Risk

 Poetry Challenge Day 96 (Sat Jan 8)



Bitcoin, Ethereum, many more.
There’s a difference,
I’m just not sure I can explain exactly.
They say,
“scared money doesn’t make money.”
I’ll never own any of these,
risk is not my thing.



Stocks and Bonds

 Poetry Challenge Day 95 (Fri Jan 7)



When I see a sign that says
“Watch for Stock.”
Should I also keep my eyes open
For Bonds?



One Year Later

 Poetry Challenge Day 94 (Thu Jan 6)



My sadness today
is palpable.

I’m embarrassed
to have witnessed
the most shameful
public event in my lifetime,
perhaps in our country’s history.

I am still
looking for closure.



The Mask

 Poetry Challenge Day 93 (Wed Jan 5)



Never before in the history
of our country
has a political party
disseminated lies
that actually killed it’s followers…
all in the name of returning to
and staying in power.
America has turned a corner.
we have always been a thinly
masked amoral country…
The mask has been removed.



K.R.

 Poetry Challenge Day 92 (Tue Jan 4)



Gun laws and self defense laws
have collided.
The challenge before us
is to reconcile this difference.

There is no excuse for openly
killing two unarmed people.

Either open carry laws need to be rewritten
or self-defense laws need to be rewritten.

Why, in the 21st century,
is there a need to carry a lethal weapon
into a public space?



Septic Paws

 Poetry Challenge Day 91 (Mon Jan 3)



“Obey the laws
and wear the gauze.
Protect your jaws
from septic paws.”

Oh how I would like to be
the author of those lines.



“Wear a mask and save your life! A mask is 99% proof against influenza.” (An advertising campaign in California, circa 1918). Although I’m not aware of any data supporting the 99% number, certainly over 100 years ago the knowledge about how to protect yourself from airborne contagion was readily available and acknowledged.

CoI

 Poetry Challenge Day 90 (Sun Jan 2)



The Cult of Ignorance
Is driving a new definition
Of personal liberty.



“There is a cult of ignorance in the US, & there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism is a constant thread winding through political & cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means ‘my ignorance is as good as your knowledge’.” - I. Asimov
Or…
as Carl Sagan once wrote: “Science is a candle in the dark.”

Accomplished

 Poetry Challenge Day 89 (Sat Jan 1)



My daughter gave me a book
By Haruki Murakami.
It is a marvelous collection of stories.
Haruki is an accomplished author
(Even though this was my first
encounter with him.)

One of the stories mentions a book
He self-published early in his career.
It was a book of poetry about the
Yakult Swallows baseball team.

This accomplished author admits that
His book of poetry may not actually be poetry
But he s ays he will call them poems anyway.

I suppose if an accomplished author
Can self-publish a book of dubious poems
Then so can I.



Eighty Eight

 Poetry Challenge Day 88 (Fri Dec 31)



This is an attempt at
writing a poem when I have no idea
what is about to come out…

Satisfaction with my work is a
commodity that is hard for me to come by.
I tend to be a perfectionist,
also my biggest critic.

I sometimes feel that with infinite time available to me
I could reach a goal worthy of my desire,
of course, we aren’t given that luxury.

Perhaps this is what you naturally feel
when you look back on your year
and try to make sense out of it.
That’s what I’m going to tell myself.

I don’t see perception in this regard changing
a great deal when I look forward
to the coming year…

I thought when I started my poetry project
that it might be life changing.
At this point (after 88 days)
there is no clear answer to that question.



Voice

 Poetry Challenge Day 87 (Thu Dec 30)



The voice inside my head is talking to me.
No, I’m not crazy, it does that all the time.
My constant dialogue is usually suppressed
At the moment, I’m trying to listen to it.
What it’s saying when I actually listen is revealing.
I’m not going to tell you,
That’s not what this is about.
All I know is it’s important to listen.
All the secrets you need to know are contained in that dialogue.
Embrace it, listen, ponder, and keep listening.



Ignorance

 Poetry Challenge Day 86 (Wed Dec 29)



Your ignorance
Is as good as
my knowledge.

What’s wrong with that?

Could it be
That this is how we now
Think of personal liberty and freedom.



“There is a cult of ignorance in the US, & there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism is a constant thread winding through political & cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means ‘my ignorance is as good as your knowledge’.” - I. Asimov

Cycle

 Poetry Challenge Day 85 (Tue Dec 28)



I want to cycle across the country
one more time.
I want to feel once again
the feeling of independence.
I want to feel once again
the pain,
but also the accomplishment.
Why don’t you come with me.



December 15th

 Poetry Challenge Day 84 (Mon Dec 27)



Today we broke 800,000.
In the best tradition
of all things American,
that is a world record,
literally.
Even when it comes
to dubious distinctions,
we can’t help but be “better”
than everyone else.



The many thousands of deaths that have occurred since COVID vaccines became available could have been avoided, were it not for the tragic and misguided information campaign spearheaded by a handful power hungry “influencers”.

Poem

 Poetry Challenge Day 83 (Sun Dec 26)



Life is a poem.
It weaves itself into strange patterns.
Not always what you expect from it.
Yet, if you look closely
there are constants.
Like a true friend.
A true friend is always there for you.
You don’t need a lot more than that.



Power

 Poetry Challenge Day 82 (Sat Dec 25)



Speak truth to power.
What does that mean.
I’ve seen truth spoken that way,
It seems it is usually ignored.
The one attribute all power shares,
Is the ability to distort truth.
Yet, if enough people hold the same truth.
Power cannot stand.

So…

The first task of power
Is to destroy truth.

The first task of truth
is to fearlessly speak to power.



I’m not satisfied with this poem. It seems there should be a better answer, but I don’t know what it is.

The Current Age

 Poetry Challenge Day 81 (Fri Dec 24)



We are living in an age
Where people just
Make shit up.



The Death of Truth

 Poetry Challenge Day 80 (Thu Dec 23)



Speaking truth to autrocracy
Is no longer sufficient to
Counter conspiracy theories.



The News

 Poetry Challenge Day 79 (Wed Dec 22)



I’m gaining weight.
It’s my cat’s fault.

All he does is eat
and sleep.

I am subconsciously
channeling his lifestyle.

He knows something
I don’t.

I can’t stop myself from wondering
what that might be.

It could be the fact that
he doesn’t watch the nightly news.

Watching the nightly news
is bad for you physically and emotional health.

Oh, he’s there with me alright,
but I don’t think he’s really paying attention.



Not Poetry

 Poetry Challenge Day 78 (Tue Dec 21)



Ya,
I know,
I’ve said it before,
this is not poetry.

But you are not going
to fault me for trying,
are you?



Crimson & Clover

 Poetry Challenge Day 77 (Mon Dec 20)



Tommy James and the Shondells
Crimson and Clover.
It was eighth grade, first love.

Every time I heard the song
the thought of Shannon
invaded my mind.

When I thought of her
my heart would race,
I was consumed.

When, I discovered
she used Crisco to tan,
I thought that strange.

When she announced
she did not like Crosby, Stills, and Nash,
it was over.



Imagination

 Poetry Challenge Day 76 (Sun Dec 19)



Imagination.
That’s my problem,
I don’t have one.

Oh, I can think shit up
all-right,
but nothing hangs together.



America

 Poetry Challenge Day 75 (Sat Dec 18)



America is sliding into Autocracy…
Why?
Part of me is shocked, part is not.

This has been coming…
Why?
We are a divided people.

A divided people in need of…
What?
Something to bring us together.

A unifying principle to unite us…
What?
How about a war?



Something much better for the world than another war would be preferred… I think the real story here is that we as a people have lost some of the common threads that held us together us a nation and a people since the country’s founding. This has manifested in my lifetime — I think it stems from the movement espousing “unrestricted personal liberty.”

Two’s Complement

 Poetry Challenge Day 74 (Fri Dec 17)



I can’t imagine
life without my love.

She is the perfect complement
to my soul.

Oh, I would survive, somehow,
but life is so much better with her.

I hope she feels the same,
but what if she doesn’t?

I guess I just can’t
worry about that, right?



Friend

 Poetry Challenge Day 73 (Thu Dec 16)



I just want to get in my truck
and go see my friend.

How can you be sure
you will ever see each other again?

I do not know the answer,
but I do know…

he is a constant in my life
that I am thankful for.



Christmas Lights

 Poetry Challenge Day 72 (Wed Dec 15)



Something about a wind chime,
unpredictable,
soothing,
but slightly disconcerting.

Like life I suppose.
You can never be certain
exactly
what will happen next.

Like the neighbor
you dislike,
bringing you a beer,
simply because you asked (jokingly)…

While,
I might add,
I was hanging Christmas lights
intended to shine in her window.