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Welcome, 2013: A poetic salute to the times ahead

Will Inslee a promise keep? Is Iran digging too deep? Will the 520's cracks start to seep? Crosscut's poet laureate Daniel Jack Chasan brings in the new while taking stock of the old.
A Seattle celebration of New Year's.

A Seattle celebration of New Year's. Wonderlane

Let's welcome in the coming year
it seems we have a lot to cheer:
The solstice came, the solstice went;
the End of Days? A non-event.
The Mayans couldn't have been wronger;
we'll be here a little longer.
No one knows what lies in store;
right now it looks like 12 months more.

Of course, we're still not certain if
we'll stay atop the fiscal cliff.
But even if our taxes rise,
the government has to down-size,
the Pentagon gives out pink slips,
it isn't quite apocalypse.

We'll see Obama two-point-oh
but who knows where this term will go?
The grid remains securely locked
and pork will once again be socked
away in bills too long to read
by folks with pensions guaranteed.

Will GOP big spenders face
the isolation of their "base,"
or give Mitt's failure so much spin
it's almost kinda like a win,
embrace a world that used to be,
and pour themselves a spot of Tea?

We've all heard their refrain before,
but let's repeat it just once more:
Don't tax the rich at higher rates,
dump social programs on the states,
toss out those federal regulators,
pander to Obama-haters;
winning concepts down the line —
perhaps in twenty-ninety-nine.

Across the pond, austerity
won't gain in popularity
while gratitude toward Germany
is no more than than it used to be.
Though Angela will get few thanks,
everybody needs her banks.

Will Britain exit the EU?
Will Catalans depart it, too?
(If they say adios to Spain,
the EU won't let them remain.)

By year's end will Assad have fled?
Will half his people go instead?
And if he goes, we'll have to see
what happens to democracy:
Will rebel groups remain united,
keep the goals that some once cited
or pick some new religious fights
and massacre the Alawites?

In Qum the centrifuges spin.
Do ayatollahs think they'll win?
Will they traverse a red line soon?
Will Bibi blow them to the moon?

One must assume the drones will fly
across the Middle Eastern sky
erasing terrorists galore
and anyone who lives next door.

John Kerry is about to be
the nation's brand-new Hillary,
while her ambition, safe to say,
is not to be the new John K.

Will Jay as Gov stick to his pledge
for no new tax, or will he hedge?
He'll multiply those loaves and fishes,
satisfy the high court's wishes:
raise a billion more for schooling
sans new taxes — he's not fooling.
After all that cash is found,
he'll walk on waves across the Sound.

It's legal to light up at last
unless the feds say not so fast.
(This state which so despises smoking
won't object to people toking.)
Obama says he won't pursue
the folks who smoke a joint or two
but Justice may not greet with shrugs
apostates from the war on drugs.

The Liquor Board, which can't sell booze
will now have just a year to choose
a system for dispensing pot
which may be hard, but maybe not:
let's hope the Board can work out how;
some high school dropouts do it now.

We'll vote — as if there's any doubt —
to say we should be told about
— assuming anybody knows —
our food is laced with GMOs
which may be harmless, cheaper, too,
but if they were, why wouldn't you
start labeling the food with pride
and let the marketplace decide?

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Posted Tue, Jan 1, 2:34 p.m. Inappropriate


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