April In Oregon

Spring sprang today from eight to ten,
At which time winter came again,
Then summer shone from noon ’til four,
Then briefly fall, then spring some more.
Tonight they say prepare for frost.
What season is it, please? I’m lost.


Manifest Density

One hundred sixty years (or so)
Ago, the state we’ve come to know
As where the Bundy boys vacation
Joined the fast-encroaching nation
On the Feast of Valentine
In eighteen hundred fifty-nine.
How many settlers said, “Oh, great,
The frontier’s gone. Now we’re a state?
We moved out west to get away
From that, and now the U.S.A.
Has caught us, and it’s all begun
Again? The end. Poor Oregon.”

An Open Letter to @RepSchrader

@RepSchrader: You keep saying
Nothing in this bill’s delaying
Any refugees from seeking
Safety here, and we’re all freaking
Out for nothing. Thanks for linking
To the text. It got me thinking,
Which is necessary so
We recognize what we don’t know.
Now, you propose our country’s laws
Should now include a special clause
Subjecting “certain aliens”
To extra checks for safety’s ends.
This appears to have one meaning:
“In addition to the screening”
Already in place, those who
Are “covered aliens” go through
A “supplemental” background check–
Which you say doesn’t stack the deck
Against said population–plus
Said check then needs “unanimous
Concurrence” from the heads of three
Fed agencies, which then will be
Reported to “appropriate
Congressional Committees,” set
Out in subsections (A) through (L)
Of Section 2(e)(2). You tell
Us this addition to our laws
Won’t somehow introduce a “pause”
(To put a strongly positive
Interpretation on it)? Give
Me just a little credit, sir.
It’s not as if conditions were
Not tough enough for refugees,
Now applicants will have to please
A dozen groups of congressmen
Before proceedings may begin?
And none of this will constitute
A special burden, sir? Well, shoot,
If that’s the case, then why not ask
All refugees to pass that task,
And not just Syrians and those
Who’ve visited Iraq? Suppose
We didn’t single such folks out.
Would you have signed this bill? I doubt
You would have, since American
Tradition would preclude that. Then
Explain to me, please, how this bill
Does not discriminate? I will,
Along with Lady Liberty,
Look forward to your answer. We
Once welcomed at our “golden door”
All wretched, homeless masses; your
Endorsement of this bill rejects
That noble pledge in most respects.
So, what’s the SAFE Act for, again?
–Confused in Salem, Oregon.


Reasonable men can disagree
But we’ve just reached the tipping point for me:
If you don’t think the time has finally come
For stronger gun control, you must be dumb.
It isn’t personal. You’re not a dick
(As far as I know), but you’re clearly thick.
There’s nowhere else on all of planet Earth
Where anybody thinks that guns are worth
The almost daily death, distress and woe
Engendered by our stupid status quo.
Defending to our deaths your sacred right
To own an arsenal means you’re not bright
Enough to grasp the concept in your hand;
Put down the gun, perhaps you’ll understand.
And empty hands will leave your fingers free
So you can count the corpses that we see
Accumulating everywhere we look.
The victims’ names alone could fill a book
From San Ysidro down through Sandy Hook
To yesterday in Roseburg, Oregon.
What chump defends an Umpqua for a gun?
It’s obvious: An idiot would do
Exactly that. Am I maligning you?
It isn’t my intent to give offense.
You’re stupid, but it’s not your fault you’re dense.
I won’t apologize for lacking tact.
Your low I.Q. is just objective fact.
You cry that it’s a senseless tragedy
And on that score I partially agree.
It’s senseless, but the tragedy is this:
Your ignorance is slaughtering our bliss.