Dear Donald

By Benjamin Shapiro

Dear Donald, 

You had your chance,

For 70 years the same old dance

Solo soft shoe, dance for yourself,

A questionable display of mental health,

Policies in which you honor the few,

Funny, because honor is foreign to you. 

Perhaps time’s come to go away, 

Slither off into darkening day,

Because the most charitable act,

The only thing left at this point, in fact, 

Is to leave, to go, take one for the team,

To go and sleep, perchance to dream

Of legacy beyond hatred and fury,

Or stay and face that bitter jury

Of historians, philosophers, poets, and such,

The ones who will judge your Shit-Midas touch,

And you’ll call it fake news, 

In your room without views, 

While the world moves on

Having forgotten your song, 

But not the lessons you taught,

That hatred’s to be fought 

And that resistance will run

Over your team of one. 

So go, leave, I wish you no ill,

Go and sit on history’s landfill.

Chronic Depression/Spiritual Redemption 

By Benjamin Shapiro
My spirit withers 

As I look back, 

Writhes in anguish,

Turning black

I must find

A better way,

A change inside

As the future splays

Itself before me. 

No sun ahead

As I make pleas

To darkness and dread. 

Pinhole of light 

In black abyss 

Drive forward

Try not to miss

The infinite

Smallness of happiness

Off target 

Due to stress

And still I push

For the light

Break dark hold

Blinding sight

Future now

Or is it present

Or visions

That are pre-sent

Of time not occurred 

At least not yet 

A future of

No regret.

Demon Eye Blues 

By Benjamin Shapiro

Things gon’ change after these demon eyes heal,

Gotta remember what it’s like to be real, 

Find the words to show how I feel. 

Yeah, things gon’ change, been a long time coming,

Tune up my mind, get my motor humming,

Shock with phrases electric and stunning. 

Change gon’ come, it’s long overdue,

Gon’ change myself through and through,

And maybe my poems, they will change you.

Life’s Symphony 

By Benjamin Shapiro 
​Life is discordant notes
Forced into measures

The composer who wrote

Hiding many treasures. 

A symphony of senses

In four quarter time,

Unbound by fences

With a six flat key sign. 

Complicated, but plain,

A child could play, 

Notes dropping like rain

On a sun-shiny day. 

Variations improvized

In an orderly fashion

Themes individualized

Directed by passion. 

We are all movements

In the opus of life,

Each note is a moment, 

A chance to be blithe. 

Memory of Perfect Melancholy 

By Benjamin Shapiro 

Memories intermingle,

Soft-focused, silent, 

Pantomimed perfection. 

Cartwheeling kids catching 

Brittle butterflies, 

Gossamer’s gentle grace,

Dandelion dander 

Floating flittingly

On warm wind. 

Summer storms

Lightning lives

Downpour drenched.

First-love finality

Ends entwined in embrace

As Autumn arrives,

Gushing, grieved goodbyes.

Detoxed Masculinity 

By Benjamin Shapiro
Manly me

Paragon of

Masculinity

Lifts heavy objects

Loves football

Chops up

Firewood in Fall

Also writes

Poems and prose

Knows the way

To prune a rose

Can bake

Better than most

Takes pride in

Being a good host

Loves Abba

And hard rock

Musicals and

Summer stock

Hikes in woods

And likes to fish 

Gets excited by

An antique dish

Loves thrift stores 

And good deals

Takes pleasure in

All good meals

Manly me

Paragon of 

Masculinity 

Just not toxic

As you can see.

Life and You

By Benjamin Shapiro 
​Life goes on,

As The Beatles once sang,

Even when it goes wrong 

And the days fill with rain. 

Still it moves forth

Regardless of you,

Cares not for self worth,

Nor for the many nor few. 
Life ambles on,

And time passes to,

And though it seems long, 

It’s too short when it’s through, 

And waiting for life, 

To give you worth, 

Is like hoping strife

Will leave the earth. 
Life tarries on,

And it is your choice

To create your own song

And find your own voice. 

Days are to be seized,

Not allowed to fly by,

It’s gone with a breeze 

And you’ll wonder why 
Life moved on

And twilight is now

And the ceaseless throng

Has ceased it’s flow

And your time is spent

And now you regret

That who you were meant

To be won’t be met. 
Life is moving 

You should be, too. 

Life is for loving

The many and few,

But only if one

Decides to live that way,

Don’t walk, you must run,

For life starts today.

Broken Fences  (RIP Elie Wiesel)

By Benjamin Shapiro

Never be afraid

To choose a side,

Let conscience

Be your guide,

Fight suffering

Where you can,

Don’t dismiss it

As God’s plan. 

Lift up your brother 

Who’s trodden down,

Don’t use a smile 

To cover a frown. 

If enough sit on’t

The fence will fall

Bringing with it

Humanity all. 

Empty 

By Benjamin Shapiro
Empty cultures breed empty leaders,

Empty books make empty readers,

Empty readers just don’t think,

Empty minds that love to drink,

Empty glasses at the bar,

Empty fuel tanks don’t go far,

Empty stomachs, good for vultures, 

Emptiness invades the culture. 

Empty cultures breed empty leaders, 

Empty books for empty readers,

Empty times spiral down,

Led to our deaths by empty clowns.

Pour Me Another 

By Benjamin Shapiro
I sat there, elbows resting,

On cold veneered bar,

Liver needs testing,

I’ll take it too far. 

Cold mug chills 

Calloused hands,

Alcohol fueled thrills,

Crap house bands. 

And my tired brain

Repeats chanted refrain:

“Hey there, brother, 

Pour me another? ”
Barkeep winks,

Whiskey fills glass,

I know he thinks

I’m a drunken ass. 

He’s not wrong,

But my money’s good,

Been at this so long,

Much longer than I should. 

And my tired brain,

Repeats slurred refrain:

“Hey there, brother,

Pour me another?”
One shot, two shots,

Then four more,

Something inside rots, 

As I slide toward the floor. 

No friends to pick me up,

So I grab my stool,

Reaching for my cup,

Playing the court fool. 

And tired brain

Repeats screamed refrain:

“Hey there brother,

Pour me another?”
Darkness closes in,

Edges going black, 

Answer for my sins, 

Won’t send this drink back. 

Memory falls off

Motor functions follow,

Whiskey makes me cough

As I try last swallow. 

And my tired brain

Has mixed up the refrain:

“Hey poor brother,

Why am I other.”