American Fascism

Poetry Challenge Day 319 (Fri Aug 19)

If American goes all-in
for Fascism in ‘24,
will Baseball be outlawed,
or will we go back to
two separate, but unequal leagues?

I suppose it’s in poor taste to make light of a political situation that is truly grave, but you have to occasionally to preserve your sanity.

Cats vs. Dogs

Poetry Challenge Day 318 (Thu Aug 18)

Dogs are so cool.
Is there any animal cooler than a dog?
Perhaps cats.
They have a natural
tendency to ignore you,
not completely.
They know you’ve there,
and they know you are talking to them,
but they choose to ignore you.
A dog can’t ignore you.
From my perspective,
this makes the cat more interesting.
I don’t want to loose my cat.
I will be heart-broken when he is gone.
I love him,
even though he ignores me.


Poetry Challenge Day 317 (Wed Aug 17)

What do my cat and writing have in common…

The cat sleeps next to me because it makes him feel good.
I write because it makes me feel good.

If he wrote more often,
he probably wouldn’t feel the need
to sleep next to me.

Whenever he reaches for a pen
I take it away from him.

What Is Poetry

Poetry Challenge Day 316 (Tue Aug 16)


Literature that evokes a
of experience,
or a specific emotional response
through language
and arranged
for its meaning,
and rhythm.


Or, as I like to put it…
it’s whatever the fuck I say it is.

Quote courtesy of the Encyclopedia Britannica. (Liberties with the linear arrange, mine.)

Donald Drumph

Poetry Challenge Day 315 (Mon Aug 15)

Donald Drumph
(his real name)
is diabolically Fascist.
His ideas represent
the most extreme
notions of individual superiority.
Has history taught us nothing?
Any American that falls for his schickt
is profoundly one of the following:
miscalculating, stupid, illiterate, naive, disillusioned,
or some combination of the above.

I really dislike being political. I have tried my hardest not to bring politics into my project. You could make the argument that underneath everything I say is a political perspective, I won’t give you a serious argument against that perspective; however, I will try and make this my only overtly political rant. The family name was changed from Drumph to Trump to disguise the fact that they were German immigrants. Slight-of-hand runs deep in the Drumph family, none of which has been lost on Donald.)

Affinity Diagram in Markdown

Poetry Challenge Day 314 (Sun Aug 14)

Rust / Julia / Hugo / Go
Single Board Computers
Wood / Welding / Basket Weaving
Container House / Tree House
Camping / Adventure Motorcycling
Cycle Touring / Long Distance Cycle Touring
Skiing / Performance Skiing / Powder Skiing

I realize this is not a true affinity diagram. It is about the best you can do when writing in Markdown. You could view this as useful background for a eulogy… just so nothing is left out… (You can leave out the basket weaving. I’ve never actually tried that.)


Poetry Challenge Day 313 (Sat Aug 13)

Facing a hill
you have a choice to make,
go up, or go around.

To go around is an unsatisfying option.
If you choose to go up, you have to commit.
Shift down and keep moving.

A time will come when you must face defeat.
The hill will laugh at you,
but keep this in mind, you have the last say.

You can dismount, accede defeat,
and turn around, or you can
continue the climb on foot.

The hill will tell you it has defeated you.
As long as you keep moving,
you will reach the top.

Once you reach the top
you can look down on the hill and say:
“You have not defeated me today!”

The hill will laugh and say:
“I have many brothers.”
“One of them will succeed where I have failed.”

This is idle chatter.
There is no hill that can’t be conquered.
That is what it means to be human.

The hills were put there to test us.
There is no hill that can break us.
Hills are a part of us.

Hills are the challenge that bring out our best.
Without hills, life would be meaningless.
It is the hills we choose to climb that define us.

I love this poem. The writing is okay, but the experience behind the writing is what sustains and motivates me.

Giving Up

Poetry Challenge Day 312 (Fri Aug 12)

Whatever you do,
don’t trade your custom built road bike in
for a Huffy, step-thru, single-speed, POS.
Life is too short for that.


Poetry Challenge Day 311 (Thu Aug 11)

Creativity is transformative.
Never abandon the work of recreating yourself.
Creativity can be lost,
but it is always there, waiting to be rediscovered.


Poetry Challenge Day 310 (Wed Aug 10)

I pulled into a breakfast joint
in bumfuck Louisiana.
I was hungry.
I ordered one of everything…
I didn’t care that I was blowing
my entire day’s food budget on breakfast.
The food came out
and the cashier handed it to me.
We stared at each other for the longest time
and I finally said, “how much?”
She looked a me like I was stupid and said:
“The Chef feeds every cyclists that comes thru here…”
Best breakfast with a side of humble pie I have ever had.


Poetry Challenge Day 309 (Tue Aug 9)

When your kid goes off to college,
the best advice you can give her
is to keep her dorm room door open.
she’ll meet all kinds of people
and get a minor in “humanity.”
it doesn’t hurt,
to remind yourself of that
from time to time…

The Cat

Poetry Challenge Day 308 (Mon Aug 8)

The cat is getting fat
he’s starting to look like a beached whale.
it’s all his fault.
He’s trained me to feed him
whenever he scratches the furniture.
He scratches the furniture a lot.
Still, he is a marvelous animal.
I can’t help loving him.
I suppose this is what happens to you
after all your children are grown and gone.
When I talk to him,
I don’t refer to myself as his “Dad…”
At least not yet…

Saving History

Poetry Challenge Day 307 (Sun Aug 7)

Can Liberal Democracy
save history
or will Fascism will destroy it.
It’s possible we might get an answer
to this question
in what remains of my lifetime.

What Do You Do

Poetry Challenge Day 306 (Sat Aug 6)

What do you do
when someone tells you
they don’t love you.
Well, maybe not exactly like that,
but in so many words.
While this is a crushing event,
there isn’t a lot you can do.
You can’t tell people how to think.
It’s probably not even productive
to try and do that.
In the final analysis,
it’s up to each of us
to determine how much damage
we want to do to the people around us
and to ourselves.

Language Barrier

Poetry Challenge Day 305 (Fri Aug 5)

A California-based nonprofit,
Earth Species Project (ESP),
is planning to use machine learning
to translate animal communication
into something humans can understand.
Unfortunately this will not
help us understand Republicans.

Having A Bad Day

Poetry Challenge Day 304 (Thu Aug 4)

I’m having a bad day.
What do you do when you’re are having a bad day?
Get Angry?
All of the above?
I wish I had the answer.
The reality is,
I don’t think there is an answer,
unless it is time…


Poetry Challenge Day 303 (Wed Aug 3)

It has been pointed out to me recently
(as the result of an unfortunate event)
that life is not always fair.
What we do when confronted
with a situation that is complex,
and not altogether our fault,
is what determines the kind
of person we are.

Perchance to Think

Poetry Challenge Day 302 (Tue Aug 2)

I think better
when I’m lying down,
when I have my eyes closed.
It is then I have the most profound thoughts.
The problem is,
I can’t remember them
in the morning.


Poetry Challenge Day 301 (Mon Aug 1)

I will probably write this every day for the rest of my life — I love writing. The trick for me is saying something. The good news is I don’t really feel any pressure to say something. For the most part, I don’t say anything at all. I get as much or more joy out of putting pen to paper and watching words appear on the page as I do putting down words that say something. It’s a marvel really that I made it through college. I won’t tell you what school I went to because I don’t want you to write to them and ask to have my degree rescinded.

I remember fondly one class where I got a higher grade on a final paper then another student (one I thought was my friend). She questioned me about the grade and asked “how I managed it.” Some years later she was working as an Assistant D.A. in the small town where I lived. We had stayed in touch occasionally. One evening I had a severe asthma attack and I called her to ask if she would drive me to the nearby hospital. She told me she was too busy… I guess she was still pissed about that final paper.


Poetry Challenge Day 300 (Sun Jul 31)

never write down today
what you plan to do tomorrow

always decide what today holds for you today
when you can actually do something about it

You’ll be much happier
and you’ll make better decisions

If you must write down
“things that need doing”

write them down and then
throw them away

they will come back to you
if they are important enough

Do you think Sisyphus wrote down a to-do list every day?

The Rule of 3’s

Poetry Challenge Day 299 (Sat Jul 30)

Never drive more than 3 hours in one day.
Be in camp by 3pm.
Change your underwear every 3rd day.


Poetry Challenge Day 298 (Fri Jul 29)

It doesn’t matter
if you write anything
worthy of being read by anyone.

If the act of writing
helps you in some way,
then it is worth doing.

The act of writing keeps me sane. I suppose you can consider that a help.


Poetry Challenge Day 297 (Thu Jul 28)

How do we discover truth
and use that to gain personal knowledge
and overcome adversity?

Emerson tells us
to trust ourselves.

Thoreau tells us to look to nature
rather than human institutions.

William James tells us to examine
our experience to find truth.

Truth is revealed
through effort and personal discovery,
along with just a bit of help from nature.


Poetry Challenge Day 296 (Wed Jul 27)

Whoever or whatever commands your attention
shows the world what you believe.

Good Day

Poetry Challenge Day 295 (Tue Jul 26)

This has been a good day so far.
It’s sunny.
I discovered brioche donuts.
I found a pen that makes me smile.
The author signed his book for me.
I took a stroll through the Pike Place Market
to watch the flying fish.

They’re dead, but they fly nonetheless.