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, January 3, 2012

The Top Three on Poverty

Tuesday night will tell the tale -
Will Mitt or Ron or Rick prevail?
The others seem far off the pace,
They are no longer in the race.
But does it really matter who
We give the crown of victory to
since no one seems concerned tonight
about the jobless and their plight.

So many families lost their home
And now they struggle on alone -
Some live in cheap motels, or cars,
Or dirty hovels over bars.
The kids have hollow-looking faces -
They have no sense of where their place is.
The daily challenge they must meet
Is finding something they can eat.
There’s bitter suffering on the street
As families face complete defeat.

What say our Family Values crew?
The ones who lecture me and you
About the sanctity of marriage…
Well, not for gays - that they all disparage.
What words of comfort do they say?
Surely they'll speak out some day.
We're waiting here like stranded dates
For hopeful words from candidates.

Opportunity, I’ve heard Mitt say, 
is coded in our DNA –
But where does opportunity
Reside in a community
where business leaves, where jobs are gone,
where finally, all hope’s withdrawn.
The cycle of poverty, Mitt has spoken,
Can by the strength of families be broken.
But I think you’ve got it wrong, dear Mitt,
The truth is just the opposite –
Poverty and want can break
The strongest bonds that families make.

Dr. Paul is short and brisk –
Everything in life’s a risk
And government should have no role
In lessening the dreadful toll
When people’s dreams just don’t work out:
That’s what churches are about,
So let the folks beset by want
Get help from someone’s wealthy aunt.

Rick Santorum’s two-part scheme
Is just so simple, it’s a dream:
One - go to school and graduate,
Two - get married before you procreate.
With both of these he’ll guarantee
You won’t end up in poverty.
But this of course is not for gays
Their marriage God forbids always.

Our candidates discuss the poor
As if they really weren’t too sure
That they’re just folks like you and me
Who’ve ended up in poverty
For reasons poorly apprehended.
The candidates must have intended
To maintain the common attitudes
That come from right-wing platitudes.
It’s a shame that no one sees
That poverty’s a national disease. 

1 comment:

Kary said...

Love it!