On Politics

Poem #17 of the 30/30 challenge for Poetry Month

The sound I hear when
chew a piece of raw celery
catches my attention and
makes me think about
noise and its uncanny ability
to distract one’s attention
from what matters most.

You can’t focus on the pimento
cheese smeared on the stalk
when the damn celery is
barking and snapping in your
ear, luring your brain away
from the velvet taste and
texture of good cheddar.

When your ears are full of
the bewildering cacophony
of teeth battling a brittle
petiole, your taste buds
cannot fully appreciate
the delightful flavor of
a piece of perfect pimento.

The music of celery sounds like
the caterwauling of politicians’
clamorous diatribes, meant to
divert debate from matters of
substance to issues no more
concrete than the vapor
escaping their moving mouths.

Politicians blather and strut about
meaningless issues with such
insipid fervor that even their children
must question proclamations of
familial love and admiration,
wondering what personal payoffs their
hollow words are meant to hide.

If the sound of celery hijacks the
flavor of its cheesy cargo, so too
does the pandemonium of politics
steal attention from the matters of
the moment, urging us instead to
spend time in a peanut gallery as
relevant as celery is caloric.

[I think the allegory train has gone off the tracks.]

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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