Just Don’t Use A Smartphone App

If you close your eyes
And pretend you’re someplace nice
Traffic’s not that bad



Shed: your jacket, shoes, and belt;
Emotions you might once have felt
On taking leave of ones you love;
Your matching woolen hat and glove
(The one that’s not gone walkabout);
The pocketstuff you’ve emptied out
In view of other skybound sheep.
Annoyance? Anger? Those you keep.
Wait! You, there, with the patient grin,
That’s not allowed. Please queue again.

Friends For Dinner

The turkeys in my neighborhood
Are growing stout, as turkeys should
If they’d prefer to be nonliving
By the time we reach Thanksgiving.
I, for one, would rather see
A scrawny pair whose company
Would bring us joy the whole year through!
(‘Cause turkey’s good at Christmas, too.)


My house is infested with paperbirds
Silent pilots of dust-covered wings
They’re easily caught or brought down with a swat
But I don’t want to murder the things
They flutter a bit and they flit a lot
Which ceaseless activity brings
Rather less to enjoy than harass and annoy
Which in turn leads to unfriendly words
Being cast at those darned paperbirds

So Help Me, Stan Lee

Class of ’80, Radford High,
Honolulu: There was I,
Rising senior, wising ass,
V.P. of the junior class
Whose last official act as Veep
Was swearing in the one who’d keep
Us safe and sound if something went
Awry with our next President.
As usual, I hadn’t planned
Ahead, assuming there’d be canned
Inductions as per Robert’s Rules.
Perhaps there were at other schools
Or other years, but not, alas,
That day in Dr. K’s chem class
At lunchtime, where the meeting was.
It’s frozen in my mind because
My classmates were so serious!
I watched them, frankly curious
About their earnest attitudes,
Unusual in island dudes
And dudettes. When the first one took
Her oath upon the Holy Book
To be our Senior Secretary,
I just grinned, but I grew wary
When the Treasurer, up next,
Was likewise sworn in on the text
That King James passed along from God
Which, in a public school, seemed odd
And possibly unlawful; still,
If they perceived as Holy Will
Their duties Secretaryish
And Treasurely, well, that’s their wish,
But I was not about to call
Down lightning bolts upon us all
Through accidental heresy
While swearing in our new V.P.
I glanced around the lab to find
A volume Jesus wouldn’t mind
Me using to apply the oath,
And spotted one I hoped was both
Appropriately secular
And gravitas-imbued: I’m sure
You’ve heard, With great power comes great
Responsibility. The late
Stan Lee, who passed away this morning,
First invoked those words of warning
For boy-hero Spider-Man,
Who must do good because he can.
And thus, that humid day in May,
I asked our new V.P. to say
His oath of office with his hand
Upon Amazing Spider-Man:
The Book, repeating after me
These last words: “So help me, Stan Lee.”