Category Archives: Poems

Poem for Eustace St. Meeting

In this time of such turbulence and strife
We come into the Silence and here reclaim our life

The powers of the world outside may be deeply shaken
But here, within, the Spirit quietly awakens

And when the touch of Light has eased our pain
We can re-emerge to face the World again

(written at Eustace St. Friends Meeting, Dublin, 5 March 2017)

eros vs isis (2015)

Now listen:
you wanna beat them?
you really wanna beat them?
here’s how you defeat them,
those joyless sexless lifeless brainless idiots
those black-flagged lickers of Kalishnikovs
those bastards who confuse “giving head”
and decapitation:
here’s how you beat them, god damn it:
you beat them
with every mindless grunting spurt
with every beautiful joyful squirt
with every cry of “oh yes oh my god YES”
you drop a bunkerbuster on their heads
more powerful than a dozen cruise missiles
you wanna beat them
you wanna drive them insane
then you hit that dance floor
you grab that hot hunk of flesh from the shadows
the one that makes your knees quiver
and say DO IT TO ME NOW
you wanna send them scurrying
you wanna tell them that they don’t mean shit
then you refuse to play their game
you refuse to call off the party
you refuse to gird your loins
no, thrust your loins into their terrified faces
they cannot handle the fierceness of your desire
they will try to detonate your love
but you will pull them in
into helpless ecstasy

The Inauguration of Donald Trump (in the manner of Seuss)

It was a beautiful day, January two-zero
When the masses converged for their conquering hero.
There were flags, there were guns, there were babies in strollers
And long limousines full of happy high-rollers.

Jets flew overhead, and the music was cheery,
The people were proud. Some people were teary.
Some people were skinny, and others were fatter.
Some people were sad, but those folks didn’t matter.

There were huge TV screens all over the city
Showing pictures of mountains and other things pretty.
Pretty pictures of soldiers, pretty pictures of planes
Pretty pictures of cities devoured by flames.

A fanfare was played! The crowd gave a jump!
For there on the platform was Donald J. Trump!
He waved to the crowd! He held his thumbs high!
And the crowd as one man gave an audible sigh.

For here was the man who could save our great nation!
Even if things he said brought consternation
Even if there were questions about how he’d behaved
Who cared about that? Our land must be SAVED!

He strode to the podium! He repeated the oath!
His wife held the Bible! Then he kissed them both!
The crowd went bezerk! The crowd went insane!
For seventeen minutes they repeated his name!

“My fellow Americans,” the Donald declared,
“First let me say no one needs to be scared.
“I’m the President of everyone, right down to the last
“If you don’t know that now, you’d best learn it fast.

“We’re one country, one people, and I am your head.
“Those who don’t follow will soon wish they were dead.
“We salute just one flag, pray to only one God –
“The one who corrects with the staff and the rod.

“We’re gonna be strongest! We’re gonna be best!
“We’re gonna work hard, and we will not take a rest!
“No slackers! No malcontents! No one who bitches!
“No one who gets in the way of our riches!

“We’ll dig, and we’ll drill, and we’ll take apart mountains
“To build giant malls with beautiful fountains!
“My plans will be awesome! My plans will be bold!
“To start with, I’m plating the White House in GOLD!”

The crowd was ecstatic! They screamed themselves hoarse!
So simple! So obvious! So perfect! OF COURSE!
They danced with abandon! Shot into the air!
(A few found that they could do nothing but stare.)

“And just to make sure no one provokes our anger
“We will build a new weapon – the KA-BLEWIE-KER-BANGER!!
“The biggest! The best! An explosion so YUGE
“That when I say ‘Jump,’ no one will refuse!

“America, thank you for making this choice!
“People around the world heard your voice!
“You need have no fear, you need only agree
“You need only one thing, and that thing is ME!!”

That’s when we noticed the troops on the stage
The tanks on the street, all precisely arranged
The crowd was escorted in orderly lines
To buses and trains that all left … right on time.

when we returned from the hanging

when we returned from the hanging
we were giddy with bile and with blood
at last the rascals had met their fate
the triumph of justice & good
we screamed out our rage as they pleaded
we laughed at their piteous cries
we cheered as we watched their dangling feet
and rejoiced as each one of them died
we staggered home drunk with our righteousness
and stared as we opened the doors
the hangman’s men had raided our homes
and emptied out all of our stores

Yoga in a toga (limerick)

A Roman clad only in toga
Attempted to do hatha yoga
Things were going quite grand,
Till he tried shoulder stand
With results that were crude, crass, and vulga.


Whenever Republicans face a campaign,
They trot out the same old tired refrain
And then they repeat it again and again
Until it gets stuck in the back of your brain

Just four little words, it’s their favorite spell
And over the years it has served them quite well
And reason or logic can never dispel
The feeling of dread it’s supposed to compel

“Tax-and-spend liberal”! Oh my, what a curse!
Is anything lower?  Is anything worse?
They’d claim that a rapist who murders a nurse
Is better than someone who’s after your purse!

So every time ‘Pubbies are backs-to-the-wall
Then you can rely that they’ll put out the call
“Oh horrors! Oh terrors!  Oh worstest of all!
Here come another tax-and-spend LIBERAL!!”

But magic wears off when too frequently used
And after a while, people get less confused
And they start to wonder, “Hey, have we been abused?”
When they figure it out, they will NOT be amused.

For taxing-and-spending’s what governments do
To provide for the services that both I and you
Have said that we want — and you know that it’s true
That money does not come just from out of the blue.

But deficit spending can make things seem OK —
“We’ll pay for it later!  Let’s spend it today!!
“More tax cuts! More weapons that don’t work today
But might in the future!  Hey, come on, let’s play!”

But if you are borrowing too far past your means,
You had best be investing – and we’re not – and that means
That our infrastructure will pop at the seams
With breakdowns, disruptions, bankruptcies, and liens.

And someday those bills will all have to be paid
And our kids will account for the things we mislaid
Because, in the end, we were just too afraid
To make the decisions that had to be made

The question should be, “Are our taxes assessed
In a way that is fair, and that spreads the load best?
So that no one is overly fiscally stressed
And no one rides high on the backs of the rest —

“And when we are spending, are we spending with care,
With prudence, with caution?  Do we know just where
The money is going? And when it gets there,
Is it really improving this world we must share?”

So next time that “LIBERAL!” rings in your ears,
Those obsolete “tax-and-spend” GOP jeers,
Remember that their way catastrophe nears,
And go vote your hopes — and please, don’t vote your fears.

Politics, Punctuated (2004)

The conservative! The exclamation point — there!
At the end of the accusation!
At the end of the war cry! Of the triumphant shout!
At the end of the final, fatal, dismissing expletive!

The liberal?  Well, that’s, you know, the question mark?
The sign of curiosity, of uncertainty?
Of the need to know more, to reexamine certitudes?
You know, the admission both of human limitation
and of human possibility?
Wouldn’t you say so?  What do you think?

The conservative.
The full stop.
That’s it.
End of story.

The liberal, on the other hand, is,
or perhaps could be,
the comma,
suggests that,
there may be more to come,
that the end is not yet in sight,
that something else could be,
or should be,
or must be included
before completeness is finally achieved.

The conservative is the slash
harsh and definitive
dividing alternatives:

The liberal – the hyphen –
connecting things together –
immigrant-American, self-other, low-fat.

The conservative is the colon
at the end of the phrase
“Here are your orders:”

The liberal is the semicolon;
it delineates a list of options;
it joins independent ideas.

(Or perhaps it’s the parentheses
enclosing all the other things you wanted to say
…or perhaps the ellipsis
after the words “Let me think about that…”)


The point being
some people only want
one form of speaking or the other
but how can we hold an intelligent conversation
form a coherent thought
make a valid statement
or even write a poem

if half our available grammar

has been