I don’t sign up for group Zoom calls
__With folks I know are boorish.
I don’t go visit galleries
__Where art is amateurish.

I don’t make plans which likely will
__Cause me to have to wait,
At my expense for people who
__Repeatedly are late.

I loathe when I can’t verify
__The claim I must spend money.
Or sitting at a table where
__Some loudmouth’s jokes aren’t funny.

The lesson I’ve learned overall
__Is that in life one goal,
Should be avoiding situations
__Where I lack control.



The Road From Wokeism

Wokeism would destroy
All meritocracy,
With forced results, despite
The input quality.
Negating motivation,
Status is assigned.
History’s prescription for
Societies declined.



Climbing the Leftist Ladder

“White man, we don’t want you,
We know how bad you are.”

“My male days now are through!”

“Then come in, Superstar!”



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

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15 Responses

  1. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Perceptive thoughts, Russel, encased in terse biting poetry. Well done!

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    Russel, “Avoidance” is a poem that really needed to be written. We live in a world where so much mindless crap is expected of individuals that we are being driven insane.

    Obligation, compliance, requirements, mandates — it’s time for all of us to make what Dante calls “Il Gran Rifiuto” (the Big Refusal). Your poem speaks of this in terms of private personal situations, but the refusal should also be directed against public, impersonal demands made by intrusive government and all governmental toadies.

    By the way, I hate ZOOM and refuse to use it in teaching.

    • C.B. Anderson

      I don’t mind ZOOM, Joseph, but I mostly use it to chat with friends who live far away, not for teaching. And on the subject of intrusive government, I should remind everyone that all taxation is theft.

    • Russel Winick

      Joe – I’m glad that this subject resonated with you, and thanks for your interesting observations.

  3. Phil L. Flott

    In “Avoidance” I am reminded of the situations that consistently plague me. Maybe one day my eyes will be opened.

  4. Cynthia Erlandson

    The way you express these intelligent and witty thoughts is exceedingly clever. The last one, especially, is wonderfully terse!

  5. Joshua C. Frank

    Love these!

    “Avoidance” describes a good guiding principle… but would that we had enough control over our lives to avoid situations in which we have no control!

    “The Road from Wokeism:” It’s true, all of it. Modern culture strongly believes in the French Revolution slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” but liberty and equality can’t coexist, because people aren’t naturally equal, so equality has to be forced as you describe. You’ve put it much more succinctly than I did here.

    “Climbing the Leftist Ladder:” I laughed out loud when I read this!

    I think, just as you say, male-to-female transsexualism is the logical conclusion of our culture’s belief that men are defective women; after all, if maleness were a birth defect, as many of both sexes believe, and men could be made into women, as many of both sexes also believe, would the “cure” not be considered a human right?

    Feminism is showing its failings with this issue, as it has with many others. As long as they believe women are superior (even the early feminists believed this), either they have to let men “be” women and enter female-only spaces or they have to put themselves in the uncomfortable position of denying men what, under the feminist belief system, would be medical treatment for a congenital disorder (i.e. maleness).

    Anyway, great poems as usual!

    • Russel Winick

      Thanks for your feedback, Joshua. Here’s an apt quote:

      “Human beings are born with different capacities; if they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) Russian writer & prominent Soviet dissident

  6. Margaret Coats

    Russel, I really like “The Road from Wokeism” for its effective use of the title in demanding analytical thought from the reader. You give and condemn the negative woke view in the poem, but the title indicates it also shows the way out. It doesn’t take much to see that the positive path is meritocracy, input quality, and motivation. A good prescription for reversing social decline!

  7. Paul A. Freeman

    ‘Avoidance’ struck more than a chord.

    Thanks for the reads, Russel.


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