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2018, ready or not: A look ahead

Fireworks launch into the air from the Space Needle on New Year's Eve 2015 in Seattle. Credit: Júbilo Haku via Flickr

Did we enjoy the year just past?
Well, aught-eighteen is here at last.
Odds are, you wouldn’t lose a bet
that it will be the warmest yet.
(Just think how anxious we might feel
if we thought climate change was real.)
But hey let’s ring ourselves a bell
and see what oolong leaves foretell:

Will Rocket Man renounce his nukes
trade in his missiles for some cukes?
Fat chance; why should our sanctions sway
folks we don’t trade with anyway?
(But while we’re noodging, let’s suggest
his barber may not be the best.)

He called our Prez “old lunatic” —
a name, alas, that didn’t stick;
it left the C-in-C stone cold —
he drew the line right there at “old.”

The Winter Games will soon unroll
an easy morning’s drive from Seoul.
Careening down some icy hill
may pack a little extra thrill
if you remember day and night
Kim’s army is just out of sight.

In Russia, where sports doping’s rife
this spring, the World Cup comes to life.
The USA’s not there — too bad —
we lost that game at Trinidad,
so Jozy, Clint and all may be
home watching on wide-screen TV.

(The former, though, did step it up
to keep the Sounders from the cup,
which they’ll pursue again next year —
with Ozzie back? That isn’t clear.)

Czar Putin will get six more years
and Assad’s staying, it appears,
Obama’s red line, Trump’s big talk
have not persuaded him to walk;
the man’s not going anywhere —
as long as Putin wants him there.

Prince Harry will walk down the aisle,
eclipsing Brexit for a while.
We know we’ll hear an awful lot
about a prince who ties the knot.
The royals think that Meghan’s fine —
perhaps ‘cause he’s just fifth in line.

The Saudi world may start to reel
in June when women take the wheel,
which some of us will celebrate,
although it comes a little late:
they say that soon we’ll all sit by
and leave the driving to AI.

Last year, if anybody cares,
the Emerald City had four mayors,
Ed Murray, Harrell, Burgess too,
already that makes quite a few,
and now of course we have begun
Mayor Durkan’s — we hope — four-year run;

She’s already commenced to shop
all over for a new top cop
(some hope when she’s seen all the rest,
she’ll circle back to Carmen Best),
and someone (if the price is right)
to take the helm at City Light.

The city income tax, it seems,
is headed straight to the supremes
who probably will strike it dead —
as Durkan has already said.

The plan to upzone may soon stall;
Most citizens might cheer its fall.
We all know density is good —
in someone else’s neighborhood.

In Ballard, maybe — do you think? —
they’ll start Burke-Gilman’s missing link
so cyclists won’t share the street
with trucks that tumble wet concrete.

Enjoy the viaduct’s last year,
that vantage point will disappear,
the views will still be glorious —
but not for folks who ride the bus.

Remodeling is due to start
at SAM’s museum of Asian art.
Which means a wait before SAM shows
that golden screen with all the crows.

The NHL may bless the town
and beam a hockey team on down,
which may improve substantially
the economics of the Key;
another team, another sport,
spell civic triumph of a sort —
yet what, exactly, will we fix
by watching guys skate by with sticks?

Stats for Segura and for Cruz
look good and yet the Ms still lose.
Ohtani might have saved the day,
But he’ll be playing in LA.

The presidential tweets all show
that really, nothing is below
the dignity of him — good grief  —
for whom bands play “Hail to the Chief.”

We know he’s vain and know he’s rude;
the question is, “did he collude?”
Are Flynn, Paul Manafort et al.
the only guys who’ll take a fall?
Will we find out this year before
someone shoves Mueller out the door?

Republican tax-cutters won
but what, exactly, have they done?
Provisions written late at night
will boost investment, really … right?
Execs have said said it isn’t so
and they’re the ones who oughta know.
The cash a firm no longer sends
may just engorge its dividends.
Who cares if soon the caribou
may have to jump a pipe or two;
and RIP for ACA
won’t make big health bills go away?

Al Franken, Conyers, Keillor, too
we’ve already seen quite a few
self-righteously “progressive” guys
who are no longer getting byes.
It seems that some “progressives” might
have much in common with the right,
those evangelically pure
who cast their votes for ol’ Roy Moore.
(But Alabamians weren’t clones;
most passed on Roy and picked Doug Jones.)
Will this soon be last year’s news?
Just ask your waitress for some clues.

The Democrats may finally turn
away from Hillary and Bern
to nominate — perhaps they’ll dare —
someone who’s not on Medicare
and find the voters — live or dead —
to flip one house to blue from red.

Our 45th District’s blue
so state Dems have the Senate, too:
divided government no more —
is Inslee’s carbon tax in store?

The Bezos empire will decide
who gets the magic carpet ride
to high-tech jobs and rising rent;
and other stuff folks here resent;
we hate the way tech firms exploit —
but would we rather be Detroit?

Will prices rise at Mount Rainier?
The market logic’s pretty clear:
If you want folks to stay away,
just nearly triple what they pay.

Although we’re all for liberty,
Atlantic salmon swimming free
don’t really represent the kind
of freedom that we had in mind.
Let’s hope that more fish aren’t released —
or if they are, they swim back east.

If all this starts to get you down,
don’t hire yourself a birthday clown.
Ignore the news from time to time;
you’ll miss some tweets — is that a crime?
And now and then do have what you want —
a good craft ale, a warm croissant.
Head up to soggy Skagit ground
to watch the snow geese fly around;
and drive out east in early spring
when orchards there are blossoming;
check out Town Hall, due back, it seems,
with more support beneath its beams;
fly straight to Dublin some fine day
— Aer Lingus nonstops start in May –
and any time, go hug a tree
that’s stood at least a century.
Look up to see a shooting star
and raise a glass – or jelly jar –
of pinot noir or pinot gris
to greet the year we hope to see.

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