Cultural Appropriation

“Write what you know,” wisdom conventional,
Threatens to morph into ironclad law.
Fearing aggressions unintentional;
The best lack all conviction in its claw.
Sympathy is nice; empathy divine,
But you’d better think twice (or more), you cad,
If you think your words can ever touch mine;
If you, you WASP, you geezer robed in plaid,
Dare deign to make artist’s gestures this way!
What you know (not much!), keep it over there,
While I sit here and type, to my dismay
Using all your best English words with care.
Forsooth! Never could I more clearly see
That your culture appropriated me.

Photo: Feeding Time, Tracy Aviary, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 2016.



A comma belongs between each of your great thoughts;
Otherwise folks might confuse your “is” with their “oughts.”

Verbs make the world go ’round, ’tis true,
But for their acts, nouns are the glue.

To end a sentence, a preposition is more
Apropos than something else you could use it for.

“Every day” is an everyday phrase,
But using it rightly earns you great praise.

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.
Why that matters is just too hard to ‘splain.

“If Ogden Nash could see me now,” I said,
“He’d tell me, ‘Write about a cow instead!”

Metered verse constrains the form of these words,
If only we could trim these thoughts by thirds.

About a Drought

As I survey my lawn so brown,
Thunder gurgles across our town,
Lightning blisters my rods and cones,
Promising rain soon to come down.

‘Tis not to be. Oh! life’s unknowns.
The storm rolls on to moister zones.
We want it so. That’s the kicker.
But we cannot drink from these stones.

In the distance fades the flicker,
I can almost hear the snicker
Of the crickets humming dryly,
Thankful as a parched picnicker.

Water tempts with hope so wryly.
Imagining rain so nighly,
That the sound of droplets shyly
Dancing in clouds gets me smiley.


Photo Credit: Jaepil Cho. CC BY 2.0

On the Stump: Ode to 2016

In the town square resides a stump
Where people stand and speak.
And from atop that noble bump
Words fall from week to week.

They come expound outlandish views
On veggies or vaccines;
They smile and nod and pay their dues,
Or shout to smithereens.

Once ev’ry four years, give or take,
It gets less interesting.
Folks in suits rise to bellyache;
Voters their choice plaything.

They wobble, snort, and quibble more
Than mankind should endure.
Disciplined thought they must ignore
Lest they be found mature.

Despite all, the least exciting
Most often finish first.
The best avoid such bullfighting
Leaving behind the worst.

Then came one who called them all chumps
With mouth and hair unfurled.
A deuce of spades, the red ace Trumps,
And heads on necks have whirled.

Upon our fears and anger fed,
His ego thus expands.
“They love me in Corinth,” he said
Amid those shifting sands.