Friday, April 29, 2016

Spring Promises . . . Autumn

by Jim Rapp

Soon comes the season
of green and gold and purple
Spring confers on us.

But there’s a reason
She wears an early subtle
Fall-like omen-ness;

The early buds share
dim resemblance to Autumn’s
glorious display;

The newborn leaves wear,
in muted tinge, the shroud in
which they’ll coldly lay.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Four Flag Salute or
            The Flag as Prostitute
by Jim Rapp

What is that wind blown
rag that waves over Perkins;
adorns the porn shop;

graces bigots’ homes;
brightens political napkins;
stands, four at a pop!

Would not one flag do?
We all know how much he loves
his blessed homeland.

Let the race ensue;
wave your flags and push and shove.
This land ain’t yer land!

Should children of land-
pilfering immigrants not
hang their heads in shame.

Emblem of our land,
the flag must be neutral; not
promote any “game.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fool Me Once, And Fool Me Twice and Fool Me Once Again.

by Jim Rapp

At a circus, a
theater, a magic show,
we want to be fooled.

Suspend disbelief
and nearly anything can
seem reasonable.

But in politics?
Is suspended disbelief
a necessity?

The candidate is
“reshaping his image,” we’re
told unblushingly

by the head of the
Trump team; like the shape shifting
Mitt, four years ago.

Fool me once, shame on
you; fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me once again.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mirror, Mirror – Shattered Mirror

by Jim Rapp

The icons are falling like sullen rain;
the young sons and young daughters of Cain
are needlessly dying again and again;
their beauty distorted by mirrors of pain.

Three score and ten, the span of a man.
But an icon – an icon is more than a man;
and must stand iconic as long as he can;
mirrors be damned for an iconic man!

The icons are falling like sullen rain;
the young sons and young daughters of Cain
are needlessly dying again and again;
their beauty distorted by mirrors of pain.

Three score and ten, the span of her fame.
But iconic beauty must stay the same,
defying mirrors that are making the claim
that icons are subject to adam’s mortmain.

The icons are falling like sullen rain;
the young sons and young daughters of Cain
are needlessly dying again and again;
their beauty distorted by mirrors of pain.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Abner and Joab

(A Haiku)

Twelve men from each side,
swords drawn, flesh torn, all men dead.
Now the war begins.
2 Sam 2:8-17

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Changing With the Times

by Jim Rapp

Turning page by page
his awkward “fingers” fumbled
and his brain in quiet rage
recalled the day he stumbled
on the threshold of his days;
falling backward, trapped and humbled,
doomed to reach old age
reading comics that are scrambled
with the hustings that are lineage –
gathered weekly and assembled;
placed to catch his doo-doo –
            on the bottom of the cage.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hand to Hand

(A Haiku Duet)
by Jim Rapp

In Pharaoh’s Egypt
a physician lost his hand
if he botched a job.

Not much has changed since;
brutal ideology
passes hand to hand.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


by Jim Rapp

Emerging from the church after the funeral,
waiting, engine running, for Alice
to dash back into the church with the
sympathy card we had left in the car,

You flashed in front of our car,
behind the car parked car ahead of us,
around the right side of it then
shot left, in front of the car,
racing back to the curb
            where you had started.

Wind-driven, you puffed your chest
and pirouetted, reaching out to touch
the back right fender, then the front right
before making your daring dash,
cross-traffic, to lie panting, shaking with
            laughter (I suppose) in the gutter.

If your mother had seen you it would have
frightened her witless, but she doubtless lays,
oblivious to your reckless capers, neatly folded,
safely kept, well down in the sack with
            a hundred others like her.

A block away red t-shirted revelers caper
and shout, loudly enough to raise the dead,
swirling in and out of the narrow spaces between
downtown buildings, bottles and cans already
            dropping, draining into the gutters.

And mothers, neatly clipping coupons from
the weekend edition, are oblivious to their
            children’s peril.

It is antics like yours – wild cavorting in the streets,
endangering drivers startled by your antics –
that validate the culture’s distrust of your kind,
give impetus to the movement to ban you
            and your ilk outright.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Mold Council of America

(A set of Silly Haikus)
by Jim Rapp

 “Mold won’t harm you:” from
a study, funded by the
U.S. Mold Council.

“Real bitches don’t eat
table scraps:” The Council of
Ravinous She Wolves.

“What you see is real:”
The T.V. News Producers,
of America.

“The cops are your friends:”
Brotherhood of Hollywood
Cop Show Producers.

“Guns don’t Kill. He, He.”
from the National Rifle

“Fagots, God Hates You!”
Westboro Baptist Church – with
quiescent amens.

“Mankind, God Loves You!”
The True Church of Jesus Christ –
with timid amens


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Repentant – Sort Of

by Jim Rapp

I grew up defending Fords and Harry Truman
on the playground down the block from our house,
then ended up driving a pea-green Chevy and
casting my first vote for Nixon, the louse.

Ah well, I learned that most mistakes can be reversed;
I’ve since repented of those early sins;
the new set I will not, for modesty, rehearse;
but if I could, I’d buy that Chevy again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Down Day

(Haiku Meditation)
by Jim Rapp

Everyone has them.
Fevered, sleepy, grey down days
come out of the blue

taking down with them
plans for how we’d use those days;
leaves us feeling blue.

Even a down day
has flashes of gold; a call,
a note from a friend

brightens a grey day,
reminds of those we should call
and cheer, friend to friend.

In as much as you’ve
done it to the least of these,
you’ve done it to me.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Joy in Sharing a Cup of Warm

by Jim Rapp

From hobo camps, to Fifth Avenue,
a rite, nearly indistinguishable,
marks the proof of kindredness anew;
a steaming brew consumed in cup or bowl.

Is it the design of friendship’s cup;
the content, aroma, hour, or place?
Yes, all, but far more the lifting up
of wishes giv’n, friend to friend, face to face.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Calming Bernie Down

by Jim Rapp

The race is tight’ning.
Bernie thinks he sees a path
but Hil’s in the way.

Bern’s screws are tight’ning;
Red’ning face betraying wrath,
what is he to say?

Bernie declares Hil
is getting nervous. “Don’t push
her!” he jests. Nice guy!

Bern is such a pill.
Now he is testy; we must
calm him too. Nice try!
Hil = Hillary Clinton
Bern = Bernie Sanders

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It Takes a Village: We’ve Got Your Back

by Jim Rapp

Have you noticed how
political hacks won’t stand
alone anymore?

They set up the show:
lackeys, with signs, in back and
TV crews before.

If those crews would swing
to show what’s not seen, it might
amuse some to know:

beyond the fawning
minions’ gaze – out front – you might
have a dozen show.

It won’t be long now
before the whole crowd gathers
up behind their man.

Stand behind me now!
The entire village slathered
there for lens to scan.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

By Laws Long Drawn

by Jim Rapp

What makes us think this world is here to stay?
Everywhere I look I see evidence
of a “permanence” resembling decay;
unending movement back to its essence.

Its essence? Our essence. In tandem we
all march back to our collective Source in
Whom we’ve lived and moved and had our being.
By laws long drawn we bring the harvest in.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Speaking With Foot In Mouth

By Jim Rapp

Language is a dead giveaway.
Innocent Lexis, mindless
Of verbal traps, rushes to say
What proper Couth cannot redress.

It must be part of heaven’s joy;
A little part of heaven’s mirth;
That “the speaking one” can’t deploy
His gift except with foot in mouth.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Kevin’s Office, And Mine

by Jim Rapp

I just read an NYT piece
depicting Kevin Young’s office;
photos mainly, intent to tease
the reader’s inquisitiveness.

Everyone likes to peek back
into a hideaway; a way
to ascertain through artifact
seen, what mere words refuse to say.

I described, a few years back, my
office/bedroom/den before I
moved to Valhalla – Eastridge, I
should say – where now I make sparks fly.

On an anvil of flinty brain,
I shape, unseen, among the stuff
an NYT photog could aim
his lens at: jewels . . . ’mongst the dust.

NYT piece; “A Writer’s Room: Kevin Young”,
            The New York Times Style Magazine,
            April 1, 2016, Online
Kevin Young; an Atlanta Poet

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fool

(A Haiku Trio)
by Jim Rapp

April’s foolin’ with
us agin, blowin’ in at
forty mile an hour

An’ if that warn’t
‘nuf, she’s dragged the tempature
down below freezin’

I ‘spect we’ll wake up
tomorrow, Sun grinnin’ and
sayin’, April Fool!