Archive for the ‘something different’ Category

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 your 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


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?

he was a bear

March 30, 2017

fuzzy wuzzy was a bear
lost a bet and shaved his hair
six months later, still left bare
he went out for clothes to wear

fuzzy wuzzy found a store
filled with furs like he once wore
hats, and belts, and so much more
just the place he need explore

fuzzy wuzzy walked in nice
seeking nothing but advice
help with style, size, and price
would, in fuzzy’s mind, suffice

fuzzy wuzzy was struck numb
when a clerk, confused and dumb
asked the bear if he knew some
of the place where furs come from

fuzzy wuzzy, had not had
but he learned, and then got mad
what the bear did next was bad
leaving many clerks quite sad

fuzzy wuzzy was a bear
even if he had no hair
guess the clerk just didn’t care
till ol’ fuzzy made him fare

understanding dinosaurs

March 22, 2017

we dinosaurs are big
our steps lumber
and our voices boom

but we’re not really mean
just difficult
or often confused

we try to talk, to tweet
text emojis
and pix on snapchat

but we’re not very good
our eyes are old
and our fingers, slow

still, we remember things
like privacy
civil rights, world wars

and standing up to fear
ours and others
for shared principles

able, still, to give our lives
(or what’s left of them)
for these gifts you enjoy

so, be patient with us
some use remains
as dangers likewise

we’ll be fossils soon enough
a resource, one last time
in, and as long, as our wisdom

if you knew

March 8, 2017

if you knew you didn’t know
would you want to…yes or no?
if you did, you’d ask me though
which you haven’t, so you’re slow…

keep up…

if you’re truly so inclined
and you seek, that’s what you’ll find
as accords your state of mind
but you can’t just sit there blind…

look out…

it’s a thought, why can’t you see
you need to feel, not just to be
sense your heart, your soul, they’re key
if you can’t, then you’re not free…

breathe deep…

it’s not how, it’s always why
doesn’t matter, but you try
better broken, than a lie
so you fall, you learn to cry…

move on…

if you knew you didn’t know
would you want to…yes or no?
if you did, you’d ask me though
which you haven’t; there you go…

you’re done.

human resources

March 3, 2017

“chivalry is dead” she said
“our h.r. won’t permit it”
everyone is equal now
regardless of who did it

so boys who pick on girls are told
(just like the girls) to “quit it”
and if they don’t, complaints are made
then formally submitted

i prefer the olden days
when far less need be said
we’d chat, and if that didn’t work
we’d take a walk instead

cause sometimes words are not enough
to get it through one’s head
and while it’s true, we hurt a few
most learned before they bled

orange mice and yellow cats

February 17, 2017

orange mice and yellow cats
love poetry and wonder
and hide, outside, despite the risk
of lightning, rain, and thunder

they dance the floors of God’s good earth
beneath the stars on balance beams
furnished by their friend the moon
to spark their fancies, hopes, and dreams

and all the world remains to them
a mystery, enticing
a multi-flavored layer cake
of every type of icing

they can’t understand why some
would sacrifice what they might see
or hide, inside, within a box
to fit what others thought they’d be

i’m sad so few can see them
but gladder still, they caught your eye
for while we’re here, each glimpse of them
helps explain the reason why

holiday spirit, unmasked

December 16, 2016

there is something of true spirit here
a feeling so ever present and presumed
it is barely acknowledged in these halls and offices
amidst the walls and doors of decoration

if overshadowed by our festive exhibition
it is at least noticeable today
rather than completely hidden and ignored
behind well-worn masks of stress and frustration

for today, the masks of those who labor here
lifted by a generosity for each other
and genuine concern for those less fortunate
fade, if only briefly, to reveal the best of us

not the power or entitlement of office
not the strength of our resolve or commitment
nor fearlessness, bravado, or ambition
instead, unmasked, just people, overwhelmed

people facing challenges beyond their ken
asked, time and again, to do the impossible
frequently unaware of its unattainable nature
quietly doubting ourselves and our abilities

under conditions which breed constant anxiety
we summon from ourselves what we must
to make an otherwise doomed enterprise
succeed beyond any reasoned expectation

some so motivated to serve, to render aid
they can look past fear and confusion
to stand up for those who have been wronged
oblivious to the strength of their own character

oblivious to the spirit they embody
individually and collectively
the spirit of ultimate giving, of one’s self
even as they struggle and occasionally fail

it is this, rather than snowmen and menorahs
that truly adorn this place with the soul of the holidays
though the reams of pretty paper have their place
if only to open our hearts to the greatness therein

cubs win!

November 3, 2016

the curse is finally over
the billy goat’s gone down
the cubs have won the series
and taken baseball’s crown

a century of heartbreak
has ended overnight
bringing to chicago
a timeless sweet delight

but second city’s conquest
does more than end a drought
it revives some promises
whose terms have come about

what was that you said you’d do
when chi-town wins it all?
i’m glad i kept your number
and ready to play ball

thank you theo, thank you joe
thank you cubbies, to a man
thank you for the title won
from a truly grateful fan

what the courthouse might think…*

October 28, 2016

i am but a courthouse
a building, nothing more
my worth is but the promise
of justice through my door

so long as she remains
her scales and faith intact
no error, wrong, or scandal
can from my worth detract

though she has suffered some
in misdeeds through the years
she’s worn her blindfold proudly
and veiled few bitter tears

but blindfolds can’t hide mold
or smells that choke your breath
or cancer-causing agents
that spread from life to death

and she’s coughing now
so loud i start to shake
as if there’s little more
than she or i can take

it’s sad, if what i’ve done
if all that i could do
to warn of her demise
was take a life or two

still no one truly listens
they simply say, ‘hold on’
unaware that they, like her
might very soon be gone

*the opinion of a fearful building