Politics and Beans

Relentless evening news reports
a victory for them,
a devastating loss for all our
champions on the Hill.
She rolls her eyes and feigns annoyance,
stirs the pot of beans,
and faithfully supports her team,
and knows she always will. Unless–
Perhaps she’ll wake up in this world
and find she’s really in it,
and causes cause effects, and each
effect affects a cause,
and truth is oversimplified
and processed to a mash,
giving no one but the wisest
any pause.
But presently the beans are over-
boiling on the stove.
Immediate reaction is
required on the floor.
A devastating loss
evening up the score, and for
tonight at least, the balance is restored.

The Not-So-Dearly Departed

It was dark at dusk in downtown Denton
and damp in the ditch where the dew had not drained,
and, as dead as the dirt daubers down in the trenches,
lay Duchess Delaney of Denton’s remains.

Once white were the dresses now drenched by the grime
of the muddy recesses of Mortimer Lane,
and morbid the dirges entrenched in the minds
of the dutiful Dents, who as yet did not deign

to recover her royal remains from the road
and return her to rest where the room would not rain–
to deliver the dirty cadaver to Duke
Delaney of Denton’s unknowing disdain.

For long had she scoffed at their plights and their troubles.
Their fights were but scuffles; their furies were feigned.
Her scorn for the voices she’d forcibly muffled
had doomed her to die in the drunkard’s domain.

And so, as the tyrant lay splattered in dung,
the most decent of Dents did not stoop to restrain
from savoring the sweetness that tingled their tongues
as the dearly departed laid rest to her reign.

Reined In

Reining in the rebels
rained in by all the rubble,
like rabbits wrapped in rubber ribbons,
trapped and troubled, and constantly constrained,
defamed, and unconstructively detained.
Who mustn’t muster up their fairly flustered, flubbing fibs,
but for reasons unbeknownst and unannounced and mispronounced,
should simply stop.
Should settle in.
Behave like bees, be busy being,
not bothered by their brothers and not baffled by others,
and not basking in the bounty
of their brains and bread and butter.
Better than to let them win,
better than to let them in.


(Challenged to use the following words, in some form:
graffiti, inject, Jonah, predict, scrape, and swarm.)

The tanker trucks stack up along the pipeline
with eager drills and empty tanks to fill,
come to inject another million gallons
of water, sand and chemicals down the well,
which several thousand feet below the surface
is pressurized enough to crack the shale,
releasing precious gusts of natural gases
to pipe along the plains of Jonah Field.

Graffiti on the storage tank may protest
groundless fears about contamination,
citing prying scientists’ predictions
about environmental ramifications…
Dying fish in nearby lakes and rivers,
an earthquake swarm in Arkansas, perhaps,
plus locals claiming headaches and infections
and flammable gray water from the tap.

But in the field, they drill and scrape
the bottom of the barrel unopposed.
Luckily the whole thing’s very safe.
It’s only water! (and chemicals undisclosed)

Elephants in the Room

through the sludge ahead,
We drag our heavy weight, and wade–
Judging by the trench we’ve made,
Weakened, by the mud we tread.
every day, and smothered,
Falling, dying pachyderms.
Dead. Weight. Full of worms.
Straining still,
to drag each other.

Unnecessary Fences

Wild, rampant nature, thriving
in the jungles, where I never go.
I’m sure it’s very beautiful–
more so than the kudzu here at home.

But green and brown are all I have–
the living patches we don’t need to change.
The ground that we can live around–
Between the roads and parking lots we paved.

I know that it’s your job to keep it
“pretty” and protected from abuse.
But how much damage could I do
by walking through the mulch, between the bushes?

I, and maybe others, have
for years been carving out the perfect path.
It’s narrow, shallow, winding, and
the bushes, undisturbed, are growing fast.

But you don’t like it, do you, sir?
You think I’m just a nuisance, just a weed.
A human footprint in the mulch
is somehow detrimental to the scene.

So now, we have this ugly fence–
To keep me from enjoying it this way.
For “beauty”’s sake, you ruined it.
You may as well have paved it all away.