Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bonus Sonnet on the Casper Star-Tribune

Reducing costs by cutting back on staff
Instead of on the less essential things,
Has come to be so common I can't laugh
To learn that a newspaper also clings
Fast to the thought reporters aren't a need.
That they are what the news can't do without
A quaint idea held just by those who read,
But one the publishers can surely flout.
Cut to a scene just days after the news
Came out and cops and ambulances and
Whatnot were all on scene searching for clues.
But it was no ex-worker out of hand.
"You lost your job? Well here, just have some blow"
Some joker thought, and mailed it, as we know.

Rude Awakenings Won't Be This Rude Much Longer

Some morning's it's worthwhile to try and sleep,
E'en though the workday beckons 'crost the hours,
E'en though the melatonin's failed to keep
The sleeper down to recoup all her powers.
But she was wide awake at 1 A.M.,
Awakened by her border collie's moans,
From drinking of the kitchen's "rain" again,
Her need to go as subtle as her groans.
The predawn chill, the parking lot, the ice,
Th'insistent pulling toward the pooping grounds,
All act in concert to exact a price,
Along with all the gloomy predawn sounds,
To fill my head with wishes for a yard
And make my try at more sleep rather hard.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Really, I Don't Go to the Liquor Store THAT Often

With any luck, I will be moving soon,
With moving comes a special moving need
For boxes, for to transport all that's strewn
About my home, that's mostly stuff to read.
So to the liquor store I went today
That I might start to clear out all the nooks
And crannies that I'm not ashamed to say
Are piled from floor to ceiling with my books.
Booze boxes are the greatest far and wide
For moving out the contents of bookshelves.
A store of boxes e'er is laid aside
For patrons such as I to help themselves.
And so I did, but was ashamed to find,
I'd grabbed the wrong ones, but they didn't mind.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Will Miss His Soundbites Somewhat Less Than Bush's

Indulge I do at times in schadenfreude,
A vice, I know, but sometimes I can't help
But celebrate when someone so devoid
Of virtues gets the chop. I gave a yelp
Of glee when he today was so impeached
That he can't serve the state of Illinois
As even a dogcatcher. He has leached
From history a portion of the joy
We rightly felt to see Obama's win.
Then he compared himself to MLK
And Ghandi when exposed as not human
But Vogon-born, and proved it just today
By tormenting his state house and senate
And living glupules frart and slipulate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Has Found a Cruel New Way to Mock My Fragile Hopes and Modest Dreams

This morning at my local grocery store,
Was laid for me a welcome, glad surprise:
Strawberries for a dollar, nothing more,
Per pound, and those of quality and size
And scent to make me wonder when I am.
It's wintertime, yet they they were, so ripe
And ready to be made up into jam.
I bought up four; my debit card did swipe
And brought them home with great alacrity --
But then I came back home to find a mess:
My ceiling weeping like a willow tree,
My kitchen floor awash in snowmelt, yes,
Those roof repairs they did that raised my rent
Last time around were money so well spent!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Happiness Officer is Now Six Years Older Than Justin Timberlake. Haw!

A short while back, my sister said to him
"The Broncos coach is younger, now, than me!"
And Kevin quipped, because he's somewhat dim
"Most people are!" and laughed tee-hee with glee.
The world and time are catching up, though, now.
Our birthday boy has reached his thirty-third.
Though youthful looks continue to endow
His face, he's no spring chick, more an old bird.
His heroes just get younger; those sports stars
And pop icons that Kevin so admires
Would call him old if they met him in bars
Or in the wilderness at their bonfires.
But what the hell, let's give the guy his day,
Buy him some beers and tell him he's okay.

Monday, January 26, 2009

In Which I Elucidate how Wyoming Winter Blows

Few snowball fights or snowmen happen here.
We watch white streaks instead whiz by like stars
In film effects as spaceships fly and veer
At faster speeds than light can go. Our cars
Are sometimes buried deeply in the stuff,
And must be excavated by and by
With shovels, but more often it's enough
To brush it off, so powdery and dry
Is Cheyenne's version of a winter's snow.
But even that is rare, as rare's the day
When after any cruel and snowy night
That any of that snow is there to stay
Upon the ground to glitter by daylight.
But woe betide us, if the snow's still there;
The wind makes a new storm, perhaps a pair.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In Which the Pros and Cons of Shift Work Are Considered

Today while you, my readers filled the pews
At church, or stayed at home all snug in bed,
I made my way to work; for me it's Tues-
Not Sunday; yes, it messes with my head.
It's worth the slight confusion though, for I
Go home on Tuesday night, my week complete.
And three whole days and nights must all pass by
Before I must return; it's pretty sweet.
Alas, though, for my friends, and family, too,
When making plans for what we'll do for fun,
Who have to ask "What day is it for you?"
And are at work when all of mine is done.
It could be worse; last year I worked at night
And never would emerge while it was light.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

In Which I Attempt to Improve my Financial Literacy with the Aid of Science Fiction and a Hot New Non-Fiction Title

Today I started on a brand new book,
One which I have anticipated much.
It joins with sev'ral I have on the hook
In various states of finishing, as such.
(I speak herein of reading, though I plea
To write a few someday, as you may guess).
It's Ferguson's financial history
Th'Ascent of Money, fresh-ish off the press.
I'm only partway in, on Chapter One
Already feeling wiser than I was
On matters monetary - now they're fun!
And easier to tackle, all because
Of how much fun The Baroque Cycle was!

Friday, January 23, 2009

House Hunting is Fun But O the Dilemmas!!

Would-be homeowner, I cannot decide
Among a field of four potential homes.
I have, of course, a trusty Realtor guide,
But even with his help, attention roams.
An inexpensive house is cute and small --
Too small, I fear, but it would need no work
Before I could move in, my dog and all.
It's dull, though, lacking any charm or quirk.
Two others are more interesting by far,
A split-level with lots of room and land
And a roof that is not up to par --
And an old one's wiring is none too grand.
The final candidate wins on locale.
It's hard to make a choice, but choose I shall!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Downturn, Schmownturn, I've Got Hope and I'm Buying a House to Prove It!

I'm off on an exciting journey, which,
I once would never have thought could occur.
I knew that houses weren't just for the rich,
But didn't grasp just what my options were.
Financial news is grim 'most ev'rywhere;
Wyoming, though, is still in decent shape.
Our progress is so slow and we're so square,
That we take time to catch up, or escape,
The trends beyond our borders. I, therefore,
Have got a chance to move now to improve
My lot in life, to free my hopes to soar,
To make at last a long-awaited move.
I'm house-hunting, for keeps this time, hooray!
All thanks due to the WCDA.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In Which a Five-Year Slacker/Tenant Decides to Pack Up and Leave

My landlords think it's time to raise my rent.
I think it means it's moving time for me.
But in Cheyenne even a mere pup tent
Is out of reach, for it must be dog-free.
Five years ago, I moved here to Cheyenne
With dog in tow and found this was the truth.
One place alone there was with no cruel ban
On pets and was affordable, forsooth.
The price I've paid, though, far exceeds my lease.
This building is much like a trailer park:
Oft visted by our local police,
A driveway full of shopping carts to mark
The classiness of those who dwell in here.
No rentals still, though; time to BUY, I fear.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kleenpocalypse - Or How it's NICE to Cry For Once

I think today on other times I've cried
The way I did when he held up his hand
And promised he would do his best to guide
Our progress t'ward the future of this land.
There were some, yes, but rarely tears of joy
Welled up this way. Through my much younger eyes
I saw a spaceship, like some ill-made toy
Explode and streak in pieces through the skies.
And 9/11, of course brought forth my tears,
As did the storm that swallowed New Orleans.
These pains, at least, have faded o'er the years.
There will be more, but for now what this means
Is that I'm happy, proud to see this day
But sad to know the feeling cannot stay.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bonus Sonnet on Battlestar Galactica

The last Cylon need not be Ellen Tigh.
A herring she could be in a red dress.
Of course, I know, on Earth we saw her die
And tell her husband fie on his distress.
There are so many episodes to go,
So many chances for a twist or turn
Of just the sort we like about this show.
It's possible that we have yet to learn
How these five people crossed both time and space,
Were normal folks who lived on Planet Earth,
Then manifested in a brand new place,
Quite ign'rant of the nature of their birth.
Remember, too, the Colonel's silly tics
Mistaking his dead wife sometimes for Six.

For Melissa, or: My First Short-Order Sonnet

At the request of Melissa, my friend,
Who works with me and keeps me much amused,
I must complete before our day shift's end
A sonnet on a bird that's much abused.
We cut their beaks, we caponize their cocks,
We feed them friends and relatives betimes,
All so they will taste good in soups and stocks
And as filets with tequila and limes.
They're tasty, too, when fried like Daddy does
Or baked with artichokes and some sherry.
No matter what you do, they're great, because
A chicken's far indeed from ordinary.
And I have yet to mention chicken eggs,
Which taste almost as good as chicken legs.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Majority Rules When Someone Else has Control of the TV

This is a great, big day for football fans
(Confession time: I am not one of those),
A day on which a world of bets and plans
Have centered. I should not turn up my nose.
But honestly, were I to get to choose
Just what I'd get updates on from afar,
Today I'd call and clamor for the news
Which focuses on quite another star.
Inauguration Day is two days hence,
But already the parties have begun.
Today in Washington at great expense
A concert's on that's like no other one.
I can't be there, or watch, or even lurk,
But I can watch the Steelers play at work.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Don't Call Us Vultures, We Just Know Opportunity When It Goes Splat in Front of Us

My friends and I seek to be in the biz.
Of filmmaking, at least on a small scale.
We have a script. What's holding us up is
The camera. We're waiting for a sale.
How fortunate the stars have so aligned
As to have brought about untimely death
(Or bankruptcy) to a chain store you'll find
'Most everywhere the shopping crowds draw breath.
So now my co-producer braves the horde,
While I, at work, do research by remote
On what he finds, at downtimes when I'm bored.
But he's the man; I'm glad to get a vote.
And from the ash of Circuit City's store
Comes Heroes Only Studios, maybe more!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Methane is Not Just for Global Warming Anymore

I am concerned today with CH4,
It's methane in the common English tongue.
On Earth we seek to rid ourselves of or
At least reduce its source in farts and dung.
The EPA, it plans a new cow tax
(Or "permit fee" to use its preferred term).
It sucks, but, as they say, well them's the facts.
So as I say, I'm quite concerned to learn
Of methane's being detected out on Mars.
A sign of life, the optimistic say.
I'm not so sure: the creation of czars
Would seem to be the habit of the day.
A Methane Mars Czar really can't be long
In coming. Until then, there's Bowie's song.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This Sonnet Will Make No Sense if You Don't Play Magic

It is the day before a tournament
Which will require I bring a standard deck.
I've several; but none that represent
A winning chance for me, but what the heck?
My favorite is all in blue and green,
But for a blue it lacks somewhat in tricks,
And has a lot of creatures; none too mean.
I have a day or so to try to fix
What I have got. I like it for the fun
Of Slippery Bogle and his wacky ilk.
But as I look through now I have begun
To see this deck's as menacing as milk.
It's out of date, too, mostly Eventide.
But do I play for fun, or play for pride?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

R.I.P. Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner was once my fav'rite show
(Or one of them, at least; they've not been few),
This though I was born years after the blow
Of yanking it was dealt to those of you
Who saw it in its actual heyday.
It baffled me, which few TV shows try;
It rarely bothered to explain its plot,
It never spat contempt at my mind's eye
A quality that I enjoy a lot.
It scared me, too, the Rover and the town,
The chill succession of those Numbers One,
These frightened me more than even a clown
And Number Six used brains 'stead of a gun
To try to make his daring weird escapes.
Be Seeing You. At least I still have tapes...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Phlebotomy is a Sore Subject Today

Was it my fault, or was it just the stick
That caused my blood donation so to fail,
I wonder, though I know I should not kick
Myself; I know misfortune can prevail.
I woke today and knew I'd do some good,
Would feel today that warm and special pride.
I know deep down it counts some that I would
Have done so, yes, it matters that I tried.
The needle, it refused to stay in place.
My flow of blood is famed for being strong...
Today I left the van and felt disgrace.
No matter what the reason there's one less
Pint to be had, and it's a rotten mess.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Cannot Help it; I'm Going to Miss Him A Little

It's a sad day, but I've a strategy
To cope a bit with what I needs must mourn.
I write today a sort of elegy
To this we've lost, that's been a kind of porn.
Our president today gave us his last
Press conference as our great C-in-C.
I often find that not till things are past
Do I indeed see what they've meant to me.
"Oh, hey, Brazil, you have black people too..."
"When I talk war, I'm really talking peace..."
(I paraphrase to keep my sonnet true)
Yes, all too soon, these Bushisms will cease.
But when it comes to laughter versus hope,
I'll take an earnest man over a dope.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Still Miss D&D But I've Found a Balm For This Pain

I'm of a certain age; I'm an adult,
With adult roles and claims upon my day.
There's more than just my wishes to consult,
And I'm required to plan ahead to play.
In college days, a good role-playing game
Was measured out in sessions hours long.
We'd play for days or weeks with no great shame.
And focus on keeping our stories strong.
No longer do we have that luxury,
My friends and I; thank goodness for the fact
That other folks with less to do than we
Have come up with board games that can compact
Role playing games onto an evening's fun.
And Arkham Horror is my fav'rite one.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Sonnet in Which I Reveal that Iambic Pentameter's a Bitch

On days like these, I curse my foolish thought
To generate, before each day is through
A sonnet that has all the things it ought:
The syllables, the rhyme scheme and then, too
The meter that, for Shakespeare, seems a breeze.
It drives me mad, for my poor feeble brain
Thinks in ottava rima, if you please!
I think I can give Byron all the blame.
I read his great Don Juan much too young,
Spent too much time admiring for their style
Those silly lines that tripped so off my tongue,
And never failed to bring to me a smile.
But since I haven't got a time machine,
I'll do my best to keep to this, my scheme.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Laundrette is Not a Fun Place To Be on Friday

I'm told a watched pot, never, ever boils.
I know now that watched laundry never dries.
A half hour only gets out stains and soils
Predictably. No matter how one tries,
She can't predict how long it's going to take
To turn those duds from wet and sopping rags
To dry ones. It's a thing she cannot fake
Or hasten with a round of pleads and nags.
A pressing appointment or hot date?
That's not the dryer's fault; she might have come
To get a sooner start. It's worth the wait
To have clean clothes, though, even if it's dumb
To watch one's garments tumble round and round
Is actually somewhat soothing, I have found.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beer for Dinner, Or How I Went Out with My Worst Friend but Still Wrote a Sonnet

It's Thursday evening in this little town,
And there might not seem to be much to do,
But, thanks to Kevin, I've no cause to frown.
I watch him bowl and cheer until I'm blue
(Of face, that is) and there's an added plus:
His bowling league includes a small side game,
A weirdo form of bingo that works thus
(And if it doesn't, I don't take the blame):
A bingo space gets daubed if there's a match
Between its number and a bowler's score.
That they must hit these numbers is the catch.
If they don't, then I just laugh and drink some more.
Although betimes they do call my attention
To an error, in ink or comprehension.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

With Thanks to my Mother for Showing Me These Time Sinks

I never thought that I would see a fish
Suspended from a tree or picture frame.
But then one day I made a fateful wish
Online and found a hidden object game.
Nor did I think I'd lose so damned much time
Just sitting there and staring at the screen.
But now, alas, just such a fate is mine.
I scrutinize and squint at every scene
Trying to find the necklace and skateboard,
The mushroom and the chainsaw and the bed.
A mass of vines may just conceal a gourd,
But then again, perhaps a monkey's head...
Insomnia finds me often, but it seems
I've found a substitute for my missed dreams.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm Enjoying My New Work Hours While They Last

Before today, the sun rose after I
Had gotten up and dressed and off to work.
In winter, several hours would go by
Before it came up; now I've earned a perk.
My shift begins at nine like normal folks'.
Like normal folks, I go to bed at night.
Of course with this new shift there comes the jokes
About the lights and traffic I must fight
To get there in the fierce Cheyenne rush hour.
It's just for now, though, because I just might
Commute by bike before the year's first flower
Emerges from the frozen dirt in spring.
The greenway path is really just the thing!

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Did My Bit for Global Warming, and I'll Do It Again Before January is Out

I thought, perhaps, I'd ride my bike today
As morning dawned, so bright and clear and clean.
My plans on sober pond'ring went astray;
The cold wind in my face, also the sheen
Of hoarfrost glitt'ring all around the place
Belied, indeed, my window's invitation.
Astride my bike, I go at a good pace,
Much rapider than in p'rambulation.
A walk with collie proved I'd be a fool
To let that cold wind hit with greater speed.
Am I a wimp? Oh well, I'm sure that you'll
Say so. I just didn't see the need
For pain. And so, though it's not very far,
I did my grocery shopping with my car.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

He Should Have been Secretary of State Anyway

Bill Richardson at one time had my vote.
A truly worldly man, with qualities
That made me wonder, smile and then take note;
Some of these guys had possibilities!
(The Democrats, I mean - it's nothing new
That I don't like them much - I won't say hate)
Now due to some inviolate taboo
Involving doing business with his state --
A pity he was not a martinet,
Or faltered when he chose in whom to trust --
He won't be part of our Obama's cabinet.
And I, for one, regard this as a bust --
Not of the man or of his reputation
But maybe, of our prospects for the nation.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Kettle Boils With Rage at a Pre-Paid Secular Phone

My chicken stock, homemade, doth simmer slow,
Its fragrance lightly wafts around the room.
Nearby, my brand new cell phone, it doth glow,
And taunts me with text messages that loom
Unread because I'm now in cell phone hell.
The new one is supposed to work but won't.
The old one sits, a sad cell-phone shaped shell.
I think of throwing it; of course I don't.
It's time right now to skim away the scum
That's bubbled to the surface of my broth.
This soup's a balm; it's proof that I'm not dumb,
Just impotent right now. I seethe in wrath.
Without my broth and collie I'm alone
To wait the plodding pleasure of Tracfone.

Friday, January 2, 2009

For Gaara Worley, on Learning of his Birth

Fortunate boy, in choosing a good mother;
A father too, I think you did pick well.
They will treat you kindly, neither smother
Nor ignore you. Then someday I will tell
You stories, when you're older, of your folks
Before you came along into their lives.
Right now you can't appreciate the jokes,
But I'll record the best ones; they'll survive!
(Your parents, both abounding in good humor
Will, of course, indugle me with a wink)
Just remember: don't give credence to each rumor.
They're both of them much wiser than you think.
I'll tell you this right now: they'll never bore you.
And all of us are ready to adore you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

If a Tree Falls in an Apartment, Does a Dog Make a Sound?

My Christmas tree, its hour now is come.
It's New Year's now, and time to put away
The tinsel and the baubles; that time's done.
Another year or so must have its say
Before I haul out all that stuff again.
My dog awaits the clearing of that space --
Not large, for my tree hasn't ever been
A tall, imposing emblem of the grace
The season brings to dwellings great or small.
But it, along with some assorted gifts
Did partly block her egress to the hall.
That season gone, my collie's spirit lifts:
The carpet's hers to roll around and spread
The fur and dander she can't help but shed.