Poetry from Patricia Doyne


                        Starting over.

                        Starting fresh,

                        as if the slate was clean,

                        all baggage safely stowed,

                        no bridges burnt.

                        The meme is a baby,

                        eyes wide with hope,

                        heart filled with confidence and ignorance

                        in equal measure.

                        2020 was a soap opera of catastrophe.

                        Wildfires. Hurricanes,

                        Worldwide pandemic,

                        the U.S. leading in infections and deaths.

                        A president partly impeached.

                        An economy mostly derailed.

                        Election results rejected by the loser.

                        who sicced his lawyers on the courts,

                        and discussed a military coup.

                        Opened prisons instead, for droves of cronies.

                        We would like to leave all traces of 2020 behind.

                        But we bring into 2021 the cause of it all:


                        Our society, with its huge rich/poor split.

                        Our tendency to say, “Me first.

                        Too bad about you.”

                        Our leaders, who magnify what is in our hearts.

                        The New Year Baby is young and fresh.

                        But history allows no “do-overs.”

                        We can’t return to “Start.”

                        We pick up where we left off—

                        and perhaps this time choose the right direction

                        before we start walking.

                        We wade through trash of our own making.

                        But we can stride briskly.

                        And no one said we couldn’t whistle.

                        Copyright 12/2020    Patricia Doyne


                        Like all voyages,

                        the Titanic took to the sea with an all-hands drill.

                        Picture the captain saying,

                        “These life jackets are for emergencies.

                        This is how you put them on.

                        But, of course, wearing them is optional.

                        Let everyone use their own judgement.

                        In paratrooper training, here’s the enlightened instructor:

                        “When you jump, this is how to open your parachute.

                        But they are cumbersome. 

                        Some say wearing heavy packs is bad for your back.

                        So you are free to wear one or not.”

                        One of the most dreaded diseases is leprosy.

                        A colony of lepers was once quarantined on Molokai.

                        Do you suppose Father Damien told his flock,

                        “Hawaii is a state, now.

                        You all enjoy First Amendment freedoms,

                        such as Freedom of Assembly

                        So you don’t have to stay here.

                        Feel free to fly to other islands, or to the mainland;

                        get together with your family and friends;

                        have a wild night at the bar.  Enjoy!”

                        When motorcycle helmets were made mandatory,

                        not all states saw the need.

                        Iowa, for example, felt helmets should be an individual choice.

                        Like covering your mouth when you cough.

                        Or wearing masks during a pandemic.

                        And then there’s the freeway.

                        Cop stops you, says,

                        “Do you know how fast you were going?

                        Well, that’s okay: 70 is just a suggestion,

                        not meant to restrict your driving style.

                        Guy like you wants to get on the open road and fly!

                        I understand.

                        But you might want to get your tail-light fixed.”

                        On city streets,  too, just use good sense

                        Say you oversleep, you’re running late.

                        It makes sense to speed up, blow a stop sign or two.

                        Reject the oppression of red lights.

                        Just do what you gotta do.

                        Another thing!  All those gun control fascists?

                        Haven’t they heard about the Second Amendment?

                        You can keep a rifle or a military arsenal—

                        it’s no one else’s business

                        You shouldn’t need a shrink’s permission.

                        If schools aren’t safe from crazy kids,

                        arm teachers. Custodians. Yard duty. The lunch lady.

                        Don’t limit constitutional rights.

                        So, people!

                        Let’s hear it for freedom!

                        No one should be forced to consider commonweal.

                        Force is a tool of repression,

                        an arm of the Socialist State.

                        Ask the kids forced to get kindergarten shots.

                        Did they choose to get stuck with a needle?

                        What’s the deal here?

                        Isn’t this America?

                         Copyright 12/2020    Patricia Doyne

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