The poet William Stafford set himself the task of writing a poem a day. When someone asked him what he would do when his poem-of-the-day wasn't very good, he replied "I simply lower my standards." In order to increase output, the bar here is set at a low level - the point of this is to have some fun with current events and politics. I welcome contributions and comments. Now you can also follow Doggerelo on Twitter (@doggerelo). Because of continuing medical problems, I'm no longer able to post a poem-a-day. I'll continue to post poems, but at a reduced frequency, so please stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Alone with the Morning Paper

Each morning I read the paper
with my cup of coffee next to me,
where through the window I can see
whether the weather is OK,
or people on their way to work,
or songbirds sometimes on a branch
so close that I can see their little throats

                 Well anyway, I peek first
at the headlines in case some news
sneaked in last night after I turned off
CNN to end the day, and sent thoughts
of politics to whatever portions of the brain
imprison thoughts while sleeping. 
But what exactly is the difference
between consciousness and dreams?
Now there's a question that’s not been answered
despite much study....
                                         But as I say,
on most days, after that cursory crack
at the front page, I move on back
through many pages to the Opinion Buffet.

The Opinion/Editorial/Op-Ed page
where left and right contend for me,
the left for my continued approbation,
to nod agreeably or chuckle at some sally
against the right, while right wing forces
rally, intending to rattle my confidence
with inconvenient facts and insidious arguments.
As with walruses eructating on the rocks
with their inflated pharyngeal muscles,
the frothy calls of urgent pundits ride the page,
calling urgently to me...
                                              Now here’s a fact 
that's little known, the walrus penis bone
can be nearly two feet long…the logistics of
carrying that around are boggling.

OK, back to what I was saying
about contending forces braying
in the nation’s papers ..well, yes
like donkeys.  Did you know that a donkey,
with its great ears, can hear another donkey bray
from as far as seven miles away?
Look it up in “Caring for your Donkey”
at Donkeys don't like
dogs or coyotes very much and so they're
very popular for guarding cows
and sheep and such.  I believe that we
can all agree that pundits can be jackasses....
On the Opinion page the high-flying
opinionators screech about the nation's state
like a cartload of chimpanzees. I've seen
wild chimps on TV swinging through the trees -
technically it's called brachiation,
a process that enables chimp translation
through the arboreal canopy with little cost in energy....

But wait, do you see that cardinal
hanging out there in the tree?
I think he sings for me.
I'll just put away the paper for today,
and listen to that cardinal's song - congenial, guileless,
without a point of view.  

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