A Ditty

What happened to the human race?
It vanished, friend, without a trace.
And what, pray tell, of humankind?
You may well seek, but will not find.
And finally, humanity?
It slipped into insanity.



It’s Coming …

I won’t accept a chip.
I will not take the knee.
And so, my friend, I’m on a trip—
It’s to the camps for me.

Please do not shed a tear.
It was, indeed, my choice.
The bus rolls on and death draws near—
I’m glad I raised my voice.

The end comes for us all.
I go with head held high.
For once I find I’m standing tall—
I will live free or die.



A Senryu

We all need to write
While there’s still some daylight left
For fast comes the night.



On the Communist Hijacking of Ballet

I think Ballet
Has seen its day
And gone the way
Of Mao and Che.

Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

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18 Responses

  1. Peter Hartley

    Admirable economy of words, extremely pithy, the first and the third in particular conveying extremely sombre messages. I like these. Very well done.

    P S What is a Senryu?

  2. Alexander Ream

    “A Ditty” approaches completion and perfection.

    Professional Sports, I’m glad to say, should be approaching its fin de siècle / french / end of the century, or epoch. The money they receive renders their advocacy, of anyone oppressed, as the entertainment a mime produces. It’s the staged imitation of life; it’s fine with me if they keep self marginalizing.

  3. Martin Rizley

    I particularly like “It’s Coming”– a brief but powerful statement about the importance of freedom and the need to resist tyranny, even with our lives. Its brevity contributes to its effectiveness. Patrick Henry would be proud of you for the sentiment you express!

  4. Julian D. Woodruff

    Pith. Wit. Prophecy. And rhyme to boot. Who could ask for anything more? …

  5. Cynthia Erlandson

    Thank you, Joe. It is wonderful to be in a group that values both poetry and freedom!

  6. Mike Bryant

    I’m adding my voice to the others here… four wonderful little packages of dynamite. My favorite is “It’s Coming …”

  7. David Watt

    Joe, I liked all four of your timely poems. “It’s Coming” is also my favourite, probably because the camp scenario has great impact.

  8. C.B. Anderson

    Joe, you never cease to amaze. Your verse is simple, to the point, and as unpretentiously illuminating as anything I’ve ever read. It’s good to see that we “old guys” still have something to say and the stiff-necked attitude that empowers us to say it. Thanks for these — I might decide to live another year or two, knowing that not everybody living in New York City is an anarcho-leftist ideologue.

  9. Jeff Eardley

    Joe, from this side of the pond, thank you for these four. Plenty of food for thought in these troubled times.
    Well done.

  10. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Joe, I love every one of these pithy, honest, and perfectly wrought poems. If anyone doesn’t see the horrors looming on their doorstep, I’m going to send them in the direction of your poetry.

    • Joe Tessitore

      I’m getting remarkably interesting responses from friends and family!

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        All to the good I hope, Joe. I don’t know whether it’s my imagination (and I sincerely hope not) but I feel many are waking up to harsh reality. It’s very hard to stand up for what you believe in when it feels as if you’re a lone voice in the wilderness, especially with social media being so controlling. Thank goodness for fine, truthful poetry like yours and a site dedicated to the freedom to express it.

  11. Joe Tessitore

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you for that.
    I just sent this to Evan and he’s going to pass it along;

    A Chance Encounter in NYC

    Chris and I went to the CVS yesterday just south of Columbus Circle to buy a frozen pizza. She’s a master of coupons and CVS is far and away her favorite store.

    The freezer doors were locked – as was every other display – so we had to get a security guard to open them for us.
    I asked him if people were stealing food. His eyes widened and he told us that people were stealing everything.
    He pointed to the locked plexiglass doors in front of the laundry detergent and said that people break them right in front of him to take what they want.
    He showed us his hand and told us that one of them bit him when he confronted them.

    Several times in our conversation he told us that “These are apocalyptic times!”.


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