When Chickens Come Home to Roost
The future of uncertainty is safe and sound.
Routines are followed only every now and then,
And shortages of grave necessities abound.
The egg is mother to another hapless hen.
The egg, exact in pure ellipsoid curvature,
Knows not the plumage of the fertilizing cock
That raped its layer, a begrudging servitor
Of rules in play before a reptile climbed a rock.
Delusional ambitions spawn a master plan
Among seditious chickens while at night they roost.
Behind the leather curtain stands a hungry man
Who measures his success by all the eggs produced.
When dawn invades the coop, its rousing beams illumine
A dull return to resignation all too human.
Your Throat Is Bacon
Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance. — Robert Frost
Compared to predatory corporations,
The drug cartels are wet behind the ears,
But worse than either is this sorry nation’s
Elected ruling class—such bitter tears
Our working citizens have lately cried.
More worrisome than all the smuggled drugs
That flood the country like a high spring tide
Are several hundred duly vested thugs
Bankrupting us in Washington, D.C.
They’ve carved themselves extraordinary pensions
Unlike the pittance owed to you and me,
And their election funds abet pretensions
Of grandeur. Those whom we have blindly hired
Deserve to be summarily retired.
A Higher Court
It isn’t clear to most of us that laws
Protecting children are as strict as they
Should be. It wouldn’t hurt to add a clause
Requiring that a judge must throw away
The key in cases where a helpless child
Is damaged for the rest of his/her life.
A sentence of ten years is much too mild
A punishment for one who raped at knife-
Point any mother’s fondly nurtured son
Or daughter. And what’s more, I’d say the same
Regarding every beast who takes his fun,
Without a whisper of remorse or shame,
From unsuspecting victims, never mind
Their age. I’m totally in favor of
A justice system skewed toward being kind
To injured parties, where an iron glove
Is fitted to an unforgiving fist
And criminals deem death the less ungentle
Escape route. If there’s anyone I’ve missed
In my rebuke, please tell me. Fundamental
To making sure our streets remain as safe
As possible: a crueler retribution,
Too swift to seem unusual and chafe
Against the letter of The Constitution.
The Spirit of Labor Day
Arbeit macht frei.
In late November, footprints on the lawn,
Dark hollows in the fractal morning frost,
Reveal where early-rising men have gone
To repossess the dawn they feared they’d lost
Due to an unexpected cosmic sleight
Of hand. Transparent motes of angel dust
Found floating in the dim auroral light
Is evidence it’s right to put one’s trust
In agencies one cannot understand,
Much less explain. Most workers lack the tools
To be the quintessential able hand,
But they should not be branded arrant fools
For struggling to create a decent place
To live. No few of them are men of letters,
And all are voting members of their race
Who have the gall to face their so-called betters
With bald aplomb: no more, the humbled classes
That knuckle under to the old elite;
And say good-bye to all those pompous asses
Who view through rosy glasses worlds that meet
Their jaded expectations. Elbow grease
Is not to be disparaged, lest production
Decline immediately and wonders cease.
For long-enduring peace of mind, construction
Upholstery or farming answer; plumbers
Who understand the meaning of trabajo
May well expect to spend enchanted summers
With retail clerks and drummers on Lake Tahoe.
From the Minutes of the Philosophical Society’s
Plenary Telephonic Session
Lest you suppose I’m wont to butcher logic,
I’d like to make it absolutely clear
That I was half asleep, quite hypnagogic,
And partway through a case of German beer
(St. Pauli Girl) before I went and said
What you construed as post hoc, ergo propter
Hoc fallacy. I’d sooner join the dead
Than fly to safety in a helicopter
Provided by the Government. “Live free
Or die” is how you’ll hear it in New Hampshire,
As centuries ago “Don’t tread on me”
Was freedom’s cry—I’m down with that, for damn sure.
By now you know exactly how I think,
And you have every right to castigate
Me for my tendency to overdrink,
But grant me leave to recapitulate.
Again, please pardon me for passing out
Before our previous conference call was finished,
And let me say, there isn’t any doubt
My faculty of reason was diminished
Compared to what you’d normally expect
From me. I mentioned how the State had hiked
The sales tax, hoping thereby to correct
Some social programs (which I never liked)
Severely underfunded, they contended;
And how it came to pass, when funds flowed freely,
That target worriments remained unmended—
In fact, they only worsened. Horace Greely,
I’m sure, turned figure eights inside his grave.
When legislators hammer out new laws
Subverting what they’d hoped their schemes would save,
Remember that effects must have a cause.
It isn’t true I rushed to rash conclusions.
The failure of their measures went as I
Predicted, knowing that ingrained delusions
Are bureaucratic truth: to rectify
A problem, subsidize it to the hilt.
And that’s precisely what those meddlers did.
Impelled by pangs of unconstructive guilt,
They managed to improve, secundum quid,
Another host of tragic social ills.
The point is that a proper propter hoc
Is always post hoc, rough on dreams it kills.
My logic is as solid as a rock.