An ode to two years: one just past, the other here so fast

A reflection on pathetic sports teams, dashed political dreams, and hoped-for urban planning themes.

Crosscut archive image.

The Huskies, playing by the lake, will face a season minus Jake.

A reflection on pathetic sports teams, dashed political dreams, and hoped-for urban planning themes.

The Democrats have been shellacked
and jobs aren't all that we have lacked
but revolution's been averted,
social order not perverted,
income tax again rejected,
tax cuts for the rich protected;
Maybe we could use some leaven
as we start on aught eleven
— just the year to ask or tell,
a year for Rahm Emanuel? —
perhaps the year you have to buy
a pass to scramble up Mt. Si
or buy a boat and learn to row
to places ferries used to go.

Will we hear more of school reform
now that impoverishment's the norm?
(Let's give the kids another test
and just forget about the rest.)

Seattle parking rates will soar;
we won't shop downtown any more — 
that urban vibe is nice and all
but there's free parking at the mall.
(Of course, mass transit's virtuous;
it costs more, too, to ride the bus.)

On bare Seattle Center ground
where tacky rides once whirled around
a Ferris wheel will shortly rise
200 feet into the skies.
The old rides were an eyesore, see;
the new one's not supposed to be.
Instead, it will commemorate
the fair that made Seattle great —
a task that shouldn't be too tough;
the Needle might have seemed enough,
the Science Center, monorail —
mnemonics that can hardly fail.
(And if the memories won't stick,
just stream that bad old Elvis flick.)
The Ferris wheel will shortly grace
a portion of the very place
where some day soon Chihuly glasses
may bedazzle tourist masses.

Huskies, playing by the lake
will face a season minus Jake.
The new guy needn't go for broke,
just hand the football to Chris Polk
— if, that is (one never knows),
he's not playing with the pros.
Perhaps — it would be front-page news —
they'll finally win more than they lose,
escape Nebraska with their hide
and possibly a little pride,
and even if they drop a few
they still may stumble past Wazzu.

The Mariners, immersed in losing
(Griffey dealt with it by snoozing),
even after all those losses,
dump their players, not their bosses,
so the latest list of names
may blow another hundred games.
(Poor Ichiro must be so tired
of guys whose shelf lives have expired.)

This season Seahawks came and went,
which may provide a precedent.
Will Hasselbeck be out the door?
Will Okung's ankle fold once more?
Has Carroll's moment come or gone?
Will (gasp!) the Whitehurst era dawn?

The Sounders, who by now must know
two Freddies aren't the way to go
(although they seem to think they need
another soccer-playing Swede),
will miss Nyassi's pace this year;
they'd better hope Zakuani's here.
If he stays put, perhaps their story
winds up in a Blaise of glory,
and — with Kasey in the nets —
they pay off on some playoff bets.

Weyerhaeuser will be a REIT;
will folks rejoice along the Street,
or will that happen only when
some housing bubbles up again?
Will Boeing watchers finally see
a Dreamliner delivery?
(Those screwups all around the globe
could make a guy a xenophobe.)

July's supposed to bring the date
on which we all can celebrate,
according to Obama's plan,
withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Although not many will depart
it may at least provide a start —
to three more years of bombs and rockets,
lining Karzai's kinfolks' pockets,
watching allies say goodbye —
but hey, let's give the plan a try.

We'll have to hold our breath until
we've seen the last of Kim Jong Il,
and hope — or not —  Assange is free
to leak undiplomatically
(which won't keep Pakistani nukes
from leaving with religious kooks
or take Ouattara very far
toward ruling in the Cote-d'Ivoire).

We know Tim Eyman won't depart;
for him, that wouldn't be real smart:
initiatives pay nicely, but . . .
what tax is left for him to cut?

La Niña still has months to go;
if January brings more snow
will city streets stay free of ice?
It might, by now,  be kind of nice
if in its 27th year
the West Seattle Bridge stayed clear.
(And if the roads are blocked, don't squawk;
they don't do better in New Yawk.)

We'll mark a decade since the quake
that made downtown Seattle shake
and conjured thoughts of smashed concrete
cascading down into the street
(the pillars splay and then kaboom!
the viaduct falls to its doom).

Just a century ago,
Seattle told its mayor to go;
will we see patience wearing thin
with anti-tunnel Mike McGinn —
who isn't really saying “never”
but who isn't apt to ever
think the guarantees suffice
if we've guessed wrong about the price.
Yet tunneling is set to start
(though not the deeply boring part.)
Will citizens put on the brakes?
At this point, is that all it takes?
(Two ballot measures may reveal
an overdose of civic zeal;
but still, can “leaders” just ignore
the voters? Well, they have before.)
If Mike should balk, why, don't despair;
after all, he's just the mayor.
The tunnel project won't be dead
if Richard Conlin signs instead.

But why anticipate such strife?
Just raise your Starbucks mug to life.
and visualize a year of love:
Hizzoner learns to trust the Gov,
while she, through glasses freshly cleaned,
beholds his office, undemeaned.
And while we're hoping, why stop there?
Good will may break out everywhere;
while lion lies alongside lamb,
Likud, Hamas may share a ham.


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.