.

Off Guard

Coyotes drag their quarry past the line 

Drawn in the sand to stop the ghastly game  

Of selling wide-eyed tots to vile swine—  

No money-grubbing cur is barred by shame.

Wild mules haul havoc through the gaping gates

As mothers mourn the loss of drug-gorged sons. 

A yawning border dictates hellish fates 

For all beneath the thumbs of cunning Huns—

Those serpents oozing schmooze that smacks of care

While paving ways for knaves to ply their trade.

The toadies, rats, and fat-cats are aware

Of where their mucky megabucks are made—

They’re made by snakes who slide past law and order

To poison souls on both sides of the border.

.

.

 

Staged Rage

For many years and many more 

The border’s been an open door  

To thugs who dish out death-laced drugs 

And sex-slaves sold to sleazeball slugs. 

For many full and crescent moons, 

For many Lone Star afternoons, 

The unchecked multitudes rolled in 

As citizens were forced Fed spin 

From schemers crushing rights and rules, 

Taking Texas folk for fools. 

Each dusty, thirsty, sun-boiled day 

The caravans have made their way… 

Why now the granite-Abbott stand?  

Is something underhanded planned? 

.

.

 

 

The Eagle Pass Border Farce

a rondeau

A showtime stretch of razor wire 

To hoax and hex and stoke the ire 

Of those who soak up scripted views 

From players paid to skew the news 

Is used to spark a roaring fire.  

 

The actors, hacks and quacks conspire. 

They pat the back of loon and liar. 

Those at the scene see through their ruse—

__A showtime stretch. 

 

A stroll beyond the media choir 

Of parrots poised to squawk a dire 

Aria of barbed taboos,    

The gaping gates let legions cruise  

On through—no wire, no guards for hire—   

__No showtime stretch.

.

.

 

 

Never Trust a Politician

a triolet

Never trust a politician—

Check out every fishy claim. 

No one’s born beyond suspicion. 

Never trust a politician—

Some are on a fiendish mission 

With a greedy, seedy aim.  

Never trust a politician— 

Check out every fishy claim. 

.

.

Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.


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42 Responses

  1. Phil S. Rogers

    So much said in four short poems. I especially like the reference to “the line drawn in the sand” in Off Guard. “Is something underhanded planned,” is an excellent question. We shall see.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Phil, thank you very much. I hope the question, “Is something underhanded planned?” is on everyone’s lips after witnessing the chaos the Western world has been in for a number of years now. Something is rotten… horribly rotten.

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Dave, thank you very much indeed. And, after my recent visit to my homeland, I know the problem is widespread. What I witnessed and heard in the UK disturbed me greatly. The plans in place for the RAF base at Scampton show a complete disregard for the residents’ concerns. A repeat of the recent stabbings in Ireland seems almost inevitable.

      Reply
  2. C.B. Anderson

    You’ve got my blood boiling again, but keep it up, because it’s always good to vent some steam. The center cannot hold. Moderation is not necessarily a virtue.

    Reply
  3. Russel Winick

    Good work as always Susan. The Biden Administration is taking everyone for fools, not just Texans. They don’t care about crime, drugs, etc. — not when there are future Democratic votes and a permanent one-party nation to be had.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Russel, thank you and you are spot on with your observations, as ever. I think Biden’s puppeteers have their eye on global dominance, and the American voter is in their way. Let’s hope we’re in their way for long enough to wrest our last vestiges of freedom back. That means fair elections… I think Alexa had something to say on that. 😉

      Reply
  4. Cheryl Corey

    From what I’ve read, the number of illegals at El Paso is down 76% since Abbott finally got cojones. If only his administration had taken action a year or two ago. The Senate just passed the bill proposed by a cabal of Dems & Rinos that, if codified into law, would give Biden cover. It does nothing to stop illegal migration, just slow it down. They don’t care about the numbers coming across, only the bad optics. They see the “migrants” as cheap labor and never consider the Anti-American culture and values they bring. Supposedly when it gets to the House it’s dead on arrival. Let’s hope that’s the case and no one caves to this insanity.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Cheryl, I’ve asked myself this question. How can the administration count the people pouring through the border if there’s no one at the open gates to count them? I also wonder why so many Texans were cheering at the fact that their hard-earned money was funding buses for those crossing illegally to be transported even deeper into their country… New York, Chicago, etc. This is exactly what happened in Greece and Italy. Immigrants were transported from areas bombarded by entries on the coastlines to central Europe. And now, most of Europe is crushed under the strain of too many people, and rife with crime, all in the name of “care” and “diversity”. The only way the continent will ever recover economically and socially is with control. To my mind, this current posturing from an ineffectual Governor is too little too late.

      Reply
  5. Shaun C. Duncan

    This a magnificent set of poems. “Off Guard” strikes the perfect note of outrage, whilst “Staged Rage” and “The Eagle Pass Border Farce” raise important questions about the circus-like response from the media and political class. “Never Trust A Politician” is a gem which should probably be republished at least once a week.

    Watching from afar, I can’t claim to understand the situation in America, but the fact that whoever’s pulling Biden’s strings is fighting tooth and nail to NOT enforce the law is an unbelievably sinister development in the progression of what Sam Francis once described as “anarcho-tyranny.” Living in an outpost of the empire, it’s horrifying to watch the centre collapse in real time.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Shaun, thank you very much for your keen eye for all those details that should be alerting many to the danger posed to citizens who live under the thumb of rogue governments whose policies are growing crazier by the day. The bigger picture is becoming clearer, and it’s not pretty. As ever, I am always grateful for your words.

      Reply
  6. Joseph S. Salemi

    I’d like to see the Texas National Guard set up Browning .50 caliber M-2 machine guns at every place where these illegals are entering, and shoot dead every single person (of whatever age or sex) who tries to cross our border without legal authorization. It’s time to dump the humanitarian bullshit.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I hear your frustration, Joe. I believe we are beyond anything resembling humanitarian with the border crises here and abroad. Open borders overwhelm countries with debt, disease, debauchery, and danger. They exploit innocents on both sides of the border and rob citizens of their rights, their culture, their land and their lives. Milton Friedman said, “You can’t have open borders in a welfare state.” We are all finding out the hard way exactly what he meant. He also said, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” – What an insightful man!

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        … and yes, there needs to be a tough stance at the border to protect all those exploited by the anarchy we are experiencing at the hands of governments that care only for the money they are making at the expense of people who pay with their hard-earned cash and their lives.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Thanks, Paul. I’m glad my message is getting through.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Or just send every liberal in the country to Afghanistan like the bumper sticker says and then watch the border problem vanish overnight.

      Reply
  7. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, a great read with steam coming out of my ears today with our Asian illegals converting to Christianity to avoid deportation. Taking us for fools, you bet. There is a song by the great Ry Cooder, “Across the Borderline” that refers to your “Broken Promised land.” which is worth a listen. Powerful stuff today. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Susan, it’s good you are looking in 2 directions geographically and politically. Always remember Chesterton: “It’s a pity how few politicians are hanged.”

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Julian, thank you for the Chesterton quote. I know many feel there should be consequences for the criminals in government, criminals causing death and destruction on our streets all in the name of “diversity” and “care”.

        I believe we should look in every direction where people are concerned. My heart aches not only for citizens who are economically damaged and placed in daily danger from deadly drugs and unchecked crime, but also for the trafficked children sold into sex slavery. America is the largest consumer of child sex and it is open borders that ensure this evil flourishes.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, it seems there’s plenty of steam coming from ears all over the Western world… enough to make snow a distant memory and to send every rare toad the way of the dodo. We are indeed being taken for fools and paying an increasingly high price for the displeasure as the months roll on. There’s only one remedy… poetry and music! Jeff, thank you for making me smile, and thank you for the Ry Cooder, “Across the Borderline” pointer. I’ve just listened to it, and this really is the “Broken Promised Land” – a shadow of its former self.

      Reply
  8. Brian A. Yapko

    Susan, what a brilliant quartet of beautifully crafted traditional poetic forms which you have weaponized into harsh critiques of toxically Bidenic (is that a word?) open border policies which, personally, I think are simply intended to create millions of future Democrats. But, like Frankenstein thinking he can control the Creature, the liberals have overreached and miscalculated – again! How can this be when they’re so darned nice and compassionate? Maybe they just need to double-down on their policies and let even more people in. Terrorists. Hardened criminals. The insane. Everyone deserves a break, right? But seriously: if every one of those trying to break into the U.S. vowed to vote Republican you can bet the border would get shut down faster than you could say “Gavin Newscum.”

    “Off Guard” is my favorite of the trio. A sonnet discussing drug-gorged sons and serpent schmooze! Wow! Your love of language is palpable as is your ability to use it to the fullest to make your ultimate point: to critique policies which “poison souls on both sides of the border.” And that’s a point worth putting in bold capital letters.

    “Staged Rage” is set forth in couplets which describe the horrible situation in Texas perfectly and the absolute need to act. There’s always… ALWAYS… something underhanded planned. It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of where, when and how bad?

    “Eagle Pass” is a rondeau which I know to be one of your very favorite forms. It’ss beautifully conceived and executed, though I never thought I’d see “razor wire” and “barbed tattoos” referenced in such an elegant French form. It just goes to show how versatile poetry can be.

    And your triolet “Never Trust” is a delightfully sardonic morsel, easily digestible after the meatier subjects covered in the prior three works.

    Ah, Susan. Someday we’ll be able to sleep at night and go back to contemplating moonlight and magnolias. Until that day comes — and so future generations recognize that not all of us were lemmings — I’m glad you speak your mind.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, I always look forward to hearing your thoughts on my poems with words that are apt to inspire further poetry. If only my Muse was inclined to dance beneath moonlit magnolia trees with her eyes on the stars. Instead she is wringing her hands and tearing her hair out at Eagle Pass… what a bummer!

      I believe people are waking up to the harsh reality of a government that stokes chaos. The consequences are seen from every angle. Mainly economically and culturally. It is a travesty that the culture of the Western world is the only one being torn down, when other cultures deal in the sort of barbarism that we should be doing all in our power to keep from infiltrating our society… but our government is encouraging it. Is it too late to turn it around? I hope not. I want to bask in the moonlight beneath the magnolia blossoms… perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

      Brian, thank you very much indeed!

      Reply
  9. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Your portrayals of the border crisis are needed gas to pour on the fires of border controversy. I hearken back to my researched book of statistics, events, high costs, and missteps regarding illegal aliens: “American Made Crisis: Aliens in our Midst.” Drugs, sex-slaves, diseased immigrants, spies, criminals and future violence instigators are flowing through our southern borders aided and abetted by liars and deceivers we refer to as politicians.

    Solutions cost far less than the hundreds of billions spent annually for their care and housing in our downward spiraling country that is virtually in freefall.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Roy, you have impressed me with news of your book. You have researched this problem right down to the finest detail, so to have your words in my comments section is a real privilege. Your closing lines say so much. It makes one ask why? Why are billions spent annually for care and housing? Why are the needs of those entering the country illegally put before the needs of its citizens? Has our own government declared war on its citizens?

      Reply
  10. ABB

    The lyricism of pessimism. You elegantly formalize what is obvious to all normal people. Another Biden term will utterly ruin us.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      ABB, thank you so much for your wise words. But most of all, thank you for the term “The lyricism of pessimism” – it’s beautiful. To think that these poems could be described in this way has lit my face with a smile and filled my heart with joy. Has anyone ever told you, you have a way with words 😉

      Reply
  11. Mark Stellinga

    Susan, all are wonderful, but “Off Guard” is extra special. Verse this stimulating exacerbates my asthma, you little turd. 100% book-worthy! When it comes to penning verse this meaningful, you can’t ‘TEACH’ what you do, young lady. What a gift you have. “Hi” to Michael.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Mark, I’ve never been called a “little turd” before… I had to read your comment twice after that leapt out at me. I thank you for your encouragement… and after reading your kind words of appreciation, I think that “turd” is probably an American term of endearment. In England, it just means “turd”. Either way, I am smiling. Thank you!

      Reply
      • Mark Stellinga

        “Turd”, my dear, is what we Midwesterners use as a term of reluctant endearment. We commonly scold our little ones with it. A few other regulars are rascal, poop, booger, and stinker! BTW – I’ve recovered from my asthma attack. 🙂 Keep ’em comin’

  12. Yael

    Wow Susan, this is how I like to get my news about what’s happening. Well rhymed and composed, and plausible due to the absence of the central bank corporate agenda.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Yael, poetry (especially when it’s put to music) is the one and only way to hear what is going on in today’s world without going completely insane. I’ll keep the news wafting gently in your direction the only way I know how… and hope it brings a little equilibrium to this out-of-whack world. Yael, it’s always lovely to hear from you. Thank you!

      Reply
  13. Joshua C. Frank

    Everyone else has already said it all, so I’ll just add the text of a meme I saw on Granite Grok:

    “‘SHALL PROTECT EACH OF THEM AGAINST INVASION’
    “U.S. Constitution, Article 4, Section 4
    “‘The Guarantee Clause’”
    “‘The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.’ The guarantee clause says the federal govt SHALL protect every state against invasion. Not may, not can, not should.
    “But the federal government is in full breach of contract, so the contract is null and void, just as in this example below:
    “You signed a contract with a big national security company.
    “The contract states that you will pay them every month, and they promise that they will keep robbers out of your house.
    “But they don’t. They take your money, then they open your doors and let the robbers in. This is full breach of contract.
    “But when you put your own locks on your doors, the security company calls the police on you for violating the contract, because they and only they are allowed to secure your house.
    “This is the situation at our southern border.”

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joshua, thank you very much for this. It says it like it is and adds much to a conversation that needs to be kept alive.

      Reply
  14. Linda Fowler

    As a native Texan, I relate to your insightful and poignant words Susan. Few understand the issues without having seen the crossings or the resulting chaos and evil. Your poems definitely keep awareness alive. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much for reading and for commenting, Linda. One really does have to witness this ongoing lawlessness to realize the horrors that come with it, and I believe many have reached breaking point.

      Reply
  15. Daniel Kemper

    Hey Susan,
    Love the title play “Off Guard.” I loves me some good Jeremiads. Friends of mine (two ex-rangers in San Antonio, and a current active CA NG who had to stand on the border a few years back say no one moves through Mexico without drug lord consent. Those are paying customers for product, or required to pay for the move, and also their labor force. Coyotes are a direct report. The idea that it’s organic migration, even organic migration incited by open borders is preposterous. It’s mass recruitment. It’s a kind of slave trade, consistent with the Democratic party’s roots.

    Fun sonics. Underhanded planned. Gaping gates (an inadvertant pornographic pun? It fits what they’re doing to America at the border.) Cunning huns.

    I really enjoyed the steady-handed multi-meaning of the repetend as well as its transition of meaning.

    And the triolet was a perfect form to repeat the saw, “Never trust a politician.” Always a pleasure!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Daniel, I love your passion for language. When it comes to poetry and getting a point across, the right words matter, and you have an eye for detail that I appreciate. Thank you. What your ex-ranger friends have witnessed should shake all to the core. I am surprised so many are still oblivious or (even worse) supporting this chaos. Let’s hope that we can open a few eyes here at the SCP. I am ever hopeful.

      Reply
  16. Margaret Coats

    Thank you, Susan, for keen poetic attention to this matter. “Off Guard” is my preferred piece, for it mentions the very important aspect of money, in addition to the most important aspect of horrendous evil done to human beings.

    Also a salute to Roy Peterson for his book, which recalled to me the woman who has covered the topic thoroughly and heroically in two books, the first written more than 20 years ago. Michelle Malkin wrote “Invasion” in 2002, about foreign menaces of all kinds flowing into the country, as does Roy. You take this up, Susan, in speaking of cultural damage.

    I had the honor to attend one of Mrs. Malkin’s 2019 book launchings for her “Open Borders, Inc.” In this book, she has turned her attention largely to the vast array of institutions funding and funded by illegal immigration. It’s not just the coyotes, pushers, and pimps, or even the employers of illegal cheap labor. Federal government departments and state government agencies receive major funding from our taxes solely to manage the situation. Deep state bureaucrats can make careers in this area alone. “Charities” with non-profit standing get grants for related projects and for staff to oversee them. That includes churches, who get a larger share of the business, because they generally do the job cheaper, using volunteers and existing facilities, than do private entities. But alongside church and charity, there’s a resettlement industry now operating throughout the country. Malkin devotes 350 pages to the issue, and another 100 pages of notes in tiny type to give the evidence. I recommend her painstaking and mind-boggling work, although it is by no means easy reading.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Margaret, thank you very much for highlighting many of the ugly facts surrounding the lawlessness at our borders. I became familiar with Michelle Malkin when I moved to Texas. She knows exactly what is going on and her book is well worth reading. Exactly the same thing is going on in Europe and the UK. I have read extensively on the subject, and I am appalled. We really are in the midst of a war. Being aware of who the enemy is might possibly stop the “charitable” flow of money supporting the most heinous of crimes. It starts with getting the word out there, which is why I’m grateful for this site and for your comment. Thanks again.

      Reply

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