I’ll Have My Say… by Susan Jarvis Bryant Don’t spit your ire upon my name. Don’t tell me that my view’s insane--- to sink down on one knee in shame. I won’t claim blame. I won’t claim blame. Don’t raze my city to the ground. Don’t force me not to make a sound. My humble voice will not be drowned. I’ll stand my ground. I’ll stand my ground. Don’t make the shade of someone’s skin the scapegoat for historic sin, with no heart for the soul within. I’ll spurn your spin. I’ll spurn your spin. Don’t make the blameless pay today for all the crimes of yesterday. Tomorrow’s children can’t be prey to hatred’s way; to hatred’s way. I’ll have my say… On the Renaming of the Aunt Jemima Brand by Beverly Stock Oh, hail and farewell to the old battered Aunt, The idol of syrup that one can decant, The Aunt of bright cheer, and the mistress of gold, Your face was a brand of a sweetness foretold. You rippled with flavor and brought with you cheer, And smiled on breakfast—a great overseer! A woman of goodness, who sated the heart, And poured out to make all our hunger depart, Are you disappearing with Uncle Ben? And genteel allusions one makes to a friend. Both etched with a laughter and fleeting warm smile, Enshrined in our memories—shelved for a while? An Obituary for Common Sense by Jan Darling Today we mourn the death of Common Sense Whose decency and strength we often used As our true right to mount our own defence While Gimme Now! and Progress watched amused. How old was he? We’d never stopped to think. He’d always been around to help decide How firmly we should form or break a link Reminding us that Reason was his bride. The writings of his deeds recording history Were stored with love on chapels’ oaken shelves Each volume held a different family mystery And that was how we knew about ourselves. How long did Common Sense abide with us? For generations this had been his home. His fame till recent times avoided fuss Truth with the facts were stored in dusty tome. When Mem’ry checked she heard to her dismay There’d be no space to store the hist’ry past All files were marked so none could go astray, But no one left there knew how they were classed. Where Common Sense would leave some simple rules "Be guided by what’s known before you act" The fresh new team decided that’s for fools And threw away the key where rules were stacked. C.S. had trained us, so we always knew “I could be wrong” “Life isn’t always fair” “The rain has started---now what should I do? Just go inside---it won’t be raining there.” We knew the early bird would catch the worm Instinctively we didn’t overspend We paid our way and always within term We never borrowed money from a friend. Stepchildren gathered all around his cask And signed their names confirming he had died “I Know My Rights” signed first behind a mask “I Want It Now” and “I’m a Victim” cried. “Pay Me for Doing Nothing” quickly scrawled “It’s Not My Fault” signed last then spilt the ink. The offspring at their feet just screamed and brawled, “Will someone go and get the kids a drink?” The pews were bare, no mourners were in sight Those left had never known our Common Sense A few who'd heard his soul had taken flight Would go but were too busy---no offence. If you remember him---please pass this on To fraternity and sorority… If not do nothing---after all he’s gone--- Ignore his life, join the majority. It Ain't Normal June 19, 2020 by Raymond Gallucci I can’t go to the movies Or dine out with my friends. Corona-flu behooves me To alter former trends. At least I can go golfing, And tennis seems okay. I keep up my resolving To walk five miles today. With June, July and August (Perhaps September, too), The summer is upon us, And yet we fear the flu. It’s time for normal living Like swimming in the pool. Not long before we’re shiv’ring And kids return to school. So let us take our chances; Let normalcy return. No need to look askance as We COVID-19 spurn.