Poems

Sum Ingredients
Were I divided, virtue from vice,
the golden wheat from blighted chaff,
what would then be the sum sacrifice?
What remainder after such math?
Would one and the other be the same
or would one be greater in size?
Would the difference favor my shame?
What value would I have in your eyes?
If I was split, (the cream from the curd),
which part would be greater? Sweet? Sour?
Would you, seeing my parts, spare a word,
or would you flake out, like buttered flour?
Perhaps we are both more than presumed,
much more than the sum of our parts.
I only hope we will rise and bloom,
the recipe a blend of hearts.

Nurses
Shieldmaidens and vanguard,
defenders against Death
while his salvos bombard
to snuff another breath.
Rally athwart the tide
like Moses the Red Sea,
however deep and wide,
save them from misery.
The frontlines overflow
with the sick and the dead,
yet you fight, toe to toe,
with Death, and bed to bed.
How can mere mortals thwart
the Reaper on his row?
They are a sundry sort
united by a vow.
It is a vile battle
when a virus spreads swift
from cough to death rattle
and gives us such short shrift.
No glory exists here,
nor vanity or sloth.
They must work despite fear
and the ominous cough.
Fight off the Valkyries!
Let them near no bedside!
Counter the dread disease
and each grim deathbed bride!
For like their hooded groom
reaping with phantom airs,
the Valkyries bring doom,
taking us unawares,
and so our nurses stand
as one, afore the foes,
with scrubs donned, shields in hand,
fighting through highs and lows.
Despite their own trauma,
despite their own sorrow
they tend to Man’s drama
to ensure Tomorrow.

“Literally”
It is a pet peeve of mine that is fed each day
by people who do not understand what they say.
“Fed?” they might ask, confused. “Yes,” I would then reply,
“But only figuratively, otherwise I
would be as stupid as those who seem to believe
that you can quite actually feed a pet peeve.”

Modern Superstition
The Stock Market is more
superstition
than logic, more
religion
than reality—
it is the ritual of cutting
the head off a chicken
and muttering a few words
to perform a hoodoo spell,
thinking that the starvation in your belly
disappears as the ritual is completed,
whereas
reality is boiling the remainder of the chicken
to make some soup stock
and swallowing it down
to keep the belly full.
Reality is the chicken soup that feeds you.
Superstition is the belief that
without the ritual itself
you would starve to death.
And the Stock Market is nothing but
several chickens running around
with their heads cut off
and going to waste
while the people on
Main Street
starve to death from want
of more substantive stock.

Pandemonetized Death

The token of our holy creed
bears the seal of our fickle breed
which thereby reads, “In God We Trust”,
and so we must, for boom or bust,
forfeit lives of those sickly few
so the Devil may get his due,
for Mammon is our true god here,
crisis or not, year after year,
and we take less stock in those lives
when the Stock Market yo-yo dives—
the bottom line we must all serve
cares not for flattening the curve,
so live and let die at what rates
the Dow Jones index thus dictates,
projected profits meaning more
than elders hastened to Death’s door.

Those Who Know, Know

A stock broker attended an art show
and was surprised at how much the art cost.
“Why so much?” he asked. “I really must know
since it looks like something drawn with eyes crossed.”
So the broker asked the curator how
such awful “art” could be worth so damn much
and the snob snorted, wrinkling up his brow,
retorting, “Those who know so, know such.”
The broker’s eyes brightened with sudden insight
and he raised his wine glass, saying, “Value
is a construct. It’s a trick of the light.”
He laughed. “Make-believe has made me rich, too!”

Another Smattering of Rhymes

Shakespeare’s Flow
How complex and twisty
the syntax of Shakespeare,
like a river—misty,
yet running smooth and clear.

Foul Weather
He clung to the scant sunlight
of her love in Wintertime,
never letting go so he might
move on to a warmer clime.

Money Trees
“Money doesn’t grow on trees”
they always tell you,
but it can, does, and with ease
if you have enough revenue.

It grows on a complex leaf,
which is to say, legislation
rooted in Conservative belief
to benefit the wealthiest of the nation.

If you inherit enough wealth
and sit on it, year to year,
and if the economic health
of the stock market is without fear

then your dividends will grow
larger and larger, beyond anyone’s need,
so you reap more than you sow
like some inverse Johnny Appleseed.

Some might say the rich stay on top
by being smart and having the “knack”,
but the rich employ the cream of the crop
and insider trading, a Farmer’s Almanac.

And they all have a tax shelter—
arboreal shade on another shore
to weather crises and helter-skelter;
more orchards than the toiling poor.