Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Paranoia Strikes Deep

I'ts hard these days not to be paranoid and distrustful of your fellow man, when you think the guy standing in front of you in the checkout line could be plotting to blow up a public building. This little ramble is courtesy of today's big news item: six would-be terrorists were arrested in a foiled plot to attack Ft. Dix, the New Jersey Army base, and kill as many soldiers as possible. All were apparently radical Muslims, but the scary thing is that four of them were from my home town of Cherry Hill, NJ. And apparently some of them had actually graduated from high school here. This, coupled with the Virginia Tech shootings last month, really give one the unsettling feeling that nowhere is safe any more.

I have a connection to the Virginia Tech tragedy too: one of the students critically injured was Sean McQuade, who is my nephew's half-brother. I didn't know Sean, but I certainly know my nephew, who was pretty close to him and very broken up over it. Sean, who was shot in the face, is making some progress, but it will be a long road to recovery for him.

This is a relatively slow week activity-wise for me, but next week will be real busy: we've got two sons graduating from Rutgers - different campuses, too, so there will be a lot of shuffling and shuttling of family members. It'll be great, though. This Thursday I'll meet with my buddies at Quick and Dirty Poets for critique and general hijinks. By the way, here's our website so you can see what kind of shenanigans we've been up to: http://quickanddirtypoets.com/

I'll leave you with a poem, as I like to do. This is a sonnet I wrote which was published in this year's issue of US 1 Worksheets:

Chocolate and Tylenol

A friend confides her love of chocolate
at lunch – sweet-bitter taste on parted lips,
aroma waft to nose, the melt on hot
wet tongue, and brown smear licked from fingertips.

But headaches are the price she pays for lust
of cocoa-flavored sweets, and she admits,
I like it so, I cannot quit – I trust
in analgesic pills before it hits.

She’d rather risk effects of her excess
Than do without this sweet surrender,
and deems this regimen a fair success
when dealing with a frequent chocolate bender.

And that’s just how it is with you for me,
Except I’ve yet to find your remedy.

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