Ode to 2013

Bertha's stalled. Boeing too. Ballmer's out. (Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo?) The Elwha dam came tumbling down. The Seahawks brightened up the town. Before this subhed gets much worse, we here present the year - in verse.
Crosscut archive image.

Russell Wilson Credit: Larry Maurer/Wikimedia Commons

Bertha's stalled. Boeing too. Ballmer's out. (Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo?) The Elwha dam came tumbling down. The Seahawks brightened up the town. Before this subhed gets much worse, we here present the year - in verse.

As oh-thirteen goes out the door,
let's contemplate the year in store:

Big Bertha tunnels to the light
unless she's stuck there, out of sight.
Alaskan Way moves to the east
with on-street parking much decreased.

On Broadway's shiny streetcar tracks
new cars will roll with clicks and clacks.
(Sound Transit ponied up the dough.
It has its own tax stream, you know.)

Will Boeing choose to build its plane
in someplace with a bit less rain?
The company's already tried
to build a plane with parts supplied
by factories spread all around
instead of here on Puget Sound.
It didn't work out awfully well;
would this be different? Time may tell.

Will more folks find some paying work?
Will we remember how to twerk?
The Keystone pipeline: yes or no?
New healthcare signups: fast or slow?
(With luck, they'll sign up millions more
of people under 64.)

Will Kerry conjure Mideast peace?
Will Europe lend still more to Greece?
Will ayatollahs not enrich
and sanctions end without a hitch?

Steve Ballmer leaves, without a doubt.
The incandescent bulb fades out.

State-licensed marijuana sales
— while drug offenders rot in jails —
may soon provide a whole new twist
to Grandma's weekend shopping list.

Ed Murray wasn't Mike McGinn;
that's all he needed — now he's in,
which means he'll be the guy to blame
for — what's it matter? Name a name.

Buy locally or window-shop,
we know he'll pick a new chief cop
in hopes whoever gets the job
can please both Guild and Merrick Bobb.

Now Sawant takes her council chair;
what difference will she make up there?
Her rhetoric may add some spice
to sessions of Seattle nice;
her legislation won't survive
unless she learns to count to five.

Will SeaTac's wages prove contagious?
Don't be sure; some find outrageous
talk of paying some poor clerk
15 for just an hour's work.
Let's calculate — sure it's not fair —
but math is math most anywhere:
Cano will take home every inning
(even if the Ms aren't winning)
just about what that same clerk
would get for six months' worth of work.
Of course, of course, they're not the same
'cause life is life; it's not a game,
so let's ignore athletic worth
and bring things back down here to earth:
at 15 bucks, one shouldn't plan
to buy in Broadmoor — or Queen Anne.

Our troops in Kabul fly away
except, of course, for those who stay;
will Afghan pols they leave behind
just find new ways to steal us blind?

Al-Assad's here but will he last?
The time for optimism's past.
His sarin gas may be destroyed;
Bashar will not be unemployed.
(Obama's red line came and went;
Bashar is still the president.)

Those folks who'd like less news of sports
may spend the new year out of sorts
with World Cup and Olympic hype
to complement the usual tripe.

The racers perched on skate and ski
will congregate beside the sea,
in Sochi — a Black Sea resort,
that's not a hub of winter sport;
a semi-tropical location
for a Muscovite's vacation;
but, perhaps, it will have snowed
an hour or so on up the road.

The soccer world will spin around
rectangles of Brazilian ground
here nations' hopes will rise and fall
on bouncings of a paneled ball.
The questions rise like jungle heat
(in which our boys will risk defeat):
Will Rio's streets be rid of crime?
Will stadia get built on time?

Here, Sigi Schmidt and Ozzie stay,
and Steve and Mauro go away.
Will Deuce remember how to score?
Will we beat Portland any more?

Some baseball fans will go to see
much fewer than there used to be —
if Mariners at last reverse
their long and dismal Safeco curse.
Chuck Armstrong's going — at long last —
but don't assume bad days have passed.
Will someone have McClendon's back?
Somebody warn him: don't unpack.

Will Harvin play again next fall?
Will Wilson's Seahawks win it all?

Will we be able, on our phones,
to mobilize Jeff Bezos' drones
to bring us tchotchkas every day
without an overnight delay?

We know an Elwha dam comes down.
The Lion King arrives in town.
This spring, we'll see Miro at SAM
(and picture Ivar keeping clam)
and hope the vineyards didn't freeze
(and ditto for the birds and bees).

Let snowpack linger on the range
(though we believe in climate change)
and Fraser River fish again
return en masse like 2010.

So here's to vacant parking spots,
and blooming plants in vacant lots,
some pastry scraps for gulls and crows,
and produce free of GMOs,
to Orcas leaping in the Sound,
and spotted owls all around.
Here in (endangered) paradise,
let's raise a glass — syrah is nice —
or hoist a mug of craft-brewed beer
and welcome in the coming year.



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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.