panache, perhaps.
I make up a joke involving Peter Pan
but decide now is not the time to share it.
I detect the late onset of maturity
and feel depressed.
I text some friends,
we try to out-snide each other
but after a while
we are all chewing on the same bone.
I’m besieged by an idiocy of idioms –
the whole nine yards
the whole kit and caboodle
and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
I re-assess my relationship with surfaces
I can no longer count on
that counter to lean on,
and as someone inclined
to whistle past the graveyard
walk past the writing on the wall
I have to admit
that the object in the mirror
was a lot closer
than it first appeared.

I write a haiku

four in the morning
moon shining on toilet bowl
porcelain pathway.

Watch your back! Basho!

 

Taking part in open link weekend over at earthweal.

 

Watching CNN (a sort of rant)

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Anderson, Chris and Don and their assembled pundits are discussing the assassination of General Soleimani, the Iranian general. They all agree that he was a “bad actor”, a “bad guy”. They don’t say “bad hombre”,but it’s knocking at the door. This appears to be sufficient to warrant execution, it’s the timing and ongoing strategy they are concerned about.
Why I ask myself are they talking like characters in a 1950’s western?
Why are they talking like school kids?
Bad guys, good guys – “goodies and baddies”.

Back in the Classroom:

Teacher, by the end of the major combat phase of the Iraq war, 7,419 Iraqi civilians had been killed, primarily by U.S. air-and-ground forces, is George Bush Junior a bad guy, a bad actor, a bad hombre?

No, child, every American president is good.

Teacher, were those innocent civilians “collateral damage” or “victims of terror”?

That is a complex and morally confusing question, child. Here in America we do not like confusion.

Teacher, why do the American media continue to refer to the Canadians killed in the Ukraine Airlines crash as Iranians.

It’s less confusing that way, see above.

Teacher, is President Trump a bad guy, a bad actor, a bad hombre?

No, child, President Trump is a liar, a racist, possibly a crook and possibly a sexual predator but he is not a bad guy, a bad actor, a bad hombre.

Teacher, why are Anderson, Chris and Don so angry with him? Why the sanctimonious, po-faced editorials?

Because he is un-statesmanlike and because they have become lazy and are content to trot out the same tired outrage every day of the week. Their ambition is limited, they are happy just to be “not Hannity”.

But teacher, they seem like nice guys.

Your point is?

Boris Johnson at the G7 (a sort of triple tanka)

 

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Boris Johnson at the G7 

Can’t believe I’m here.
Oh! The joy of dissembling!
Japes, pranks and capers!

What is Macron looking at?
I think Donald might like me.

There’s Melania!
Those cheekbones, the north face of
the bloody Eiger,

scale her promontories, what!
No time for rumpy pumpy,

lots to do! Trudeau
is smirking, colonial
prat! I think Merkel

wants to spank me, go nanny!
Concentrate! Now where was I?

If Robert Mueller Wrote a Tanka (plus Mr’s Mueller’s haiku)

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If Robert Mueller Wrote a Tanka

Why the long face, Bob?
always that same damn question
since I was a boy,

and always the same answer:
it is long because it’s long.

Couldn’t resist reposting that one. Okay, just one more……

Mr’s Mueller’s Haiku

You’re disappointed

you don’t know disappointment

you don’t know damp squibs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: English Bay, Vancouver, A-MAZE-ING LAUGHTER, by Yue Minjun.

If Robert Mueller Wrote a Tanka

IMG_0589 (2)

 

If Robert Mueller Wrote a Tanka

Why the long face, Bob?
always that same damn question
since I was a boy,

and always the same answer:
it is long because it’s long.

Okay, just one more……

If Justin Trudeau Wrote a Haiku

I’m a feminist;
man, it’s difficult, women…
I just don’t get them.

 

Photo: English Bay, Vancouver, A-MAZE-ING LAUGHTER, by Yue Minjun.

The Scale of Things … (a Poem)

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The Scale of Things

Is it possible to have a metric
a way to rate privilege
one that does not reference
gender, economic status, race?

Can the moral high ground be assigned?

Is a child loved by a parent
not more privileged
than one that is not?

 

This is in response to Anmol’s challenge over at dVerse which begins with the quote :

To be white, or straight, or male, or middle class is to be simultaneously ubiquitious and invisible. You’re everywhere you look, you’re the standard against which everyone else is measured….Michael S. Kimmel

Fareed Zakaria is Stealing my Stuff

I was watching Fareed Zakaria and Don Lemon on CNN last Friday night; they were trying to make sense of  the ongoing tragic farce that is the Trump White House and Don Lemon posed a question which could be summarised as follows : “Is Donald Trump crazy like a fox or crazy like a fool”. It was clear that Fareed thinks that the needle has been stuck on ‘fool’ for quite some time. At one point, he says to Don something like “look, you have to understand that Donald Trump is a performance artist.” This sounded familiar to me, so I looked back through my blog posts and there it was in a poem I published on Reuben Wooley’s website :’I am not a Silent Poet” back in January 2016. Here’s the poem, but please click on the link above and check out Reuben’s excellent site.

Trumped

I get it now

Donald T

Is a performance artist

Like that guy in Beijing

Sucking dust out of the air

With a vacuum cleaner

Or maybe he’s

one of those mirrors

In a fairy tale

Reflecting only

The worst in ourselves.

 

Fareed, I’m waiting to hear from you.

 

Steve Bannon’s Eyes

 

look like

portals to

 

hell.

American Carnage

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American Carnage

Not the export it used to be,

nothing like the glory days

Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cambodia;

still popular at home tho’

nearly twelve thousand gun deaths a year

the gun barrel points both ways.

This is not much of a poem, is it?

That last metaphor was a bit clumsy

and there’s no music in statistics

but there is a rhyme in that last line

and there’s assonance in ‘American Carnage’

and there is an ass in the White House

but enough about that

stay away from the low hanging fruit

we need a rhyme

carnage, baggage, garbage, image

imagine all the people

that’s what this situation needs

a protest singer, a protest song

three chords and a chorus

that we can sway and link arms to

Where are you

Josh (Ritter)

Michael (Stipe)

Bruce ?

The Unconventional Republican (remix)

The center folds

and all ’round topple

into the opening void,

what rough beast

rabble in tow

slouches towards Washington

bursting with tawdry pomp

and irrational schemes.

 

A few notes, this poem of course echoes and directly quotes “The Second Coming” by WB Yeats, a poem which was written after the first World War and still resonates today. For a brilliant analysis of the poem, read “Break, Blow, Burn” by Camille Paglia. The Irish jazz singer, Christine Tobin has put the poem to music on a CD called “Sailing to Byzantium” which is well worth checking out.

The Level Of Discourse (Donald Trump,The Republican Party and Hitler Analogies)

The Level of Discourse

I want to say a few words

About the level of discourse

How low can it go?

How low can it go

When a candidate for the presidency

Of the United States

Gets up on television

And mocks, mimics, ridicules

A disabled man

And the media endlessly debate

Whether he intended to or not

When he plainly did

And the members of his party

Refuse to criticize him

Refuse to say that

This is beneath our dignity,

Perhaps dignity

Has left the room

Has left the United States of America,

And these same party members

Pride themselves

On their rugged individualism

Their boots on the ground machisimo

And oh how they love their Hitler analogies

But when a trumped up

Pumped up tin pot bully

Emerges from their own ranks

They are too chickenshit to say anything

How low can it go?

The level of discourse

How low can it go?