Archive for June, 2017

my new courthouse: a tragic comedy*

June 25, 2017

i hope someone got kickbacks
that fraud, and graft, and guilt
at least explain to some degree
how this damn thing got built

this monument to justice
whose walkway to our courts
requires ropes and pulleys
and sherpas with supports

whose hurricane strength windows
if not some exit doors
were clearly put in backward
cause when it rains, it pours

unless, of course, there’s fire
and one should need the stairs
sadly, few have access
the rest, i guess, have prayers

they claim alarms will open
the stairs and doors now locked
but if that’s true, assailants too
can reach the folks they’ve stalked

as can the angry claimant
who’s now a demonstrator
after waiting half a day
to get an elevator

or perhaps the felon
on trial, unrestrained
who’s thinking of new ways
his goal might be attained

for nothing here is solid
the place is paper thin
the walls, the desks, the fixtures
are barely more than skin

yes, it’s green, how wonderful
to see the lights go out
when they decide you’re finished
cause you don’t jump about

now the pipes are leaking
it’s flooded down the hall
which means the mold we fled from
will catch us after all

well, at least we had some time
to draw a weary breath
before this latest screw-up
returned the threat of death

*inspired, in part, by actual events

full conviction

June 20, 2017

his is a prosecutor, the people’s lawyer
though finished with the last of his litigation
and prepared to begin a new role as judge
he leaves us no less, as we can gain no more

his voice will likely remain in these halls
cracking sharp, like the whip has been
carrying the bark of a front line soldier
as he rallied those needed to his cause

you can cue him to the star spangled banner
and he will keep in time as well as sentiment
not a word or note will feel out of place
each having been composed of full conviction

for his is that rare and unwavering belief
uncommon but simple: there is a “right”
and people of good conscience stand to it
whatever the cause, whatever the hardship

here, has been the good and willing soldier
though his salute, at times, was lacking
and he rolled his eyes at an order or two
he was first, he was always, a warrior

no battle, no foe, no odds were too great
whomever be the victim of injustice
whenever, wherever, such evil was at work
he rose, without hesitation, to meet it

often overworked, underappreciated
left to the impossible, he’d draw strength
thinking of his ‘why’, his home, his family
of fantasy drafts and children’s dance recitals

those who thought him stern or harsh
they never saw that, nor would he let them
no one needed to know why he fought
what, to him, meant more than all he had

they didn’t know, this man who sought death
saw life as the most precious of all gifts
and saw those who unjustly injured or took it
as deserving a full measure of the law’s wrath

now, his talents recognized, he moves on
his experience, its wisdom, put to fresh use
while we, as his colleagues, will miss much
the community gains, as he takes his new oath

for my friend, the Honorable Thomas Coleman

nothing’s lost

June 15, 2017

nothing worth keeping
is ever possessed
what’s offered for ‘ever’
is borrowed at best

like life, it exists
for a moment to share
then it leaves, as it must
whether proper or fair

so there’s nothing to take
and there’s nothing that’s lost
though the soul senses grief
and the heart bears its cost

each passes to wisdom
the next lesson learned
in which a best self
is revealed as its earned

what’s left of what’s gone
as we learn, as we grow
is the best of what was
among all we’ve seen go

uninvited

June 6, 2017

what’s this spider on my wall?
is it dangerous at all?
do i kill it? let it be?
is the choice what’s best for me?
better safe than sorry, right?
and if one comes tomorrow night?