Sage brush on the western slope.

The Master

To the Editor:…and the COOTER, the combined ClioOscarObieTonyEmmyRazzie award goes to…drum roll…Donald J. Trump! No finer actor of the modern era has so captivated the spotlight and imagination of America and the world like this masterful performer on every stage he appears. The question remains, who is the man creating this remarkable theater? Future historians may pull away the mask, but for now we can only marvel at the performance we witness day after day. He is the consummate master of absurdist theater, a bit fantastical but, as in the layered subtext of film noir, a larger than life persona exhibiting flashes of insight into the sinuous threads of human desire. 16,000 (and counting) lies have been noted and documented, but is it truly lying when every public appearance is a stage performance blending fantasy and reality, a Gordian Knot to be untied? The sad tragedy of this rare gift is the damage being done by stagehands behind the scenes.    

RP

Taking the 5th

To the Editor:
While there is much discussion over the 2nd Amendment and the rights and limits of gun ownership, we hear less and less about the 5th, which states that a person sworn under oath to tell the truth is allowed to not answer self-incriminating questions. Underlying this right is a profound respect for both a sworn oath and truth saying. Given the seemingly decaying value of truth in public and political life today, one wishes that all those sworn to uphold the Constitution would take the 5th rather than proclaiming outright lies

RP

The Palette Shifts

In the morning cast
Of sun light
After an early hard freeze
The palette shifts
Dramatically,
The Fall glamor gone, 
Giving way
To warmer tones 
And shades,
Tans and browns,
Dried flowers, dried grass, 
Red kinnikinnick,
And ebony-branched,
Silver green sage,
The natural world 
A visual gift opening 
Continually
Wondrous this river
Of light and time.

Surviving January

Am I more than
My dog’s doorman?

As the Earth warms
Will Armageddon be
Low fat, vegan, bug-eating,
Lactose and gluten free?
Probably.

No longer myth
The walking dead rain down death.
War, and mayhem everywhere,
And vampire capitalists thrive
On the blood, body, and brains
Of living souls.

And yet eastward,
Ultra-thin, a crescent moon,
The foothills westward red,
A cottonwood tree, charcoal sketched,
Sturdy trunks ebony and bronze
Against an amethyst sky,
Its last dry leaves sparkled golden
By the morning sun.

Metaphor

To the Editor:
Historically, WWII, “The Last Good War”, was fought to prevent Hitler’s military conquest of Europe and the Soviet Union. Metaphorically, it can be likened to radical chemotherapy aimed at stopping the aggressive spread of Hitler’s White Nationalist elitism. The Nazis were defeated, but the cancer has now metathesized into authoritarian regimes across Europe and into Conservative politics and religion here. That the Americas are regarded as God’s gift to the white race, its Manifest Destiny, is the greatest blasphemy of American Christianity. 

-RP

Mockery

To the Editor:
 That Donald Trump finds it necessary to mock Greta Thunberg for being selected over him for Person of the Year by Time Magazine reveals how “needy” he is for the glitz and glamor of celebrity and wealth, a child’s ego ruled by wants. “A 16 year old, flat-chested girl is more important than me? Impossible!” (I’ve caught flak over the un-#Me Too use of “flat-chested”, but I am only imagining the President’s inner voice.) What he and his myopic, echo-chamber followers fail to realize is just what a refreshing voice in the wilderness Greta is. She speaks clearly, with focus. There is no equivocation, no manipulation, none of the usual double-speaking “Yeah, but…” Everyone needs to pay attention to what we are doing to the Earth. There are no loopholes, no evasions, no easy outs. That she has also created her own echo chamber by mirroring his mocking tweets back at him is another sign of an unusual mind. Wake up world, before it is too late.

RP