a tennos on the current socio-political situation

by C.B. Anderson

Some of my former friends are now definitively leftist;
The most intelligent among them are the very deftest
At shading and manipulating history’s plain truth
To bring about a darker world where only claw and tooth
Have any proper meaning in the fluid scheme of things.
It wasn’t all that long ago we did away with kings,
But now the trend is to eliminate all civil order,
Abolish reasoned discourse, and to open every border.
The world envisioned here will be controlled by vicious thugs
Who cut the tongues of dissidents and sell our children drugs.



The Way to Grandmother’s House

The only valid response to the modern world is total withdrawal, or warfare without quarter. —Derek Burgoyne

by Joseph S. Salemi

To get there, you must pass a dark fig tree
And grapevines thick with clustered fruit. Sunlight
Penetrates just enough to let you see
The footworn narrow walkway. To your right

A marble bowl and column (a bird bath
In which a lumpish frog-in-concrete squats)
Stand at a tilt, just off the garden path
Lined with mossy stones. In random spots

Are white clamshells, far from their ocean home,
Laid out in mazy patterns, now obscured
By clover, sedum, grass, and earthy loam.
Grandmother and her house are well immured

In self-sequestered solitude’s long lease,
Far from the world’s confusion and misrule.
Here you can sit untroubled and at peace
Like pungent wine casks in the cellar’s cool.

Think of the stench beyond this place—the muck
Of pointless contestation and debate,
Where one must face the vast, untutored ruck
Of human dregs not even worth one’s hate.

Think of the lies, as thick as oozing tar,
The noisome cheats and propagandist frauds,
Illusion throned high, like a gimcrack star
Of tinsel on our self-appointed lords.

Remind yourself that all of it is dreck
Unworthy of a sideways glance. Instead
Remain here and avoid the moral wreck
That comes from traffic with the walking dead.

Grandmother’s house has all her grandsons need:
Order, reason, structure, measure, laws,
Inheritance, tradition, and the seed
Of vengeance with its red cathartic claws.

First published in Blue Unicorn



The Pen Is Mightier?

by Joe Tessitore

I’ve heard that the pen is mightier than the sword,
But a brick is a lot to contend with.
So the next time I face a barbarian horde,
‘Tis the sword that I’d rather defend with.




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4 Responses

  1. Margaret Coats

    Gentlemen, this is a well-varied collection to read with a glass of wine after a stressful day. The motions of the lines help the wine overcome whatever is ugly in the images as in current events. Mr. Anderson’s rhythms make unbroken progress to the logical end desired by the progressives. Dr. Salemi’s lush images fade into images less easy to imagine, including that creature just breaking into sight at the end of the poem. Mr. Tessitore’s final fillip turns a proverb inside out with flair. You may not have considered these works relaxing entertainment, but see what art and the mind can do.

    • C.B. Anderson


      That creature breaking into sight at the end of Salemi’s poem was prefigured in the epigraph. The “lush images” you make note of are one reason why, in my opinion, my own piece was just a poem, but Salemi’s poem was a work of art. The contrast between the two halves are remarkable. As far as Mr. Tessetore’s poem goes, I shall remember his advice if or when I am confronted by hurled bricks, though perhaps an AR-15 would be better than a sword.

    • Joe Tessitore

      Ms. Coats,

      Your comments are always a pleasure to read.
      You have so much to share.


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