Jul 11, 2014

Cleveland Really Rocks Tonight


A brand new day has dawned
Another era has begun
We welcome the return
Of Cleveland’s second-favorite son

No more with those Ohioans
Complain and moan and grumble
No more will they disdain the drive;
Obsess about the fumble

There’s something on the news today
I’ve not seen for a while
The sun came up this morning
And I saw a city smile

The science ISN’T settled
Fortune CAN be brooked by men
Thomas Wolfe was wrong
Because you can go home again

I read the words the athlete wrote
I read the words and cried
If any man says that he didn’t
I say that man just lied

How rare and wonderful a thing
Dear sisters and dear brothers
That someone pondering their path
Should think so much of others

And how amid your triumphs
Find the courage that it takes
To stand before the world
And to acknowledge your mistakes

Now I’m ecstatic too
Because as everybody knows
Our nation’s outlook turns
The way the Cuyahoga flows

The Cleveland streets are joyous now
But soon we may all learn
How happier “C-Town” can be…
Should “Johnny Radio” return

Jul 3, 2014

Happy Birthday, America

Each birthday sees another year
We put into our past
And we remark, as they approach,
“This year’s gone by so fast”

We gain a little wisdom
And we lose a little hair
And vow we’ll do more exercise
And eschew he ├ęclair

We’ll learn to speak a language
Or to play the bass guitar
But birthday resolutions
Just don’t get us very far

Our nation has a birthday
And we mark it every year
With spectacles and speeches
Both the raucous and austere

With cannonades and concerts
Folks at PBS are staging
While failing to appreciate
Our country, too, is aging

We’re one more year removed
From when our founders filled the hall
To sign a piece of parchment
And together risk it all
 
They had, if you look carefully
But little chance of winning
And hardly a conception
Of the battle just beginning

The way is long and dangerous
And struggles seldom cease
In the fight to nurture liberty
And insure domestic peace

No year will go by quietly
And each tomorrow brings
A testament of tyrants
And a cast of would-be kings

Those who want the power
But ignore both law and letter
Who defend such usurpations
By asserting they know better.

They say they love the nation
But have funny ways to show it
And one by one like birthdays
Freedom’s gone before you know it.

So resolve to serve your country
And the threats now placed upon her
By pledging your...attention
And, of course, your sacred honor

Jun 27, 2014

The Ballad of Big Thunder Mountain (And Duane)


I'll tell you a tale of a man and a town
And the town's tale I'm telling you first
But it don't matter much
Cause to tell you the truth
Both the man and the town have been cursed

It's a great thing to live
Amongst people who give
Of corruption, there wasn't a smidge
And the town got its name
From an afternoon rain
So they called the old place Rainbow Ridge

Then someone said, "Gold!"
As the story is told
And the people by riches were blinded
Then they dug and they poked
But the spirits they woke-ed
Were upset and malevolent-minded

Well, it may have been greed
But they didn't take heed
And the taste of the hooch they were swiggin'
Made 'em go in too deep
And they started to weep
Stuck down in that hole they were diggin'

Well, they never returned
And you'd think we'd have learned
But gold has a hold over men
There are those who take pride
Out of takin' that ride
And they do it again and again

There was one, name of Duane
Who kept taking that train
Said he didn't give a darn about curses
Now, I know it's quite late
So I'll sum up his fate
Right here in a couple of verses

For the sake of these rhymes
Over 100 times
He defied every ghoul and each ghost
It’s a common mistake
Trying records to break
Which he does at behest of the host
 
Scared half out of his wits
Finally Duane called it quits
Though his teeth are now quite a bit looser
If he hadn’t said, “Whoa!”
Then the Hugh Hewitt Show
Would have had to go find a Producer.

Jun 20, 2014

Lies and Lessons


The lies we’ve heard
This year, to date
Are multiple and myriad
There’s not a grain of truth
In any sentence, phrase or period

The climate’s warming faster
And the atmosphere is hot
Except that every measurement
Suggests that they are not

Bureaucrats get bonuses
While vets are losing sleep
Waiting for appointments
With the doctors they can’t keep

The summer’s put on hold
With every regulation set
For coal is quarantined
As is the bar-b-q brick-ette

It’s hard to know for certain
When it all becomes a fog
But hard drives were recycled
And the homework ate my dog

Congressional committees
Have shown patience and restraint
The Fifth Amendment’s sacred
If the First Amendment ain’t

And every morning brings
The same old questions from reporters
What terrorists?  What scandals?
What immigrants?  What borders?

But now we face a crisis
Neither hyped nor overstated
Terror’s on the march again
And that can’t be debated

The planet’s made of granite
But even stone can break
Lives are in the balance
And there must be no mistake

The buck stops at White House
Where from a crowd of voices
The President alone is left
With nothing but hard choices

And though it seems instinctive
That we find some way to thwart him
This time I'd like to find a way
To rally and support him

OF all the League of Nations
Only one is a deterrent
That Truth is often painful
I’d be lying, if it weren’t

Retro Poem of the Week - The Fence


Congresspersons, gals and guys
Exalt the art of compromise
They sit, they talk, they schmooze, they chat.
You give me this. I’ll give you that
And usually what they intended.
Comes out horribly amended.

I have it from the best advisers
That stars weren’t built by compromisers
And though I know that in my heart
I’ve decided now to do my part
For on the issues of the border
A compromise must be in order
So let the give and take commence

Take what you want
Just give us the fence

Take amnesty for all transgressions
Take all our worldly possessions
Use parchment for your documents
Just give us the fence

Take the Yankees to Mexico City
Take the entire Senate Judiciary Committee
We bow to your omnipotence
Just give us the fence

Take every “mench” and every “schnorrer”
Take Michael Chertoff’s hair restorer
Take every Pez we can dispense
Just give us the fence

We’ll give up sections of Ohio
And celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Capitulate, for all intents
Just give us the fence

Take all our cheese
From Brie to Stilton
Take Paris, France, Take Paris Hilton
Take everything and take it hence
Just give us the fence

Take both the tiny and immense
Just give us the fence
Take both the passive and intense
Just give us the fence
Take both the fluffy and the dense
Just give us the fence

Take heart, take flight or even umbrage
Free yourself from all encumbrage
What do we ask for recompense?
Just give us the fence!

May 23, 2014

In the News

When I was young, my father read The Times and The Tribune
The Times came in the morning and the Trib, the afternoon
 
He poured over their pages in his goal to stay informed
And he often uttered expletives while dinner rolls were warmed
 
He didn’t have a laptop and he didn’t use a mouse
But all the news we needed Cronkite brought into the house
 
On SATURDAY at 10 PM, he’s pocket a few dimes
And get the first edition of the SUNDAY New York Times
 
We’d drive down to the candy store and if we had good luck
We’d grab The Times (and Daily News) as they came off the truck
 
The Sunday Times was massive; a real marvel of the age
But my father wasn’t daunted and he read it page by page
 
I feel a little sadness
Maybe just a little shame
I can’t count on the President
To stop and do the same
 
I know the news is out there; I hear it every day
But all those trips and t-times must be getting in the way
 
Some may call it politics and some may call it lies
But it’s clear that every scandal always comes as a surprise
 
I heard an explanation or it could be just a fable
They trimmed the White House budget and they had to cut the cable
 
On every breaking story and on every super scoop
I guess that’s why the President’s been left out of the loop
 
Those old days weren’t half as bad as everyone alleges
When newsboys on their bikes tossed folded papers in our hedges
 
But if those newsies try it now, they’ll go down to defeat
For the front porch of the White House is just too far from the street.

May 16, 2014

Poet's Progress


I sit up nights in my abode
Trying hard to pen an ode
Praying that the week’s events’ll
Find their way down through my pencil
Looking, from this chair I’ve sat on
For some hook to hang my hat on
Hoping then that listeners say,
“I’ve never heard it put that way.”

Sometimes it’s just like tap-in puttin’
Sometimes I sit for hours—and nuttin’
This week, when inspiration struck
It hit me like a ten-ton truck

Among Obama’s many messes
We look in vain for his successes
But working hard to be objective
I’ve tried to see from his perspective

They did things and they did them fast
The ACA was pushed and passed
 
The work force now is light and leaner
The Green Police are getting meaner

And through their policies, so clever
More folks get food stamps now than ever

They took the helm and held it steady
And soon we all were shovel ready
 
And then of course, they saved GM
Now, how’s that working out for them?
 
A battle may be won, but lost
If vict’ry comes with too much cost

Way back when Plutarch wrote that lyric
They called a vict’ry like that Pyrric

Now call it anything you chose
When this regime succeeds, we lose

They see a goal and go for it
We’ve got the scars to show for it

Apr 25, 2014

The War on Women (Men)


They’ll tell you this tomorrow

‘Cause they told you this before

All across this country

On our women, there’s a war

 

Men don’t want their women

To be regal or be regnant

We want them in the kitchen

Barefoot, meek, and pregnant

 

Ms. Clinton says that men like this

Have outraged and incensed her

She must include Obama here

Because he ran against her

 

If he believed what he says now

And harbors no ill-feeling

I think he should have stepped aside

And opened that glass ceiling

 

They’ll beat you with statistics

‘Til you’re almost black and blue

As if the more your say something

That somehow makes it true

 

For every dollar Ben takes home

The take home pay of Bess

No matter how she does her job

Is twenty-three cents less

 

Now you can argue back and forth

Debate, cajole or quibble

But never reach agreement

On the pay of Stan or Sybil

 

But there’s one thing you can’t dispute

An argument that’s stronger

Women, on the average

Than men live five years longer

 

So here’s the little secret

That my poetry’s exposed

Women get our SSI

While men mostly get hosed

 

I didn’t want to lead us down

This deadly primrose path

But in the name of equity

I went and did the math

 

That’s fifty bucks on average more

That Stella gets than Steven

But we won’t raise a big to-do

Come on, let’s call it even

 

Apr 3, 2014

Impossibly Good News


Seven million sign ups
Ain’t that swell
Baghdad Bob is alive and well

He changed his name
For just one Day
From Baghdad Bob to D.C. Jay

The ranks of the uninsured have shrunk
We met the target; Who’d a thunk

Just last week
We had no clue
Now it’s seven million
Sixty-seven thousand
And thirty-two
(Who knew?)

In other news
Even more surprising
The world’s at peace and the seas stopped rising
 
We’ve entered an era
Of great good felling
The weapons were surrendered and the planet’s healing

All the bad guys just left town
And the unemployment rate went down

Merkel may be playing hard to get
But our role with Russia has been re-set
Putin’s plans have all been thwarted
And looked at all the people that we’ve deported

All is joy and peace and love
Everything’s been gotten to the bottom of

Sun’s in the sky
And the sky ain’t fallin’
Osama’s dead
And GM’s…recallin

I’ve met or exceeded all my goals
Now why don’t we go play eighteen holes.
Last time I played..ain’t it a wonder
You might not believe it but I shot six under.

Brouhaha


Reporters all like brouhahas
They sure are lots of fun
You don’t know what’s a brouhaha
Well, Watergate was one

Bridgegate is another
And those cable guys pursue it
Asking ol’ Chris Christie
What he knew and when he knew it
 
It’s as if every anchor
There on M S N B C
Lives or has a cousin
Stuck in traffic in Ft. Lee

It’s what across the nation
All the media enjoy
Except for in Hawaii
Where they call them brou ha hoi

The Russian word for brouhaha
I just don’t want to try
I know that in Jerusalem
They call them HAZARAI

The problem with a brouhaha
You never know when stuff’ll
Blow up from a (you know what)
Into a real kerfuffle

You issue a denial
Your spokesman shouts and stomps
And what was a kerfuffle’s
Now a full blown contre temps
 
Today’s administration
They sure have had their share
Of fracases, to-dos and rows
As you might be aware

A tumult and a hub bub
Lesser powers might defeat
But far beyond the notice
Of the media elite

The strategy they’ve seized upon
Like none that came before it
Presented with a crisis
Quite simply, they ignore it.

Mar 21, 2014

Ukraine


The lessons that I’ve learned in life
I summarize this way
You learn most from what people do
And not from what they say.

If you have pride in where you’re from
And don’t have soap to sell
You won’t object to wearing
A small flag on your lapel

You’d know you govern by the law
And not through rules and orders
That countries have their interests
Their traditions and their borders
 
I speak of one such country
Whose name by now you’ve guessed
Whose people and whose borders lie
Between the East and West

Not so very long ago
With warheads laid in stacks
They gave up all their weapons
‘Cause we said we had their backs

And when the Ukraine asked for help
They thought we would deliver
But when a push became a shove
We sold them down the river
 
A doctrine of diplomacy
That Kerry rarely mentions
You can’t cement alliances
With only good intentions

Around the world
The USA most surely has detractors.
Though looking at it carefully
They mostly are bad actors.

And if we leave our allies twist
For all the world to see
Among the bad-est actors
Is just what we will be.

Mar 6, 2014

CPAC


I’d like to see at CPAC
A man or woman proudly
Address the delegation
And hear them cheering loudly

I’d like to see a leader
(Where have they gone and whence?)
With common touch like Christie
But much more common sense.

I’d like to see at CPAC
While in this mess we’re mired
A man whose best quotation
Isn’t, “Hey, you’re fired!”

A hotshot from the Congress
Whose budget brilliance smolders
But doesn’t put the burden
On Master Sergeant’s shoulders

A young gun from the Senate
With right and able reasoning
But given current data
Perhaps with some more seasoning

I’d like to see at CPAC
I don’t know his or her name
But kindly give us someone
Without the same old surname
 
A star to stir the nation
Whose every word and letter
Persuades our doubting spirits
That WE can make things better

Feb 14, 2014

A Valentine Poem

You must have heard this one before
And if you have, don’t laugh
We spend our lifetimes looking for
Our other, better half

Some say, for every man
This is a neverending journey
And if you’re in agreement
May I suggest a good attorney?

Others say the soulmate
Is a metaphor or myth
And likewise, their advice
Is that you love the one you’re with

We all know how it feels
When someone tears our heart to tatters
For seeking, lost or gained
Love is the only thing that matters

Solitude is life
Lived on a road that only narrows
And you have known no joy
Without the pain of Cupid’s arrows

For love, I’ve left my fate and fortune
Fall into neglect
But seeing I’m a poet, fellas
What would you expect?

So if you need a Valentine
Or think you wouldn’t mind one
Log on to e-Harmony for heaven’s sakes
And find one.

Jan 24, 2014

I Can't Go Home Again


I’m gonna tell you something
Just a few of you might know
I come from New York City
Though I’m called Tarzana Joe

I learned to ride the subway
When a token cost a quarter
I love the smell of sidewalks
And the taste of Catskill water

I’m friendly and outgoing
With a healthy fear of strangers
I like the Mets and Yankees
Giants, Jets and New York Rangers

I hoped I might revisit
Where I’ve lived and loved before
But according to the governor
I ain’t welcome there no more

He’s forced me out of Flatbush
And he’s banned me from Bay Ridge
That’s assuming that Chris Christie
Even lets me cross the bridge

There’s no room for my business
And I can’t root for my team
‘Cause my views are non-conforming
And my ideas—too extreme

Though we both grew up as Catholics
I imagine and suppose he
Learned his catechism
From a teacher named Pelosi

Rare and safe and legal
That’s how they say it should be
And they think that they’re successful
When they failed two out of three

I’d love a nice vacation
Central Park is worth a stroll
But all things being equal
I’d prefer to keep my soul

Yes, I’m sticking to my guns here
High water, friend, or hell come
And hope the Pearly Gates
Will be a place where I’ll be welcome

Jan 17, 2014

The Ballad of Omnibus Bill

You must have heard and should recall
Of “robbing Peter to pay Paul”
Which means, for Pittsburg Steeler fans,
That money, while it changes hands
Makes a move that doesn’t matter
Burns the former, cheats the latter
But worse, on the Absurd-o-meter
Is robbing Peter to pay Peter
Which by a vote of two-to-one
Is what our government has done
It strikes me as the height of pettiness
To charge a grunt for his own readiness
To bill a flyer for his fuel
To dock a sailor for his gruel
And do it without one mis-giving
I guess that’s just the cost of living.

Forgive me if I’m mis-construing
But could this be Paul Ryan’s doing?
It seems to me the pundits said
He was the sharpest in the shed
I guess it’s time that I re-rate him
He let Joe Biden out-debate him
And now, with his entire staff
Appears too clever here, by half
We’ve cut your pay, but have no fears
We put it off for two more years
It’s just part of the D.C. dance
We’ll fix it…if we get the chance
 
And what about this Rogers guy
So proud of all that he put by
The architect, perhaps the artisan
Twelve hundred pages of bi-partisan
A treasure trove of gives and gets
But give-backs from retired vets
Friend, when you reach across the aisle
You often step in quite a pile
I don’t know much, but what I knows is
Something smells…and it sure ain’t roses

Nov 8, 2013

It Goes Without Saying


What we have is so fantastic
All we really need is branding
As to what was said or promised
There was some misunderstanding

Well, you may have thought you heard it
And you might think that you read it
But allow me to assure you
I never ever said it

And if somebody here wrote it
Then we all told him to spike it
I never ever spoke it
Or any sentence like it

I’ve a ready gift for language
And sometimes get rather glib
But I never made a promise
Or at worst, it’s just a fib

What I tell you in the future
You can certify and bond it
As to what I said beforehand
I suggest you get beyond it

There are some of you who get it
As I always knew you would
We use any means we have to
To achieve a greater good

And the message that’s essential
Deep in every word I’ve spoken
In the making of an omelet
There are eggs that must be broken

So from here on, no more surprises
Since I promise and decree it
Now that sort of should assure you
And I kind of guarantee it.

Nov 6, 2013

In the Aftermath


We need more men like them
We need more women too
Who in a time of crisis
Do what we all should do
I listen to the host
And think it can’t be true
The people that we lost
Were people that we knew

The man who taught at church
Or shoveled out your walk
The lady at the corner
Who just loved to stop and talk

That woman from IT
Who also did some clerk-ing
The guy who really loved his work
And never did stop working

I only want a hint
Or peek into The Plan
Oh, why is it so hard to be
A Boston Bruins fan?

The crimes against our friends
Are numerous and mounting
Where will we find another soul
So good at bluebird counting

And thinking of his children
I don’t think I can take it
It’s like I got the phone call
Saying, “Marty didn’t make it.”

And then our teacher Mike
Why did he have to die
Remember him whenever
Someone hollers “Semper Fi”

Well, now I’m off to work
I’ll see you both tonight
Before I go please hold me
Hold me Hold me tight.

Oct 18, 2013

I Love Smokey Bear


Some say the spirit lingers
And its impact never ends
Provided that it’s cherished
In the memory of friends

The first thing that the maintenance of memories is good for
We keep alive the principles the dear departed stood for

He set a fine example
For our children everywhere
He showed how great disasters
Are prevented with great care

How what we count as precious
Are a set of basic rules
And much can be accomplished
With a set of simple tools

But now I fear his legacy
Is lost and left behind
The evidence of influence
Is thin and hard to find

And those who should be loyal
To his work and his advices
Seem to have abandoned him
In this the present crisis

In fact they seem to take
Almost opposite perspectives
And claim, when they are challenged
“We’re just following directives.”
 
From a group whose mascot
Preached a basic self-reliance
Confronted with vindictiveness
I hoped for some defiance

If he could see his Ranger Ricks
Behaving in this way
I just can’t help but wondering
What would Smokey Say?

I guess it’s up to us
To frame his legacy in stars
Recalling that he said
Responsibility is ours

So when you hear the spin
That comes from followers and liars
Remember
ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT
Government  overreach
Massive regulation
Constitutional ignorance
Obamacare
and
FOREST FIRES

Oct 4, 2013

As Said by Hugh Hewitt



Hugh Hewitt, on the government
This bit of wisdom spun
That which it does, you don’t miss much
The rest, it can’t get done

Despite the crisis and the wars
The government has shut its doors
For Washington’s elite and brightest
Don’t have a clue, no, not the slightest

Yes, this might mean a bit of trouble
For those inside the beltway bubble
Who’s going to tell those guys the news
They’ll have to shine their own damn shoes

And even the most skilled debater
Must learn to work the elevator
Those White House staffers, flaks and pets
Are locked out just like World War vets

The threat to Fed employees sure could elevate and widen
When we wise up that most are as essential as Joe Biden

So March! Protest! And raise the fuss.
The Tea Party’s done this to us
Until those guys are put to rout
Look what we have to do without

No crazy schemes and regulation
No brand new reams of legislation
No new decrees by any czar
No listening to N.P.R.

No one will be twisting bolts
On any brand new Chevy volts
And here’s a set back worth repeating
The First Lady won’t be tweeting

So many hardships I could cry
I DON’T KNOW HOW WE WILL GET BY

Let’s try

Sep 27, 2013

Green Jobs and Spam

Obamacare.
Obamacare
I do not like Obamacare

Obamacare is what we need
Obamacare….
Says Harry Reid, “You'd love it if you had the facts
Even with that stupid tax.
You will like it here and there
You will love Obamacare.”

"Would you like it for your lung?
Would you like it for your tongue?”

Not for my lung
Not for my tongue
I do not like it here or there
I do not want Obamacare

"Would you use it for your guts?
Would you use it for your cuts?"

Not for my guts
Not for my cuts
Harry Reid you drive me nuts

"Would you just, for this and that
Would you use it for your cat?"

For my cat?
Not even that!
Not for my lung not for my tongue
Not for my cuts not for my guts
I would not use it here or there
I do not like Obamacare
This is program we don’t need
I do not like you, Harry Reid

"You do not like it
So you say
So how about a brief delay?"
 
A brief delay
The heck you say

"And if, somehow, you curry favor
We can offer you a waiver"

But if it’s great, the way you say it
Hope can you want us to delay it?

"Why, with so many dis-affected
None of my friends get re-elected."
 
Oh, Harry Reid you are so clever
Why don’t we put it off…forever?