What does the New Year hold in store?
Some ducks are lamer than before.
and gridlock's what we're apt to see
back east in Washington, D.C.
And yet, as other years have shown,
what lies in wait cannot be known,
so here beside the Salish Sea
let's take a look at what may be:
A year unusually wet
has passed, but are we going to get
another just as soggy now
here on the west side, anyhow —
the eastern sage and pines will dry
enough to kindle, by and by.
(That climate change conspiracy<
will blame combustion; wait and see.)
The time has come to wave goodbye
to elephants Bamboo and Chai,
and hope they're happy, finally,
in pachyderm society.
Big Bertha may get underway
or not — by now, it's hard to say
if she is ever going to beat
her record of 1,000 feet.
A midden may materialize
or alligators, tse tse flies;
perhaps she'll hit a pipe again
or blow a seal and who knows when
— things haven't seemed to go her way —
she'll tunnel to the light of day
(a rather optimistic riff:
to speak of "when" instead of "if.")
So now, you'll need a background check
to buy at gun shows; what the heck,
you still can purchase, anywhere,
as many arms as you can bear.
A carbon tax? Some cap and trade?
Is either apt to make the grade?
Jay Inslee's plans may soon be dead
because the Senate's staying red.
But what to do and how to pay,
before the session slips away?
Will transportation get more cash
before the bridges start to crash?
State legislators aren't exempt
The court has held them in contempt.
They have until this session ends
to ante up and make amends
but if they won't or if they fail
don't count on seeing them in jail.
Will Keystone finally get a yes,
and Gateway get an EIS
for shipping that Montana coal
to places somewhat west of Seoul?
We'll have more buses, more express
but traffic will remain a mess
and who knows what may lie in store —
the viaduct may settle more.
(The freeway, known for stop-and-go,
was opened 50 years ago —
just slightly longer than it takes
to drive from downtown past the lakes.)
Down west of Occidental Park
— don't try to walk there after dark —
the new Weyerhaeuser digs will rise
into those gray Seattle skies
like some great fir that used to stand
upon the corporation's land.
Now Jean and Tom and Sawant face
the first by-district council race
(an innovation that's designed
to bring more local needs to mind);
will sidewalks finally be in store
for nabes marooned since '54?
The Mariners, so close, but no,
despite Hernandez and Cano,
have now determined they should use
a pile of cash on Nelson Cruz.
Buoyed by another pricey name
perhaps they'll play a playoff game.
It's something that they haven't done
since way back in 2001.
With Clint and Obafemi back,
there isn't much the Sounders lack
except that long-elusive cup;
is this the year they pick it up?
A year ago the Hawks were tops,
but then they looked a lot like flops,
until with Percy out the door
they started playing like before.
Will defense take them all the way --
as long as Beastmode runs all day?
The Senate's red instead of blue —
now what oh what will Congress do?
Of course, one would be safe to say,
it hasn't done much anyway.
Will minions of the GOP's
like rodents at a wheel of cheese
attempt to nibble, here and there,
the edges of Obamacare?
Will Roberts and his posse find
that Congress really had in mind
the ACA could subsidize
insurance, should the need arise
in someplace that did not arrange
a real state-sponsored health exchange?
We know that was our reps' intent.
Alas, they said not what they meant.
Two thousand pages, who could read it?
Some one should have; let's concede it:
write a bill that long and you
are going to get a glitch or two.
The next 12 months will be essential
if one's dreams are presidential;
who is ready to transport
his retinue to Davenport?<
Though Hillary gets one more try
the moment may have passed her by
which leaves . . . Joe Biden? Other guys?
Or maybe Bill in deep disguise?
Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Christie, too,
plus wackos, possibly a few,
may vie with Jeb, the Bush du jour,
which leaves the future less than sure:
A third Bush White House after all?
Another Clinton on the Mall?
We'll have to wait a while to see
if voters want a dynasty.
A riddle now: what is the sound
of boots not really "on the ground?"
(They're just advisers, yes, we know —
as in Vietnam so long ago.)
That hardly seems to be the least
of questions in the Middle East:
Is ISIS going to wane or wax?
And what about more drone attacks?
We'll arm the good guys from afar —
can someone tell us who they are?
The odds of Mideast peace look slim.
The news is likely to stay grim.
If you decide enough's enough,
go spend some time on other stuff:
Don't sit inside when days are clear
or settle for some tasteless beer.
Go ride a bike (it's safer now —
if you're on 2nd, anyhow.)
Watch larches light up in the fall,
Mark Morris dance at Meany Hall,
with luck find starfish on the shores
and chanterelles on forest floors
See Snow Geese breast the Skagit breeze
and waxwings perch in cedar trees
In autumn, cider on your lips,
go out and watch the moon eclipse.
In summer go enjoy the phlox
that bloom among the Cascade rocks.
Let's find some ways to put a sheen
on coming days of oh-fifteen.
The photo of Robinson Cano at bat is by Drew McKenzie/Sportspress Northwest. The photo of Mayor Ed Murray riding in a new Seattle bike lane is by Josh Cohen.