and here is the poem, thanks to my friend Sarah Russell

Sarah Russell Poetry

I am so proud to know Steve Deutsch.  He is part of my poetry workshop group and for the second month in a row, one of his poems, this time “Flotilla,” was chosen by Goodreads from more than 300 entries as a finalist in their monthly contest.  To read the poems in the contest, click here.  And if you agree, as I do, that Steve’s poem is outstanding, please vote.

You left behind.
one half a jelly donut,
stale as last Wednesday;
some clothing, moth-eaten,
mildewed; two shoes,
one black, one brown,
with newsprint for the soles.
You left behind a paper sack
of winter warmth, and poetry
by Whitman, Poe and Crane,
well-fingered and browned in age.

You walked into the river
and left behind four dollars
and eighteen cents, which I
have spent on coffee
and a banana nut muffin,
that crumbled in its freshness.

Your poetry…

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Stevieslaw: Nazis


I like to watch the old newsreels—the ones that used to crack and pop across the screen. The monotoned moderator telling you where and why. I liked the Nazi rallies best. The people shoulder to shoulder on the Reich Party Congress Grounds just southwest of Nuremberg, their faces beaming with adoration—right arms outstretched as if trying to touch their leader—Hitler, as he barked his hatred on the world stage.

I like to watch the Nazi soldiers—elite S.S. I think, as they goose step their way past a reviewing stand—with Hitler and his generals and minions—right arms outstretched as if they could almost grab the globe they hoped to conquer.

I love most to imagine these same soldiers—these same people, freezing on the Russian Steppe. Their threadbare garments no match for the Russian winter. They have nothing to eat except perhaps a leather belt or shoe or some fallen comrade. They are out of ammunition—unless they choose to throw rocks at the Russian tanks. In fact, it has gotten so bad for each and every one of them, that they can’t help but wish for morning—when the merciless Russians, right up there on the rise, will come and kill them quickly.

I like to think the Russians know this and are in no hurry.



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Stevieslaw: Donald Channels Ozzie

Stevieslaw: Donald Channels Ozzie

Donald Trump got the Press Corp out of bed today at 5:30 AM, ushered them into the Press Room, and without ceremony bit the head off of a live bat.

Trump said, “I am mailing this to Kim Jong-un as my final warning.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis later explained, “It is very, very important that the world realize there is more than one insane fucker out there with nuclear weapons. Sleep tight everyone, we are handling it.”

It was in 1982, at a concert in Des Maine, Iowa, that Ozzy Osborne bit the head off a live bat—although he later claimed he thought it was a rubber bat.

Rex Tillerson, continuing his role as Secretary of Calming Things Down, said soon after: We need to consider the whole picture—to put things in perspective. It was, in fact, only a very small bat.”



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Stevieslaw: Matryoshka

Stevieslaw: Matryoshka

The regional office of the FBI was screaming for Russian translators today, in ads placed in all the major news outlets and campus papers.

Stevieslaw has learned that the ads are an outgrowth of the raid on Paul Manafort’s house in Alexandria, Virginia on July 26th. Paul Manafort, as I’m sure you recall, was the head of the Trump campaign leading up to the convention and has been mentioned as a person of interest in the collusion investigation. He was fired when it was learned he had lived in the Kremlin for the past fifteen years and was Vladimir Putin’s first cousin on his mother’s side.

Speaking anonymously, an FBI agent—who suggested we call him JEdgar, told us:

“We expected to find reams and reams of memos and financial documents relative to our investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russian.” “Instead, Russian agents came tumbling out of the house, as soon as we opened the door.”

“They were everywhere,” he continued. “In the attic, in the basement, and nesting under all of the beds like Matryoshka—you know, like Russian nesting dolls.”

“It was eerie,” he said. “Men, women, and children pouring out in torrents and all wearing baseball caps saying “Make America Great Again,” and white t-shirts with “NO COLLUSION” in bold, in red and blue lettering.”

“I think we got them,” concluded JEdgar with a smile.

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Stevieslaw: We Didn’t Know

Stevieslaw: “We Didn’t Know.”

The day after the storms finished off Kansas—not too long after the American Gulf Coast has joined the lost city of Atlantis and a few billion people have tried desperately to leave Southeast Asia—and failed, human induced climate change will finally be recognized by almost all Americans as a bit of a problem.

And how will the climate skeptics and the enablers of big pollution live with themselves, you might ask? What will they tell their grandchildren?

That’s an easy one—they will deny ever knowing. They will swear no one told them. As hail the size of a bus pounds what’s left of Topeka, they will sing to their grandchildren something like:

“We didn’t know said the climate skeptic
About the coming Apocalypse.
It was Trump and his advisors
That tore the the whole damn planet down…

OK. So I’m not much of a lyricist. But, once again, we have Tom Paxton to remind us of just how easy it is to deny. Remember this one?

We Didn’t Know
Words and Music by Tom Paxton
We didn’t know said the Burgomeister,
About the camps on the edge of town.
It was Hitler and his crew,
That tore the German nation down.
We saw the cattle cars it’s true,
And maybe they carried a Jew or two.
They woke us up as they rattled through,
But what did you expect me to do?
We didn’t know at all,
We didn’t see a thing.
You can’t hold us to blame,
What could we do?
It was a terrible shame,
But we can’t bear the blame.
Oh no, not us, we didn’t know.
We didn’t know said the congregation,
Singing a hymn in a church of white.
The Press was full lf lies about us,
Preacher told us we were right.
The outside agitators came.
They burned some churches and put the blame,
On decent southern people’s names,
To set our colored people aflame.
And maybe some of our boys got hot,
And a couple of niggers and reds got shot,
They should have stayed where they belong,
And preacher would’ve told us if we’d done wrong.
We didn’t know said the puzzled voter,
Watching the President on TV.
I guess we’ve got to drop those bombs,
If we’re gonna keep South Asia free.
The President’s such a peaceful man,
I guess he’s got some kind of plan.
They say we’re torturing prisoners of war,
But I don’t believe that stuff no more.
Torturing prisoners is a communist game,
And You can bet they’re doing the same.
I wish this war was over and through,
But what do you expect me to do?


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Stevieslaw: And I think it’s going to rain today

Stevieslaw: And I think it’s going to rain today.

Trump’s vacation at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster is not off to a good start. Rain, rain, rain.

Trump tweeted early this morning: First President ever to have bad weather on his vacation. So UnAmerican.

Trump: Have to put up with fake news outlets, Russian witch hunt, lazy Jeff Session, treacherous Republican traitors, and Mother Nature. Not fair. No other President had to put up with as much.

Trump: I will handle it. I handle everything. Me and John Kelly can beat up anyone in the room.

Speaking of rain and Trump, I am reminded of the song “and I think it’s going to rain today.” For the Brannon’s, Miller’s and Trumps of the world:

I think it’s going to rain today (Randy Newman 1968)
Broken windows and empty hallways
A pale dead moon in the sky streaked with gray
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it’s going to rain today
Scarecrows dressed in the latest styles
With frozen smiles to chase love away
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it’s going to rain today
Lonely, lonely
Tin can at my feet
I think I’ll kick it down the street
That’s the way to treat a friend
Bright before me the signs implore me
To help the needy and show them the way
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it’s going to rain today
And I think it’s going to rain today


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Stevieslaw: Setting the Record Straight

No one at Stevieslaw called President Bonkers to congratulate him on being the best President ever.  If Donald J. Bananas says that we did, as he eventually will, he is lying.


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