The Cost of Infrastructure

Our property association has
Three rich folks down the street. Their houses are
Much bigger than the rest, with more pizzazz,
More rooms, more gadgets, and more space by far.

The other eight homeowners didn’t think
That this was fair, for our homes only had
Four bedrooms each. I couldn’t sleep a wink—
Their excess wealth had left me feeling sad..

I wanted to add on a room or two,
But it would cost me more than I could pay.
I didn’t have the cash, so what to do?
The eight of us conspired to find a way.

We voted eight to three to up the dues;
But only on the three who had the wealth.
It was an offer they could not refuse;
A cash redistribution done by stealth.

I took my share and built two rooms I rent.
The increased dues we’ve now made permanent.
It’s nice when you control the government.
Like Biden says, it didn’t cost a cent.



I’m Still Waiting

When I look at the mess we’re in right now,
I’m asking Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?
Did Covid simply drop down from the sky?
I’m asking How, Who, What, Where, When, and Why?

Or did the Wuhan lab screw up back then?
I’m asking Why, How, Who, What, Where, and When?
With gain of function research over there?
I’m asking When, Why, How, Who, What, and Where?

Please tell me, without “if” or “and” or “but;”
I’m asking Where, When, Why, How, Who, and What?
I only want the honest truth, don’t you?
I’m asking What, Where, When, Why, How and WHO?

Each day the obfuscation seems to grow.
I can’t believe that Fauci doesn’t know.



James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse.

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9 Responses

  1. Damian Robin

    Very dexterous, James.
    The ole’ rig–maroll of tax facts neatly put. Though here it’s democracy at work with jealousy and covetousness and envy,

    In your second poem, a clever shuffling of the journalist’s essentials to highlight and CAPITALISE on the WHO. (WHO-Han ? Where ‘Han’ could refer to the dominant Chinese ethnicity led by ye olde CCP ?)

  2. James A. Tweedie


    I’m not sure where you got the “han” idea but I’m glad you noticed the subtle/not so subtle pun on the all-caps “WHO.”

    And thank you for the “dexterous” compliment. Fortunately, I am right-“han”ded so the sobriquet fits. Otherwise I would be sinistrous!

  3. Mike Bryant

    Who? The globalists and all those who profit from scams.
    What? In the 60s… overpopulation, In the 70s… the coming ice age, in the 80s global warming… then wars and wars and wars to line the pockets of those named above… see Tony Blair, George Bush and a list too long to write. God DOES have that list, though.
    Where? Their tentacles reach into every crevice of this earth.
    When? Read the Marxist Manifesto. China has mastered the text and drawn the other globalists and profiteers into her net.
    Why? Power and money, of course. Cui Bono?
    How? Incrementalism that takes advantage of people who have a conscience.
    Get a subscription to the Epoch Times. The veil shall be lifted.
    Don’t wait any longer.

    • James A. Tweedie


      Back in 1970, when I was a student at San Francisco State College, I challenged an SDS leader who was spouting socialist rhetoric through a bullhorn on the campus Commons.
      “Have you ever read the Communist Manifesto?” I asked.
      With obvious embarrassment he confessed that he hadn’t.
      “I have,” I said. “And you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

      What the Manifesto boils down to is this: “Life is unfair and the little guys (proletariat) get screwed by the bigger guys (bourgeoisie whose members control the means of production–i.e. “capital”–and form the ruling class). If you give all power to those of us who are smarter than everyone else (the “vanguard of the proletariat”) we will tear down everything that you love and trust and, as representatives of the people (i.e. the new ruling class) we will eliminate the conflict and distinctions between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie by taking over the means of production and equitably sharing the benefits of production with all (by controlling and redistributing wealth). And, because we are smarter than you, we will always be right.”

      Both the USSR and China fluctuated between doctrinaire application of this theory and by (especially in China) embracing pragmatic capitalist modifications which propped up the broken reality of doctrinaire socialism. The danger of such modifications is that it tends to decentralize power, something that Xi understands, which is why he is now recentralizing power by imposing strict, doctrinaire regulations on the country–regulations that are killing the modified capitalist goose (ie. the massive and powerful new bourgeois middle class) that laid the golden egg (the massive economic wealth that has brought such remarkable prosperity to the people of China)–a class (made up of capitalist entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, intellectuals, etc) that is now being systematically dismantled and co-opted by the CCP.

      If they go too far (as it seems they have done) the economic boom will either slow to a crawl or completely collapse. If this happens Xi could well be ousted. The West needs to counter his bluff and bluster on the international front and expose him for the paper tiger he actually is before he grows too strong for more moderate CCP leaders to oppose him. Expect more purges in the near future

      The situation reminds me of Europe’s appeasement of Hitler and Nazi Germany, hoping that by making political and economic concessions to Germany they could control and contain its expansionist plans. That approach failed in pre-WW2 Europe and it is also failing with China (as we continue to see every day).

      At least that’s the way I see it (in the abridged version).

      All this is, however, only marginally related to the central subject of the first poem, which was narrowly focused on the origins of the Corona virus.

  4. Sally Cook

    Dear James,
    I love both of them ~ they are both so jocose, jolly, rollicking, with stings like scorpions.

    Wonder what the people involved would say if they could see thm? Great fun, in a serious vein ~

    • James A. Tweedie


      “Stings like scorpions.” That was my intent.

      As for the “people involved” I can’t say I ever see them smile or laugh, except in mocking others. Does AOC have a sense of humor at all? Does Al Sharpton? BLM leaders? Nancy Pelosi? I pray that the Babylonian Bee injects some humor on the Conservative side and that, while I want them to approach the current political situation seriously, I hope that conservative leaders will not take themselves so seriously that they will no longer be able to laugh at themselves.

      The demise of the annual Washington Press Club roasts represents a great loss to our democracy. What a great venue for Presidents to be laughed at publicly and to poke back and poke fun of themselves at the same time.

      Reagan was a master of this. Clinton was also good at this until the Lewinski mess made such humor too painful to address. Bush “W” was best of all and Obama (with one or two mean exceptions) kept the self-deprecating tradition alive. But with Trump, the press and media killed it all with their humorless, self-righteous and hateful posturing. It seems that Trump was willing to try and continue the tradition (although I don’t think he takes naturally to self-deprecation) but he was right to step away from the establishment’s vindictive meanness.

      Biden, unfortunately, has become a parody of himself and it would be difficult for anyone to poke fun at him without seeming to be making fun of a cognitively-impaired national leader. My reference to him in the second poem was carefully worded to avoid this by making fun of what he said rather than mocking him, personally.

  5. Peter Hartley

    James – Thank you for two highly informative and eloquent lectures on American current affairs in these two little poems, and you remind me forcibly of why I try to take as little interest in current affairs as I possibly can – it is all just too depressing for somebody who is depressed enough. “Like Biden says it didn’t cost a cent…” but it will do, won’t it? everything costs somebody doesn’t it? I can almost see his nose growing from over here. I like the way you have maintained a flippant tone while yet conveying a serious message about how America is supposed to repair its infrastructure without costing Americans a red cent, as even Biden can’t possibly believe. In “I’m still Waiting” eleven question marks after around treble that number of questions, and we won’t get a single straight answers from Dr Fauci who has cut his teeth in prevaricating techniques under previous administrations and is now the acknowledged master of double-speak.

  6. Geoffrey Smagacz

    I like how you rotated the interrogatory words and found a rhyme for each of them.


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