Aug 15, 2014

Make Love Poems not War Poems

Poetry is meant for Love
And meditations, sage
The poetry of anger
Might just make me turn the page
And only Dylan Thomas
Ever begged a Muse to rage

But every week I’m tasked
To put in verse what’s on my mind
Alas, it’s all toward anger
That I find my soul inclined

 What are you so mad about?
I hear my critics scold
You’re living in Tarzana
And you’re comfortable and old

Even though I’m Catholic
Confession’s what I’m bad at
I find my passion most inflamed
When it’s me I’m mad at

I have a weekly platform
To amuse or to persuade
I didn’t make it happen
And that’s why I’m dismayed

Whether you think 43
Was blundering or deft
The world he had to deal with
Was the one that Clinton left

And likewise for Obama
Now, there’s just no route around it
He needed to address the world
Exactly as he found it

It’s great to be a leader, friend
But here’s the little catch
In terms of foreign policy
No one gets to start from scratch

Although you wouldn’t have gone there
And you didn’t want to stay
You can’t just close your eyes
And wish your enemies away

Isis is out slaughtering
Yazidis, Kurds, and Coptics
While back on Martha’s Vineyard
You’re just dealing with the optics

And oh the optics we have seen
The visions that we’ve shared
Where cruelty’s not cruel enough
No innocent is spared

I trust the oaths of enemies
And ends to which they’ve vowed
And that’s what leaves this poet mad
And crying…out loud

Aug 8, 2014

Freedom Tower

O, to see my city like a mall gone mad
Macy’s with no marble
And full of flat screens
The Museum Store
With its reproductions of Etruscan treasure
By Starbucks

“The Cellar” looking like just any other floor
Where once I went to work out
Lifting the lids of Le Creuset skillets because I couldn’t afford a gym
I am a visitor in my own home
Standing in my old backyard
Where even the grass has changed

The city streets seem the same but not at all
Hang on, you t-shirt shops
Hang on, you grey market electronics merchants
And counterfeit luggage dealers
Sellers of souvenirs and genuine Brazilian hair

Sadly, you are all that familiar remains
But sadder yet
Sadder still
Saddest of all
Is a brand new building
Tall, beautiful and bright

But like no building ever before--lonely

Aug 2, 2014

Prose and Cons

Some think that strength is weakness
And that borders are for breaching
Or that our country’s like a whale
That’s set a course for beaching
Regardless, heedless leadership
Won’t hear what we’re beseeching
At times, I feel my poetry
Is to the choir, preaching
I balance rhyme with reason
When effects might be far-reaching
And I believe a whisper
Has more influence than screeching
Lest we be roundly criticized
For vastly over-reaching
My reputations stained enough
And may not take more bleaching
But times will make a moment
And this moment’s made for teaching
And so the subject of my poem
Quite clearly is…impeaching
Wise men say the republic
Is secure and quite-long-lived
They point out painful Presidents
The nation has survived
That sure is smart I grant you
But I’ll say something smarter
Eight years of Obama
Is like sixteen years of Carter
The Framers raised a mansion
With the strength designed to take it
But every day that passes
I’m not certain we can make it
The only piece of comfort
Is each morning I remember
That if we trust the polls
We only need to reach November
Then more new paths are opened
And all our options widen
Among which is the prospect
Of President Joe Biden