Scrambled Christmas


Helen Cann

All is calm, all is bright;
the cattle are lowing.
Don we now our gay apparel;
let earth receive her king:
Santa Claus is coming to town !

It doesn’t show signs of stopping:
pa rum pum pum pum;
and a partridge in a pear tree
raising the sound.

We all like our figgy pudding,
and all the souls on earth shall sing.
Between an ox stall and an ass
the silent stars go by;
bruise in us the serpent’s head
so frequently to vanquish all.

Lo ! He abhors not the virgin’s womb;
a voice, a chime, a chant sublime
disperses the gloomy clouds of night.
Gone away is the bluebird
to see if reindeer really know how to fly —
out jumps good old Santa Claus:
fum fum fum !

The darkness everywhere,
thy leaves are so unchanging,
happy golden days of yore
among the leaves so green:

a star in the sky, or a bird on the wing;
jingle bell time is a swell time —
jingle all the way !

*[ WSB ].



population distribution
global snowball to
8 billion on the Ides of
November, doubling
in the short wait of
48 years.

the 1st billion
had a leadup of
2 million years
mostly lost in
prehistorical asides.

*[ WSB ].



Altered: “New Golden Calf,” by Andrew Dolidze

The prophet climbs
into the mountain fog.
Light flashes and
sheet metal shakes.
Time passes, faith fades.
The restless people are
placated when a fattened
golden calf descends
ex machina and hovers
over the stage—
the orange light, blinding.
The people dance—
supplicant and malleable
as orange ore.

*[ WSB ].

In Light of Infinity


Stars have a limited supply of nuclear fuel—
the era of life,
a sliver:

two specks in the universe
fall in love
and have a wonderful [moment]

—finite particles wafting through the darkness
ever expanding.

*[ WSB ].

A Need-to-Know


A    work of legal fiction:
we agree,

— 11th Circuit Court of Appeals —

PLAINTIFF               I thought; and therefore,
it was so.

PANEL                        Plaintiff has no possessory
interest in one hundred
documents classified.

PLAINTIFF               Bibbidi bobbodi BOO!

[Red herring] of
the previous erring;
the inextricably intertwined,
on behalf of the people
may ensue:
an injunction denied—
per curiam.

*[ WSB ].

Only the Lonely


Darkness dances round the flickering torch,
sad clown under the lamppost, the hours small:
spotlight in a nightclub   | plays within plays |
large orchestra arranged intimately
for the complexity of sadness sublime.

*[ WSB ].



Twice denunciated:
regularly mailing a card to test the postal service—a reminder to write music for the masses;
measured, the response to just criticism.
Not an opium addict:
no belief in God, and very sorry about it—note the quoting of self.
A tsar falls from heaven hanging o’er the May Day march toward socialism
| steps out of Chaos |.
Metronomic, the tics
to the hammering tocks of clocks interlocking, sickles cycle in the fields of crystal harmony—
fist-pumps of the workers.

*[ WSB ].