Monday, June 27, 2022

#SCOTUS v. 2022

gimme an L gimme an I gimme an F

(and an FU2)

gimme an E

womb tomb BOOM

firing squad lethal injection guns and no butter death penalty electric chair let 'em fry more guns carry conceal reveal life penalty choice no choice gimme me a gun Johnny got his give me a bomb cradle to grave

through my fault through my fault through my most grievous fault

mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa

pro-life pro-white pro-gun pro-men pro-right pro-wrong pro-lie

wave the flag

wear it

wrap yourselves in it

sashay in it

sway away

lipstick smeared

ear to ear

grinning gamely

smiling widely

in your robes

your Robespierre robes

Reigning Error

rain of righteousness

razing democracy

raising theocracy




Monday, June 06, 2022

The Orchid Teacher (An Update)

Back in the Time of Quarantine (TOQ), in March 2020, I wrote about the notion that Mother Nature teaches us, not vice versa. Thus, "my" orchids have taught me they bloom and blossom, live and die, in their own time, if at all. Despite my ministrations and proddings, they rebloom when they say so. (Incidentally, are we not still in the TOQ? Some are; most aren't.)

All four of "my" orchids had thus far refrained from expressing themselves via white, yellow, pink, or purple blossoms of the sort they were arrayed with when I received them. 

Fair enough. Have it your way.

I was undaunted. Correction: I was content with who and what they were. I appreciated an applauded the new green leaves that kept on sprouting from the delta of the existing foliage. I had been obeying the most common dictum of successful orchid growers: Benign Neglect. Bowing to the orchids as my teachers, I let them do what they would do, absent resentment, rancor, or expectation.

Or so I say.

Recently, one of the little plants slowly burst forth a shoot that differed from the roots that float into the air or burrow into the matrix like lazy tentacles of a small octopus. This shoot was thinner than the meandering roots and of a different shade of green, less pale. Most surprising of all, it sported buds! No question, those were buds. A half dozen nascent nodules of exuberant blossomitude. This was the secular, natural miracle I was unpraying for.

I was like a kid (secular or religious, Santa Clausified or capitalismified) the week before Christmas.

And then . . . 

And, um, then . . . 

[I can barely bring myself to admit it.]

And then, last evening, I figured I would attach the pregnant branch to the vacant and mournful solitary chopstick the plant came with, the slender sentinel that allows one to clip a branch onto it so it grows upward, according to an unspoken, if vain, aesthetic. Why not? Let's celebrate this vernal renascence with upward mobility! Who needs droopy doldrums perilously inching downward away from the mother-ship green leaves?

As I was gently and delicately trying to curl the tiny fleible clasp embracing the stalk onto the stick, it snapped. Without a sound, but palpable and visible nevertheless. I had grievously injured the vindication and triumph of my do-nothingness. (I was brought up on the Confiteor, during the recitation of which we would beat our breasts over the words "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.") The budding branch was not quite severed, but I suspect it is done for. Kaput. For good measure (really, as a quixotic gesture if ever there was one), as a palliative I curled some plastic tape around the trauma site. Perhaps it would allow some sort of mysterious recovery. This was like putting masking tape around a broken arm.  

I was so distraught I could not tell anyone until the next day, when I confessed to my beloved a "crime against Nature, possibly unforgivable."

Maybe it will survive and prevail. Most likely not. There are other fish in the sea, other orchids in the jungle, blah blah blah.


The orchid teacher is teaching me a painfully obvious lesson:


Monday, May 30, 2022

Tragedy in Loco Parentis

it becomes a shorthand

a savage synecdoche

for which we have no synonyms

except blood nightmare shred death 

and sinews of sadness singing

an aria without words or melody


a broken record


Columbine Cleveland Chardon

Red Lake Nickel Mines (Amish)


they become a shorthand

these slaughters that stream

one into the other flooding

our jaded memories

Sandy Hook Parkland 

Santa Fe (Texas) Oxford (Township)

Uvalde (now) (this) (again) (AR-15) (again) (kids) (children) (innocents) (once) (again) (thoughts and prayers) (makeshift memorials) (flowers flowers flowers) (teddy bears) (magazines) (again) (clips) (bullets) (this) (now again)


sobs cries wails sobs screams cries sobs


. . . and then the inevitable onslaught of cliches promises jingoism flag-waving theories speculations loner angry boy boy boy male man young troubled loner rage pent-up why why why NRA July 4 lobbyists money money money marketing male rage against the what the who my rights my rights my rights protect me from me the land of the free

except for the cost

the incalculable cost


[  ]

[ . . . ]

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Mother's Day Song


Mater Jubilaei / Mother of Joyful Things

This was originally posted on Mother's Day, 2021. I happened upon it either accidentally or providentially, your pick, on YouTube: It's a mystery to me as to who wrote the words. Is it Tosca Donati, the Italian singer and actress featured on the YouTube linked here? Is it an old hymn? After all, it's in Latin, is it not? I fake-translated the Latin words below (I can't remember how I found them) into this poem, from a memory of Latin, undictionaried, laden with a memory of my mother, who died in 2018, at 102. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you. 


I look for one

expecting all: sure that more is to come

why expect so little

pray it to your falcon wings

tell me what you ask of me

seeking the core of better things

Mother of joy, joy

of motherhood, Mother of eternity . . . 

Eternal Mother

of all things Everlasting Motherness

circumspicio una
Omnes expectant : certe aliquis veniet
Cur exspectetis mini
dicite vos peregrini.
Quem quaeras mihi dic,
cor meliora petens.
Mater jubilaei, jubilum
matris, Mater aeternitatis...
Aeternitatis mater,
Aeternitas omnium Matrum

Friday, May 06, 2022

Birds of a Feather

stick together

more or less

some more than others

hummingbirds a thousand

and penguins eighty times that

we're talking feathers here

not rathers or druthers, mind you


birds of feathers

feathers of birds

tough as leathers

smooth as lies

thick as thieves

coats of armour


so, what of humans

what of us

unfeathered and untethered

flights of fancy

fighting nights of fire

what about us

humans, unwinged and unhinged

skinned alive

or skinned dead

humans, if only we could soar

where would we fly to

who would we be

and how

tell us, oh Phoenix



Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Measure of a Man

for Thomas F. Coman Sr. 

Just one

Of a kindness


These days

A mensch among men

Placid amid the storm

Sheltering steadiness

Rising above it all

Anonymous not clamorous 

Good and faithful servant 

Well done

Done well 

Light perpetual 

Shine in silence 

So be it

Be it so

Ever and anon

Shore-ward sailing

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Six Feet

remember that yardstick?

(more like two of them)

a metric that mattered

(so we were told)

social distancing

defining where

one aura began

another ended

(I should have said era)

up there


not that 6 feet

for god's sake

and then today

or was it yesterday

(time has become so timeless)

as I walked by the school

elementary, so primary

colors, I saw those chalk outlines

body shapes

pastel designs

I am sorry to report

that reminded me 

of a TV crime scene

(a not-very-parenthetical aside

I am told)

all kidding aside

I wish I didn't go there

don't you

I wish we all did not

go there or anywhere

like that 

#SCOTUS v. 2022

gimme an L gimme an I gimme an F (and an FU2) gimme an E womb tomb BOOM firing squad lethal injection guns and no butter death penalty elect...