2023 in Verse, Though of Course it Could be Worse


That blow-up Santa at his post
(so seasonal – like Marley’s ghost)
reminds us that another year
is on the verge of being here.
So let’s reflect — it’s not a sin —
on where we’re going, where we’ve been:
We’ve seen the last of Henry K.
and also – sadly – Sandra Day.

Thierry Rauturau is gone;
will chefs go hatless from now on?
Rapinoe’s left, Lodeiro too;
soon Michael Penix, for a few.
The Ms have Julio back again;
some day they’ll win – who can tell when.

Big changes crop up everywhere:
Seattle’s lost a billionaire.
With Amazon soon selling cars,
Blue Origin on track for Mars,
Jeff Bezos chose to relocate
to Ron DeSantis’ Sunshine State.
(The big A’s easy to deplore –
but leave that parcel at the door.)

Across the lake, we should have rail;
we don’t, and therein hangs a tale
of plinths defective, track unlaid,
completion – who’s surprised? – delayed.
State ferries sail (unless they don’t.)
Their crews show up (unless they won’t.)
The fleet’s been running down for years,
Who knows when that next boat appears?

Jay Inslee soon heads out the door;
his final year is ’24.
Bob Ferguson looks set to win.
Dave Reichert’s chance looks pretty thin
(Republicans have served before;
but not since 1984),
while Hilary, who never led,
Is running for the House instead.

Kshama’s going; some rejoice —
they’ll be so glad to miss her voice.
Instead, there’s Rob and Bob and Joy,
Maritza, too, and Cathy – oy! –
So many, and it’s still not clear
who’ll take Teresa’s place next year.
The council’s moderate new faces
(who’d be Lefties in some places)
may – who knows? — accomplish more
than local pols who’ve tried before.

Though noble sentiments abound, 
the problems seem to stick around;
as they have done – what else is new? –
In lots of other cities, too.
Just recently, the OED,
that noted word authority,
called ’23 the year of “rizz”;
Will we soon have a year of grizz?
Will big bears live next door again?
(They roamed all over way back then.)
Some people hope so.  Others don’t.
Will they be “problem bears?” They won’t.

The Huskies went thirteen and oh,
to steal the Pac 12’s final show.
The conference landed in the trash,
as members chased that TV cash.
The coop from which most quickly flew
is now reduced to the PAC-2,
while some ex-members look for green
among the brand-new Big 18.
(Don’t fall for their “tradition” shtick;
we know big money makes them tick.)

Joe Biden’s ancient, so we’re told,
– OK, OK, the dude is old —
but Trump, whose fans don’t seem to mind
is only three short years behind;
and though Trump’s base sees him unchanged,
he seems increasingly deranged.

Ex-Presidents may fade away,
build libraries, find gigs that pay,
but we have one who’s in the news
for more, alas, than wacko views:
accused, we know, of fraud and more,
including felonies galore.

Another guy’d be gone by now,
or on his way out, anyhow,
but not The Donald, he whose base
still seems unfazed by his disgrace.
The guy who once said – ipse dixit 
really. “I alone can fix it”
has become – those words reflect –
messiah for his own large sect.
(And yes, he’s called opponents “vermin” –
sounding like a certain German —
but the vengeful orange man
still walks among us – with a plan.)

McCarthy’s gone; what’s not to like
about the new guy, MAGA Mike?
He says the Bible is his guide –
although, we know, he kinda lied
about the old election “steal” –
which wasn’t, well, exactly real.

More funds for Israel? He said yes –
if we defund the IRS
so wealthy tax cheats, by and by –
those camels in the needle’s eye –
won’t have to worry that some day,
an auditor will look their way.

Mike may soon help his pals impeach –
for what?  It’s factually a reach,
but doubtless Donald will be glad
if Joe’s accused of something bad.
Plus bashing Joe may be  more fun
than really getting something done.

Zelensky fears that we’ll forget
–not all of us have done so yet –
but most folks are, to say the least,
more focused on the Middle East.
And Trumpists may yet pull the plug –
who cares that Putin is a thug?

In fact, that’s part of his appeal:
the lure of strongmen’s all too real.
Tradition reigns; it’s such old news:
you got a problem? blame the Jews.
But government’s a different game,
and Bibi’s earns a lot of blame;
now even allies want to see
much more proportionality.

Perhaps he hopes those heaps of rubble
wall him off from legal trouble;
That may sound a tad unkind,
but some suspect it’s on his mind.

The COP met in a petrostate;
the optics weren’t exactly great,
but delegates did finally say,
that fossil fuels should fade away.
How many years? Almost three score
since Beatles landed on our shore
so Yanks (now old) could finally see
the Fab Four singing on TV.

Check Wikipedia and find
The Stones were only months behind.
And check the schedule for next year:
just months from now, they’ll be right here.
Go catch their show if you’re inclined
(you can be sure that they won’t mind)
and while you’re at it, at the least,
you might consider Jon Batiste.

See Hokusai at Asian SAM;
his show’s soon going on the lam.
and Calder at SAM’s downtown pile
(although he’ll stick around a while.)
Go walk outside in any season –
you don’t have to have a reason –
splash through puddles if you like,
on sunny mornings, ride a bike,
and if you want to dodge the news,
go climb Mt. Si; enjoy the views.

Watch fish near-crawl up spawning streams,
a dog go running in its dreams,
a crow alight to take a rest
(or maybe ace an IQ test.)
Walk way out by the Elwha’s mouth.

See snow geese while they’re this far south.
Drive east when sandhill cranes are seen.
Join shorebirds west near Aberdeen,
Hear tree frogs on a warm Spring night.
See mountains pink in early light.
Find trillium beside a trail.
Saute a bunch of farmstand kale.

Let’s raise a toast (Prosecco’s nice,
but Lapsang Souchong would suffice.)
in thanks for days of gentle rain,
(there’s lots of drought; let’s not complain),

Spring apple blossoms full of bees,
dry shelter under cedar trees,
for orcas swimming in the Sound
(let’s hope their numbers can rebound),
companions of four legs and two
whose presence will enrich us through
this closer-than-it-may-appear
and soon, let’s hope, more peaceful year.



    If there is a less sanitized or civilized* version, pls let us know right away!

    * Maybe a few other type words describing pseudochristian MAGA(t)s, Drumpfh, 30,000 prevarications, happy racism, hypocrisy, infidelity, hoax virus, etc & et al?

    Many thanks, kind Sir.


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