On Naming A Cat

With deference to Eliot
And that Mister Mistoffelees
Can you choose to name your cat
A sobriquet like Socrates?
Or maybe since there is a cat
Already in the house who’s named
Vincent, you figure surely that
Picasso for the newly tamed.
His eyes are blue like oceans bay
So you could call him Frankie, too.
He croons and purrs both night and day
And seems to get a kick outta you.
But if T.S were truly right
And two monikers are required
The pressure weighs and causes fright
In hopeless turmoil I am mired.
A name is fixed and permanent
Forever by it he will go.
I’ll hope for help from heaven sent
Barring that I’ll just call him Mo.


Kids play in the street
on a Sunday at eight
No school in the morning
they all can sleep late

But your life will go on
without holiday
without any respite
from a regular day

The clock still gets punched
at a quarter to nine
some bourbon in your coffee
and march down the line

She’s gone and you’re haunted
by that which remains
nothing of consequence
nothing to claim

Perhaps there is time
to salvage some shred
of hope in your happiness,
some color but red

The blood on the wall
the pillow, the sheet
dripping down to the floor
puddled brilliant at your feet

The neighborhood’s gone quiet
as you stand in the dark
No one to call comfort
The pain remains stark

What Happened To America

The SWAT team knocks down another door
in search of someone’s bag of pot.
The snitch gave them the wrong address.
No drugs were found
Just a sleeping family man
Pulls a gun to protect himself.
But it’s OK, only he got shot.

A little girl, orphan now
Daddy died before her eyes,
Protecting her but not so well.
His hand on her face was all she knew
and now she’s just a ward of state.

Same judge who signed the warrant
justifying the unjust raid
sends her off to foster care,
Smugly thinks she’s better off.
Now two lives are wasted
on a non-existent bag of pot.

The snitch gets off, the cop goes free,
the judge escapes reprimand
and we pretend not to see
that life is different than before.
When it can happen to anyone
innocent and free of blame,
we’ve lost our freedom, lost our way
and we’ve done it to ourselves.

To gain it back would be difficult,
we’ve grown accustomed to this tragedy.
It’s all around us every day,
like winter’s chill and blowing wind, we acclimate to it.
But without our freedom we cannot be
that shining light upon a hill.

We may not have the strength to change
after all, it did not happen to us or ours.
But if we don’t, we all have lost
our lives in that same way.