Mayor Rules Chocolatier “Essential Business”

by Mark F. Stone

Our craving for chocolate is serious.
Deny us and we will be furious.
Withholding confections
could alter elections
for mayors in ways deleterious.



The I’m Angry Blues

by James A. Tweedie

I’m angry at the President. I’m angry at the press.
I’m angry that I’m stuck at home, my social life’s a mess!
I’m angry for those out of work who cannot pay their bills.
I’m angry at The Virus and the fear that it instills.

I’m angry at the Democrats, whose anger’s worse than mine.
I’m angry at Republicans, and their collective whine.
I’m angry that I have to worship God in cyber space.
I’m angry that I’m forced to wear a mask across my face.

I’m angry for the time that I’ve allowed to slip away
I’m angry that I’m eating too much food at home each day
I’m angry that my butt is super-glued into a chair
In front of my computer screen, it all seems so unfair.

I’m angry the economy has tanked, at least for now.
I’m angry that I want to make things right, but don’t know how.
I’m angry that my mother’s locked inside her room alone,
And angry that the only way to see her is by phone.

The Bible says at sunset I should let my anger go.
I do, but in the morning, it wakes up and says, “Hello.”
I’m angry that I’m angry, it’s not how I want to be.
So angry I could spit, but that would not be safe, you see.

I’m tired of being angry so I’ll go downstairs, instead,
And take my anger out on dough, and bake a loaf of bread.
And then compose a poem or perhaps create a song,
And set my heart on something good instead of all that’s wrong.

For anger is an attitude that I don’t have to choose.
Instead, I’ll let some brighter colors chase away the blues.
My anger won’t achieve a thing. Things are what they will be.
The only thing that I can change, at least for now, is me.



Villanelle for C-19

by Lloyd Jacobs

As quarantine forbids the loving touch
and death is loveless, its house unfit to live,
and playful Cupid’s murdered with a scutch,

isolate and sequester is life to botch.
Celibacy is blessed, but joy it cannot give,
and quarantine forbids the loving touch.

God’s command to flourish thus to scotch
with pestilential fear, the devil’s sieve,
and playful Cupid’s murdered with a scutch.

Rebel and love, kiss life, make bold a putsch
of love licit and illicit, there’s naught to shrive
and quarantine forbids the loving touch.

Deeply intagliate our minds, love’s joy to teach.
For grasping reckless joy, we pray, forgive,
as playful Cupid’s murdered with a scutch.

But ah, do I like it? No not much!
Seditious and defiant, may each his wish receive
tho quarantine forbids the loving touch,
and playful Cupid’s murdered with a scutch.




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44 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    These set of poems bring humor and light to a dark and difficult time. Mark, I love your limerick. It says everything in delicious, scrumptious language that reminds me that chocolate is most certainly serious.

    James, I absolutely love your take on these tough times. The rhyme, rhythm and sentiment speak to my heart and my sense of humor. Thank you for cheering an isolated afternoon.

    Mr. Jacobs, I love this form and I admire you for taking it on.

  2. Mike Bryant

    Mark, I must say that the Mayor, from whichever city he is, is a damn fine politician. And you obviously have it exactly right!

  3. Mike Bryant

    Wow, James… I think you covered everything! And you’ve done it beautifully. I really love that you’ve approached these feelings from a scriptural perspective… also, in the last verse, you’ve approached these frustrations from a perfectly prosaic one. I believe, all in all, you’ve combined spirituality with a can-do attitude and common sense… all while composing a poem that’s beautiful, understandable, pertinent and apt. It’s really hard to do better than that.

    • James A. Tweedie

      TY Mike. What you describe was exactly what I attempted to do. I’m actually not so much angry about all of this (except in transitory moments) as I am upset, impatient and unsettled by them. But “angry” seemed a better way to frame the poem. And there are, of course, many who ARE angry and have legitimate reasons to be so. So, perhaps my poem speaks more for others than it does for myself.

      I also want to affirm the value of this running grim for virus-related ventings, pondering, and screeds. And a kudo (singular) to Joe for the photo.

      • James A. Tweedie

        That was supposed to be “forum” rather than “grim.” But a funny thought . . .

      • Mike Bryant

        So, James, you really are angry then, albeit in transitory moments… even Jesus was angry at the money changers… own it.

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Dear James Tweedie,
    A note from someone who is angry:

    I’m happy with the president. I’m angry at the press.
    The media is scaring us and spreading senseless stress.
    I’m angry for those out of work who cannot pay their bills
    coz shutting down the globe may be the gravest of all ills!

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Susan, you’re right on target. The permanent Deep State, its allies in the Democrat Party, the government bureaucracy, and Mainstream Media are all working overtime to keep the frenzy and hysteria alive.

      And nobody in Mainstream Media is willing to utter a peep about the growing evidence that this virus was cooked up in a laboratory in Red China, negligently allowed to spread there, and then thoughtlessly and unnecessarily inflicted on the rest of the world.

      That’s a lot to be REALLY angry about.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Mr. Salemi, I really appreciate your laser-focused take. If more people had the bravery to speak the truth in plain terms, we would all be a lot better off. Thank you for your insight and honesty. It means an awful lot in these duplicitous and cowardly times.

      • C.B. Anderson

        FOX NEWS, Joseph, just last night, reported on the virus research lab in Wuhan. The problem is that the wet-market might just be a red herring, and that any records from that research institute have surely been destroyed already. Few have said this yet, but the world is at war with China.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Evan, thank you for the link. It’s heartening to know there are genuine journalists out there taking dangerous risks to bring real news to the public. Having just watched this chilling report, we have an awful lot to be angry and extremely worried about. Thank goodness we can channel our fear and fury into poetry that is printed on a site which brings the CCP’s heinous crimes to light.

      • Claude I. S. Weber

        Mr. Salemi, too, is right on target.

        Such Things

        Though back in January some were censored and were mocked,
        and chastised for the thoughts they brought forth, by the twitter mobs,
        for raising just the possibility this plague’s disease
        came from a lab in Wuhan, and leaked accidentally…
        or otherwise.

        But now it seems that scientists are joining the parade
        of those who now believe that COVID-19 is man-made,
        like Doctor Luc Montagnier, who discovered HIV,
        along with Francois Barré-Sinoussi in ’83…
        and other guys.

        Though Indian researchers tried to publish their results
        that showed the genome had another virus in its guts,
        they too were pressured and were censored; they had to withdraw
        their paper and analysis; the pressure was too raw.

        But others now believe it is the case it is man-made;
        in order to insert the HIV sequence displayed
        molecular tools are required, and that must be done
        within a lab’ratory, like the one found in Wuhan.
        Though many deaths may come because of Chinese tinkering,
        the good news, it may die out; nature doesn’t like such things.

  5. Julian D. Woodruff

    These are great buck up poems! So glad this org exists, and this site.
    The advice of Mssrs. Stone, Tweedie, and Jacob’s seems to be:
    Make your rants serious (but not too!). This plague
    Will catch us all if we despair and let it.
    God help us all to live, ‘though not forget it.
    Meanwhile, complaints should be spot on, not vague.

  6. Mike Bryant

    “Fewer illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths were reported this year than during last year’s notoriously brutal flu season, earning the 2018-2019 season an overall severity rating of “moderate,” according to a new CDC recap.”… “ In total, the CDC estimates that up to 42.9 million people got sick during the 2018-2019 flu season, 647,000 people were hospitalized and 61,200 died.”

    First the government and the models said that up to 1.2 million Americans would die from this virus. Then it was reduced… up to 200,000 Americans would die from this Chinese virus… next reduced to 61,000 Americans will die… Now they are lowering that to maybe 50,000 Americans… since even that number is a stretch, the CDC has instructed all hospitals to report that ANY death that may have conceivably had ANYTHING to do with the WUFLU MUST be reported as a Covid-19 fatality…

    Must we destroy the economy for an illness that is about like the flu season of 2018-2019?
    How many will die because of higher suicide rates?
    How many must lose their jobs… their houses… their self-respect because the Globalists feel their power slipping away?

    Are we really THAT gullible… that stupid… that powerless… that meek?

    Could we stand up to power as Saint Southworth did?

    Are we ready to let the American dream turn into a nightmare because we’ve been gaslighted by an unholy alliance?

    Not me, and not my wife!

    Maybe it’s time for EVERYONE to OWN their anger and get off the fence. We are at war, Mr. Tweedie.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Mike and Joe, et al,

      Anger is a powerful motivator on both personal and social levels. It is, in fact, along with fear and greed, one of the primary motivations for war. Consider the anger generated by the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the sinkings of the Maine and the Lusitania, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the multiple events of 9/11. Anger and fear are particularly useful, manipulative tools wielded by leaders to stir up popular support for radical social causes-a tool wielded equally well by both progressive and conservative governments. In war, the anger of individual soldiers is sometimes stirred to motivate them for a particular mission, but those who lead rarely allow themselves to be consumed by it and, when they do, their emotions all too often cloud their judgment in making strategic, long term decisions. Those who lead best are motivated by a dedication and commitment to clearly defined principles which lead to visions made tangible by setting reachable goals achieved by the completion of a series of objectives. Those consumed and motivated by anger invariably end up destroying both themselves and others, which is why the Bible warns us against reveling in it. Anger may motivate a person to chose a side and get off the metaphorical fence, but there are also other, more substantive and more productive reasons for doing so. I feel anger, of course, and acknowledge that anger. But, so as not to be consumed by it, I choose to set it aside and be motivated by other things. In war, anger is the emotion of those who follow, not of those who lead.

      • Mike Bryant

        I think it is telling that you would not address my wife, Susan. Who is harboring anger and who is expressing Christ-like anger? Her name is not “et al”. What IS truth? I know you are not a hypocrite so stop acting like one.

      • Mike Bryant

        James Tweedie,
        Every one of you politically correct, progressive preachers are the same… you’ll be the death of America and everything she stands for… Good Day! Maybe you should stand with the pope… you sure won’t stand for America… will you?

  7. C.B. Anderson

    That was one rollicking good poem, James, especially from someone who, by all accounts, should tend to be slow to anger. You left no stone unturned.

    So, Lloyd, your villanelle was centered in the right places, both of the mind and heart, but some of the details were a botch. I understand how rhymes can elude us in English, and not even good Scotch can always provide a remedy. Don’t give up your day job, but please keep the midnight oil burning steadily.

  8. Monty

    Another good idea, Mark, as a follow-up to your baby-boom limerick. Now you say it, I can see instantly how Americans wouldn’t be able to go without their chocolate.

    Your poem, James, is very neatly written, and displays genuine frustration at your continued house-arrest. Can we label your feelings as stir-crazy? But of the thoughts you’ve expressed, I feel there are a few which you don’t really need to be angry about. For example: whose social-life is NOT in a mess at the moment? And surely you can still pray to your god even without the internet. What happened to the old ‘put your hands together and pray’: does that not count now the western-world’s gone virtual? But I fully appreciate your concerns about your Mum: that must be frustrating. Still, it was pleasing to notice that you qualified your thoughts in the last two stanzas . . that’s the spirit.
    ‘Anger is an Energy’: J. Lydon (once of the Sex Pistols)

    I found your poem, Lloyd, to be a bit disjointed; and I felt that some parts of the diction were forced, in order to fit into the form.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Mike, Calm down. I did not reduce Susan to an “et al.” I wasn’t even addressing her or her comment(s) in response to my reply because I do not question or doubt that she is angry and believes she has good reasons to be so. If I periodically get angry with the President and she does not ever feel that way, I have no reason to enter into a debate with her over that, either.

      The “et al” was generic. I addressed my comments to you because you personally challenged me to “get off the fence” and “own” my anger and appeared to imply that I was not taking things seriously enough when you ended your comment with an emphatic, “We are at war!”

      I included Joe S. by name not because of anything specific in this comment thread, but because I felt that he, as someone who has used terms similar/identical to yours in the past, might be interested in hearing what I was going to say.

      I am glad that you do not consider me to be a hypocrite, but to demand that I stop acting like one makes me wonder how I can act like one without being one?

      To sum up, you responded to my first comment with words that directly challenged and questioned my expressed position.

      I attempted to respond to you and your challenge in a way that I hoped would clarify my personal approach to the subject of anger, particularly in the context of being “at war.”

      I believe that we hold far more things in common than otherwise and I have no interest in either defending my own opinions or debating yours where we may have differences.

      With all respect, I wish you (and Susan) only the best.

      • Monty

        You shouldn’t have answered them, James: you’re above all that. But now you have, I’m really satisfied, ‘coz you’ve made it abundantly clear – in the wonderfully fair and balanced way you always do – that they did no more than put your initial comment in a tumble-dryer. You’ve now shown them both for exactly what they are – trouble-seekers . . and they won’t have any more to say on the matter.

  9. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    James Tweedie, this might help you understand where I stand: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” Aristotle… I believe we should never, ever bend to those who threaten the truth. My name is SUSAN JARVIS BRYANT and I’m not afraid to be held up for my beliefs. Mr. Tweedie, am I a non person in your world?

    • James A. Tweedie

      Susan, I believe I have replied to your comment in my reply to Mike.

      As I said there, ” I do not question or doubt that (Susan) is angry and believes she has good reasons to be so.”

      And I regret that you felt slighted by my use of the words “et al” when (as I point out above) I was not, in fact, responding to you or your clever, well-expressed comment at all.

      I am more than willing to apologize and accept responsibility if my words appeared to imply otherwise.

      • Mike Bryant

        And in the reply to me… Susan must be placed in parentheses… at least you finally addressed her as a real person, sir. Good job…

    • Joe Tessitore

      I stand with Susan, whole-heartedly and without reservation.

      I remind everyone of the MIT professor who said early on that we will soon see that this is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated.

      “Hoax” doesn’t really get it across – “Crime” is far more accurate.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Mike & I thank you very much for your support, Joe. I feel very passionately about the injustice we’re dealing with and feel that brushing it under the carpet in the name of political correctness and misplaced peace is detrimental to our future and freedom. It’s of great comfort to know others feel the same. Thanks again.

  10. Monty

    Don’t answer either of them, James. I don’t just mean that as a figure of speech: I mean it as . . from what I can make of you since I’ve been affiliated with SCP, you seem to have a pure, untroubled mind: you know what you’re about, and you certainly know exactly what you’re writing about when you write it . . and you know exactly what you mean by your words.

    I read your comment above: it made perfect sense to me. No wars were ever won by anger, they were won by those who remained calm and balanced (“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs..”). They just want an argument, James. They’re both on edge (and probably prozac). You can see how they’ve shamefully tried to distort your comment to try dragging you into their den of iniquity: don’t go there. If you reply, they’ll distort your words even more: they’ll take you further and further away from truth, and it’ll get to a point where you’re just left scratching your head saying: “All I said was that . . . and now I’m embroiled in some smutty, puerile tug-of-words about things which couldn’t be any more irrelevant to what I was originally saying. And now they’re sending me links . . how did things ever get from that to this?”

    That’s how it’ll be, James: don’t entertain them. You’re one of the few true neutrals here at SCP, independent and innocent: everyone knows that. It’s outrageous that they should blatantly pick a fight with you of all people. Perhaps because of lockdown, they can’t get their hands on their normal supply of prozac. Leave them to it . . keep your head while they’re losing theirs. Stay silent.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Monte, being “neutral” never got anyone anywhere. This site is not about neutrality. It’s about taking a stand for freedom against authoritarianism. My husband and I stand for just that, which is exactly why we joined SCP. Shutting down free speech is unforgiveable. You do that daily. You tell people how to react. You dictate terms. You will be the death of this site. If people like my husband, me, and Dr. Salemi stopped standing up to your dictatorial attitude this site would die. Quit it! I’m sick of it.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryanr

        … “They’re both on edge (and probably prozac). You can see how they’ve shamefully tried to distort your comment to try dragging you into their den of iniquity: don’t go there.“ Yet more abuse from Monty. This is exactly what Mike and I are faced with for sharing poetry on a site we respect. We’re all about poetry. Where’s Monty’s contribution poetry-wise? Enough! I’m very, very sad.

      • Joe Tessitore

        You’re not alone, Susan.
        I’m with you as well.

      • Monty

        You’ve summed it all up perfectly in your penultimate comment:

        “Taking a stand for freedom against authoritarianism . . is exactly the reason we joined SCP.”

        This is a poetry website! The only reason one should have for joining a poetry website is that they enjoy poetry. The reason you cite above is the reason for joining a political party. You’ve got it all wrong: you seem convinced that this site is solely an outlet from which to espouse your own politics (as can be seen in your brilliant, but one-dimensional, poetry).

        Apart from you three, I get on with everyone at SCP (or at least everyone with whom I converse). I challenge you to find one other member with whom I am – or have ever been – involved in an argument about things other than poetry. You’ll find none. All you’ll find is my honest opinions on individual members’ poems. Is it any coincidence that the ONLY three members with whom I don’t get on . . are the only three members who treat this site as an outlet for their political views?

        The way you both treated James yesterday was unforgivable. His comment to which you both took umbrage didn’t once mention politics, it didn’t even hint at it. It was purely a mini-essay on the word ‘anger’. And yet you both managed to twist his words around to start an argument . . purely because you were both LOOKING for an argument. That’s why I accused you both of “being on edge”. Only people on edge look for an argument wherever they can find one.

        Imagine if James, after your hurtful comments, had said to himself: “Right, I’m not gonna stand for unprovoked attacks like this: I’m gonna cancel my membership” . . who then would have been contributing to “the death of this site”, as you put it? And if you continue such attacks on members ‘coz they don’t share your politics, THAT is the only way in which “this site will die”, as you put it.

        You bang on about ‘freedom of opinion’.. well here’s my honest and heartfelt opinion: Your other half is constantly aching for an argument with any other member: not just ‘looking’ for an argument.. ‘aching’ for one. He could start an argument in an empty room. It can be seen that there are many examples where he’s tried to pick holes in other members’ innocent comments, but they haven’t entertained him. Until yesterday, I’d assumed that you personally were just unwittingly caught in the middle of it all, and maybe a tad misguided . . but after last night’s episode with James, I now believe that you also are looking for an argument at the slightest excuse. THAT is the only reason I decided that you’re both ‘on edge’. It wasn’t mindless name-calling . . it was my honest deducement after what happened with James.

        I could never be the “death of this site”, because I only (apart from you three) talk about poetry and poems. What WILL be the death of this site is people using it as a political platform, and attacking other members and newcomers because they don’t share the same politics.

  11. Joe Tessitore

    P.S. The President’s press conference last night (Saturday) was thrilling.
    I’ve never seen anything like it.
    He’s not pulling any punches, and neither should we.

    I heartily recommend it to everyone – it ran in its entirety on Fox News.

  12. Mike and Susan

    James Tweedie, Susan and I apologize for our very poor treatment of you. There is no excuse for what we said.

  13. Joseph S. Salemi

    To James Tweedie —

    James, you are clearly a good and decent man with honest and straightforward intentions of benevolence.

    But with all due respect, you are going to be of no use whatsoever in the savage war that is exploding upon us. Your soft-spoken Mainstream Conservatism is a dead end for the Western world, and merely functions as a malleable “loyal opposition” to the Left.

    I don’t say these things to you in anger. I say them in sorrow.

    • Joe Tessitore


      I’ve been where you believe Mr. Tweedie is now.
      The left has since made it abundantly clear that this is war and that they will stop at nothing.
      I thought that impeach-
      was as far as they would or could go, but I was dead wrong.
      They’ll stop at nothing.

    • James A. Tweedie

      With all due respect, I do not believe that I denied that we are engaged in a war. My point was that there is more chance of winning that war if we are motivated by something more substantive than anger. As far as I can tell, the Left does not care if we are angry. Indeed, I believe that they are very happy for us to be angry, just as they are happy to have their own anarchic minions throw the social order under the bus with destructive and violent confrontations.

      I am not offering this comment in the spirit of debate but in an attempt to clarify my position. We are indeed engaged in a great battle for the soul of our nation and for the future of the world. On this, at least, I believe we are in agreement.

      • Joe Tessitore

        Very perceptive and very well said!

        We certainly are in agreement.

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