94

A single strike” is all a snowball needs
To start to tip atop a lofty hill.
The comments escalate; we’re on the verge,
Mere inklings soon give way to deadly spill.
Trippingly, polite penmanship is gone;
Gut instinct is the world’s common language;
Formalities no longer buffer wrongs.
Good or ill, reality takes main stage;
Will seas turn foul as neighbors duck and cower?
Or are these not threats but empty guises?
Will Trump, or Kim, commanding, from his tower,
Begin blind watch, cold war, demise reprise?
Despite the fact that history repeats,
It seems the steps will always give cold feet.
PTL

87

A leader must go beyond first impressions
Inauguration’s only the beginning.
He thinks that his responsibility’ll lessen
But he ridesor goes down withhis vessel.
When asked to show to all his hidden records,
He can’t imagine why these pesky checkers,
The choosing over, still would play this game.  
He claims that “no one cares” about his taxes,
Now that his win has put him past all motive,
For who would care to know the crucial facts,
When victory beyond the truth has floated.
But prudence takes more than a simple glance,
And leaders lead with diligence, not chance.
PTL

80

A missile rises and falls perfectly,
Parabola following nature’s way.
Each action needs reaction’s courtesy,
The circumstances changing as they may.
If human nature likewise always trumps,
Its thrust turns twists toward targets once rejected.
The same ones turned away to face their lumps
Are ones for whose protection fire’s directed.
The trail on screen shows nothing of the flaws
Beyond the two points joined by this correction.
The simple swing connecting fist and jaw
Leaves ugly traces seen just in reflection.
Revenge flips horror’s function on its axis,
And knee-jerk theory renders death its praxis.
—PTL

66

The child can only trip so hard on matter
Before it breaks, force turned to energy.
Bits and pieces fall with unset clatter,
It’s failure met only with lethargy.
The object’s owner glares from eye to eye,
Looking for someone else to put to shame.
His gaze falls down; it was his own untying;
Surrounders cringe; there’s only one to blame.
In silence, a new accusation grows;
Relations are to weaken further now;
Because there’s new proof—everybody knows—
Now who’s Russian to get out of the door?
Whether the clay is gray or red, there’s shoving,
To duck the blame ‘fore someone gets the oven.
—PTL

60

Amidst a frantic frenzy on the court,
Coach lurches forward, starting up the brawl.
He throws the rulebook governing the sport,
Right out the door. Will hand-picked refs make calls?
Spectators helplessly watch play unfold,
Their presence the whole reason for the game.
By few brackets was this outcome foretold,
And only these few bettors will make gains.
Defeated squads accept reality,
Shuffling home with unused celebration;
Some re-group; a few seek leagues more free;
Still others live in permanent privation.
The politics of winning-team-take-all
Will leave no sport for those pushed off the ball.
—PTL

56

A slash, a crash—the glass is pouring out,
Into the heated waters of neglect.
His “plan” is followed by a second bout
Of claims both paranoid and incorrect.
His late-night lashings-out, with or sans robe,
Are wilder than the birds, who will not tweet
If he continues warming up the globe,
And trades the EPA for bigger fleets.
His mind lands on himself, as light is fading,
And shifts all blame to others, like a child.
As all our best protections are degrading,
He crows his trivial lies, with none beguiled.
His world seems fantasy, a separate reign,
Blind to all that breathe in his domain.
—PTL

46

First, dispute the undeniable, despite
Embarrassment. Then, claim to know of plots—
Some predecessor’s subterfuge of spite.
No evidence required—just take your shots.
You’ll soar above the petty, trivial fights
If you just peck, and tweet, and use your beak
To comment on the latest TV slights,
The failures of the press (those losers). Weak!
They say that centering yourself is best
For managing the people in your orbit—
Stay centered on yourself. Keep out the rest,
Especially the refugees. That’s it!
And if these measures don’t increase your power,
Just fly away!  Just not to your bugged tower.
—PTL

38

Watching others’ lives play out on screen,
I look up to clichés well recreated,
And, fascinated by the plots unseen,
Find inspiration not to be outdated:
A pacifist is braver than a bully,
Rich bankers are the real thieves, by their loans,
And family members sacrifice so fully
That what they gain is love, not more to own.
The dreamers may be black, gay, white, or brown,
And claim their families, places, ways to be;
Some immigrants arrive from out of town
And hear the words for trust, said differently.
In times like these, when peace is out of fashion,
At least the movies point to some compassion.
—PTL

31

Motifs repeat in half tones condescending
Throughout his fugue of minor dissonance.
Progressions backward move against consent,
All harmony trumped by vain cryptograms.
Trumpet comes barging into string quartets
Brass speaks loud, overpowering melodies,
Repeat repeat repeat—the score’s upset
By one cadenza played for parody.
False notes abroad, the world’s his symphony
Improvisation on the spot, untrue
But nothing new, no ingenuity,
Just history, made to sound a note more blue.
This tragic movement plays on without end
And who can tell what coda it portends?
—PTL

26

American allegiance: Russia’s prize,
Not just the President, but NSC!
We scurry towards security’s demise
For Trump’s regime, and also you and me.
From GRU headquarters, hear the squeaks
Of those who thought that moles were “in like Flynn,”
Whose confidant has been undone by leaks,
Though hackers helped his friend-in-chief get in.
Though Flynn is ratted, hunted out of office,
His furtive dealings leave so many questions.
The House Dems smell blood; GOP is cautious;
While fears of blackmail spur investigation.
Ensnared by accusations and offenses,
A rat is cut loose, as the mousetrap tenses.

—LDS, PTL, ERP