Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Last Poem on Donald Trump--Halloween Effigies and Trump Signs

I think about the sweetness of my little grandkids and how eager they are for Halloween. This past week I saw Trump signs (which are all over Geauga County) next to Halloween decorations--pumpkins, corn stalks, and stuffed dummies, witches, and goblins. And then I thought of real danger and pretend danger. The result of that thinking is this poem:

Terrifying Halloween in Geauga County Ohio

A headless horseman,
Surrounded by pumpkins and corn stalks
Next to the Trump signs,
"Make America Great Again!" –

The tableau repeats in Chardon,
All around Geauga County--
Scenes of mayhem
Next to Trump signs.

Days from now, little children,
Including my own young grandchildren,
Carrying bags and plastic pumpkins,
Will sashay up the driveways,
Singing "Trick or Treat" –


That this Halloween
The danger is real
The terror just under
The thin skin of the orange pumpkin.

Robert M. Coughlin / October 18, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Donald Trump and Women--New Poem

Sorry that I have to write this kind of language--even with asterisks!

Remembering That Kind of a Brute

When the story came out, audio and video from 2005,
Trump talking so bluntly about wanting to “f***” a married woman,
Grabbing her “p****,” thrusting his tongue down her throat--

As if he were a medieval emperor,
No limits to his lust and his power over women . . .

It was then the tide finally turned,
And, really, turned into a tsunami,
Of women telling similar stories of rude encounters with him,
Political allies abandoning him,
And finally, polls turning against him.

Why, finally, after all that happened already?
All the terrible things he said,
The encouragement of the assassination of Hillary Clinton,
The slanders and threats against immigrants, Mexicans,
Muslims, Blacks, everything and everyone different
From himself. Why now?

Maybe the undeniability of the recorded words and video,
Words we do not say aloud, do not say in front of children,
Taboos so violated . . . and . . .

Because so many women in America remember
Men like this, some unspoken privilege,
Privilege of strength, financial power, prestige . . .
Some sort of power to ruin you, in one way or another,

They remember those hands, unwelcome
And unloving, swarming over them like an octopus,
Affection perverted into a kind of rape . . .

Women remember this kind of brute,
And know what to do now.

Bob Coughlin / October 14, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

Letter to My Grandchildren (Poem)

Letter to the Future: For Colin, Robby, and Ava

Boys, Ava,

Nobody will ever love you
The way I, we, Nana and I
Love you.

A long way from here,
If you are ever in trouble,
Ever lonely, ever despair,

Ever wake in fear in the middle of the night,

Remember this:

Nothing you could ever do
Would separate our love from you.

            Bob Coughlin / October 9, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sign of Shame--How I Look at the Donald Trump Signs

Especially after the revelations of Donald Trump's disgusting 2005 comments on women, how can anyone look at a Donald Trump sign as anything but a "sign of shame." Here's a little poem about that:

Sign of Shame

Throughout my county, hundreds of Trump signs,
“Make America Great Again!”

They yell, egging you to stand up to them and say, “No!”
To that they might “punch you right in the nose,”
Or even “shoot you right there on 5th Avenue.”

Their scary anger and determination
Blinds them to the Big Man’s incompetence
And vicious hatefulness.

This evil man could get elected,
Spinning this world and this country
Into vertiginous chaos.

Bob Coughlin / October 9, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Donald Trump--Not For Ohio!

Donald Trump--Not for Ohio!

It's discouraging seeing signs for Donald Trump along the roads of Geauga County Ohio, where I currently live. Donald Trump in no way represents the values of Ohioans or works for the interests of Ohioans.

Donald Trump is a thief of our common treasury. The tax return recently published in the New York Times show that in one year, 1995, he declared a business loss of almost a billion dollars. And apparently he has used that loss to avoid paying federal taxes for almost 20 years now. What is astonishing is that he doesn't deny it. In fact he and his surrogates, like Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, say that it is "brilliant"--he's a "genius" for doing this. Well I have paid thousands of dollars in federal taxes over the past 20 years. Really, the amount is astonishing to me. Now that I'm retired I still pay a pretty hefty percentage of my pension in federal taxes (not to mention state and local taxes). Trump, one of the super-rich and super-privileged of America, has not paid for so many of the essential services of our country--not even for defense. And he has benefited hugely. This is in such stark contrast to Hilary Clinton, Bill Clinton, the Obamas, and even the Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and presidential candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Donald Trump supposedly has several billion dollars, and gives almost nothing to charity and nothing to support all the services of the federal government. Such a stark contrast with typical Ohioans! That doesn't represent Ohio values. That steals from our pockets--and many of us are struggling as it is!

We can't support Donald Trump for being a brilliant businessman, that's for sure. His companies have declared bankruptcy four times (some sources report 6!). These bankruptcies hurt small contractors, banks, investors--and ordinary workers who are stiffed of their paychecks. This billionaire has stiffed ordinary workers--like we Ohioans. And for God's sake, what kind of brilliant businessman loses a billion dollars in one year? This man is no genius businessman. He is a world-class cheater and loser.

Donald Trump certainly doesn't fit in with the family values of most Ohioans. We do not mock military heroes, Gold-Star families, Muslims, Women, Latinos, People of Color, the disabled, Veterans with PSTD, Prisoners of War. We are not bullies--and we don't want our president to be. This is a man married three times, cheating on his first two wives while still married, publically bragging about his mistreatment of women and sexual exploits on radio programs. These aren’t Ohioan family values. We want a president who is a role model.

Add it up and it's easy to see that Donald Trump represents neither the interests nor the values of Ohioans. I sure hope that the majority of Ohioans realize this by election day and send him back to his bankrupt casinos.

Postscript. It just occurred to me that there is another stunning difference between Trump and ordinary Ohioans. How many of us were given a "small gift of a million dollars" to begin our careers? That's what Donald Trump's father did for him. Trump was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His recent discovery of the working and middle classes is not to be trusted!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How would we ever explain this to our children, grandchildren--to the future?

I hope I am wrong. It's not that I think Mrs. Clinton is the perfect candidate--not at all. But I am greatly disturbed by Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric. And words can lead to actions--and the actions could be terrible.

If Trump Gets Elected President . . .

How are we going to explain it to our children,
Our grandchildren, our neighbors in the world?

We were true believers? We got duped?
We were lazy? We were greedy?
We thought others would take care of defeating him?
We were tired? We had no control?

We were stupid? Unprincipled?
We were full of fury, anger, hatred—
And didn’t understand why?

Or will we weep, just say,
“I am sorry. Lo siento. Ich bin schuld.
Temporarily crazy.”

How to explain to children his hatred (and fear!) of women,
Of Blacks, of Mexicans, of “the other,”
Anything different.

There will have to be a new mold, new myths,
To explain this terrible error—

Which could ripple out for years,
Disturb or destroy individual lives,
Whole countries,
Our World.

“Lo Siento! Mea culpa!
We are sorry!”