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Bob B 19m
Drone strike in Afghanistan.
Now the Pentagon admits
That it made a BIG mistake
That blew ten Afghan civilians to bits.

The day: August 31.
Sometimes calculations are wrong
And happen when we stay involved
In places where we don't belong.

Three adults and seven children.
Mistakes like this have happened before.
Thousands of civilian deaths
Occurred during our 20-year war.

A "reasonable certainty."
That is what it takes to get
The U.S. military to bomb
What it thinks is a dangerous threat.

What about upping the threshold?
Regarding such strikes, have we not
Considered that "reasonable" should be
Changed to "certain"? Food for thought.

"Collateral damage": an ugly expression.
So many innocent people have died
In wars that are unnecessary.
How can that be justified?

"Over the horizon operations."
With zero accountability? Why?
If we plan to continue such strikes,
Then more innocent people will die.

Incomprehensible suffering.
Will the U.S. at long last
Dig down deep to find some answers
And learn from its mistakes in the past?

-by Bob B (9-19-21)
Bob B 1d
Russian elections. Oh, boy!
It's THAT time again.
If you said it's time for Putin
To go, I'd say, "Amen!"

But with the help of Apple and Google,
Putin has made it clear
That anyone who wants him to win
Has nothing at all to fear.

He still stifles dissent by either
Putting you in jail
Or finding another way to stop you
That he hopes won't fail.

He doesn't have a very high
Approval rating, but still,
If there's a way to rig an election,
Of course, find it he will.

It would be so nice to be able
To wish the Russians well.
But is there a chance that Putin could lose?
Ha! No chance in hell.

-by Bob B (9-18-21)
Bob B 1d
Arrested insurrectionists
Are being called by some on the right
"Political prisoners." It seems
That reason and sense have taken flight.

People who are out to hurt
Others and who are inciting fear
Are being called "patriots"!
My goodness! What is happening here?

Elected officials across the country
Are being threatened by the "mob"
For doing what is required of them--
For merely carrying out their job.

Health officials are also threatened
For doing what is expected of them--
For saving lives. How could that
Be something that people would condemn?

From many far-right extremists we're seeing
Violence being normalized,
The effect of which is rapidly causing
The country to be more polarized.

Odious thugs are recruiting thugs.
Election results are constantly being
Questioned for NO legitimate reasons!
It's hard to believe what we are seeing.

And organizers are padding their pockets
While they peddle misinformation.
Threatening our democracy,
They chip away at its very foundation.

What is happening resembles
That which happens when autocrats flower--
When violent thugs pave the way
For fascist leaders to rise to power.

-by Bob B (9-18-21)
Bob B 4d
A lion, a fox, and an *** went hunting.
Then they had to divide the *****.
The *** was very pleased that the lion
Had conferred on him the duty.

The *** divided the ***** into
Three equal portions. He was quick!
Then he turned to the other two
And calmly said, "Take your pick."

Immediately, the lion pounced
Upon the *** and tore him to pieces.
(I guess the *** was rather naïve
And oblivious to lions' caprices.)

The fox, having observed the scene
And knowing the proper protocol,
Divided the ***** into TWO portions--
One was large; the other was small.

"Ah!" said the lion. "That is perfect.
How did you ever get so smart?"
"I watched what happened to the ***,"
Replied the fox, "and took it to heart."

From the fable we can learn
That we do NOT need to wear glasses
To see that we can learn from others'
Misfortunes, even if they are *****.

But there is still a little matter
About the fable that's hard to ignore:
Why would an *** hunt with a lion?
Since when was a donkey a carnivore?

-by Bob B (9-15-21)

°An Aesop fable, "The Lion, The Fox, and the ***," retold here in verse
Bob B 5d
(This poem can be sung to the melody of "America: My Country, 'Tis of Thee.")

Something can't be dismissed:
Two nations now exist
In this great land.
How did this come about?
How did divisions sprout?
How did mistrust and doubt
Get out of hand?

One nation wants to be
Ruled by democracy.
That is its goal.
It always sets it sights
On people's voting rights.
When freedom hits the heights,
We will be whole.

Our other nation seems
Sold out to gross extremes.
That's how it thrives.
It finds itself at ease
With fake conspiracies.
On truth it puts the squeeze,
Yet it survives.

One nation has no ties
With far-fetched myths and lies.
Hope is its guide--
Hope that we can be free
From an autocracy--
Hope for equality:
May it abide!

Our other nation cleaves
To myths that it believes
Will make it strong.
*******, it will state,
Is that which makes it great.
Pow'r to discriminate
Is its theme song.

Our country, will it last,
Or is our split too vast?
What do we need?
Let truth and reason reign.
From hatred let's abstain.
Let's all be more humane.
Make that our creed.

-by Bob B (9-14-21)
Bob B 6d
All day long a fisherman stood,
fishing in a river.
Although he was ambitious, he
Was failing to deliver.

He pulled in his net a final time,
Intending to walk away,
For he was rightfully weary, and it
Was time to call it a day.

"It's too bad," he sighed, trying
Not to be upset,
When all of a sudden he noticed a fish
Squirming about in his net.

The tiny fish pleaded and pleaded
With him to set it free.
"I am HARDLY worth the effort.
Wouldn't you agree?

"Throw me back into the river,
So I can grow for a spell.
When I've become a larger fish,
I could serve you well.

"Right now I am just a tiny,
Insignificant thing.
But later you could put me on
A platter fit for a king."

"What do you take me for--a fool?"
The fisherman replied.
"That you do not amount to much
Cannot be denied.

"How in the world could you expect
That I should release you when
Both YOU and I know that I would never,
Ever see you again?

"Why let go of a certainty,
For something uncertain? And so
You're going home with me, and into
The frying pan you'll go."

The moral? Once in a while because of
The situation you're in,
You must be creative if you
Want to save your skin.

Another moral isn't about
Trying to  save your ****.
It goes as follows: a bird in the hand
Is worth TWO in the bush.

-by Bob B (9-13-21)

°An Aesop fable retold here in verse
Bob B Sep 11
Where were you on 9/11
When the frightening news was reported--
When all over the country airline
Flights had to be aborted?

Was your TV show interrupted
With images on your TV screen--
Images that for many were
The scariest that they'd ever seen?

"At my office." "Driving to work."
"In my class." "At the store."
"Watching the kids." "At the gym."
"Just about to walk out the door."

When we got to a TV set,
We gazed at the screen in disbelief.
Minute by minute each news report
Compounded both our terror and grief.

It was hard to comprehend
The sudden loss of so many lives--
Children, friends and relatives,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives.

On that day, life for all of us changed.
Sadly, now there's no going back
To how we lived before that time.
When will there be another attack?

Terrorist threats had long existed.
That's a fact that we can't dispute.
However, we also have to fear
Domestic terrorists to boot.

Also, on a single day
The COVID virus has been the cause
Of more deaths than on 9/11.
That number ought to give us pause.

Since 9/11, twenty years
Have passed, yet threats to our lives don't cease.
Question: Can we preserve our freedoms
And also achieve lasting peace?

-by Bob B (9-11-21)
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