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Bob B Nov 2018
We'd like to think that we could go
Out for an evening and not have to worry
That we are going to end up being
The helpless victim of a gunman's fury.

One would think that mass shootings
In which so many lives are lost
Might compel lawmakers
To stop the killings at any cost.

When so many shootings occur
On American soil year after year,
Don't enough people wonder
What the hell is happening here?

What are people waiting for?
How many more victims will die?
Must we sit by helplessly
While lawmakers turn a blind eye?

Another horrific act of violence
Occurred at the Borderline Bar & Grill
When a solitary gunman
Had one thing on his mind: to ****.

Eleven young people gunned down.
An officer shot dead as well.
Only survivors who were present
Can talk about their glimpse of hell.

The killer, too, lost his life
From a wound, possibly self-inflicted.
Some say in retrospect
His actions could have been predicted.

No one can fathom the suffering
Of the victims' parents, families and friends--
Their heartache and anguish from knowing that
Their loved ones met such violent ends.

Just two weeks before Thanksgiving!
This year it will be a chore
To ask the parents staring at empty
Seats what they are thankful for.

A call to action is the only response
To the horror that this nightmare evokes
When twelve innocent victims must
Lose their lives in Thousand Oaks.

Remember the victims:

Sgt. Ron Helus (54)
Sean Adler (48)
Cody Coffman (22)
Blake Dingman (21)
Jake Dunham (21)
Alaina Housley (18)
Daniel Manrique (33)
Justin Meek (23)
Mark Meza (20)
Kristina Morisette (20)
Telemachus Orfanos (27)
Noel Sparks (21)

A mother of one of the victims has said,
"Here are my words. I want gun control.
I don't want prayers. I don't want thoughts."

-by Bob B (11-9-18)
Bob B Feb 2018
Twenty-oh-six was a good year for Trump--
A fifth child, some love affairs.
We could go into greater detail
But maybe that would be splitting hairs.

Did we say that the little flings
Both took place during his marriage?
I guess certain institutions
Are fair game to flout or disparage.

Two ladies--a ***** star
And an ex-******* bunny--have stories,
Both of which put them in
Slightly different categories.

Both ladies received hush money
During the presidential campaign
In different ways, but nonetheless,
Silence is sometimes hard to maintain.

Despite substantial payoffs, Trump
Denies the affairs even occurred.
But people wonder how many more
Times he's said, "Mum's the word."

How the president wants to define
His marriage--we must reiterate--
Is up to him. Hopefully it's
Appropriate for a chief of state.

We also think that a president
Should be sincere in matters political
And not live a double standard
And act in a manner that's hypocritical.

For white evangelicals
Trump's behavior undermines
Nothing, for didn't Solomon
Have three hundred concubines?

-by Bob B (2-17-18)
Bob B Jan 2019
Twenty eighteen has come and gone,
And all I can say is, What a year!
That twenty nineteen will also be
Just as crazy is crystal clear.

Mass shootings once again
Shook the country, taking a toll
On all of us, and yet very little
Has been done about gun control.

Always the center of controversies,
Trump again tried to assuage
The public by pleading ignorance
When Stormy Daniels took center stage.

Then we learned that Trump had paid
Hush money to flings at least TWICE
In hopes to secure his chances of winning
The twenty sixteen election. How nice!

A lot of Trump's team have left
Through the admin's revolving door,
Always mired in controversy.
There are bound to be many more.

Trump has proved he loves his tyrants
More than he loves our allies and friends.
Ignoring advice from experts, he'll do
Whatever Putin recommends.

Hurricanes caused major flooding;
California was ravaged by fires.
Yet dire warnings go unheeded
By stalwart climate change deniers.

The separation of families seeking
Asylum showed a callous side
Of Trump and his team, whose inhumane
Actions cannot be denied.

Year two of investigations…
Manafort, Gates, Cohen, and Flynn
Are talking more, while the walls
Around Donald Trump are closing in.

Meanwhile Trump continues to lie.
There's no end to his subterfuge.
How many lies? Eight thousand?
And Giuliani plays his stooge.

Kavanagh got a Supreme Court seat
After a sham investigation,
Which shows how Trump maintains the belief:
What's good for Trump is good for the nation.

November saw a welcome blue wave
Sweep through the House. Such a delight!
This should end Nunes' obstruction
Of justice. There will be oversight!

We lost three prominent people:
Barbara and George Bush and McCain.
Very few members of
The old Republican guard remain.

Trump cannot stop harping on
His WALL--a waste of money and time.
With our crumbling infrastructure,
Building his "wall" would be a crime.

What will the New Year bring forth?
Perhaps an indictment? Perhaps an arraignment?
Since Trump loves to be the star,
THAT'S what I'd call entertainment!

-by Bob B (1-1-19)
Bob B Jan 2020
In twenty nineteen, what we saw
Was a truly historic event:
The House of Representatives
Impeached the country's president.

That was only the third time
In two hundred forty-three years.
But he will likely remain in office--
At least that's how it now appears.

Moscow Mitch has already said
That he won't be an impartial judge.
Impeachments, he says, are political.
From his opinion I doubt he'll budge.

A trial in McConnell's Senate would be
A "wham, bam, thank you, ma'am."
In other words, a Senate impeachment
Trial would be a total sham.

Concerned voters across the country
Have to make an important decision:
Will 2020 unite the country,
Or will there be even greater division?

After months of campaign madness,
We'll have a chance to see what ensues.
Maybe a change in the presidency?
Wouldn't that be wonderful news?

-by Bob B (1-1-20)
Bob B Oct 2016
So MARY loved a little lamb—
Especially on her plate.
But watch out, Mary: too much lamb
Can make you overweight.
HUMPTY DUMPTY sat on the wall.
Learn from his mistake.
If you are not mindful, you
Could also fall and break.
Forget about a basket.
Do what you are told
Or your folks will blow a gasket!
JACK SPRAT could eat no fat.
Too much fat could **** him.
But mounds of veggies on his plate
Certainly don't thrill him.
If MRS. SPRAT could eat no lean
And just the fatty parts,
Wasn’t her cholesterol level
Jumping off the charts?
MISTRESS MARY, quite contrary,
Brags about her garden,
Which, she adds, is quite unique.
****! Oops, beg your pardon.
Are silver bells and cockle shells
Much to brag about?
I guess they are more practical
When there is a drought.
JACK B. NIMBLE was pretty slick,
Although he was a nut.
Don’t play around with candlesticks,
Or you could burn your ****.
Invest your money and watch it grow.
It’s good to save and not to owe,
GEORGIE PORGIE made the girls cry
Every time he kissed ‘em.
They didn’t like that chauvinist
And the way he dissed ‘em.
Did JACK AND JILL go up the hill
Really to get water?
What kind of H2O
Would make him swerve and totter?
If these days PETER put his wife
In a pumpkin shell,
He'd never hear the end of it;
Boy, she’d give him hell!

- by Bob B
Bob B Nov 2017
Another mass shooting has
Caused the deaths of twenty-six people.
This time the atrocity
Occurred under a church's steeple--

Not in a major city, but
In a small Texan community,
Showing that death from firearms here
Is an equal opportunity.

If four or more people shot
Or killed at a certain time and place
Defines mass shootings, then here they are
Happening at an alarming pace.

Three hundred seven mass shootings
Have taken place so far this year,
According to one report.
One thing's definitely clear:

Gun violence is out of control.
Acknowledging that is how one starts
To deal with a scary situation
That people think is off the charts.

When some want to discuss the matter,
There goes an altercation
As others accuse them of trying to
Politicize a situation--

Politicize a tragedy.
But frankly, when all is said and done,
Like it or not, the issue of gun
Violence IS a political one!

It would help if our leadership
Would deal with the problem directly and not
Placate donors and lobbyists
Whose self-serving baloney they've bought.

All countries have mental health
Problems; we’re not the only ones,
Says the president. So the problem
Is mental illness and NOT guns.

In all countries, mental health
Issues exist. No disputing.
But other countries do not have
The problem of shooting after shooting.

Thoughts and prayers for all affected
Certainly have a role to play.
But the bigger issue is something
That can't be simply prayed away.

-by Bob B (11-6-17)
Bob B Oct 2016
Forty-nine bodies lay in Orlando
Morgues waiting to be promptly claimed,
Which forty-eight families did.
One, however, was too ashamed.

One body lay unidentified--
Alone, rejected, day after day--
Because a stone-hearted father
Objected to his son's being gay.

So intransigent, so consumed
By his intolerant, cherry-picked views,
A father preferred to leave his son lying
In a cold morgue. Heart-breaking news!

After the horror of the nightclub massacre,
Adding insult to injury that dad
Showed the capacity of the human heart
To lack compassion. How very sad!

Extended family of the young victim
Later convinced authorities to release
The body into their care, so now
The abandoned son can rest in peace.

For years did the son have any support
From his dad, or was it too much bother?
One thing we know without a doubt:
The son deserved a better father.

- by Bob B
When I heard the story of this cold-hearted father on the news in June, I was flabbergasted. How insensitive can people be? We humans have a long way to go if we keep allowing dogma to prevent us from being compassionate beings.
Bob B Aug 2017
Fifty-two years ago
The people of the US saw
President Lyndon Johnson sign
The Voting Rights Act into law.

Our leaders and our Supreme Court
Have since struck down important protections
That came with the VRA,
Affecting our freedom and future elections.

Our right to vote is under attack--
A blow in the gut to Uncle Sam.
The president's new Voter Fraud
Commission is real sham.

Applying more obstacles
That make it harder for people to vote
Is not conducive for keeping our
Democratic values afloat.

The reasons for the assaults on our rights
Are obvious and calculating.
Believers of democracy
Should find them all infuriating.

It's sad and scary to see our leaders
Limit our rights with no remorse.
But clearly for our president,
That, good people, is par for the course.

(8-7-17) By Bob B
Bob B Oct 2019
Hey, I've made it to 900!
That's a lot from what I've been told.
But first, let me be very clear:
I don't mean 900 years old!

Nine hundred means 900 poems--
Poems I've "published" online so far.
The topics vary from poem to poem
As I expand my repertoire.

People ask me why I do it.
It just became a way to express
My feelings about the world around me--
A personal challenge, more or less.

When people don't like my style and imply
It's THEIR way or the highway,
I say, "You write in YOUR manner;
I'LL write my poems MY way."

What will inspire me next? Who knows?
I call on my Muse for inspiration,
To help me articulate my thoughts
Without seeking approbation.

I like music--songs and ballads--
And often write poems that can be sung.
And though I know a few languages,
I always write in my mother tongue.

Politics I find intriguing;
Thus, I often feel compelled
To let my poems comment on life
And not to let my voice be quelled.

Of course, that gets me in trouble sometimes,
Especially when I arouse
People's ire by commenting on
Or criticizing their sacred cows.

I’d like to say that writing's a breeze,
But, no, that would not be true.
So here you have it: poem 900.
I dedicate this one to you.

-by Bob B (10-22-19)
Bob B Sep 2018
Seventeen years ago
America was shaken to the core.
Since not too long after that
We've been involved in a non-stop war.

Homeland security
Became an issue that since then
Hoped to assure Americans
That such attacks won't happen again.

During the past seventeen years
Many measures have been taken
To make us safe; however, it's time
For sleeping minds to reawaken.

Lacking foresight, our president
Has gone after the people who
Have worked to make us safe. The man
Doesn't seem to have a clue.

Discrediting investigators,
Removing them from key positions,
And pulling security clearances
Because of paranoid suspicions

Will only make us vulnerable
To future terrorist attacks.
Watch how his Republican friends
In Congress support him. Political hacks!

The president also hates
When investigators eye
American involvement with
The Russian mafia. We know why.

It's hard to watch as the president--
With almost each careless endeavor--
Stupidly goes out of his way
To make us more unsafe than ever.

-by Bob B (9-11-18)
Bob B Sep 2021
As Donald Trump continues to spin
Stories about the presidential
Election that he didn't win.

Republicans have shamelessly caved.
A large percent of them embrace
Trump's Big Lie about the election,
Mainly because they fear his base.

It was in the guise of an audit
That proved to be essentially
Nothing but a wasteful fraudit.

Costing millions of dollars and taking
Five months for ballot inspections,
It only helped to undermine
People's trust in future elections.

While the right keeps spreading tales
Of thousands of immigrants coming here
To vote in order to tip the scales.

The fearmongers are not subtle.
In fact, their rants are quite overt.
Spreading lies and paranoia,
They proudly sling their racist dirt.

As more info comes to light
Of how Trump tried to overturn
Election results with all his might.

When people in power blur the truth,
Deceive the public, and then retell
History, they're on the path
To shoot democracy to hell.

-by Bob B (9-25-21)
Bob B Aug 2018
Yesterday was a rotten one
For Donald Trump. What a shame!
In desperation Trump has jumped
Out of the frying pan into the flame.

His friend and former campaign manager,
Paul Manafort, was convicted
On eight felony counts, although
More convictions had been predicted.

Then his lawyer, Michael Cohen,
Pleaded guilty on eight counts
And implicated the president
In a felony, as the tension mounts.

Trump is an unindicted co-
Conspirator in a federal crime,
According to Cohen--something that many
Have suspected all the time.

Also, an early supporter in Congress,
Hunter Duncan, was indicted
For the misuse of campaign funds.
Do all who touch Trump become blighted?

Meanwhile, Omarosa says
She has many more tapes to play.
It almost seems as though the president's
Teflon coating is wearing away.

As Trump's Republican defenders
In Congress flat out refuse to condemn
Trump's actions, people wonder,
"What does Putin have on THEM?"

"I always hire the best people,"
Donald Trump would frequently boast.
Stay away from Donald Trump
Or you, too, are going to be toast.

-by Bob B (8-22-18)
Bob B Dec 2018
This is the tale of a girl
Only seven years old
Who came here from Guatemala.
Let her story be told.

Jakelin Caal Maquin
Came here with her dad
With hopes of seeking asylum,
Before everything went bad.

People seeking refuge
Are dangerously exposed
To inhumane conditions
When ports of entry are closed.

Through the desert they wandered
With others of the same mind
Seeking a place of safety
And leaving danger behind.

At least that's what they hoped for.
They hadn't had a clue
That cruelty existed
Here in America, too.

When they turned themselves in,
It's said that father and daughter
For several wearisome days
Hadn't had food or water.

The child started having
Seizures, the records show--
A nightmare for the father
Who suffered this tale of woe.

Possible dehydration,--
Doctors later expressed--
Shock and exhaustion led
To cardiac arrest.

A hospital in El Paso
Was where she took her last breath.
A new life was their goal;
What they encountered was death.

The head of the DHS--
Nielsen--places the blame
All on Jakelin's father.
The woman has no shame.

The callous disrespect
Of international law
Regarding asylum seekers
Reveals her major flaw.

Must we blame the victims?
We must ask ourselves why
There aren't better solutions
So more children won't die.

Sorry, Jakelin.
We must apologize
For our officials who thrive
On heartlessness and lies.

-by Bob B (12-15-18)
Bob B Feb 2017
This is the song of a Dreamer.
You would be hard-pressed to find
A more likable person.
He is one of a kind.

He moved to California;
From south of the border he came--
A four-year-old with his family.
Futuro, we'll say, was his name.

Futuro's father and mother
Worked very hard to provide
A good life for their children--
Something that they'd been denied.

Schooling was very important.
Futuro strove to excel.
He wanted his parents to see him
And his three siblings do well.

His college graduation
Made his parents so proud.
The smiles on their faces were something--
The biggest smiles in the crowd.

Futuro landed employment.
Later things went awry
When a cop pulled him over
And gave him a DUI.

That's when the nightmare started
Futuro was able to see
What it was like to be treated
Like a detainee.

Belongings were confiscated.
His hands and feet were chained,
As if he were a convict
Who had to be restrained.

They gave him no information
And moved him from place to place.
Each detention center
Was an utter disgrace.

Conditions were atrocious.
The rooms were damp and cold.
The food was barely edible
After you scraped off the mold.

Thanks to our heartless leaders.
Thanks to the CCA.°
We have detention centers
Where people are treated this way.

Such centers often become
A two- or three-year address
For many detainees caught in
A bureaucratic mess.

These for-profit prisons,
Based on what we know,
Are an assault on our freedom.
Let's face it: they've got to go.

When we civilized people
Treat human beings like this--
Worse than we treat an animal--
There is something amiss.

Futuro, well, he was lucky.
He was released on bail.
Now his fate is in limbo.
At least he's no longer in jail.

Must he hide in the shadows?
Must he be on the run?
What will it take for Futuro
To walk in the light of the sun?

Give Futuro your blessings.
Give the hopeful your praise.
May our eyes be opened.
May we see brighter days.

(2-24-17) By Bob B

°Corrections Corporation of America
Bob B Sep 2021
This is a tale about voting--
Something that we take for granted.
But what we see happening here
Is leaving folks quite disenchanted.

Democracy counts on its voters
To shape it and keep it alive.
If votes are taken away,
How will it ever survive?

After a failed Reconstruction,
Voter restrictions took root
Way down in ol' Mississippi.
Then other states followed suit.

In many states people kept seeking
Unfair ways of promoting
Strategies that were intended
To stop many Blacks from voting.

Imagine: you show up to vote.
You wouldn't get very far
If YOU had to guess the number
Of jellybeans in a jar.

Or let's say that you were forced
To pass an unfair test
Or pay what you couldn't afford.
Those were ways votes were suppressed.

Intimidation became
Another tool that was used
In places where Blacks cast their votes.
That shows how our rights were abused.

Congress had to step in
To pass legislation to take
Biased laws off the books.
There was so much at stake.

But red states now are trying
To make it harder once more
For people of color to vote
With laws that we ought to deplore.

Americans should be united
In helping democracy grow.
However, in order to do that,
Jim Crow laws have to go.
Yes, in order to do that,
Jim Crow laws have to go.

-by Bob B (9-21-21)
Bob B Oct 2016
A beginning is often an ending;
An ending is often a beginning.
Sometimes winning is losing;
Sometimes losing is winning.
Bad can come out of good;
Good can come out of bad.
Something that makes one happy
Might make someone else sad.
Though giving is better than receiving,
Sometimes receiving is giving.
Living leads to death;
Death contributes to living.
Bliss to some is ignorance;
Ignorance to some is bliss.
To one a miss is a hit;
To another a hit is a miss.
Sometimes we laugh when we cry;
Sometimes we cry when we laugh.
A bold move to you,
To me might be a gaffe.
A lie can sound like the truth;
The truth can sound like a lie;
Some people seem very distant,
Even though they're nearby.
You have to know to ask,
And you have to ask to know.
We need the earth, yes?
Does the earth need us? No!

- by Bob B
Bob B Sep 2019
Finally, you did it, Congress!
WHAT took you so long?
For almost three years you've dealt with a man
Who doesn't know right from wrong.

Lying to us and abusing his power
Since day number one,
The man has wreaked inordinate damage.
Can it be undone?

Asking a foreign power for help
To win the next election
Shows how his impropriety
Is carried out to perfection.

Of course he'll scream, "Witch hunt! Witch hunt!"
That's his usual ploy.
He'll play the martyr to his fans
And be the whipping boy.

His team's composed of so many lackeys
Nearly as base as he
Who are willing to lie to protect him
To the nth degree.

Some people were slow to come
On board the impeachment train.
Now the momentum ought to be
Easy to sustain.

Will Trump receive support from his toadies
In Congress? You bet he will.
Although they’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, they
Haven’t had their fill.

There are members of Congress who
Never will condemn
Trump’s devious behavior! Well,
Shame on all of them!

Hop on board the train when it
Reaches the nearest station.
It’s for the sake of all of us that
It reach its destination!

-by Bob B (9-26-19)
Bob B Oct 2019
With help from his lawyers, the man who loves
To have his name displayed on towers
Is now trying to make a case
That basically gives him unlimited powers.

His lawyers say that he should be
Shielded from all investigation
While he serves as president.
What a scary situation!

Even if he attempted to ******
Another person, no one could stop him.
When it comes to immunity,
No one else in the country can top him.

Regarding U.S. federal workers,
Here's what POTUS has even suggested:
In order to keep their jobs, their
Devotion to him ought to be tested!

He encouraged his lackeys in Congress
To storm impeachment proceedings like fools,
Where they interrupted business
And violated ethics rules.

Since he took office, the president
Has constantly chipped away
At many American institutions.
He also loves his pay for play!

In other words, the White House insists--
And this should stick in everyone's craw--
That no matter what he does,
The president's above the law.

Americans should be concerned.
This grasping for power affects us acutely.
As Orwell showed in "Animal Farm,"
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

How many rules will he flout?
When will all the nonsense end?
To what depths of depravity
Can the president descend?

So Kim Jong Un, Putin, and other
Dictators worldwide,
Donald Trump longs to join you.
Will you kindly step aside?

-by Bob B (10-24-19)
Bob B Aug 9
I heard a knock upon the door.
“A knock so late at night?”
I felt a strong presentiment
That something wasn’t right.

Toward the door I inched my way
And stood with bated breath.
I opened it, and there I stood--
Face to face with Death.

He said, “Don’t let me bother you.
It isn’t TOO late, is it?
I was in the neighborhood
And thought I’d pay a visit.”

“Death, be gone! I am not ready
For eternal sleep.”
And quoting Frost, I told him I had
“Promises to keep.”

“Once you’re gone, that won’t matter,”
He said. “And furthermore,
The only thing that matters is
What’s happened heretofore.”  

“That’s not true,” I told him. “There is
Always much to do.
Karmic causes and effects
Bring constant revenue.

“By revenue I do not mean
Individual worth;
I mean how our actions help
To benefit dear Earth.”

“Poor thing,” said Death. “Everything
Must pass. Don’t you see?
All that you have done dissolves
Once you come with me.”

“Oh, you are so wrong,” I countered.
“Every worthy action
Has a positive effect--
If only just a fraction--

“And those effects live on and on.
And, no, they do not die.
There’s more to accomplish here,
So, therefore, pass me by.”

And so Death turned to walk away
And gave me a reprieve.
I guess he wasn’t so dead set
On forcing me to leave.

Maybe he’ll find someone ready
To go, with spirits beaming.
Or else he’ll try to drag away
Someone kicking and screaming.

-by Bob B (8-8-22)
Bob B Nov 2020
Back a rat into a corner
And you will find without a doubt
That it becomes surprisingly vicious
As it angrily lashes out.

So if that is your plan of attack,
Heed the warning: be prepared!
Be sure you have the tools you need;
And, above all, don’t be scared.

The best thing to do would be
To stop the problems before they begin.
Be certain that your house is secure
So that no rats can find their way in.

Check the foundation; walk around
And fix whatever the structure lacks.
Don't let the vermin sneak inside
By making **** sure there aren't any cracks.

You can put your house in order.
Consider how much you will have gained.
But don't forget to be vigilant:
A dwelling has to be maintained.

A strong, secure house is the best
Protection against dangerous pests.
Then you can live in relative peace.
At least that is what wisdom suggests.

-by Bob B (11-9-20)
Bob B Jan 2020
Something has happened, and I'd be remiss
If I neglected to tell you this:
There's reason to worry, but try to calm down.
Acrobat is back in town!
His ancestors lived at the Long Beach Pike
Starting way back in the days of Ike.
You have a right to be concerned,
For people all over the town have been burned.
Not a very good diplomat
Is Acrobat, the harbor cat.

When you're dining, be on guard:
He doesn't leave a calling card.
Calamari has its appeal,
But sushi is Acrobat's favorite meal.
He'll ****** the salmon right off of the rice.
(He much prefers seafood to mice.)
Before fried cod can touch your lips,
He'll steal the fish but leave the chips.
He doesn't need a welcome mat--
Not Acrobat, the harbor cat.

At barbecues it's always unclear
How certain items can disappear.
So if you are missing a sausage or two,
A chicken leg, or even a few,
It's not too hard to believe, is it,
That Acrobat was paying a visit?
Swiping food for him is a cinch.
But rodents…well…they'll do in a pinch.
Be on the lookout if you are a rat
For Acrobat, the harbor cat.

There are some who can outfox a fox.
Just after dawn on the fishing docks,
Out of the blue, someone yells, "Wait!
What has happened to all my bait?"
While he stands there scratching his head,
They say that behind the cleaning shed,
Hidden among the buckets and mops,
Acrobat sits, licking his chops.
He won't hang around and stay for a chat--
Not Acrobat, the harbor cat.

Now Acrobat, a cagey sort,
Doesn't believe in child support.
He WON'T help raise his progeny
And blames it all on phylogeny.
He's quite the dandy and quite the cad.
But watch out if you make him mad.
I would wager that many regret
Ignoring him as a credible threat.
You really want to avoid a spat
With Acrobat, the harbor cat.

-by Bob B (1-23-20)
Bob B Mar 2020
As Trump gets more obnoxious, his
Approval ratings rise.
Why can't more Americans see
The danger in his lies?

The man's a total disaster; he's
A wheel missing some spokes.
At first he lied at his rallies, saying
COVID-19 was a hoax.

Now he wants to expunge those words
From all the records, of course.
He's doing it to save his hide; it's not
Because he feels remorse.

Misinforming the public's a ploy
He's done all along.
He would prefer to croak than ever
Admit that he was wrong.

As governors scramble to fight a virus,
Requests go unheeded.
States compete for medical
Supplies badly needed.

Many people's lives are at risk.
Health workers require
Protective gear, for they are directly
In the line of fire.

"America first" has long been Trump's
Pretended aspiration.
We ARE first: we have more cases
Than any other nation--

Cases of COVID-19, that is.
The numbers, too, are rising.
Due to our government's slow response,
That is not surprising.

Testing, testing, testing is key,
Experts keep repeating.
To act without adhering to facts
Is totally self-defeating.

Experts, speak out! Don't be afraid
Of Trump's tantrums and wrath.
Failure to give us the truth will lead us
Down a dangerous path.

-by Bob B (3-27-20)
Bob B Sep 2020
Social unrest continues to grow.
Demonstrators demand reform.
And speaking out against police
Brutality is becoming the norm.

But in the fiery clash of ideas,
Occasionally, violence ensues.
Instead of watching the peaceful protests,
We see the violent scenes on the news.

And Trump continues to make false claims.
Instead of helping, he fans the flames.

Counter protesters bring their guns
To meet their opponents--face to face--
Ignoring what is the bottom line:
That guns at protests have no place.

"This will be Biden's America!"
The president threatens in speeches and tweets.
No, Mr. Trump, this is YOUR
America: chaos on city streets.

And Trump's comments cause frustration,
Exacerbating the situation.

Trump and his aides respond to the chaos
By trying to stoke the people's fears.
They say the more violence, the better
Trump's chances of winning four more years.

Instead of seeking a unifying
Response, the president scarily
Makes us wonder how many more
Will die unnecessarily?

The situation grows more dire
As Trump keeps adding fuel to the fire.

-by Bob B (9-1-20)
Bob B Nov 2017
A neighboring star in our galaxy,
Only eleven light-years away--
Which really isn't that far if you
Listen to what astronomers say--

Is called Ross 128.
It's a red dwarf--one among many.
You might know about such stars.
Frankly, I hadn’t heard about any.

Red dwarf stars are stars that are
Very similar to that one--
They are smaller in mass, dimmer,
And live much longer than our Sun.

Orbiting Ross 128
Is Ross 128-b,
A planet that resembles Earth--
At least very possibly.

How amazing it is to wonder
When looking across the great expanse
Of the universe, if other forms
Of life exist! What's the chance?

Some astronomers are elated;
Others aren't, for it's not known
If the planet happens to lie
In what we call the habitable zone.

But if it does, and if it has
Intelligent beings, let's hope they're
More intelligent than we are,
Or they haven't got a prayer.

By the way, current technology
Could get you to the planet, but here's
The problem: the trip would take at least
One hundred forty-one thousand years!

-by Bob B (11-17-17)
Bob B Jul 2019
I dreamed the day finally arrived
When ALL people realized
And understood why Donald Trump
Deserved to be so despised.

People everywhere saw through
His empty words, his lies, his act,
His bigoted, odious promises,
His thought process so inexact.

No one acknowledged his asinine tweets
Or listened to his divisive rants.
No one went to his vacuous rallies
And started shouting racist chants.

No one let him- or herself
Be duped by the man's endless stream
Of worthless gibberish and hateful talk
That once made non-supporters scream.

Our country had respect again
From countries worthy of respect.
Foreign relations were also mended
After having suffered neglect.

No longer did we admire
Autocrats and dictators.
We looked up to our allies and praised
Diplomatic negotiators.

The voices of white supremacy
Were drowned by voices of love and inclusion.
Voting rights would be protected.
That became a foregone conclusion.

Russia and other countries couldn't
Interfere with our elections.
All people living in
The U.S. had equal protections.

Religious freedom meant that people
Could practice beliefs across the nation
And NOT use religion as
A handy excuse for discrimination.

Clean air and clean water
Became a focus, AND what's more,
Climate change wasn't considered
A silly hoax that we should ignore.

Children were not separated
From parents at our border gate.
People weren't dehumanized
And made to feel second rate.

The taxation system was fair
And benefited not only the wealthy.
Everyone had health insurance
With emphasis on being healthy.

To presidential abuse of power
Legislators said farewell.
And egomaniacal Donald Trump
Languished in a prison cell.

What a dream--what a vision--
Where joyous hopes began anew!
If only it could come to fruition!
It would be a dream come true.

-by Bob B (7-19-19)
Bob B Dec 2020
The time had arrived; the sleigh was packed
With toys, toys, toys galore.
The first of many trips for Santa.
(He knew he'd have to go back for more.)

"Time to go," said Santa to all
The reindeer that were hitched to the sleigh.
"We have a lot of work to do,
So we had best be on our way."

Santa met with resistance, however;
Red-nosed Rudolph refused to budge.
Santa thought to himself, "Humph!
I guess they'll need a little nudge."

Suddenly, Mrs. Claus appeared
With Santa's COVID mask in hand.
Santa mumbled quietly,
"Here comes my reprimand."

"You forgot your mask, my dear,"
Said Mrs. Claus. "Wear it now.
I know you think it is inconvenient,
But carelessness I won't allow."

"Dear," said Santa, "it's just one night.
The mask muffles my '**, **, **.'"
"I don't care if it's ONE minute;
Put it on before you go,"

Said Mrs. Claus, growing impatient.
"You wear your mask not just for you;
You also protect others. It's
A wise and considerate thing to do.

"And, Rudolph, make sure he leaves it on.
For if he removes it, there will be
Some trouble here when he comes home,
For he will have to reckon with me."

So Santa kissed his wife good-bye,
Put on his mask, and off he went,
Knowing that in life there were
Precautions one shouldn't circumvent.

-by Bob B (12-16-20)
Bob B Jul 2018
"Donald, you are learning fast.
Let's see what tomorrow brings.
Excuse me for a minute while
I adjust the puppet strings….

"Fooling the public is a must.
Listening to me will ease your fears.
I have been duping people
All over the world for many years.

"You are learning in leaps and bounds.
Sometimes I even think you're smart.
Calling the press the enemy
Is a wonderful way to start.

"Controlling the media is a must.
Your tweets are useful memoranda.
Your Sinclair Group and Fox News
Can help you spread your propaganda.

"It's very important to keep up the lies.
Let your admin team transmit them.
They will ride roughshod over
The people; they won't know what hit them.

"When your attacks on the FBI
And DOJ are intensified,
I can't help admitting that
I get all tingly inside.

"Of course, one thing that makes
It easy for you to break the rules
Is the fact that many of your
Republican members of Congress are fools.

"You also must remember that NATO
Countries are your REAL foes.
When you trash them, I say to myself,
'Donald'***** it on the nose.'

"Oh, about those deals you mentioned...
Well, we can discuss them later.
We appreciate all you're doing
To help us make Russia greater.

"Don't forget: When people mention
Subjects that for you are taboo,
Just stop and ask yourself,
'What would Vladimir Putin do?'"

-by Bob B (7-17-18)
Bob B Aug 2017
Karma is a *****, they say.
We still resist having to learn
That our  missteps have negative
Results that will happen in turn.

Afghanistan, in 1919,
Drove out the British. A definite win
For the landlocked nation. Sixty years later--
In '79--the Russians moved in.

We armed extremists to fight the Russians.
Now, how could that strategy not
Be effective in the long run?
No skin off our teeth, we thought.

The Russians left. Our job was over.
Afghanistan was in disarray.
Our lack of support for a country in shambles
Surely helped to pave the way

For the Taliban to take control.
Anti-American sentiment grew.
The country became a haven for terrorists.
It's useless for us to wish it weren't true.

For the past sixteen years American
Soldiers have fought an ongoing war
Against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The consequences are hard to ignore.

We’re caught up in a vicious circle.
We're stuck in a quagmire--a living hell.
To send more troops to a war we can't win
Is not an easy program to sell.

Have all avenues been considered?
Could the region ever be able
To find a peaceful solution by getting
All parties to come to the table?

We've gotten ourselves in a situation
Where little goes according to plan.
How many more people will die
From fighting in Afghanistan?

(8-24-17) By Bob B
Bob B Oct 2016
A finger pointing at the moon:
Such are the Teachings, they say.
The Writings themselves are not the Truth;
They merely point the way.

Direct experience leads us to
The gateway of the inspired.
Yet trying to describe the ineffable with words
Leaves MUCH to be desired.

Journeying through life we encounter distractions,
Which in their clever fashion
Can obfuscate the clarity
Of the heart of true compassion

Or lead us down a confusing path
Where knowledge and wisdom are blurred,
And the hopes of our transcending the mundane
Are stifled by a word.

Seeking the Truth is a noble goal;
Awareness comes never too soon.
Just be careful not to mistake
The finger for the moon.

- by Bob B
Bob B Nov 2016
The house that I grew up in has changed through the years.
It hides now in the foliage so lush and thick around it.
It holds countless memories--of laughter, tears, and fears--
Despite the ocean of leaves and bushes that have drowned it.
I still can see us playing in what was once a yard--
Croquet, catch, softball, and often kick the can.
Finding things to keep us busy wasn't hard.
We played cops and robbers, tag, and Superman.
I see us in our costumes running out the door,
Eager to fill our trick-or-treat bags with treats.
In December, we rearranged the furniture before
Dad brought home our tree and Mom put out the sweets.
The smell of donuts frying in Mom's old deep fryer
Brought my weekend morning slumber to a halt.
The way she planned out life was something to admire.
She was thoughtful, caring, and organized to a fault.

I still feel the excitement of family get-togethers,
Visits from relatives, parties with our friends.
Our relationships were bonds instead of tethers.
I feel we maintained a love that never ends.
Then there was the time of chaos when my brother
Fell from a car, cracked his head, and almost died.
Though blinded, he survived; but unlike any other,
That was a time when we were terrified.
That house saw me pass through many years of school--
From kindergarten till I got my college degree.
During my hippie years when I thought I was cool,
The house was still my refuge while I was finding me.
Into the house came my newly adopted sister
While I was still in college. Soon the Army called.
I said good-by, but ****! how I missed her!
That was one of the few times I have bawled.
After I'd left for the Army, my parents moved away.
I never once set foot inside that house again.
Although I now live in a different house today;
I keep having dreams of that house from way back when.
Many many things are only memories now;
So many family and friends have departed.
I trust that thoughts of love and gratitude somehow
Will keep me from feeling down and broken-hearted.

- by Bob B
Bob B Nov 2016
Ah, Pinocchio--povero burattino°--
Always in a scrape; always in a jam.
The irresponsible, wooden-headed numbskull
Couldn't help but fall for every scam.
A walking, talking stringless marionette,
Pinocchio really would have had it made
In a modest home with babbo°° Gepetto.
But, instead, the foolish youngster strayed.
Ignoring the advice of the talking cricket,
Pinocchio EVEN smashed it with a hammer.
That right there should have been a reason
To throw the little rascal in the slammer.
The Fox and the Cat had no trouble
Dissuading the puppet from going to school,
Thus involving him in a series of adventures
Which often made him look like a fool.
The Fairy tried to be a good influence,
But Pinocchio's lies caused his nose to grow.
Constantly ignoring responsibilities,
The misguided boy, suffered constant woe.
(Swindled of his money, hanged on a tree,
And saved just in the nick of time
From being eaten, Pinocchio had
Too many adventures to fit into this rhyme.)
Fleeing with his lazy school chum Lucignolo
To the Paese dei balocchi,°°° there Pinocc
Turned into a donkey. Of all his follies,
This one had to be a masterstroke.
Once again a puppet, Pinocchio was swallowed
By a giant Pesce-cane,°°°° and then guess what!
The foolish boy was finally reunited
With babbo Gepetto in the fish's huge gut.
NOT until Pinocchio thought about others
And proved he was an honest and caring boy
Did his fortune start to change for the better,
And the stringless puppet became the real McCoy.
Does Pinocchio by any chance remind you
Of any politicians out there at all
Who fail to listen to expert advice
And thumb their noses at common protocol?
And speaking of noses, we can also see
Politicians' noses grow as they tell lies.
Lying to themselves and to others as well
And ignoring our best interests and flouting compromise.
Such politicians--unlike Pinocchio--
Have strings to pull when performing for the masses.
The more they avoid solving REAL issues,
The more they end up looking like *****.
They also love--these clever burattini--
To sell a bill of goods and promise many things.
But someone out there--or some corporation--
Is slyly and cleverly pulling their strings.
Do you ever wonder if these same politicians
Ever think about or care how you feel?
Will they eventually--as did Pinocchio--
Prove they have what it takes to be real?
°(burattino/i) - poor little puppet
°°(babbo) - dad(dy)
°°°(Paese dei balocchi) - Playland
°°°°(Pesce-cane) - shark

- by Bob B
Bob B Nov 2016
The lion stepped out into the sun
And rubbed his side against a tree.
Surveying his exhibit at the animal park,
He said, "This is the life for me!

"Dinner is served on a regular basis;
I never have to hunt for my food.
I'm served the tastiest horsemeat and mutton.
I even eat rabbit when I'm in the mood.

"There's no fighting to defend my territory;
That to me is a huge relief.
My kickback style might surprise some
And go against popular belief.

"The lady lions share my feelings;
They like my pomp, my manner, my style.
At the same time, they can appear
A bit stand-offish once in a while.

"I can be lazy and sleep for hours,
Or if I choose, I'll romp and play.
And when I start to feel a bit frisky--
Well, THAT'S a topic for another day.

"My friends in the wild suffer from afflictions--
An illness, an infection from a small ****….
If I catch a cold or need attention,
The humans are here to help in a flash.

"Visitors sometimes get on my nerves
As they stand and gawk and stare.
But when that happens, I can always
Ignore them or go off and hide in my lair.

"Or I can lie here and stare at the humans
And fantasize and imagine how great
It could be one day to find
A delicious human on my plate.

"I remain the king of the beasts;
The other animals still quake when I roar.
(Some of the non-differentiating types
Even tremble when I snore.)

"Ah, yes," (yawn) "I have it easy.
Although many would NOT agree.
As far as THIS lion is concerned,
My life is really the life for me."

- by Bob B
Bob B Oct 2016
Ah, to be an ostrich!
I'd bury my head in the sand.
I could remain oblivious
To what was going on in this land.
I'd hide from gnawing hunger
That showed on children’s faces,
And my total lack of involvement
Would leave no guilty traces.
Ah, to be a bear!
I’d hibernate in my cave
And wouldn’t worry about
Those whom I couldn’t save.
The lost and disenfranchised
Could struggle on their own,
While I stayed safe and sound
And slumbered all alone.
Ah, to be a turtle!
I would hide in my shell,
Ignoring world injustice
And abuses here as well.
When the power-grabbing wealthy
Tromped on the rights of the poor,
From such wrongdoing I’d hide
Behind my keratin door.
Ah, to be an eagle!
I'd soar across the sky.
Removed from worldly problems,
I’d never have to ask why
So many people **** others
Because of ideals so absurd.
I could maintain my distance.
How lucky to be a bird!
But being an ostrich is awkward
For people tend to stare
When your head's under the ground
And your **** sticks up in the air.
Being a bear can be hard,
For a cave can be damp and cold,
And not to mention lonely:
I guess that would get very old.
And about being a turtle—
And this is the honest scoop—
Your chances are very good
That you’ll end up in soup.
Finally, on being an eagle:
Though flying brings you great mirth
And you love high altitudes,
You still must come down to earth.

- by Bob B
Bob B Mar 11
Ah, Ukraine! It pains the heart
To see what you are going through.
How are you ever going to survive
What Vladimir Putin is doing to you?

Homes, schools, and hospitals bombed…
Roughly two million people fleeing…
The country's infrastructure collapsing…
It's hard to believe what we are seeing.

All because of an insecure
Madman who rules the country next door--
A madman who lies to his people in order
To justify his cruel war.

Will Putin level all the cities?
"Level"--a horrible palindrome!
What will returning Ukrainians find
Standing if they ever come home?

Putin rules with an iron fist.
For anybody to stop him is tough.
We have to rely on the Russian people
To say, "We have had enough!"

How much more can the rest of the world
Do to help--to ease your pain?
You need much more than cautious concern
To end the anguish, dear Ukraine.

-by Bob B (3-11-22)
Bob B Aug 2021
A woodman went to the forest one day
To beg a favor of some of the trees.
He needed wood for an ax handle
And asked, "Would you help me, please?"

The noblest trees agreed to help him,
Thinking it was a modest request.
The very fact that the woodman had asked them
Was reassuring. They were impressed.

And so the trees offered the woodman
A young sapling of the finest wood,
Out of which he started to fashion
The most exquisite handle he could.

As soon as he finished making his ax,
He threw himself into his work,
Chopping down trees. The poor trees wondered,
"Why did we even help this ****?"

He even cut down some of the noblest.
The trees watched him with disbelief.
They had offered a gift to him,
And he turned out to be worse than a thief!

"It's our fault," the noble trees said.
"Unfortunately, we are to blame.
If we hadn't given the sapling to him,
We wouldn't have to die in shame."

When we reflect on the morals of fables,
We find an extra way to enjoy them.
The moral? Fools are they who give
Their enemies the means to destroy them.

-by Bob B (8-16-21)

°An Aesop fable, "The Trees and the Ax," retold here in verse
Bob B Jan 2019
Life is a journey. We MUST be receptive
And view our adventures with fond regard.
Take a trip through the symbol-rich Tarot--
The Major Arcana--card by card.

0-The Fool
We, the seekers of knowledge and wisdom,
Set out on our journey at birth.
May we be open to all the wonders
And opportunities offered on Earth.

1-The Magician
Within and without are all the tools
Necessary to find our way.
Find the Magician within to guide you
To say what you mean and mean what you say.

2-The High Priestess
Know that universal truths
May or may not remain concealed.
Open your heart to be receptive
To what is yet to be revealed.

3-The Empress
Fecundity of imagination
Adorns the earth and nurtures the heart.
Compassion and kindness are gentle offspring,
As are glorious music and art.

4-The Emperor
Stability and power thrive
When reason's lovingly applied.
Greatness gains both awe and respect
When honor and truth walk side by side.

5-The Hierophant
Know when to follow what's tried and true
And tends to be more orthodox,
And know what to do when your inner guide says
It's time to think out of the box.

6-The Lovers
Love yourself or you will find
It's hard to love other people, indeed.
Choices, yes, have consequences.
A great oak grows from a tiny seed.

7-The Chariot
Maintain your balance; gather your forces.
Past experience plays a role.
Take control of your life, but hark!:
There's ONLY so much you can control.

Now you can focus on inner strength,
The wise application of which
Gives you greatness of character.
Even with little, you'll still be rich.

9-The Hermit
Take the time to look inside you;
Calmly reflect on all you've learned.
Mindfulness in actions brings
Inner peace to all concerned.

10-Wheel of Fortune
Know when it's time for you to act;
Know when it's time for you to bend.
Cause and effect and impermanence
Are necessary to comprehend.

Things turn out the way they do
For many reasons, so we must
Do our best to always try
To aim for what is fair and just.

12-The Hanged Man
Life's not always black and white.
A smile is just the reverse of a frown.
If your point of view is stagnant,
Then look at things from upside down.

Embrace the new, let go of the old;
Don't become attached to duration.
Failure to go with the flow impedes
Any hopes of transformation.

Lack of moderation and self-
Indulgence mustn't be ignored.
Find the right combinations
To let your balance be restored.

15-The Devil
We indulge in addictions, desires,
And pettiness, and take great pains
To hide from the truth: that we have the power
To free ourselves from our bonds and chains.

16-The Tower
If we fail to heed the warnings
That show the corruptive nature of power,
We will learn the hard way as we're
Struck down from our ivory tower.

17-The Star
But healing exists all around us.
Hitch your wagon to a star.
Let the wonders of hope and insight
Help you discover who you are.

18-The Moon
Reflecting the light of the sun, the moon
Shows us that EVERYTHING is fleeting.
Things aren't always what they seem.
"Trust yourself!" is worth repeating.

19-The Sun
Life and the sun walk hand in hand.
Light is awareness; awareness is light.
Appreciate the rays of the sun
That chase away the darkness of night.

Judgment's a type of wake-up call.
You'll find strength in the aftermath
Of inner shake-ups. You'll be fine,
Just as long as you stay on your path.

21-The World
You're making progress. Congratulations!
If self-discovery is your objective,
Start again; the cycle continues.
Observe the world from a new perspective.

-by Bob B (1-15-19)
Bob B Aug 2021
When ideology joins brutality
And deadly fire rains down from above--
When plaintive human cries punctuate the skies
And the hawk devours the gentle dove--
Then we should all assess what our hearts express
And wonder if we've done all that we can.
But who can mitigate vicious, cruel hate
And suffering in poor Afghanistan?

When uncertainty belies stability
While the Taliban are on the move,
Insurgents will demand to have the upper hand,
Although other countries disapprove.
Twenty years of knowing how the winds were blowing,
Twenty years of guessing from afar…
Our underestimations and gross miscalculations
Had optimists all wishing on a star.

As hopes begin to ebb, the spider spins its web
And patiently awaits its helpless prey.
Extremist factions gain the power to remain.
How sad for the poor souls who must stay!
The day has turned to night; the Taliban will fight,
Determined to pursue their cruel quest.
They'll erase the past as they remain steadfast.
The Bamiyan Buddhas can attest.

People will cry "Shame!" and try to pass the blame.
At this point that is meaningless to do.
For years plans were unveiled, and many of them failed.
Here we go again: déjà vu.
So what happens now? Does anyone know how
The Afghans can withstand the cruel regime?
Sympathies fall flat. Just remember that
Things are often much worse than they seem.

What was bound to occur is not what we'd prefer
For the people's sake to see unroll.
The Taliban has more money than before,
And that has helped the rebels gain control.
It's hard not to obsess about the ghastly mess
Created by the brutal Taliban.
One can't overstate the sadness of the fate
Of all who suffer in Afghanistan.

-by Bob B (8-15-21)
Bob B Sep 2021
"Algorithms": a funny word--
Unless, of course, you're a mathematician.
(Frankly, I have a hard enough time
With simple subtraction and addition.)

But Facebook uses algorithms
To help determine what we'll see
When we click on the app and enter
Our social media reality.

The algorithms decide whether,
How often, and when we'll see a post,
Based on our interactions online.
Facebook's quite a controlling host.

How does it know what you prefer?
It doesn't know unless you care
To make a comment or click on a button
Such as "Like" or "Love" or "Share."

If you're a silent spectator, you
Will not generate connections.
Who knows what you'll end up seeing.
Do not bother to raise objections.

Have you noticed that when you search
For something on the internet,
That all of a sudden that item appears
In a Facebook ad? Intrusive? You bet!

It would be nice if Facebook could
Stop the spread of misinformation.
It doesn't want to lose customers,
So that might require legislation.

It seems rather offensive to me
That we are being manipulated.
But nobody forced me to get an account;
In no way was I obligated.

I ask people who aren't on Facebook
If they feel they're missing out.
I shouldn't be surprised by their answer:
"NO…EFFING…WAY!" they shout.

-by Bob B (9-26-21)
Bob B Oct 2018
After two full weeks of denial
And obfuscation, the Saudis have shed
Their previous stories, admitting that now
Jamal Khashoggi indeed is dead.

The last minutes of the journalist's life
Had to be excruciating.
He entered the Saudi consulate
Where fifteen or so men were waiting.

The Saudis say a fight broke out--
A fistfight during attempted "rendition."
It's more likely the fifteen thugs
Were there in Istanbul on a mission.

It's hard to hear the Saudis' account
And NOT notice a major flaw:
A guy would take on fifteen others,
One of whom had a saw?

If the death was an accident,
Where's the body? Out with the story!
The Turks say that evidence
Shows an outcome rather gory.

Denying any involvement in
Jamal Khashoggi's gruesome demise,
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Hopes the world believes their lies.

That's a "big first step," says Trump,
Sitting with some of our weapons makers.
Sanctions can't in any shape
Or form be weapons deal breakers.

Speaking about a congressman
Who had assaulted a journalist--Why?
Just because!--at a rally, Trump
Said THAT'S his kind of guy.

"The Trump Effect" is what it's called,
Encouraging other leaders to dare
To threaten the lives of journalists
And stifle free speech everywhere.

-by Bob B (10-20-18)
Bob B Nov 2016
The elves congregated
In the back room of the shop,
Muttering amongst themselves
And chattering on nonstop.

One elf stood on a table
And scanned the angry crowd.
He raised his hand to shush
The others from getting too loud.

"Fellow elves, be quiet.
We have work to do;
This isn't just a trivial
Elven ballyhoo.

"Santa's expectations
Have risen exceedingly.
He takes no action when
I ask him pleadingly

"For a raise in pay
And better working conditions.
He only chortles and laughs
And speaks of old traditions."

An elf spoke up from the group:
"The reindeer have it made.
We work our butts off;
But see how little we're paid.

"Why they earn so much
Isn't really clear
When they only work
ONE night of the year!

"Platitudes and promises
Do nothing to assuage
Angry workers. Santa
Must increase our wage!"

"Yes," chimed in another.
"Not keeping up with inflation,
Our pay keeps us living
In serious deprivation.

"Our benefits also haven't
Kept up with the times.
They are slashed while
The cost of insurance climbs.

"I know we've a lot to do,
And I think we're pretty meticulous,
But the hours we're forced to work…
I mean…this is ridiculous!

"And what about part-time elves
Who have little enjoyment
Working for no benefits?
You call that employment?"

Disgruntled, all the workers
Considered taking action
And wondered what to do
To get some satisfaction.

Another elf said, "Santa's
Heavy demands are an onus.
And we elves don't even
Get a Christmas bonus!

"Frankly, it takes every
Ounce of faith I can muster
To think that dear ol' Santa's
Not a union buster!

"Furthermore, there's something
That I've got to say:
We all have to strive
For equality of pay."

"Yay!" the elves shouted
And in unison chanted:
"Equal pay: Yes!
Take nothing for granted!"

The work discussion lingered
Well into the night.
They knew that gaining ground
Would require a fight.

(In thinking about life,
Struggles, work, and fairness,
It doesn't hurt anyone
To have some elf-awareness.)

Eavesdropping here,
You've seen for yourself
That life's not always peachy--
Even for an elf.

Let's just hope that Santa
Doesn't be a ****
And save a few bucks next year
By outsourcing the work.

- by Bob B
Bob B Aug 2017
All is not well in Trumplandia we hear.
Investigations are closing in,
And all efforts to find or maintain
Integrity are wearing thin.

Untold uncertainty looms;
Unhealed sores are starting to fester.
The leadership position has been
Usurped by the court jester.

Vultures wait in anticipation
While jackals feast on defenseless lambs.
The court jester has wily perfected
And art of confusing facts and shams.

The naïve crowds hear "Hoax!" and "Fiction!"
And think the jester is being funny.
Their grating cheers drown out the call:
"Follow the money! Follow the money!"

Snake oil is in demand.
Distractions are the name of the game.
The focus has shifted from seeking the truth
And doing what's right to passing the blame.

Structures are crumbling, and yet the push
Is mainly on finding the wherewithal
To place on the country's southern border
An unnecessary wall.

In the Big House, day after day,
The leaders are playing musical chairs.
While donors and supporters watch,
Their eyes carefully guarding their shares.

Credit is taken where credit's not due;
Trust and dependability scatter.
A dream come true to a few becomes
A nightmare when the wrong things matter.

All is not well in Trumplandia.
Shhh! The world can't know. But wait!
You say the cat is out of the bag?
Then it's too late! It's way too late!

-by Bob B (8-5-17)
Bob B Nov 2019
(If you don’t know the song from GYPSY, "Everything's Coming Up Roses,” by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, listen to Bette Midler’s version on YouTube. Then try singing this poem to the melody.)

We can all see…
The truth is so clear, people.
It's not just a smear, people.
It's what we should fear. Oh, people,

Like two peas
In a pod
Such a friendship might seem rather odd.
As for us,
We can see,
People, all roads lead clearly to Putin.

Business deals
Or *** tapes?
Microphones hidden in drapes?
So bizarre…
We can see,
People, all roads lead clearly to Putin.

They're going strong now.
What could be their desire?
Putin knows how
He'll make the president kowtow.

Will Trump lift
Sanctions soon?
Will both keep on singing in tune?
Just you wait
And you’ll see
Who is whose
It's strange to watch the two talk crook to crook.
People, all roads lead clearly to Putin wherever we look.

They contrive this
Situation at hand.
We'll survive this;
Maybe we'd better archive this.

Putin wants
In Ukraine
To make it part of Russia's domain.
Where this goes,
Who can tell?
Doesn't this
Ring a bell?
'Cause they know every trick that's in the book.
People, all roads will lead us to true Russian meddling;
All roads will lead to the White House’s cover-ups;
All roads lead Trump to just one place without a doubt;

-by Bob B (11-19-19)
Bob B Oct 2016
Starting out as a precocious child,
He always maintained a calm exterior.
He never begrudged the competition
For winning and never felt inferior.
A lucky streak would occur for a while;
A spate of losses would follow. Alas!
He took the wins and losses in stride
And merely stated, "All things must pass."

He felt he was somewhat lucky in life--
Though luck always comes and goes, it seems.
He met someone and fell in love--
He claimed he'd found the "girl of his dreams."
Three kids later they parted ways--
By mutual consent--no fights; no sorrow.
"So it goes," he calmly said.
"Here today and gone tomorrow."

His acumen in business matters
Brought him solid financial security
While many competitors sadly foundered
And faded away into obscurity.
He kept his dignity and calm demeanor,
Even during a major fumble,
And said, "Life is constant change,"
When Wall Street took a disastrous tumble.

A second marriage later in life
For him was a type of resurrection
As he and his new love explored the world.
That gave his life a new direction.
When she succumbed to a major illness,
His feelings, over which he held sway,
Allowed him to grieve by quoting George Harrison
As he said, "All things must pass away."

"I've had a good life," he'd proudly aver,
"I have no regrets and no complaints.
I'm not the biggest cad in the world,
And you won't find me among the saints."
While on his death bed surrounded by family--
Knowing it was his final hour--
Unable to talk, he lovingly smiled
And pointed at a wilting flower.

- by Bob B
Bob B Jan 2017
A lot can happen in a week,
Let alone in one whole year.
Many dreams can be shattered;
Many rights can disappear.

Things can all be topsy-turvy.
Foundations of democracy
Can crumble from the constant blows
Of madness and hypocrisy.

In a flash a nation whose
Ideals helped it achieve its dreams
Can lose the threads that held it together
And start to fall apart at the seams.

In an instant, something that we
Took for granted--freedom for all--
Can grieve over its final performance
As it waits for its curtain call.

In a short period of time,
Progress made in human rights
Can find itself desperately
Groping through the darkest of nights.

In a matter of days, a small
Group of people driven by greed,
Thirst for power, and grotesque views
Can choke a nation with frightening speed.

But ALSO in a matter of days,
More people can open their eyes
And read between the lines and see
Scores of manipulating lies.

In this same period of time,
People can dig in their heels and say,
"Together we stand; we refuse
To let our rights be taken away."

- by Bob B (1-29-17)
Bob B Feb 2017
Alternative facts, fallacious assumptions,
And false equivalency are stunning
As Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conjob,
And Sean Spicer hit the ground running.

Regarding the Bowling Green Massacre, Conjob
Said she'd misspoken. Not a crime.
However, the last time she said it, she'd
Misspoken her "fact" for the third time.

What about Spicer's outlandish statement
That recent marchers were paid? What's FUNNY is
No one paid me a cent to march.
I want to know where my MONEY is.

Trump said the "dishonest" press
Once again has been refusing
To publish reports of recent attacks
By terrorists here. Very amusing!

Imagine our press NOT covering
Most attacks here and abroad!
Another of Trump's alternative facts
Like the one on voter fraud.

This disconnection from the truth--
This constant need to fictionalize--
Doesn't bode well for this country.
When are they going to dispense with these lies?

- by Bob B (2-7-17)
Bob B May 15
Hundreds of people are grieving today
Because of a problem that won't go away.
Attempts at solutions are kept at bay.
A mass shooting in Buffalo.

America's love affair with its guns--
Weapons that could be measured in tons--
Is killing parents, daughters, and sons.
A shooting--this time in Buffalo.

Just imagine: you go to the store.
A killer abruptly appears at the door.
Within minutes you're dead on the floor.
This time it happened in Buffalo.

The killer set out to perforate
Bodies with bullets because of hate.
For the ten who died, help came too late
In a mass shooting in Buffalo.

Too many people are killed each year.
Not to act makes one thing clear:
We will continue to live in fear.
Look what happened in Buffalo.

The bells are tolling repeatedly.
When might they toll for you or me?
When the next killer goes on a spree--
Just like the one in Buffalo…
And Sacramento (2022)…
And Boulder (2021)…
And El Paso (2019)…
And Parkland (2018)…
And Las Vegas (2017)…
And Orlando (2016)…
And Charleston (2015)…
And at Sandy Hook (2012)…

-by Bob B (5-15-22)
Bob B Jan 2020
(This poem can be sung to the song "America the Beautiful.")

America, what's happened here?
You're covered by a cloud.
We're now constrained to shed a tear,
For how can we be proud?
America, you've offered us
Such wonders since your birth.
But now you see how sadly we
Have failed to prove our worth.

America, from east to west
Your history reveals
That in the past we once were blessed
With passionate ideals.
But now we can observe that we
Are burdened by extremes.
Must we regress from hopefulness?
What's happened to our dreams?

America, since early days,
We've grown from cause to cause.
But now we watch as lawmakers
Find ways to bend the laws.
Integrity was once admired,
Equality a goal.
But greed and hate won't make us great.
What's happened to our soul?

America, we'd hoped that you
Would loudly sing your song--
That colors true--red, white, and blue--
Would carry us along.
A crisis looms, the likes of which
We haven't had before.
The case is grave; we've got to save
This land from shore to shore.

-by Bob B (1-21-20)
Bob B Jun 2018
"Son, Son, where are you now?
Is someone rocking you to sleep
And singing you a lullaby?
Who wipes away the tears when you weep?

"I came here not for free hand-outs.
Nor did I come to this country to steal
Jobs that most people don't even want.
It's to your mercy that I appeal

"For safety for my children and me--
Safety from living in constant fear.
Surrounded by death, we took a chance
And fled a gang that started here.

"We haven't sneaked across your border;
We're patiently standing at your gate.
Why do you see us as criminals
And look at us with distrust and hate?

"When you ripped my son from my arms,
You criticized me for crying.
Who is watching him and his sister?
Uncertainty is terrifying.

"Daughter, Daughter, where are you now?
Do not worry about your mother.
Do not fear the shadows at night.
And please watch over your little brother."

-by Bob B (6-3-18)
Bob B Apr 1
It seems that many speakers of English
Appeared to succumb to slumber
When English lessons were taught regarding
The words "amount" and "number."

Large amounts of time. Correct.
Large amounts of rice.
"Amount" refers to something seen
As a mass, to be precise.

But when we refer to things we can count,
"Number" should be used.
For some reason, English speakers
Often get confused.

A large number of people, we say,
Vote in our elections.
Or a number of germs out there
Can cause major infections.

A large amount of people? No!
Do not go there, please.
But it's quite all right to request
A small amount of cheese.

"Beans" is one of those funny words
Often used as a mass:
I ate a large amount of beans,
And boy, do I have gas!

It really shouldn't be too hard
If you know how to count
To know how to distinguish between
"Number" and "amount."

-by Bob B (4-1-22)
Bob B May 2019
"William Barr is my name,
But you can call me AG Barr.
Protecting Donald Trump must be
The highlight of my repertoire.

"I'll defy the rule of law,
And I don't give a **** if I'm--
Despite what others say or think--
A sly accomplice to his crime."

"Lindsey Graham is my name,
Call me Senator Graham, please.
Selling one's soul to the devil is
Where I have my expertise.

"I don't care if Trump's corrupt
Or stretches the truth all the time.
If he furthers my goals, I will
Be an accomplice to his crime."

"Devin Nunes is my name,
But you can just call me Devin.
Having Trump as president
Is a right-wing extremist's heaven.

"If you want to obstruct justice,
Follow the president's paradigm.
Give up your integrity AND
Be an accomplice to his crime."

"Sarah Sanders is my name.
I am THE press secretary.
Whenever I lie for President Trump,
I just say a quick Hail Mary.

"Working for this president
Is something that I'd call sublime.
No one really cares if he
Or she's an accomplice to his crime."

So many people willing to lie--
So many people willing to begrime
Their character and reputations
As accomplices to the president's crime.

-by Bob B (5-5-19)
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