Shredding papers,
Not wrapping papers
Or rolling papers,
Just shredding papers,
By hand, the old way,
Like they did back in the past,
Ripping right through the middle,
Leaving a document halved,
A symbol of petulance,
Half for the President,
Half for the Speaker.

What has become of our institutions?
What of the Senate?
What of the House?
What of the President?
What of the minions do all of their bidding?
What of the people who vote.
How did they get to this point?
So divided?
So selfish?
So narrow-minded?
When will they do right by us?

Drawn to light,
A parental moth looking for brightness
In an otherwise dark month
Where rain and wind conspired
To blur nerve’s sharpness by
Ratcheting the tension
Of a life stuck in a routine,
Bored by the same old roads,
Cookie cutter neighborhoods,
All too familiar faces, and
Inspiration locked away in the
Gotta-go-to-sleep closet.

The light was in Washington,
A place that has lately been part of the angst animation
That life has drawn daily.
The streets were empty and the company lively,
For my daughter braved the winds
Despite a cold brought on by the sneaky look at me
Kids who get the look and then sneeze
The projectile germs pre-service teachers must deal with.

We wandered the circles of the Hirshhorn
Where the activist nature of my personality
Showed its authentic self in my youngest’s siding
With the Guerilla Girls and their protest of publications putting
Men out there without a care for equal rights or even sort of equal rights.
We mosied over to the National Gallery,
Putting up with old masters and mocking the furniture
Until we finally saw her light,

The blur, the darkness, and all that is cool when planning
Meets the unpredictability of time, chemistry, and vision;
Sally Mann’s photography, beautiful, haunting, imperfect,
Kind of like my relationship with my kid,
Brought out feelings that have been lost for too long,
Seeing, risking, imagining, documenting
All parts of a creative’s engine, part of a parent’s toolbox,
Each needing to be charged with the soulful touch
Softly reaching out from the gallery walls.
We saw more;
Sugimoto, whose out of focus way brings clarity to mental noise,
Jasper’s shapes, suggesting structure in a chaotic world,
Georgia’s suggestion, Jackson’s overt sexuality, and a treat,
My old baseball coach’s father right there next to Picasso
Bringing to mind the set up to an unwritten joke,
“Two cubists walk into a gallery…”
Food truck lunch, over-priced Harbor coffee,
Some heavy conversation to hopefully exhaust long-simmering fires,
And a quiet ride home,
Her sleeping
And me thankful to have her along.

Truth is, she’s a lot like me,
Stubborn, opinionated, trusting, unforgiving, and
Prone to visiting art galleries alone,
But it’s nice to have a partner who can share moments
Like the joy of seeing huge dogs walking
Or sharing observations on how a father
Doesn’t portray stereotypical gym teacher traits,
Or maybe the way we feel the cosmic energies, mine random occurrences,
Hers, punishments from the unseen, maybe karma or comeuppance,
To shake a wagging tongue into a more proper way of talking.

I don’t know.

The day was something special,
My rambling, so much like Sally’s photos,
Pictures of time, maybe a little fuzzy,
Sometimes a product of manipulation,
Sometimes an unexpected gift from the angels,
But always full of the right light
Like a daughter and father just hanging together.

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Abraham Lincoln


Hello Nation,

Just writing to tell you
How much DC has changed.
I’m doing my best to enjoy myself
Selling off the sites,
Removing the protections,
And filling my accounts with pennies from you all.


“It’s not my job to be the world’s critic.” Jane McGonical

Once upon a time
A great city rose from a marsh.
The men who got things going
Weren’t perfect, but they had the right idea.
Somehow their limited minds,
Where social constructs were concerned,
Gave rise to hope
That all men were, indeed, created equal.

Wherever politics are played,
Players will surely try to game the system.
This city, with its patriotic symbolism,
Monuments to morality, and
Gastric reflux and the thought of compromise
Has fallen into the quagmire of hubris
With little voices speaking plenty of ishk,
Both the evil and unlucky varieties.

“You think you know where the boundaries are, but you see this stuff and think, if this thing I’m looking at is possible, what else might be possible?” Android Jones, from Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal (2017)

Ugly partisans
Forgetting what they protect


There was an article of Nixon
Describing his thoughts
In the days before his resignation.
He thought of using his power to pardon
To let off all of the guys who paid the price
For his sinister ambition.

The wiser ones suggested
He also pardon those who dodged Vietnam,
Which Tricky Dick refused,
Suggesting that some crimes against the nation
Cannot be forgiven,
So his boys went to the pokey.

There was also something amiss with Richard’s taxes,
Rumors of off-shore accounts, and
A general dismay in his running of the country.
The story ran on May 23, 1977,
A mere forty years ago,
Very little has changed.

The edition of the New York Times
Also featured an advertisement for Hertz Rental Cars
With The Juice running through an airport in
A business suit instead of pads,
A briefcase instead of a football, and
That smile hiding him from us all.

Celebrity was his gift
As OJ made fame his legacy.
Perhaps football fame would have been better
For this summer he comes up for parole.
If all works out
He’ll soon be running the streets again.

Perhaps all of this is coincidence,
A president with legal issues to consider,
Celebrity, at least in the political arena,
Is running for cover, some of his guys probably
Hoping to make their next flight
Free of the shadow cast by their boss.




Photo Credits: Google Images