A New Year's poem

Not all the past decade was a curse. A look ahead, this one in verse.
Crosscut archive image.

Ben Bradlee in 2010

Not all the past decade was a curse. A look ahead, this one in verse.

The unknown beckons, does it not?
Unknowns are clearly what we've got.
As we embark on 2010,
Prepare to roll the dice again.

Will Sarah Palin find a way to stay a Northern star?
Will Tiger Woods enjoy a year a bit less under par?
Will Bibi Netanyahu find more settlement attractive?
Will Khamenei prefer Iran a tad more radioactive?

Here, Wall Street bonuses are back;
It looks like work is all we lack.
Perhaps some time in 2010
Good jobs will open up again.
(One will, of course, applaud it more,
if they aren't all in Bangalore.)

If all goes by Obama's plan
More troops will reach Afghanistan,
Where Karzai's relatives have made
A bundle from the poppy trade,
And contractors will get big bucks
To haul our baggage in their trucks,
While paying warlords, Talibs too,
So they will let the trucks go through.
Across the border, Pakistan will generate some drama;
Will its nukes stay hidden just as safely as Osama?

The Democrats may lose some seats
Despite their legislative feats,
But possibly along the way
Acquire a few more vertebrae.
Will they succumb to red-state bluster
Or restrict the filibuster
(Which their forebears used in fights
To save the South from civil rights)?

Here, Nickels' empire lies in shards;
Who knows what's hidden in the cards?
The 'ꀜoutside'ꀝ candidate is in;
Get used to saying 'ꀜMayor McGinn.'ꀝ
The anti-tunnel candidate
Still doesn't think the project's great,
But he has said he'll hold his nose
And do what other people chose &mdash:
Before implying he might not.
His honor's really on the spot:
His future mayoral reputation
May be for epic excavation;
School kids decades hence may like
To think of him as diggin' Mike.

Next year, if winter blizzards blow,
Will Mike get out and shovel snow?
If not, our recent history
Suggests he'll give himself a B —
Like Greg, whose chances for a third
Were by last winter's drifts interred.
One's shovel-readiness may be
The measure of one's mayoralty.

The legislators face a trap
Confronted by a budget gap.
They'll rummage under couch and chair
For any errant millions there
And then confronted with deep cuts
They may, just maybe find the guts
To finally raise a tax or so
Before Tim Eyman tells them no.
They'd fix the schools and save the Sound
If only wherewithal were found;
Perhaps someday they'll try again —
Someday long after 2010.
The crisis has become the norm;
Don't hold your breath for 'ꀜtax reform.'ꀝ

And do not bet for any reason
On a stellar football season.
(That's 'ꀜfootball,'ꀝ one must oft repeat,
The kind that isn't played with feet.
The real futbol's a different story,
One that's brought the town some glory.
Sigi's Sounders' start was heady
Thanks to Kasey and to Freddie.
They can pass and they can hustle;
Will they hire themselves some muscle?)

Husky football fans will cheer
Jake Locker for another year.
The school has women who can run,
But football? Let's not jump the gun:
The Dawgs have lost those winless blues
But will they win more than they lose?

Their neighbors down the road at Qwest
Do not seem similarly blessed;
Their big stars fading, faded, gone,
Don't add much sheen to plastic lawn.
They wait for Walter Jones' goodbye.
New saviors seem in short supply.
Next April, will they draft some studs
Or just the usual bunch of duds?
Will Hasselbeck turn back the clock?
Will they find linemen who can block?

A lot of rain has yet to fall.
Will Howard Hanson hold it all?
If not, malls may gain water features,
Drive-thrus welcome scaly creatures;
Warehouses, lapped by the tide,
Find trucks replaced by ships outside.
Will Auburn, Kent, Tukwila too,
Be floating in a sea of blue?
That water would be cold and brown —
Avoid the lower parts of town.
(Avoid some higher places, too —
The viaduct may need more glue.)

Enough of adding up the fears;
We've had so many, these 10 years.
The decade past was not so hot.
A lot of it is best forgot:
9/11; Bush v. Gore;
Plus Enron, sub-prime loans and more;
There's Abu Ghraib and Madoff's crimes —
Let's raise a glass to better times!


Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors

Daniel Jack Chasan

Daniel Jack Chasan

Daniel Jack Chasan is an author, attorney, and writer of many articles about Northwest environmental issues.