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Aug 24 · 1.3k
Global Warming Villanelle
"When you encounter a mountain lion, be vocal; however, speak calmly and do not use high pitched tones or high pitch screams"--California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Be vocal, but avoid high pitched tones and screams
when a mountain lion appears on your path.
Remind yourself that it’s not a  dream.

If the path goes down to a flooded stream,
and bodies float by--
stay calm;  avoid high pitched tones and screams.

When you go to the store and there’s no milk or cream,
as the cows are sickened  from a poisoned well,
remind yourself that it’s not a dream.

If the wildfire turns your hot tub to steam,
as you run down the street to your neighbor’s car
be vocal, but avoid high pitched tones and screams.

When the weather goes to another extreme,
and mudslides cover another town,
remind yourself that it’s not a dream.

When the fisherman catches no salmon nor bream,
and there’s no more coffee, nor chocolate ice cream,
be vocal, but avoid high pitched tones and screams.
Remind yourself that it’s not a dream.
May 28 · 666
The Other Place
Send me a letter on cream linen stock,
written in cursive in handwriting fine.
With ink from a bottle, and a fountain pen sharp.
Seal it with wax and your signet ring’s sign.

Build me a desk of strong walnut and ebony,
filigreed with gold and with mother of pearl.
Joined without flaw, and with handles of iron,
and legs shaped like lion’s, each paw in a curl.

Roast some wild boar on a spit on a fire,
with figs and wild plums, some thyme and rosemary.
Tell me a tale of legends and heroes,
of magic and myths in the land known as Faerie.

Take me away from the plastic and gasoline.
Take me away from the tv and memes.
Let’s live somewhere else, anytime we can get away
from this place, doomed to darkness, to the truth in our dreams.
I saw you standing, dressed to ****.
Perhaps waiting for someone to tell you of her thrill--
the thrill that you give, when you start to sing.
I should’ve told you then that I’d been listening.
I’d just started to listen, just begun to catch the fire;
it wasn’t until later that I burned with desire.
Then I fell for you, I fell for you deep.
You’ve been playing with my mind; you’ve been visiting my sleep.
I wish I’d told you then, that I’d give you anything;
though nothing I could give you, would equal what you bring--
what you bring to me nightly, what you touch in my core.
When you’re next in town, go out the back door.
I’ll show you the stars,  I’ll show you the lights;
I’ll give you what you crave at the  end of the nights.
I’ll tell you of my dream, I’ll tell you of my vision,
then I’ll worship at the altar of my one true religion.
For Jay Buchanan

I'm pulling out the rest of the PF poems
Feb 3 · 262
Ode to Rain
“I won’t go outside—it’s raining,” she said.
Hmm. It’s just water, falling on your head.
Water—source of life—we all began in it.
And without it, don’t doubt it,
our ends would be writ.
When the air’s not too cold (it never is here),
I walk in the rain, forget pain,
and breathe air fresh and clear.
I hike on a path, to see the steel gray-blue bay,
watch seabirds and storm clouds and go on my way.
The bright fuchsia flowers don’t mind the rain,
and daffodils and paintbrushes would say the same.
The hills now glow green and the trees are quite glad,
and when the fall comes, you might well be sad.
When the rain stays away, trees burn and crops die.
Smoke chokes our breath, and tears sting our eyes.
We will pray for the rain, and see our doom coming nigh.
We should dance in the rain, for in the drought that is coming
we will fear for our lives, the apocalypse looming.
Living in California you appreciate rain. I am puzzled when people here complain. I mean it's like tropical drizzles, not like the drenching cold downpours I experienced in New York before global warming.
Dec 2018 · 253
Dressing Down
Scarlet McCall Dec 2018
These shoes be hurtin’ me
and this top’s too sheer.
I can’t sit in this skirt.
Do you think I want men to leer?

I’ll wear my skirt long,
like the Orthodox Jews:
A high-necked top
and a pair of flat shoes.

I’ll wear sneakers with socks,
and jeans or black leather.
I’ll wear wool scarves and hats
on account of the weather.

Is it really “fashion”
or some type of mockery?
To dress women like ******
seems to me an atrocity

I don’t care what you think
of the outfit I chose.
I’m considering Islam
just for the clothes.
Inspired by an exhibit I saw in a museum today, on "Muslim fashion." So different from what we're told in this country about what "femininity" is.
Dec 2018 · 243
California haiku
Scarlet McCall Dec 2018
Hills glow emerald
Grass embraces winter rain
Forgets summer drought
It's nice to see the bright green grass on the hills. So different from the brown hills of summer.
Oct 2018 · 376
Five foot four
Scarlet McCall Oct 2018
Feet dangling above the floor;
it’s what happens when you’re five foot four.
Chairs are made for people five foot eight.
When you’re five foot four, it’s easy to hate.
These armrests don’t support my arms--
the designer didn’t care about such harms.
The seats are for those with longer thighs.
Is it that the manufacturer didn’t realize
that half of humans average five foot four?
Or they didn’t care? And wait, there’s more:
Conference tables are too high.
The height’s just right—if you’re a guy.
Furniture is designed for men, and this is a reason why women develop back, neck, hip and knee problems.
Scarlet McCall Oct 2018
You're outraged and shocked by this depiction of you—
drunken ***** grabber (who couldn’t get it another way).
Maybe you don’t remember, but here’s something true—
a drunk blacks out, and what he does then, he might not have done sober.
So many actions, later to rue,
to  come back to haunt--and there’s no do-over.
My take on Kavanaugh: A drunk. Couldn't get a girlfriend in high school. Still a drunk now probably, and in total denial.
Sep 2018 · 292
Scarlet McCall Sep 2018
Two bottles of milk left by the front door
by the milkman, who picked up the empties.
Not to “recycle,” but to wash and fill with more.

Cartoons on Saturday morning, no remote control--
Underdog and Roadrunner, while I ate Quisp
with milk I poured myself into a cereal bowl.

No parents around, we ran and climbed trees;
backyard was big, friends climbed over the fence.
We played by our own rules, until cool evening’s breeze.

In school we worked hard; I learned to write cursive--
letters practiced carefully, over and over.
Why defy teacher? It’s knowledge that’s subversive

Freedom made us older, bolder and reckless
than kids are today--
Whiny, anxious and feckless.
I was 6 in 1970. Ok, maybe my brother poured my cereal (he was 8).
Aug 2018 · 283
Scarlet McCall Aug 2018
Let’s take your ragged soul and patch it up together.
I’ve got some thread, and tricks up my sleeve.
With your grit and wit
we’ll  take the pieces, and make them fit.
Your new you may feel strange,
because some parts are re-arranged,
but your vision will be clearer,
and your hearing more  attuned,
emotions deeper--
when we’ve stitched up those wounds.
Jul 2018 · 275
Hanging on by a thread
Scarlet McCall Jul 2018
Suicide? You’re “depressed.”
Or could it be described as “stressed”?
Victim of corporate predation
in our disintegrating nation.
Insurance plan won’t approve your meds.
One third of paycheck goes to  feds.
We no longer have conversations,
just Twitter and Instagram exclamations.
An hour and a half commute
because the train breaks down en route.
Can’t watch TV; there’s nothing on,
and comics are what movies are based upon.
At least there’s still music, sunshine and food—
I’m still here for the last things that are good.
May 2018 · 261
In Search of Heroes
Scarlet McCall May 2018
I am lost in the forest;
show me the path.
I’m exposed on the mountain;
take me from the storm’s wrath.
I’m on the side of the road--
don’t let bad guys stop.
I’m a prisoner at home,
waiting for you to get a cop.
The whirlwind surrounds me;
be my eye in the storm.
Take me out of the blizzard
to your home safe and warm.
Children adopted by the wrong people, and so many others who need help.
Apr 2018 · 12.0k
Plea to Lucifer
Scarlet McCall Apr 2018
Lucifer, save us; come up from Hell—
take a good look at the place that we dwell.
You were right all along
to refuse to bow down
to Adam and Eve
and their limitless throng.
And how could you have known that the apple you gave her
would plant seeds of pollution, destruction and terror?
You thought that we’d only use knowledge for good.
I know that you’d take it all back if you could.
Lucifer, we aren't angels like you.
We joined your rebellion, and soon we’ll be through.
Now the recourse from the wreckage that is,
is to bring on the foreshadowed Apocalypse.
So come on, Luci, don’t hesitate:
The Four Horsemen are pacing; why delay Fate.
After the End, there will be a new start,
perhaps without humans; we’ll bow and depart.
This may be a PF re-post but I lost the original and this is what I came up with from memory.
Apr 2018 · 277
A Hipster on Earth Day
Scarlet McCall Apr 2018
Another Earth Day came and went,
Facebook “likes” and e-cards sent.
Locally grown, non-GMO
food was eaten, although
the packaging was thrown away---
it might get recycled—who knows? But hey
it was vegan and gluten free,
and that’s the best for you and me.
Craft Beer bottles bought by the case;
no thought of water gone to waste.
Glass bottles must be melted down,
but it happens in some other town.
Let’s take an Uber to the city;
the subway’s *****—such a pity.
Turn on the a/c, it’s too hot--
Yoga makes me sweat a lot.
Must buy some clothes for my little tot--
knitting? Sewing? That’s a lot
of work that I can’t find time to do.
The Third World does what I eschew.
I’m so virtuous; I’m so Blue--
I’m not Green? How dare you!
I'm not perfect; I drink diet soda sometimes.
Scarlet McCall Apr 2018
Contagious Infospores infect
the wild, wild internet west.
Apparently the worst is the best
that some can do.
The goal, to make truth suspect--
to interject
theories of conspiracies.
Connect, connect, don’t inspect
too closely.

It’s mostly
slander to create fear,
garbled and unclear
to avoid lawsuits
(which doesn’t seem to be working).
Fat toad preys on weak minds
who can’t be bothered to analyze
information and facts.
They prefer hysterical attacks.
It's easier to fear and hate
than digest cause and effect, and accept ineluctable fate--
than to consider responsibility,
mistakes and liability.
It’s simpler when it’s all a plot
by the powerful to persecute you
(as if they have nothing better to do).
And to remember that people whom  you fear and hate
are people not unlike you.
26 dead people didn’t disappear.
They are in the ground, and in the hearts and minds
of those who are living, here.
Alex Jones, internet conspiracy theory monger, is being sued for libel by parents of Sandy Hook victims. He has claimed that 26 people weren't actually murdered, that it's a hoax to take away gun rights. I'm not clear on how he explains where those 26 people are.
Apr 2018 · 659
Requiem for a Prisoner
Scarlet McCall Apr 2018
Good dog Max, always sits and waits
for the dogwalker, who comes every day at  8.
Leather leash around his neck, they go round and round the block,
the same route every day. He’s got no shoes and socks
to protect his padded feet, that were meant for grass and hills,
and there’s no chance to run and fetch a bird his master kills
(though that’s what he was bred for).
And from 9 in the morning, until every night,
it’s the same small apartment, floor of wood and walls of white.
Sometimes they lock him in a cage, so he won’t jump on the bed;
Max sometimes wonders if he’s alive, or dead.
He barks when they come home, and they tell him “shush.”
To hide his shame he gnaws a bone, or gives his bowl a push.
Max, depressed and fat, died before his time.
A prisoner locked in solitary who was guilty of no crime.
Some of these people actually think they are "animal lovers."
Scarlet McCall Apr 2018
In a crowd, the gathered throng
worships he who does no wrong.
I find myself with hint of doubt--
there must be more that he’s about.
I look behind the careful  pose
and see a soul with no repose.
A sorrow carried, hidden deep,
that keeps its owner from his sleep.
A guilt that lingers, shame that burns,
does not deter the fame he earns
but drags his heart, and so he turns
to narcotic’s luring power
that hastens unconsciousness’s hour.
He cannot resist the lure of sleep
and falls into the chasm deep.
He does not return to keep
his promises to those love him--
who now cast flowers from above him.
I wrote this 10 years ago. Is it my imagination or are fewer of them overdosing? There was Prince a couple of years ago and I don't remember anyone else recently...
Scarlet McCall Apr 2018
“You’re a relic,” said the video game,
“no one reads you now.”
“Not true” said the novel. “And anyhow,
at least I have characters
who speak and think and feel.
No one could believe that your
“characters” are real.”
“I offer blood and action; an opportunity
to ****. We know that’s what the people want.
It’s a pressing need I fill,”
the video game replied.
“What makes you think your wars and crimes
played out in pixelation
will satisfy the players’ lust
for quick assassination? They will tire
of virtual gore and want to test their skills
in a real arena that offers far more thrills.”
The novel’s pages fluttered; she indignantly continued:
“In my world there’s ambiguity; it forces them to think
about how there’s no black and white,
except for pages and for ink.
My stories stir compassion,
reflection, empathy. Your crooks and soldiers all act the same;
where’s their personality?
You know you’re just a pinball game
dressed up as a cartoon.”
The video game tried to think
of how to answer back... But soon
it realized that she was right. And sadly thought about the terror
that it had wreaked from coast to coast
and how it was a grievous error.
It filled the bathtub up with water
and dropped itself straight in. And that, my friends, is where
this little story should begin.
Re-reading this I am struck by how it is more relevant than ever. There is real evidence linking violent video games to aggression.
Mar 2018 · 246
Fear (PF re-post)
Scarlet McCall Mar 2018
I will not run from you, Fear.
I will stand still and stay right here.
Your yawning chasm of the unknown
is no more than a dark corner of my mind when I’m alone.
I choose to close my eyes and recall
what I’ve faced before, and how I did not fall.
And that I’m not alone, and never will be—
for lonely souls like me are plentiful,
and friendly.
Mar 2018 · 282
A ditty for Emma Gonzalez
Scarlet McCall Mar 2018
Be a lesbian!
Shave your head!
Be a radical--
(better rad than dead!)

The “Skinheads” were Nazis;
they didn’t like Punks.
Politician is confused,
speaking mixed-up junk!

Shave your head,
or wear your hair long—
You could be trying to say something,
or nothing at all.

Be a “*****”, be a “***.”
If it strikes your fancy,
dress up in drag.
Be a hag, be a crone.
Let your gray hair shine.
Be partnered or alone.
Be a ****, be a ****.
You are a Who,
not a Which or a What.
Hag/Crone here. I was amused by the politician, whose name I've forgotten, who called Gonzalez a "skinhead." Apparently he doesn't even know what this term refers to.
Mar 2018 · 789
End of Days (PF re-post)
Scarlet McCall Mar 2018
As the winds grow stronger and the snow falls heavy,
as the oceans rise and pour over the levee,
as the sweltering heat makes us sleep in the day
and work in the night, I’ll take your hand and say:
Dance with me in the darkness, until the futile dawn;
sing while I play guitar, we don’t have long.
Read your poems to me while we have a little time;
we have no future, but we still have rhyme.
Let’s drink a toast, or two, to what might have been,
and what once was, before our time turned grim
Let’s plunder the pharmacy, or eat the magic mushroom;
don’t go into the night easy, but don’t rage at the moon.
Let’s savor all the moments, as our destiny arrives.
Let’s not waste another minute of our precious time alive.
Mudslides in California, another snowstorm in New York.
Mar 2018 · 182
Cinepolis (limericks)
Scarlet McCall Mar 2018
Oscars night highlights the best.
Yet the statuettes really can’t wrest
the cash from the millions
who’ve spent hard earned billions
on some comic book spectacle fest.

Water, or Billboards, or Post?
I’m not sure which one I like most.
Fantasies dark,
or history stark--
to auteurs, we must give a toast.

McDonagh’s unsettling and weird.
He pulls out emotions we’ve feared.
Is it funny, or sad?
Should we cry or get mad?
Confused, and yet strangely, we’re cheered.

Horror and drama he blends.
Guillermo del Toro intends
to pointedly shake up,
with costumes and makeup.
The CGI trend's met its end.

Gerwig’s a crafty new chick.
I liked her unusual flick.
The film is quite quirky--
not stupid nor jerky.
It proves that you don’t need a ****.
The Academy Awards are Sunday night.
Of course, the CGI trend hasn't met its end. But Del Toro's films prove that a human actor can never be matched by computer effects.
Scarlet McCall Jan 2018
So you got robbed. Don't think of yourself as a victim. Look at it as an expression of the robber's occupational and social deficits. Don't let it traumatize you for life. After all, can you compare it to being murdered? We need to have some appreciation for scale here. We don't want to go back to the Victorian notion that people are fragile flowers who can't handle  having a gun pointed at them and losing a few dollars. That's a form of condescension, after all.

You're complaining about a burglary? Some men see a mere doorknob lock as a flirtation. And surely we don't want to see the end of flirtations and seductions!  Must we all now install deadbolts and security systems? What's next--chastity belts? What happened to joie de vivre and devil-may-care?

So a drunk driver hit your car. Do you really want to have him arrested? It was a misunderstanding; he didn't realize that four cocktails and driving are technically illegal. And should they be? Do we want to criminalize ordinary reckless behavior? Haven't we all done something a bit foolish or clumsy in our younger days? Do we want a society in which everyone has to be careful what they do, all the time? A society in which people must count their drinks before getting behind the wheel? We are moving away from the ideals of a liberal democracy and toward totalitarianism! 

So you were murdered. You can look at is as an opportunity to learn more about what happens after death. Your career was ended and your earthly form deteriorated, but that's not the end of the world. Now you live as a memory, and people appreciate you more. What doesn't **** you makes you stronger, and what kills you enshrines. There is honor in being dead. It is time we brought back the old virtues!
Scarlet McCall Jan 2018
We’ve been acquainted with the term “alt-right.”
We have endured their hate speech and their threats.
They seem to be entirely male and white.

We’ve been berated by their angry tweets,
with innuendoes, ethnic slurs and smears
(from those without accomplishments or feats).

Puzzling code words and parentheses
fill their tweets and comment sections long--
a feast of paranoid conspiracies.

Resentments numerous in which they stew
combined with sexism, ignorance and fear
make a toxic and addicting  brew.

They may go farther, deep into the night—
should we ignore them or begin to fight?
Borrowing the rhyme scheme from Robert Frost's "I Have Been One Acquainted With the Night," my favorite poem. I did something like this nine years ago when the rumor mill first began to get out of hand, but it needed an update.
Dec 2017 · 235
What Friends Are For
Scarlet McCall Dec 2017
You’re so polite
and always on time.
Your smile is bright
and lunch is on your dime.
You’re thoughtful and smart--
so intellectually inclined.
I’m rough-edged,
and sometimes offend.
I’m moody and fiery;
I don’t like to pretend.
I might jump to conclusions;
I’d rather break than bend.
But if you were in trouble,
I’d be there on the double.
If trouble fell on me,
you’d tell me plainly
that you’ve got other obligations
to your job and your relations.
So this message I will send:
This friendship must end.
I’ve got no use
for a fair weather friend.
Wrote this poem three years ago after the end of a friendship.
Nov 2017 · 307
Scarlet McCall Nov 2017
We don’t have to be pretty for you.
We don’t have to fake it ‘til you’re through.
We don’t have to wear high heels.
We don’t have to give you giggles and squeals.
We don’t have to be “feminine.”
We don’t have to take it on the chin.
We don’t have to wear a low-cut dress.
We don’t have to forgive you when you confess.
We don’t have to wear short skirts.
We don’t have to smile when it hurts.
We don’t have to stop talking.
We don’t have to stay, if we want to be walking.
We don’t have to be entertaining,
and we’ve had enough of your blaming and shaming.
We’ve had enough of secrets and silence.
We’re calling you out on your threats and your violence.
I've been wanting to write something about the Weinstein et al revelations. The more I've been thinking about it the more I've realized that for a long time now I've had the growing sense that even when men are ok--or claim they're ok--with women as co-workers and even bosses and politicians, they still believe in their own  ****** prerogative and the notion that women are supposed to entertain them.
Scarlet McCall Nov 2017
Until I stumbled upon you,
my crone life was satisfying.
I knew lust would only leave me crying,
and it wasn’t hard to keep denying
its slumbering presence
when no distracting pictures
popped into my head.
I wanted nothing more than sleep from my bed.
Now that I am aware of you--
your intelligence and conviction--
creativity and diction--
courage and audacity--
and your total lack of pity
for my hopeless love for you,
the madness has come again, and left me blue.
There is only one thing to do:
The exorcism that soothes my brain.
To still my pain,  I write. This poem,
my homespun art,
affirms the longing of my unsatisfied heart.
The act of writing loosens Cupid’s Arrow,
it slips out, falls, and breaks in two,
and out flows my poisonous desire for you.
Through the telling of my tale in verse
I remove the sting from  unrequited love’s
A few years ago I had a crush.
Scarlet McCall Oct 2017
a relic from my dating days

I’ve been Generation X’ed;
I got the message by text.
A last minute change
and my day was rearranged.

The zombies cross the street,
staring at their phones.
They cannot tolerate a human voice,
and yet, cannot be alone.

It’s not a “relationship,”
despite the  frequent  f
It’s just a casual acquaintanceship,
full of frantic commitment-ducking.

Ambivalence and  indecision
aren’t what I call attractive.
In fact, they summon my derision.
So, I must be proactive.

It’s not that you aren’t ****--
you’re just too Generation X-y.
Scarlet McCall Oct 2017
Poets are bipolar--
musicians, OCD.
I wonder if we’d have much art
without insanity?
Coleridge smoked *****,
Poe preferred whisky.
If not for their addictions
would we have their poetry?
Blake had manic visions;
Hemingway was suicidal.
The heights and depths of their emotions
meant their minds were never idle.
Garcia tripped on acid;
Iommi did *******.
Would they have played such blissful notes
if they weren’t a bit insane?
Yes, we must treat the ill,
we want them with us still--
but if we lost all craziness
there’d  be genius that we’d miss.
When I posted this on Poetfreak a young woman was severely offended and demanded that I apologize. Apologize to...whom?
Scarlet McCall Sep 2017
Old crippled man, charcoal burnt and ashen,
a thousand days debauchery molded you in this fashion.
Haggard and stiff, you can barely walk across the stage--
no one ever thought that you would make it to this age.
Your girth has expanded (although it’s covered well),
but still your piercing voice summons demons up from hell.
Not as strong as it was once, but eerie just the same,
calling those who’ve followed you, who now chant your name,
to assemble in our legions, gathered in this shrine,
where we repeat the catechism, in throbbing metered rhymes.

Are you a madman? Or just a troubadour
who lends melodic shimmer to verses dark and dour.
Whose singing slides and skims along the edge of sanity,
but who never surrendered to the true evil of vanity.
Recovered from drunken, dissolute despair,
to call the faithful masses back, never mind the wear and tear--
to plod the journey of your craft, to sing before the crowd
whose loyalty, to your band, forever is avowed.
Saw the movie "The End" last night; it's the film of the final Black Sabbath tour. If you didn't see it last night you missed it, but it will be coming out on DVD.
Scarlet McCall Sep 2017
Rain’s a-coming, I’m seeking higher ground
Rain’s a-coming, I’m seeking higher ground
Ain’t gonna stay here, ain’t gonna stick around

River’s rising, gonna flood the town
River’s rising,  gonna flood the town
Ain’t gonna stay here; ain’t gonna be around

The wind’s a gonna blow, gonna blow your house down
Wind’s a gonna blow, gonna blow your house down
Better run for the hills, better run for higher ground

Down at the White House, they’ll say you don’t need to fear
Down at the White House, they’ll say you don’t need to fear
That there ain’t no global  warming, that there ain’t no change to fear

Don’t listen to the man,  hear the sky above
Don’t listen to the man, hear the sky above
Gotta save your skin, gotta save the things you love

Don’t listen to the man, listen to the wind
Don’t listen to the man, listen to the wind
Trump ain’t gonna  save you when the walls come caving in

Don’t listen to the man, listen to the sea
Don’t listen to the man, listen to the sea
The big wave’s a-comin’, coming for you and me.
If I were more ambitious I would try to write the music. Been reading Bessie Smith songs about flooding.
Scarlet McCall Sep 2017
I’m a killer but don’t have a gun
I’m a mother but don’t have a son
I’m a lover but don’t have a man
I’m a celebrity who’s missing a fan
I’m a politician without a campaign
I’m the loner who might be insane
I’m an athlete, with no race to run
I’m a community, of one.
I lead many lives, but mostly in rhyme
I’ll be everyone
and no one
if given enough time.
Sep 2017 · 230
4-Letter Words (PF re-post)
Scarlet McCall Sep 2017
Stop. Stay.
Don’t turn away.
Hear. Don’t fear.
Don’t fold.
Look bold.
Fate will grip
iron bars.
Find your fire;
hike down back road.
Tell your tale
with song, with soul.
I wrote this poem for an informal contest (people on Poetfreak designed their own contests all the time) asking people to write 4-letter word poems without cursing. This poem has grown on me over time.
Scarlet McCall Aug 2017
Marching to the Left,
Marching to the Right,
You’re not marching for a cause;
You’re marching just for spite.
Your ***** is too small,
Your bank account is shrinking.
Throwing cans and squirting Mace
Is easier than thinking.
It’s all the fault of [insert group]
That your plans don’t work out right.
Funny how so many men
think like this--black and white.
Free speech is for the speech you like;
Others must be quiet.
And if your permit’s not approved,
You’ll cry and start a riot.
I don’t see “disagreements;”
I see entitlement and rage,
Hatred and self-righteousness,
Please someone, turn the page.
Jul 2017 · 606
The Voice (PF Re-post)
Scarlet McCall Jul 2017
for Jay Buchanan*

Clearer than a ringing bell,
calling me to stand beneath you--
I am rapt in music’s spell;
your subject,  in your thrall I dwell.

Swaying slowly to the beat,
as I stand before your feet,
I yearn to touch, but thrill in listening,
and watching your sweat-drenched body,

Recorded song brings me much pleasure,
but it cannot match the measure
of an evening in the presence
of your fleshly,  human essence.

I stand witness at the living
breathing body, angelic singing.
Mournful verse,  hypnotic chorus
throb in heartbeat’s time before us.

So close to me,  you drip with sweat;
flip your hair and I’ll get wet--
drench me with your raw emotion,
drown me in an aural ocean.
Rival Sons are touring Europe right now.
Scarlet McCall Jul 2017
Attention: This is your trigger warning:
If you walk outside your door this morning
you’ll be assaulted by noise and light.
You may choose to go back to bed
to  avoid the possibility of fright.
In fact keep the shades down
and the covers pulled up tight.
Don’t talk to people; some may disagree
with you; they won’t heed your plea
to change their minds to your view.
Don’t read books by authors who are male.
They might contain descriptions of female bodies
that remind you that under your clothes you are undressed,
and boys who look at you know that. You’ll feel stressed.
Avoid all books with mentions of violence.
Such as Civil War diaries or histories of World War II.
Your teachers may overlook the fact that you have certain entitlements
such as the right to be free of knowledge that is painful. You
also shouldn’t have to learn about cultures that are different from your own.
We all know that’s how seeds of anxiety and doubt are sown.
If subjected to these shocking things you could have a panic attack
because the knowledge that others don’t do or think as you do
will be traumatic. You’ll never come back
to sanity. You’ll be irreparably harmed.
You could learn that you cannot command that others think the way you believe that they should.
You wouldn’t want to know that. It just wouldn’t feel good.
Very distantly inspired by Ogden Nash.
Scarlet McCall Jul 2017
to the tune of "My Favorite Things"*

Poems in all caps and no punctuation,
Mixed metaphors and clichéd observation,
Roses and rainbows and angels with wings--
These are a few of my least favorite things.

Morbid obsessions and self flagellations,
Self involved rantings and dull ruminations,
Exhibitionists’ ****** preoccupations--
I’m just not dying to read these creations.

Statements of true love to those I don’t know,
Plodding prose poems that go way too slow,
Syllable stresses that aren’t found in English--
If only I’d see them no more is my true wish.

When the urge strikes,
When the words flow,
When you grab that pen--
Just take a moment and think…again.

A good Dictionary, and a Thesaurus,
Some time to read poets who wrote long before us,
Revising, rewriting and time to review--
It’s only these small things that I ask of you..
Revised slightly for HelloPoetry
Scarlet McCall Jul 2017
The work day’s done,
no one to answer to--
no responsibility, no deadline,
no assignment due.
Now I’ve got a date, a rendezvous,
with my best friend Jack,  he’s always true.

Sipping slowly; it’s meant to savor.
Fiery liquid with smoky flavor.
Tip the bottle; now, don’t waver.

Take me away, from  insipid task,
annoying colleagues, boss always with an ask.
When I pour the faithful bottle
I go elsewhere; it pulls the throttle.
Slip away into dreamland;
just me and jack; he’s got no demands.

Drink the potion, enter trance.
Jack and I,  in tandem dance.
A slow waltz seen in double vision;
altered consciousness,
free from decision.
I'm not really a lush.
Jun 2017 · 241
The Assassin (PF re-post)
Scarlet McCall Jun 2017
I’m beyond the reach of what you see.
I’m past the breach of decency.
I wait and pace in gloomy alleys
as we count and number up the tallys.
I’ll drop a dime on the world wide web,
as justice and compassion ebb.
I’ll shout the truth for all to hear,
but where I am—it isn’t here.
My name is scarlet, black or white;
call me when it’s time to fight.
Just give the sign, when it’s time,
I’ll put aside my game of rhyme.
Tread in shadow, stalk by night,
Tyrant falls from the assassin’s bite.
I'm still not packing ;)
Scarlet McCall Jun 2017
I don’t care if you steal a quick look,
when you think I can’t see it.
As long as it’s furtive, it’s by the book.
A man looks at a woman;
it’s only human.
But when you stare
at my big “girls”, then leer in my face--
you’re a disgrace.
I’m not putting up with your ******.
The next time it happens,
I’m going Thelma and Louise.
I'm not really packing.
Jun 2017 · 891
The Universe v. Ideology
Scarlet McCall Jun 2017
An abstract of an academic paper written by a doctoral student: "In this semimanifesto, I approach how understandings of quantum physics and cyborgian bodies can (or always already do) ally with feminist anti-oppression practices long in use. The idea of the body (whether biological, social, or of work) is not stagnant, and new materialist feminisms help to recognize how multiple phenomena work together to behave in what can become legible at any given moment as a body. By utilizing the materiality of conceptions about connectivity often thought to be merely theoretical, by taking a critical look at the noncentralized and multiple movements of quantum physics, and by dehierarchizing the necessity of linear bodies through time, it becomes possible to reconfigure structures of value, longevity, and subjectivity in ways explicitly aligned with anti-oppression practices and identity politics. Combining intersectionality and quantum physics can provide for differing perspectives on organizing practices long used by marginalized people, for enabling apparatuses that allow for new possibilities of safer spaces, and for practices of accountability."--an abstract of a paper by doctoral student Whitney Stark

Atomic particles, how can it be so
that your purpose is not just to flow
in and out of existence, building reality--
the stars, cosmic gas and galaxies--
but to “ally” with groups of humans fighting “hierarchies”
and demanding “safe spaces”
(even though their entire race is
at the top of their planet’s food chain).

In this mysterious universe there is no safety,
accountability or identity,
only elements, and energy.
Brief combinations make life
legible for a nanosecond in cosmic time, and doomed to strife.
Biology does not know oppression,
only generation, reproduction,
until our growth chokes us and we fall
like so many of our ancestors, who lived and died
on this blue-green ball.
And one day the sun will explode and blow
even our atoms, which have endured (despite oppression),
and the particles will go far until maybe they sow
new life, in bodies unfamiliar, on planets unknown.
In fairness to Whitney Stark, right-wing groups mislabeled her paper as an attack on Isaac Newton. She was ridiculed as anti-science and a dogmatic feminist.  In fact Stark is referencing quantum physics, which may contradict Newtonian physics to some extent. I really wanted to read what she wrote as a playful attempt to draw a parallel between quantum physics and non-hierarchical organizing, but her jarring repetition of politically correct catchphrases and slogans shows this is only an attempt to submit to the current academic authoritarianism that has taken over women's studies and many other fields--perhaps even universities as a whole--so that professors merely recite a dogma of oppression rather than questioning and exploring.
Scarlet McCall May 2017
The troops are worn out,
the Army stretched thin,
we’re recruiting delinquents,
the old and the dim.

We got rid of the ****,
to preserve the troops’ purity .
Even those who spoke Arabic,
no matter how fluently.
(Mistakes will be made,
for lack of translation.
But isn’t that better
than eternal damnation?)

We’re telling the soldiers
“One more tour of duty.”
The program’s called “stop loss;”
it might cause mutiny.

The Humvees are patched
with armor homemade,
that won’t stop the bombs
or rocket grenades.

Veterans are stricken
with nightmares and fears.
Some find no escape from
their dreams or their tears.

It’s no longer a war;
it’s called occupation.
But we don’t seem to know
how to rebuild a nation.

We’re good with artillery
and planting land mines.
But what we can’t do
is win hearts and minds.

The lessons of history
seem lost on our leaders,
who don’t seem to be scholars,
but careful poll readers.

There are those we must judge
for their lies and their crimes
and the grief they have caused
in these sad and dark times.

How many years
will we take to recover
from this ill-planned debacle
and it’s not even over?
It will take Iraq longer,
from all the blood spilled,
from the wounds we inflicted--
their country, we killed.
I don't need to explain the disaster in the Middle East. Iraq is still a country, but barely. Sadly no one was judged for their lies or their crimes. And some of the veterans are broken beyond repair.
Scarlet McCall May 2017
Hello Darkness my old friend
Who knew your herald would be a *****?
Spandex, and *** shots, and smirky metaphor—
I’ve come to talk with you again
Pulling up shorts and promising more.
Ride that bike so hard—you’ve got to be sore.
‘cause a vision softly ere creeping
Visions don’t come softly these days; they come in your face.
Hot diva so young, telling girls what’s their place.
Came to me while I was sleeping
No time for sleeping, just dancing and *******,
“Female Empowerment”’s  now about stripping and *******.
And the vision, that was planted in my brain
Planting visions of *** is the best gig in town,
raking in millions in dollars and pounds.
Still remains
These images burn; they’re from Hell, I am sure.
A woman’s a woman; let a girl be a girl.
Within the sounds of silence.
Now silence reigns, no beats, tweets or lies.
The star’s somewhere safe; a child in hospital dies.
In restless dream I walked alone
Alone is better than ***** on the floor.
Alone is better than pushed through the door.
Through narrow streets of cobblestone
Call me a hag with flat shoes clutching pearls--
a relic of cobblestone times; to be sure.
Neath the halo of a streetlamp
The glare and the blare of incessant Youtube
promises glory with high heels and **** tubes.
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
No collars for girls; unless for literal *******--
"Submission is ****", said Rihanna (smug in her riches).
My eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
You can’t look away; it’s everywhere;
on awards shows. On radio in shops selling wares.
That split the night
And touched the sounds of silence.
Fools said I you do not know
How could they know? They’re only teens.
They do not know what makes self-esteem.
Silence like a cancer grows
Name it, shame it; it’s exploitation of women;
if we don’t stop it there’ll be much worse coming.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you,
But my words, like silent raindrops, fell…
Into the well, of silence.
And the people bowed and prayed
To the Neon God they made
And the Sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the Sign said
“the words of the prophets are written on subway walls,
In tenement halls”*
And in blood on concert hall floors.
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