O Say Can It Be?

“How long you been suckin’ up oxygen, friend?
For seventy years? Well now that’s gonna end!
And moochin’ off Social Security too?
The Great People’s Zoo is the next stop for you!
You’ll be in their keep, but not for very long,
Till they put you to sleep
To our Woke Nation’s Song.”



The Kaatskills

Renowned in your day
By the ages ground away
Great grandfather hills




The games that we play
Sin to lose and sin to win
Ourselves they betray




Indebted to the Orient,
Integrity now all but spent,
Who from its lies will not relent,
Hopelessly bent on ill intent.

Behind the propaganda mist,
A tyrant with an iron fist.
A monolith without a soul,
The Centers for Disease Control.

Debauched between the sheets with Big, Bad Pharm,
And laughing at the stricture “Cause no harm.”



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

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7 Responses

  1. Gail

    Very peppy! For an old guy?

    Stepping carefully, because I’m not sure if I can still say I’m middle-aged in my fifties. Yay or nay?

  2. Brian Yapko

    A fun, albeit wry, quartet with quite a bite! Well done! And thank you for introducing me to the senryu form.

  3. Julian D. Woodruff

    You say you’re only 62?
    Well, that’s only your point of view.
    We’re sure you’re ripe for the Great People’s Zoo!

    These are diamond hard, Mr. Tessitore.
    I love the epithet Big, Bad Pharm, whose given name must be Hannibal.

  4. Margaret Coats

    Joe, these are tough short poems that get better with more readings. Each has a different style to appreciate–which I did.
    Thank you!

  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Joe, each eagle-eyed poetic observation manages to pack one helluva punch with a dire message for a dying nation. Let’s hope your words are a huge wake-up call for those who are only just beginning to learn what it means to be free. Thank you!

  6. C.B. Anderson

    You have great talent, Joe, for kicking the New Establishment in the cojones. And you do it in well-measured verse.

  7. Joe Tessitore

    You are all very kind and I thank God for like-minded people.


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