Stealing metaphors

Beware the use of adjectives,
the holiest of gowns.
They turn your nouns chameleon,
when Barnum comes to town.

The noun is self-sufficient
when it tells you lie from truth.
The conjurer will mix them
with gold and silver, ruth-

less in redefining the
language to fit his needs.
Entitlement becomes the
unearned benefit and leads

us to the welfare queen-
we’ve cursed her long enough.
We know, we know our taxes go
to pay for the warrior’s stuff.

Take the language back I say
and let the tokens sour.
One truth is all it takes
and the metaphor is ours.



Chronicling the abyss

Dante anteceded Don Quixote
when he probed the depths of hell.
Each circle brought him deeper
through the deadly sins of yore.

Sweet wife of George, not Beatrice,
centers the life I lead,
and while she slept profligacy
managed to reemerge.

America’s sad tale
of take and take
from the labor of the
hoi polloi whose
every bead of
Prometheus’ brow betrays
the never-ending toil.

The slave of history echoes now
And the woman weep over
children’s graves, beseeching and begging
when the new deal is not saved.

You break the broken people,
And shatter them with
your trophy elephant tusk.
You wear a libertarian crown in
this land of the hypocrite
and home of the troll.
Your greatness is gilded
with poverty’s stain.

America, America,
you preen upon the hill
with undue pride and vanity.
The troubled heart –
when deafness roars,
sweet charity
we know no more.


Canvases are flying

Into the wind they sail
like paper airplanes,
afloat on the molecules of moisture,
and then they come soaring down
into puddles of mud
and stained with grass.

They doted on the child
who was born with golden hair,
eyes of innocence,
red apples at lunch and a banquet –
a table set for dinner-
he was dressed, the fitting image
of his father and mother
betraying the ways of kings.
He was learned in words, within words
quoted in memorandums stored within
the vastness of his brain cells.

From the wind they return
like boomerangs,
darting across the atoms of life
they come soaring down
in front of my feet.


While you were sleeping

My mother sits beside me,
I warm her hands with mine,
her eyelids close in sleep –
her memory is lost
in better times.

The 1930’s were dark –
but from this darkness came
a deal for the ages.
The farmhouse of her youth
was reached by the REA*.

The mother of my youth,
knows nothing of this
awful year. Her memory
is lost –
in the times I sorely miss.

Money breeds contempt of
all who move and breathe.
And bureaucrats abet,
King Midas’ slack.
The people doomed – cry out:
Give it back! Give it back!

My mother sleeps so soundly,
with a whistle –
barely audible.
I rest my hand upon her head,
and let this sigh
float by.

My paycheck FICA is
a benefit it now is claimed.
Honest words made evil,
the conman’s constant game.

Oh mother Mary, mother mine
I miss your humor, your wisdom,
I want to weep upon your breast.
This introverted daughter of yours
has learned to rabble rouse.
When King Midas roams the land
there is no time to pause.

There are predators in nature,
they keep the balance,
they eat with need.
But the predator of
office – shop
he has no qualms –
the creep he is.

Oh mother Mary, mother mine,
I want to sleep as you do,
I am weary and despairing,
when the humble and the poor
become humbler, and even crumbs
are denied them, oh,

when all that’s good
seems forsaken
and I sink forever more,
Mother Mary whispers
sweet Anne behold the shore!

Behold the shore my daughter
introverted and rebellious –
I dream her speaking!
I know she’s with me!
Whisper, whisper –
sweet Anne behold the shore!


* The Rural Electrification Administration was a New Deal agency that brought electricity to rural communities in the 1930s that lacked electricity.