A Tall Tale

it’s a tale of woe if there ever was one

of a beautiful boy with beautiful hands

a spinner of deals, like no deals ever spun

a boastful lone tweeter who ruled o’er the land

above all, ‘twas loyalty, blind and unquestioning

that he demanded of those in his court

this one-sided toll would become the reckoning

of this narcissist leader who lied just for sport

he surrounded himself with fawners and yessers

with donors and wannabe moguls and fools,

oligarchs too, horsebacked underdressers,

gaslighting the masses, he broke every rule

then one day a hero emerged on the council

a true man of honor, a keeper of justice

one by one he indicted court jesters until

only two of the fawners were left on the list

a scrapper called fixer would squeal for his skin

while a stormy cloud’s lining loomed brash on display

with no favors to claim and his chips all cashed in

the man boy had run out of aces to play

It’s a sad day you know when not everyone’s thrilled

to be rid of the terrible reign of this fool

I’ve kept the main players anon, if you will

to say them out loud; that just wouldn’t be cool

some folks believe that this whole thing is fake

it’s hard to believe it could really be true

history will prove it when less is at stake

how a villainous braggart staged a great coup.


An Epic poem for NaPoWriMo Day 21, Prompt: try writing a poem that plays with the myth of narcissist in some way.

Neatnik – Friday’s Word of the Day

Today’s word of the day at dictionary.com is neatnik. Neatnik is a slang word that means a person  who  is extremely  neat about surroundings,  appearance, etc. It originated, according to dictionary.com, in opposition to the word beatnik,defined as a scruffy,  unshaven member of the “beat” generation (coined in 1958). The common element in both words is the suffix -nik. -Nik is a Yiddish term Slavic in origin. Its meaning is similar to the English suffix -er as in doer, thinker, dancer, etc. Its use denotes a person associated with a specified thing or quality.

Words with the suffix -nik gained popularity in the mid to late 1960’s when the Soviet Sputnik, the worlds first man-made satellite, came on the scene. By definition, a sputnik is a person (or thing) who travels with you on a path (put)* – in other words, a traveling companion. During this time there seemed to be no end to the new words (often derogatory in nature) that were coined using this suffix.

Of course there is our word of the day, NEATNIK, and its cousin, BEATNIK. And there were these iterations that you might recognize:

KAPUTNIK/FLOPNIK (1957), failed U.S. satellite attempt;
MUTTNIK (1957), Soviet satellite with dog aboard;
PEACENIK (1963), originally, opponent of the war in Vietnam;
PROTESTNIK (1965), protester against the war in Vietnam;
REFUSENIK (1975), Soviet Jews denied emigration, and also (1983), one who refused to obey orders as a form of protest;
NOSHNIK, one who likes to nosh (Yiddish for ‘eat snacks’);  STRAIGHTNIK, a heterosexual;  FILMNIK; JAZZNIK; FOLKNIK; BACHNIK; FREUDNIK; (definitions self explanatory)
BUSHNIK, admirerers of George Bush;
NOGOODNIK, a no-good person;
KIBBUTZNIK, a person who lives on a kibbutz;
BEARDNIK, a person with a beard;
SICKNIK, a sicko; a person who is perverse or mentally disturbed;
NUDNIK, a person who is very annoying; a persistent nag.

And of things political in Russia:
RASKOLNIK (1723), a dissenter from the national Church in Russia;
CHINOVNIK/TCHINOVNIK (1877), in Tsarist Russia, a government official, a civil servant, especially a minor functionary, a clerk;
NARODNIK (1885), ‘member of the (common) people,’ a supporter of a type of socialism originating amongst the Russian intelligentsia in the late 19th century and which looked on the peasants and intellectuals as revolutionary forces; a Russian populist. In extended use: a person who tries to politicize a community of rural or urban poor while sharing their living conditions; the name by which pre-Marxist Russian socialists are now generally known;
KOLKHOZNIK (1955), a member of a collective farm (a kolkhoz – 1921) in the U.S.S.R.

Here’s a a link to Wikipedia and an exhaustive list of all things -nik. Oh yes, there are more!

Just in the nick of time, 😉 here is a short three line verse (that is not a proper haiku, though it follows the 5-7-5 syllable rule) to put today’s word of the day to rest. What word would you coin using the suffix -nik? It would be a shame to let such a versatile suffix go to waste! 😊

when a neatnik is
the roommate of a beatnik
it’s an odd coupling


Florescence Day 20

dogwood trees are in bloom
petals, bright, chase the gloom
though stormy clouds may loom, life is good


Florescence Day 20 for Jane Dougherty’s Daily Poetry Challenge. Today a look up the street of my neighborhood…at the dogwood blooming. My favorite tree along with the Magnolia. Have a happy Friday everyone!

Burning – NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 20

it turns out we were right to burn
our bras in 1968; to let our ta-tas fly
free… 2018 science has determined our
lymph nodes need a break from hard-wired
push up constriction, elastic straps and
…alas we are justified, no longer
chided for those days of our restless
discontent over corrupt leaders, the
establishment, unjust wars (our friends were
dying), our love of free love, pot and folk
ballads, wild psychedelic trips, mania, decades
of mad hazy memories, idealistic musings, we got
a few things right, the bra thing at least, except,
I still wear one every day, clogging, constricting my
lymphs, ignoring science, I’m rebellious that way,
it’s a habit, like flossing, not to mention
the true reason for burning them, and the
fact that no bras were actually burned or harmed,
but a metaphor…a mantra, “Let’s judge
ourselves as people”…
it turns out
we were right to burn then…
we’re still burning


My rebellion poem for NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 20, prompt: write a poem that involves rebellion in some way. I am most comfortable with rhyming metered verses and lines. Testing out free verse, and what I consider to be streaming consciousness…I hope it doesn’t come off as rambling. Though it is not necessarily a bad thing to ramble. It might grow on me. 🙂


Melancholia – NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 19

For NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 19 Prompt: write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even give directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem. I used bold text to show you which words I lifted from the prose to create the poem that follows.

This prompt plays out like a deconstructed haibun, using free verse rather than a tanka or haiku/senryu. It also reminds me of doing “black/white out” poetry. At any rate it is a fun way to create a poem. This is my day in day out. Wrote this little break out on my lunch break…back to the grind in 3-2-1.

I spend my daylight hours in a cubicle under a dropped ceiling fitted with fluorescent lights. There is a vent above my head that grinds and blows intermittently throughout the day. I believe that the stale air blasting is laced with dust and black mold from the shadowy crawl spaces in the upper mezzanine partly because I burst into coughing and sneezing fits when the HVAC system kicks in. I heard that the company decided not to do a mold sweep of the building because it didn’t fit in with their ever shrinking budget. Such is life in corporate America where the shareholders and executives are king and the workers are paupers, slaving day in and day out, pinching pennies from the company’s bulging profits. I would likely go crazy, perhaps I’m already a bit mad, if it were not for the floor to ceiling picture windows that flank the outer wall of my cube. At least I can glance out briefly, when my nose is not buried in a spreadsheet and watch the world drift by.  It’s a small perk that makes coming to work at dawn and leaving at dusk, bearable. Sometimes, when I dream at night, I dream of dusty gray cubicles  but sometimes I dream in color.

daylight in a cubicle fitted
with fluorescent lights,
stale air laced with dust and
black mold burst, coughing,
sneezing mold sweep,
ever shrinking is life, where workers
slaving day in and day out, pinching
pennies, go crazy. windows flank
the outer wall. I glance out
briefly, watch the world drift;
sometimes, when I dream
I dream in color.




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