The Jet Not Owned

When climate czar John Kerry was chastised,
For flying in his carbon-spewing plane,
He angrily replied he’d never owned
A private jet—he called that charge insane.

It’s true—the high polluting plane he’d use,
For years on almost every trip he’d take,
Was owned by his wife’s private company,
In which he had a million-dollar stake.

And when this tale of travel is re-told,
With sighs somewhere ages and ages hence,
It’s certain the distinction Kerry drew,
The Left will say made all the difference.



The Gang Banger Speaks of Life

“The gang existence is a life destroyer,”
Proclaimed the well-intentioned future lawyer.
Replied the banger, pointing to his bling,
“There ain’t no way I’m changin’ one damn thing.”

“This hood ain’t got no other shit for me,
But my brand here is stone celebrity,
Respected for my boujee and big swag,
Three slamming cars, don’t look at no price tag.

If anybody tries to pull some smack,
My dawgs will always rise to have my back.
I give no thought to danger, that’s no lie,
‘Cause I’ll live large until the day I die.

I know that I won’t make it to old age,
But what I’ve got beats minimum damn wage!”

And so roll gangs, a goal-fulfilling cancer,
For which the lawyer never found an answer.


Poet’s Notes: Derived from a story told by a veteran criminal defense attorney.

“Bling” is street slang for flashy jewelry, “boujee” means a luxurious lifestyle, “swag” is short for swagger, “slamming” here means cool, “smack” in this context means trouble, and “dawgs” refers to other members of the gang.



“Banned” Books

Have you now noticed all the claims
By ardent Leftists of “banned” books?
But there they are in stores and schools
Most everywhere a person looks.

Supposedly 1,200 volumes
Have been “banned”—they claim that’s proved,
But tell me how a book is “banned”
When it’s still seen and not removed?

The Left grabs words strategically,
Becoming shameless new definers.
Books are “banned” if folks just show
That they’re unsuitable for minors.



If a pharmaceutical or packaged food,
Is selling at a price that’s truly great,
Before you settle on your happy mood,
Be sure to check the expiration date.



Russel Winick recently started writing poetry after ending a long legal career. He resides in Naperville, Illinois.

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16 Responses

  1. Julian D. Woodruff

    Snappy and well done, all 4. No. 2 has very skillfully used street vernacular. In no. 4, surely you mean “inappropriate for all.” Congratulations on a fine set.

  2. Phil S. Rogers

    Excellent. I especially liked the poem on hypocrite John Kerry, a man with no principles whatsoever.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    These are all fine and well-crafted poems, but the one I like best is “The Gang Banger Speaks of Life.” I’m partial to poems in dialect, and this one replicates ghetto street talk in genuine ways. Of course Winick had to maintain an overall structure of standard English, but the places where he interpolates dialect add a fire and force that would otherwise be missing.

    It’s also very rhetorically effective. The lawyer never found an answer, because (quite frankly) there isn’t one. Whatever you think of the drug-dealing Gang Banger, at least he shows some real masculinity and toughness.

    • Russel Winick

      Thank you Sir – your observations and opinions are much appreciated.

  4. Cynthia Erlandson

    These are all very entertaining, Russel. Very clever sarcasm in the John Kerry poem, as well as a very clever allusion to Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”.

    • Russel Winick

      Thanks Cynthia. I’m glad you liked the sarcasm and the takeoff on Frost’s iconic poem.

  5. C.B. Anderson

    Like any full-fledged hawk, Russel, you always go for the neck meat.

  6. Margaret Coats

    “Shameless new definers” is an expression to remember, Russel. And your “Gang Banger” is an example of a shameless new definer who does not employ twisted leftist logic. He may indeed be destroying his life, but unlike the leftists, he is quite clear-sighted, practical, and sincere about it.

    • Russel Winick

      Thanks Margaret, for another of your always-interesting observations.

  7. Paul A. Freeman

    Yes, it’s quite a quandary.

    If you’re a climate emergency activist, you’re damned if you travel to be impactful, and ineffectual if you’re stuck at home on Zoom minimising your carbon footprint.

    The ‘Bling King’ is very well done. So many big fish in a small pond with a live fast, die young life philosophy and life expectancy.

    These days it’s more self-censorship on what books are imported or bought to put on the library shelves rather than straight-on banning. It’s more prevalent than might be thought.


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