Writing on a legal pad, extra-fine rollerball pen,
hoping for a poem, one that might, twenty-five drafts
later, appear in a magazine, or a “dead tree journal,”
as the kids might say. I recently read that no one
is reading anymore; attention spans shortened
to 140 character bursts. Goodbye Dickens. Farewell
Russian novels. The ice caps are melting,
and the forecast is: Extreme. Wine makes this
temporarily bearable, but then the news comes on,
and all of it is bad. An administration so morally
bankrupt, comparing it to Hitler’s seems
like a compliment. Half of us can’t or won’t
talk to the other half. Our government is constructing
camps, paying for this with our money. Contractors
fatten like ticks. At night, the sullen moon rises,
the air thick with humidity and greed.

We toss and turn, hoping for a brighter tomorrow,
but the blood sun sears through the ozone,
and nothing has changed. New scandals in Washington,
while California burns. A little something sinister brewing
in the Gulf. And because no one is going to read this,
because I might as well chisel a stele
or scratch on papyrus, I yammer on.
Outside my window, a black and white woodpecker
is tapping, tapping his manifestos on a Royal typewriter.
The newspaper, with its terrible stories, rolls off the presses, inky and black.
Barbara Crooker

poems online



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