Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ebb and Flow

We have done this before
Now we do it once more
We kick open the door
Leaving her on the floor
Petrified

Once inside, though, we find
That the enemy's mind
Is a different kind
So he's left us behind
Stupefied

Then we stay for a spell
In that bleak, blasted hell
Bagging up those who fell
So their mothers can't tell
How they died

Then, surrounded, we wait
For that moment when fate
Either early or late
Orders us out the gate
With our pride

When we go they come back
First they flee then attack
Daytime bright, nighttime black
It's not courage they lack
On their side

They've got nowhere to go
This is home: all they know
We can lay the place low
Blood in rivers may flow
Deep and wide

Still the families mourn
Ours and theirs, spirits torn
Of all hopefulness shorn
Only grief; nothing born
From Death's bride

In the end we'll depart
As we came: dumb not smart
Leaving others to start
Healing wounds and with heart
Turn the tide

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2005

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

America the Dutiful

In the Land of the Fleeced and the Home of the Slave
Where the cowed and the buffaloed moan
Where seldom we find an inquisitive mind
And the people pay up with a groan

While at home on the range when the firing begins
Not a word of encouragement sounds
The temp workers leave for their other day jobs
And the cops and the guards make their rounds

When the rich ones start wars that the poor have to fight
And the chickenhawks glare as they cluck
The recruiters hold raffles and promise the moon
In the neighborhoods down on their luck

Where the clouds hang around for the length of the day
Casting shadows and fear all around
A lost mother grieves and starts haunting the land
Having just laid her son in the ground

As the war against someone somewhere at some time
Never quite seems to end or conclude
War itself becomes reason for having this war
Leaving no room for thought to intrude

Unreported out west by vacationing scribes
Seeking rest from Access Mentalpause
The tombstones in Aspen turn up all at once
Having roots that connect with their cause

Now the Fig Leaf Contingent has answered the call
From a time long ago it's returned
Once again to buy time for the guilty to mime
More excuses for lives that they've burned

So the dead really died so that more dead can die
Goes the "logic" that once more holds sway
Understanding, the Fig Leaf Contingent steps up,
Packs its gear and then marches away

Late at night out on runway strips hidden and dark
Where the citizens can't see what shocks
The Contingent comes "home" one-by-one, all alone,
In a wheelchair or flag-covered box

So the long-promised "victory" ever recedes
As the Fig Leaf Contingent fights on
Keeping faith with the faithless who've ordered its doom
Like a poorly schooled chess player's pawn

In the dutiful land of the fruitcakes and nuts
Where the sun shines between the two seas
The hills in their lavender majesty stand
Unaffected by men's howling pleas

For to go with no reason where no purpose calls
Leads to nothing but more of the same
Till the Fig Leaf Contingent's utility fails
To deflect any more of the blame

And since something was lost surely someone has failed
Only whom could those proud persons be?
Not the chickenhawks glaring and clucking for war!
Not the neo-new, know-nothing "we"!

As the first mate harpooner admonished his crew
In the mad Captain Ahab's vast tale
He would not have along for a ride in his boat
Any man not afraid of a whale

For the ocean is great and my ship is so small
And the winds blow beyond all command
Only fools and the drowned ever this truth forget
Which is why they should stay on dry land

But the day-trippers out for a float on the pond
Seldom think of the perilous shoals
So they send off the Fig Leaf Contingent to fight
Absent only some well-defined goals

Thus they played on TV what in real life demands
More than Hobbits, and wizards, and elves
Thus they taught us our duty much better by far
Than they put into practice themselves

So we've come back again from our exile abroad
With our tattered ranks bitter and sore
Having done what our Maximum Leader would not
All of that and a hundred times more

We are here `cause we're here `cause we're here `cause we're here
And for no other reason on earth
But for us in the Fig Leaf Contingent, we know
What our duty and honor are worth

So we will not abandon to memory's hole
Those we loved and who loved us in turn
And we go to our graveyards secure in our trust
That with us, maybe someday you'll learn


Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2005

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Boobie Blank Rubber Checks

(From the in-progress epic of post-linguistic Comparative Misanthropology: "Fernando Po, U.S.A.")

They ran for their election by
Not promising to say
What they would do in office if
They ever got their way
Instead they vaguely swore to show
How nicely they could play

The last guys gave the president
A blank check for his war
The new guys said they wouldn't but
They might if pushed too far
Which meant -- in their case -- nothing more
Than wishing on a star

For "pushing" means to Democrats
A hint about a name
That mean old bad Republicans
Might use to pin the blame
On those who dared to try and do
The job for which they came

The Boobies thought that they'd thrown out
The ones they didn't like
For feeding them a pack of lies
Upon a pointed pike
All wrapped in soothing, empty noise
Like "win" and "surge" and "spike"

But all too soon the new guys turned
A shade of yellow pale
The President, they said, has got
The right to trip and fail
Which means that they must post his bond
So he can then skip bail

For don't you know, it wouldn't do
To recognize the fact
That those who voted-in the new
Expected them to act
And not sign off on deals with George
Which he will just redact

See, Boobie George "decides" based on
An "instinct," guess, or whim
He signs the laws alright but claims
They don't apply to him
Which low-watt Boobie Congressmen
Accept like yokels dim

King George the Worst had learned to work
A scam both bold and deft
He asked for loans from Congresses
Who had no money left
When he asked for their signatures
To authorize his theft

Republicans thought this just fine
Since they dined on the pork
The Democrats, though, didn't and
Considered George a dork
For eating all the food while they
Could only lick the fork

Yet still they found it hard to break
Bad habits formed in years
When they watched George consume the wine
While they drank only tears
In tune to him denouncing them
For marrying some queers

So when they got back in it seemed
Just like the bad old days
With George deciding what he'd spend
And them the one that pays
"Support the troops," for him, meant more
Vacation sunshine rays

He didn't even have to fight
The wars he claimed to lead
He had some other folks do that
While he learned how to read
"Some Shakespeares" and Albert Camus:
An awful thought, indeed

Yet as he lost he doubled down
The turning of the screw
And threatened Democrats to up
The ante that he blew:
"Just sign your names alongside mine
Which implicates you too!"

Then comes the part that really hurts
As Democrats confessed
That they would never want to fight
An unarmed man undressed
For fear that this would just offend
All those that he'd oppressed

Those years tied to the whipping post
Had made them love the lash
Internalizing George's lies
That called them traitor trash
They just believed George Bush deserved
To make of them a hash

In fact, they shared his view of life
As his preserve alone
They only thought it fair that he
Should make them cry and moan
Why should he not spit in their face
And kick them till they groan?

What would they do about it if
He asked for "just one more"?
Had he not done the same and worse
So many times before?
He'd fooled them not just one "last time"
But two, and three, and four …

For when the last means "latest" you
Can see one coming next
No reason then to wonder why
Or act a bit perplexed
George only screws the pooch because
Some witches have him hexed!

"So just another rubber check
If you would be so kind
Someone will find the money soon
So I don't really mind
But if they don't, you've still no right
To put me in a bind"

"I never asked permission but
Forgiveness I'll now take
Just 'cause I lied for practice
Don't consider me a fake
Or think that over burning coals
My lying ass you'll rake"

"You bought into my lies at first
And that makes you look dumb
And now you can't admit it so
You're now beneath my thumb
And I can go on lying 'cause
Your brain's already numb"

"Somehow you think that time will pass
And folks will just forget
The ease with which I suckered you
Each time I placed a bet
And you bankrolled my losing
Though I haven't won once yet"

"Just sign upon the dotted line;
I'm sure you know your place
I swear I won't come back next year
And throw it in your face:
How this, your very signature,
Means my war you embrace"

"Those fingers crossed behind my back?
Why, pay no mind to those
They only indicate what I

Have no wish to disclose:
That I have sundry plans afoot
For giving you the hose!"

"You know from past experience
How I have jerked your chain
And yet you keep on coming back;
You simply can't abstain
From "just one more last" whipping which
Must mean you like the pain"

"I've only got two years to go
So that means two more checks
Just give me this one now despite
The budget that it wrecks
Your kids will pay it back one day
With chains around their necks"

Republicans have words for things

All lined up in a row
They think that they can spout some words
And that will make things so

Which Democrats confirm each time
They eat a meal of crow

So, yes, "just one more last time" check
For blood and sweat and tears
Just like the other "one last times"
We've had the last four years:
A bouncing rubber bankruptcy
Refinancing our fears

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Just One More Last Blank Rubber Check

The American Government wants "just one more last blank rubber check" from the American people. What does that mean?

Well, that depends on what "just," "one," "more," "last," "blank," "rubber," and "check" mean, both as individual words and collectively as a bloated Orwellian euphemism designed specifically to confuse and demoralize the American people.

After four straight "war" years of bald-faced, unfunded raids on the American blood bank and treasury, we can only marvel at the chutzpah -- i.e., "unmitigated gall" -- of a government completely unembarrassed by a record of reckless, bloody blundering unprecedented in the nation's history. Even worse, though, must come the judgment of future historians wondering how on earth any nation so willingly plundered by its own rapacious "leadership" could dare to consider itself "modern," let alone "civilized" or even "educated"?

Reportedly a "democracy," the American voters in the last election soundly repudiated Sheriff Dick Cheney, Deputy Dubya Bush (the Mayberry Machiavellis) along with the Republican Party (the Mayberry town council) for insisting that both America and Iraq allow George W. Bush to continue his little ego trip playing commander-in-briefs for at least two more fruitless, inconclusive years (that would make six in total) at a cost that no one can even begin to calculate for benefits that no one has ever stipulated. So where could words like "just" (meaning "merely"), "one" (meaning "less than two"), "more" (meaning "additional"), and "last" (meaning "latest in a long sequence") fit into any sentence that a human brain could process without self-destructing from the internal inconsistencies? (Think here of the old Star Trek movie where Spock cleverly disables a diabolical computer by asking it to compute "to the last decimal point" the value of Pi.) Given the unmistakeable electoral repudiation, Sheriff Dick, Deputy Dubya, the Republican Party, and now the Democratic Party as well, apparently wish to tell the voters -- in effect -- to go screw themselves and their "democracy." The governing group, as Sheriff Dick said even before the electoral spanking, plans to "stay the course" and contiue steaming "full speed ahead" right into the giant iceberg clearly floating ominously in the direct path of the Titanic. To hell with the expressed survival instincts of the ticket-paying passengers!

With the newly installed Madam Speaker of the House wielding the purse strings to the nation's empty purse, we then have to ask who wears the pants in the new "family valued" Congess? But then, how could we possibly tell, what with everybody in Congress running around in their soiled Iraqi diapers?

I just heard Speaker Nancy Pelosi promise "no blank check" for Deputy Dubya's long-lost war on the now-hung Saddam Hussein and his long-defunct government of Iraq that never had any WMD, ties to Al Qaida, or involvemtent in 9/11/2001. Then, I immediately heard from her "number two," Steny Hoyer, that he thought differently. Now, don't these people ever talk to each other before they talk to everyone else out of both side of their mouths at the same time? And that just goes for starters in the House.

Over in the Senate, we have the Democratic Party's "leader," Hary Reid, joining Nancy Pelosi in "opposing" any more troops for Iraq. Then, we immediately hear from Democratic Senator "Bloviatin' Joe" Biden that the President can have whatever war he wants and no Congress can tell him anything about how, where, when, or why to wage it.

These people just don't get it. They simply can't cut the crap. The people want them to do three things: (1) cut the funding, (2) revoke the authorization, and (3) punish the perps. That will end the present Amrerican War on Iraq and teach the governing group not to even think about any more such disasters for at least another twenty years. Despite what Bloviatin' Joe says, previous Congresses have done all three of these things and this Congress had better get started on all three of them simultaneously now. We demand that they cut out the crappy mixed metaphors and flawed figures of speech. We've heard them all for four years running and don't want to hear them anymore.

The issue for deadbeat, free-lunch America doesn't involve "blank checks" but "rubber," "bouncing" ones. It doesn't matter if the rubber check has only the busted gambler Deputy Dubya's worthless signature on it or comes with the worthless counter-signature of a spineless Democratic Congress, too. The rubber check bounces no matter how many crooks countersign for each other. The looted American treasury has no money in it and no new stream of tax revenues to replenish the account. So Dubya and the Democrats think they can just go on tapping the kids' trust fund "just one more last time" for absolutely nothing? They need to cut the crap and stop the thieving. They need to quit robbing the future to pay for more needless warfare welfare and makework militarism. Our kids and grandkids who haven't even gotten jobs and started paying payroll taxes yet need us to stand up for them and tell our lying, incompetent, dingbat governing group: "Stop, thieves!"

Now, Congressmen, Senators, and corrupt co-Presidents: clean your dirty diapers and put either your dresses or pants on over them. And then cut the crap. Start putting money back into the accounts. Start replenishing the nation's blood bank. No more rubber checks -- blank or otherwise -- that you sign yourselves when you all ought to serve time in jail for conspiracy to defraud the American people.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Escalating Sacrifice

(In the Gaelic Bardic verse style)

"Slow-ramp," "peak," and "spike," and "surge "
Sell the urge to escalate
Great Success just needs more stuff
Not enough has worked to date

Keep repeating what has failed:
Plan derailed by what it lacks
Just deny the evidence
Talk in senseless Duckspeak quacks

If at first you don't succeed
Pay no heed to reasons why
Keep on doing what you did
Count on kidding those who die

Keep on getting what you've got
One more blot of reddish hue
Like the sunset staining clouds,
Sky, and shrouds, and ledgers, too

Toss the dice in reckless glee
Play for free with others' stash
Then demand a subsidy
One last spree to burn some cash

Someone else will save the day
You just pray for time to stall
Later when we all have died
Your vain pride will seem so small

Unforced errors in a game
With no name or published rules
Made-up reasons for some wars
Work for whores and pimps and fools

Focus-group some soothing noise
Salesmen's toys to wrap and shrink
Alice plays the willing chump
Humpty Dumpty knows to think

Anything to drag the feet
Win the treat through tricks enhanced
Races into journeys morph
Backwards Orpheus has glanced


Who is master? Who is slave?
Whose cold grave contains the price?
Wooden-headed stumblebum
Wants some human sacrifice

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Metrics for Measure

(Dedicated to Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost her son, from a son who lost his mother)

Note*: Two years ago when I first wrote this poem, the two multiplier-syllables "thirty" in the second line of the third stanza read "twenty." Otherwise, the verses remain in no need of changing -- with still no sign of pity and mercy from those now unfortunately entrusted with the power to show and grant both.

The pricking of his thumbs begins to sting
With something fell and wicked-coming fraught
Entangled with the painful playful thing
Wherein the conscience of the prince is caught

Now Isabella camps outside his ranch
Her silent supplication real not fake
Her rude requests for justice make him blanch
Her simple power poised to grab and shake

Her time, down in a roadside ditch, she bides
With thirty*-hundred crosses witness mute
While safe within his bubble he resides
The gashes in the dead his lies confute

His thought no counsel credible informs
So on he stumbles, mouthing scripted rhyme
Upon the gibbet’s scaffold he performs
For his allotted fifteen minutes’ time

An angry ape with glassy essence clear
Before high heaven trotting out his trick
Afraid of nothing quite so much as fear
Which makes splenetic angels laugh till sick

Assured of his own ignorance he pressed
To have himself informed of what he knew
In little brief authority he dressed
So as to mask his nakedness from view

His counselor, the clown, roved here and there
Professing, like Rasputin, cures to know
For royal hemophilia laid bare
As turds that blossom on the frozen snow

But still the would-be great no greatness had
They thus could only mock the small who sobbed
Until disrobed, in disrepute unclad,
Their perfidy showed clear to those they’d robbed

But Gandalf once to Frodo Baggins said,
In telling him his uncle Bilbo’s tale,
That even small ones lost in fear and dread
Can turn the blast of fortune’s greatest gale

For Bilbo spared the vicious Gollum’s good
In pity of one long so lonely lost
And would not strike him even though he could
Which in the end saved all great evil’s cost

No doubt some live who maybe ought to die
And some that die deserve to live instead
But who shall make of his own life a lie
Who deals out death in judgment of the dead?

And as the wizard might have said at length
What Isabella did, a court to sway:
How excellent to have a giant’s strength
But tyrannous to use it in that way

For even very wise ones cannot see
The end to all the mischief that ensues
From feckless fights and their mad misery
As complex as a rainbow’s many hues

And as such smallish suitors might combine
Soliciting compassion as their cause
They plead for pity in a single line
That pelting petty officers might pause

For making thunder just to hear the noise
And lightning just to see the awe and shock
If overused by adolescent boys
Will look more like the chicken than the hawk

They like it well enough when first they think
That all will go exactly as they dream
But soon enough they shun the fetid stink
That clogs the nose and gags them till they scream

Those wise who hold great power in reserve
And do not waste it in a foolish deed
Have moral power more which well will serve
When faced with future’s grave and greater need

Thus Isabella Baggins now implores
The one who can to pity those who serve
And bring them home from bloody foreign shores
To reap the future lives that they deserve

We only ask for metrics we can use
To measure what is often promised glib
By bureaucrats who went and lit the fuse
And now can only hedge, and stall, and fib

Yet once more he reiterates his lies
He now commands no love from him that dies
With shoulders of a dwarfish thief he tries
To wear a giant’s robe above his size


Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2005, 2007

Let's Already Do It Again

Let's already do it again
Let's write with no ink in the pen
On the paper no trace of the egg on our face
Let's already do it again

Let's start on our very next loss
With a coin and some dice and a toss
Let's forget this here game where we've come up so lame
The next time around we'll be boss

Let's hurry to do it again
With the chorus still shouting "Amen!"
Before we can think of the fact that we stink
Let's pour on the perfume and then…

Let's you and him get in a fight
Then we'll get involved for a night
Helping out here and there, we'll of course gladly share
What was yours that we've "earned" with our might

The brass needs a billet or two
And some soldiers in order to screw
A few jumbo jets and they've got no regrets
Not with CNN asking their view

They "can do," you see, though they can't
Rhetorically venting their rant
They talk a good show then the battle they slow
Making "long time" the footprint they plant

A "journey," they say, not a "race"
Attempting to save naked face
In four years and more, they've produced a "long war"
Of their "victory" -- no sign or trace

Let's unlearn our history now
And not ask about why or how
While still sort of numb and sufficiently dumb
Let's not any learning allow

We failed in Vietnam before
Despite all the blood, guts, and gore
Yet no fortune's vast for our leadership caste
To squander on warbucks galore

A syndrome we need to construct
To conceal the true fact that we're fucked
Our governing group has just stepped in the poop
Now they've got to deny that they've sucked

We need war to prop up the few
Who really have nothing to do
Their lack of a skill means that others must kill
To produce all the "metrics" they skew

The Worst and the Dullest, they paint
Every failure with their smell and taint
In a rut or a groove, they have set out to prove
What Tweedledee said "isn't" ain't

We've got the worst leadership team:
A truly mad, nightmarish scream
But screwing the pooch while a backside they smooch
To them seems like just a wet dream

Wherever they came from, who knows?
Incompetence in them just grows
They get us bombed stiff then they jump off a cliff
Demonstrating what already shows

We just hung a man in Iraq
Once gone, though, we can't get him back
Now without any rope, down the slippery slope
Our excuses get ever more slack

They talk of a "spike" and a "surge"
All to cover a fear and an urge
They've shot our last wad, now they've left it to "GAWD"
To figure out where next to splurge

They've had all the time that they need
To knock off the bullshit and screed
With their flat learning curve, they've one hell of a nerve
To demand more sick bodies to bleed

This ain't good and it's got to stop
Whatever they try at they flop
If left at the helm they'll just wreck the whole realm
In planting their dragon's teeth crop

So let us dismiss these vile men
Now mainly less rooster than hen
Before they can blow what at sundown they crow:
"Let's already do it again!"


Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2007