Resist Arrest Instead of Arresting Resistance

In Denmark, something now is very rotten,
As fetid as the food-scraps in the trash
That we have, somehow, carelessly forgotten
To take outside.  Our mood begins to crash

As we reluctantly, ashamed, take heed
Of our inured abject incompetence.
Some reinvigoration’s what we need,
A cattle-prod to jolt our indolence.

Supposed, beyond a shadow of a doubt,
To have established, now and evermore,
The sheer supremacy of Federal clout,
The bureaucrats will kick us to the floor

Unless we raise our hackles and project
A sudden minatory show of fangs,
For nothing else is likely to protect
Us from the parasitic Deep State gangs.

It won’t be fun, nor was it meant to be,
And everyone should know this from the start,
But if one dwells upon posterity,
It’s easier to fortify the heart.

So far it’s something we just talk about,
But soon the wokesters will be at our door.
We must defend what we can’t live without,
And we’ll oblige them if they want a war.



Personal Space

It’s said of me, I like to keep things cozy:
I hold my hole-cards tight against my vest
But shy away when people get too nosy.

The future doesn’t always look so rosy,
But as for now, it seems that I’ve been blessed.
It’s said of me, I like to keep things cozy,

And if, sometimes, I come across as dozy,
It’s best to let me catch a bit of rest.
I shy away when people get too nosy

But offer them a lovely Dutch-grown posie
To gaze upon when they become depressed.
It’s said of me, I like to keep things cozy,

And if this poem turns a bit too prosy,
I hope it’s something you can still digest.
I shy away when people get too nosy

And often turn my back and start to mosey
Along to where I’m treated like a guest.
It’s said of me, I like to keep things cozy
But shy away when people get too nosy.



C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden.  Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India.  His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.

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14 Responses

  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    I especially liked “Resist Arrest”. It was very clever to start with the line about something being rotten in Denmark. You are right, of course; we have to do it for our posterity. Thanks, C.B.

    • C.B. Anderson

      You are most welcome, Cynthia. And, yes, there is no backing down, and there is no one who can stand in for us. And not just for our posterity, but for all posterity.

  2. Russel Winick

    I like both poems very much. They fit well together. Thanks for your fine contributions to our day!

    • C.B. Anderson

      I hope, Russel, that they fit well together, because they come from the same source.

  3. Margaret Coats

    Are you still putting your methane-emitting food scraps in the trash? That is illegal in California; the state is going to enrich someone who purports to make compost, and fine you if you do not contribute to it. A future project for Federal clout! Do you recall controversy long ago in Massachusetts, when wokesters were shaming households that did not recycle? In those good old days, a court ruled that taking things from garbage (even for virtuous admonishment) was stealing. But now, we’re already pushed to compliance in little things before we get to anything important enough to go to war over! I’m in favor of composting, but suspicious of criminalizing one’s trash. Your poem therefore suggests to me a real need to determine when and how and under whom to fight. Or perhaps to undertake little shows of fangs immediately.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      In New York we have an out. We have separate containers for recycling (paper, bottles, organic stuff) but if you put out anything in a dark black plastic bag it will be picked up as ordinary garbage, no questions asked. When I’m fed up with the recycling bullshit, that’s what I do.

      I’ve been told privately by the maintenance crews at my university that the elaborate recycling arrangements in place at the school are a total joke. All the university’s garbage is packed indiscriminately in huge dumpsters and picked up by the sanitation disposal crews. No separation of materials occurs. The whole “recycling system” is just a virtue-signalling show, designed to keep environmentalist fanatics among the faculty and student body happy.

      • C.B. Anderson

        I was afraid of that, Joseph. Better than recycling materials is reusing them, and best of all is not to use them at all. But what are we supposed to do, drink milk straight from the cow’s teat?

    • C.B Anderson

      Thank you, Margaret, for pointing out that the situation is a bit more complicated than I let on. I love composting; a gardener can’t get enough compost. And I wonder about recycling: Does someone actually sort through all the different types of plastic, or does it all go into the same landfill. It’s my understanding that we used to ship all that stuff to China, where slave labor makes the tedious sorting economically possible. Coercion exists here just as it does in China, but we go about it a bit differently.

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    C.B., you are speaking my language in “Resist Arrest Instead of Arresting Resistance” (excellent title), but with finer rhymes and greater wisdom. My favorite is “Personal Space”, I get where you’re coming from, admire the slick execution of the villanelle form, and love the wry wink in your repeating lines.

  5. Joshua C. Frank

    Interesting poems; they’re well-written, and they go well together.

    Just one issue, though. The assumption, as far as I can tell, is that there’s some specific thing we’re all supposed to be doing to stop the onslaught of evil in the modern world, and we all know what it is, but are refusing to do it so we don’t have to lose our comforts. Even if that’s true of us collectively, I’m not so sure there’s anything an individual or small group can do about all the evil, except raise our own families apart from it all. It is the nature of cultures to grow for a while and then decline and die; look at the Romans.

    It’s still great. I would love to be able to do iambic pentameter and villanelles that well!

    • C.B. Anderson

      I don’t know that there’s one specific thing a person can do to stem the tide; I think it’s up to each individual to decide what works best for that individual. In other words, collective principles do not apply.

      As for the last part: Practice!

  6. Brian Yapko

    Both of these poems are quite splendid, C.B. “Resist Arrest” has some clever language which nonetheless conceals a sting to be dreaded, that “sudden minatory show of fangs” which will be displayed and used should our independence be further challenged. I also admire the villanelle for the novelty of its theme and your unusual “cozy” rhymes. I can’t explain why but I’m especially fond of that “lovely Dutch-grown posie.”

    • C.B. Anderson

      One does not need to be depressed to gaze upon the posie. I quite ran out of rhymes here, and if villanelles were longer I’m not sure what I would have done. You might have noticed that using feminine end rhymes in a villanelle tends to disrupt the smooth flow of the metrical rhythm. Perhaps it would work better if the B-rhyme, not the A-rhyme, were feminine.


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