Paper Tiger Meets Straw Dog

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Paper tigers are

saber rattlers,

neighbor tattlers,

favored whiners and

major prattlers that

savor decline,

yet cannot fight.

To do away

with a roaring beast

only to find a

fragile fraidy cat

in its place

should not be surprising.

Sometimes stripes are earned,

sometimes they are merely projected.

Straw dogs are routinely discarded,

after their special day,

not because they deserve this,

but because this is their purpose.

Dressed to the nines,

blessed and

lest we forget

left in the street

once their mission is complete.

No matter how many times,

they are thrown away,

straw dogs return another day,

to be a display,

that cannot stay.

You’d be Surprised

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At the open-air bazaar of ideas hangs

A smog of apocrypha,

So thick,

You could bottle it,

For any one eager and gullible enough,

To buy.

Yet filtering the miasma,

Of misinformation,

For its kernels of truth,

Shows how easy it is,

For certainty to be crowded-out

by lies.

It covers your face,

With thick soot,

The smell lingers

And stains your clothes-

The gasses

will burn your eyes.

But just because the truth is scarce,

Does not mean it’s not worth the trouble,

Of uncovering-

Keep your hazmat suit handy,

And your goggles on.

Prospecting is a hard days work,

For little pay,

But, nevertheless,

You will find it enriching

If you see it through.

Tulip Mania

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You’ve heard of that old saying, right?

“One man’s trash,

Is another man’s,

Economic crash,”

You know?

The humble tulip,

A discovery from the new world,

Became a Dutch sensation,

Overnight.

With this bulb-market,

Came speculation,

Large amounts of liquidity,

And rising valuation,

That sowed a coming disaster.

As quickly as it came,

POP! went the bubble,

Consumers, cultivators,

Merchants, kings and peasants,

All came tumbling down.

Player Piano

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A musician never acts alone,

Unless, of course,

they happen to be a drone.

Pay no attention,

To the fact that,

There is no one in front of the curtain.

Études are meant to showcase one’s skill,

But with the amputation,

Of middlemen,

There is no risk,

No drama,

In such a piece.

Chopin’s Opus 25 Number 11,

“Winter Wind”

Played with ruthless calculation,

Feels like little more,

Than a brisk,

Cakewalk.

Corrosion

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Hello old limestone sculpture,

Of an ancient, armored,

Sword-toting,

Female soldier-

Meet acid rain.

Your chiseled face,

Buffed away,

Until the once completed visage,

Looks like modeling clay.

Slowly, but surely, we return to square-1,

That marvelous, marble base,

Laid bare,

Then swiss-cheesed,

By sizzle drizzle.

Behold the disappearing monument,

Matter cannot be created,

Nor destroyed,

But that’s neither here nor there,

Until we put real effort toward conservation,

Of the curated.

Kowloon Walled City

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I’ve built you up quite a bit,

And I’m finding it harder and harder,

To leave than ever before.

If I could see in here,

I’d find unwound wires,

That cross-cross the cracks,

In the concrete,

And trickles of tap water,

That run down your façade.

But being off-the-grid,

Has it’s own advantages-

If walls could talk,

They’d tell you that,

We reach high here,

In spite of what we’re missing.

No sunrise goes unseen,

People stand on their balconies,

With nothing,

And also everything they need.

Vinyl

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Walking,

Blindfolded,

Through the annals,

Feeling the walls,

And using echolocation.

The ancient texts,

Sacred incantations,

Chants of legends,

Contained in texture,

To be deciphered,

By a stylus,

Which cannot,

Transcribe.

Each pressing,

With its own,

Character.

Each batch with,

It’s own,

Flaws,

Hissing,

Popping,

Scratches,

Not even counting,

The shattered ones.

Revolutions,

Dictate,

No matter,

How convoluted,

The labyrinth,

Until it’s time,

To switch,

To the other side.