Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vote to Matter!

Voter turnout is important regardless of your candidate or party line. The only thing which makes these campaign money grubbers pay attention to us at all is our collective votes. If either party believes a certain group of people will not turn out then that group of people is ignored. I'm not pointing out something new, and both parties are guilty of doing it. So, no matter what your demographic make it a point to show up and vote. Even if you believe your candidate will win or lose without your vote, you need to be perceived as an active voter by the politicians to ever truly matter. Vote to matter! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Poetry in Motion Review of Rapping You with the Facts CD

Although tempting to call Bob McNeil’s Rapping You with the Facts CD a masterful example of urban word slam poetry, it evades classification. Spoken word accompanied with music, his poetry challenges listeners with his expression of social perceptions, painting vivid pictures of relevant issues of our times. The Political Poet gives Rapping You with the Facts, 5 out of 5 laureates.     

“The message is clear, the music is solid and the presentation is strong.  The consciousness in Bob’s poetry is so very much needed today.”Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets

“Bob McNeil is a genuine American poet with a feel and the heart to carry the word.” –Danny Simmons (artist/poet)  


Obtain your own CD of deep poetry and music, Rapping You with the Facts, by sending the nominal amount of $3.00, plus $2.00 postage and handling to Bob McNeil at P.O. Box 144, Hollis, NY 11423 or mcneil_bob@ or visit him at

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Do We Owe Our Vets? Really!

Lately, I’ve been disgusted by the way the returning vets have been ignored when it comes to employment. I've actually heard people debating if we really owe our vets anything more than a pat on the back; afterall, they got combat pay didn't they. Must bite my lip in rage! What do we owe them? Really! I don't buy the cap in spending argument. The GOP had no problem waiving the requirements to pay for sending those vets into harm’s way. I don’t drink the Kool-Aid that the bill is a duplicate jobs training program. Both parties are getting shady on this one, job training versus actual jobs? I just saw where vocational schools couldn't field enough car mechanics for job vacancies at the tune of 70,000 unfilled every year because the schools lack funds for the equipment to train them on newer cars. The Republicans are saying slim down government on one hand which means less government jobs. The government can't just give vets jobs in the private sector which means more training opportunities are needed to fill jobs with vets. Another answer would be to offer more incentives to business to hire vets but they neither seem to be offering that as a solution in real time; unfortunately, I don't think the government should have to subsidize businesses to hire vets. I feel businesses should be doing it on their own because they enjoy the freedom to do business in this country and out thanks to our military. Really, it is shame on the big corporations sitting on record capital. Why is it governments' job (our pockets being picked) for job training or credits to hire? Why shouldn't the companies making the money flip their own bill for equipment to train employees? Why do they feel they deserve a credit to hire vets they should already want to hire because the vets deserve it? Whatever happened to the Reagan mandates? Tell corporations vets take priority when they hire by mandate and it doesn't cost us anything except letting them go to the front of the line because they deserve it? This brings me back to training. If they need to be trained then they should have a free pass to the front of the line there too. Why? They have given up years off their lives, some of them four and five tours of duty for us. They lost time at least we can do is try and save them a little time now. As far as I'm concerned, this bickering between parties because it is an election year is a travesty to our vets. Mock the vets by pretending they are important to your party (insert Dem or Rep) then do nothing in any hurry feigning a concern with the legislation your parties should be working on together instead of using for political speaking points. They’re doing the same thing with the American economy, job creation, the energy crisis and environmental protection. We (all Americans) should be demanding at the top of our lungs for both parties to stop acting like children and do their jobs, service for us.

Please see the following article on the GOP blocking a jobs bill for vets. We need to put pressure on both parties and demand our vets be treated with more respect than this.
GOP Blocks Veteran Jobs Bill

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney Tries to Remove Foot from Mouth Only Manages to Insert Other Foot

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney got caught on video saying some unsavory and untrue things about 47% of Americans these, “people who will vote for the President no matter what. Alright, there are 47% who are with him (President Obama), who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing!”
In a press conference Monday, Sept. 17th, in Costa Mesa, California, Romney tried to clear the air regarding his comments but only manages to offend people more by clarifying his previous remarks as merely "not elegantly stated" about nearly half Americans thinking they’re "victims." Revealing Romney’s belief in the derisory statement, he just didn’t think he said it correctly.
Romney then threw gasoline on the fire in an attempt to explain what he meant about President Barack Obama's approach being "attractive to people who are not paying taxes." A comment eerily similar to a falsehood about 51% of Americans not paying any taxes Romney stated earlier in his campaign. The fact everyone pays some sort of taxes in this country either directly in payroll taxes for cities, counties and states even if Federal payroll taxes are refunded, sales taxes on just about everything we buy from movie tickets to soft drinks, from fuzzy dice for the rear view mirror to our cars, real estate and personal property taxes, utility taxes on wireless and landline telephones, internet, cable, satellite, electric, water, sewage, and natural gas bill, Social Security and Medicare taxes paid from payroll by us and matched by employers leading to indirect taxes (employers claim their contributions to Social Security and Medicare Taxes only reduces the salaries of their employees), or we pay them indirectly in excise taxes on everything from gasoline to immunization shots for our children, on diesel used to transport food and commodities to market which indirectly raises the price and passed on to consumers. If you breathe in the United States of America then you are going to pay some sort of tax along the way.

After the video surfaced, Romney did not refute his comments but said they were privately made in a fundraiser during a question-and-answer session to donors. Romney backed up the statements made on the leaked video posted on the magazine website Mother Jones that almost half of American voters "believe that they are victims," and his campaign's effort was to "focus on the people in the middle." Based on comments Mitt made previously about middle income Americans earning from $200,000.00 to $250,000.00 a year, when mean income is $50,000.00 for the nation, many voters are starting to question to which middle is Romney referring?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Thoughts from an Independent Voter on the Presidential Race

The past is treasure to remember or trash to throw away, but learning from it allows you to prepare and recycle as you plan for the future.

As voters think about the Presidential race and decide who they are going to select as the next President of the United States of America, I'd ask them to think more about the people of this country than any political party. Our economic woes started over 10 years ago with the re-instating of trickle down economics. We had a Republican President then, and the current Democratic President has been unable to reverse those policies because he was saddled with an obstructionist Republican controlled House of Representatives after his first year in office. Despite this, he has managed to track down our number one enemy, pass health care reform as promised, stop the bleeding of our job losses and held together a fiscal ship that by all standards was about to completely sink.

Now, we are asked to decide between someone who is struggling to keep our economy afloat, and someone who wants to go full blast over Niagara Falls with cutting, gutting of programs and a tax plan which increases the burden on 95% of our people in order to give the top 5% of earners even more of a tax break than they have already enjoyed for more than 12 years.

If you believe trickle down economics has worked for you in the past 12 years then you know for whom you should vote. If you are like me and learn from the past, the choice is obvious. The theory of trickle down economics is flawed. We should steer our fiscal ship away from the falls and the cut, gut philosophy of extremist who would shut the entire government down if they could with threats of cliff of no return. Once again, I point to the past. I recall another bad economic time when a guy named Bill was running against another guy named George; however, there was a third fellow by the name of Ross who brought out charts and sounded a lot like the doomsday forecasters in a certain party within a party today.

Back then, the guy named Ross was convincing, and I started to believe cut and gut were the only ways our country would right itself. A funny thing happened. Bill won not Ross or George, and the economy went into overdrive. Before his 8 years as President ended, our budget had a surplus and our debt was being paid down. The positive growth, not cut and gut, moved us in the right direction without throwing our seniors, our children, our poor and our disabled under the cut and gut bus. I learned something then. There is more than one way to right a fiscal ship. I'm not saying our government shouldn't find ways to reduce spending, but it doesn't have to come at the cost of our nation's soul. It doesn't have to hurt those among us who are least able to fight back.

A positive growth approach may actually require our government to spend more money short term to prime the pump for future growth. This is tried and true method just look to the past, FDR the New Deal. If you want to really see a difference in our economy, re-elect our current President and give him a Senate and House he can work with to institute some real change. Vote for Democrats to replace the Republicans up for re-election. Don't think I'm a Democrat. If they don't perform then we replace them with Republicans next time. It's time we all learn from the past.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thoughts on the Olympic Uniforms

Maybe it is because it is the Olympics, but it seems to me that every country should be wearing uniforms and using equipment produced in their own country not just the United States of America. I understand the argument of using items supplied by other countries if in fact a provider doesn't exist in a country, but that claim about our uniforms isn't true. They should be ashamed. In one newscast I saw a businessman saying we don't make clothes in this country anymore so it didn't matter then the next person interviewed was the owner of a struggling clothing manufacturing company from New York saying why didn't they use an American company. I guess NY isn't part of the United States any longer.

Follow the link and sign the petition if you agree. Feel free to share.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Next Appearance On Radio Show Friday!

Please join me with CJ on the radio show "From Maui with Aloha" Friday June 29th at 1PM Hawaii time, 7PM Eastern Standard Time.The episode is called "We All Have a Purpose - Frank Poe". The link to listen follows:

From Maui With Aloha We All Have a Purpose with author Frank G. Poe, Jr.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Is there an intellectual property attorney in the house?

Okay this isn't a political or about poetry, but I want people to know I saw the True Blood episode last night "A Fight Authority". I am a big fan. I did recognize some parts of the show were very similar to one of my short stories, The New Vampire Bible: Genesis II from my book Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales. No, I did not get added to their writing team, and they did not approach me for use of my short story. So, you don't need to contact me to ask or inform me. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

Honestly, I'm flattered if they did get a few ideas from my short story. Proving something like that is nearly impossible even knowing Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales was published in 2010. My next point is the show is based on a series of books I haven't read so I'd have to read the series first to determine if like ideas were used. Anyone is welcome to advise me on this. If you have read both the series and my short story. It could be a case of great minds think alike, and the majority of the show outside of the authority council scene seemed to have anything to do with my story. To my fans, I promise to look into the matter, but I'm not a lawyer.

Bringing me to my next question, is there an intellectual property attorney in the house? Although I love the show and want to give them the benefit of the doubt, if they did unintentionally pilfer some of my ideas then I'd like an apology and some credit. As for compensation, they can make donations to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation in equal amounts they can negotiate with me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Remember the Fallen

Americans remember to honor the fallen soldiers and the veterans this Memorial Day especially if you don't believe in supporting any war. Your right to disagree with war is protected by the men and women in our military putting their very lives on the line to protect that very right. They deserve your respect for their service and sacrifice regardless of how you feel about war. I'm the political poet, and I hope everyone shares my view.

Friday, May 18, 2012

American Economy Needs the Biggest Loser!

Folks the politicians are at it again saying things like, “We all need to pay the price for recovery,” or “Everyone needs to have skin in the game.” Both parties seem to be the same two-headed snake I’ve written about previously. I see no imagination just cut social programs to the bone and tax citizens until they're bled dry. In truth the economy shouldn’t be compared to lemmings jumping off a cliff of debt. Don’t let them scare you! The economic growth and wealth for some over the last 12 years has been great. Our gross domestic product increased while our middle class and jobs shrank. Now, those same people want the rest of us whose jobs they sent overseas, and whose wages have flat lined or went down to get skin in the game because entitlement programs we're forced to pay into are going to cost too much.

The truth is the American economy, not Americans, has become fat and lazy. It doesn’t want to work anymore or grow. Forget about walking, the muscles of our economy haven’t been used for anything except shoveling food into the mouth of corporate profits and the wealthiest 1%. The corporations are sitting on 2 ½ trillion dollars of capital fat ass-ets. No matter how much they want to spin it, corporations are not people. They are businesses ran by people. They are a necessary muscle in creation of jobs and vital to a healthy economy. The problem is they aren’t working out or exercising leaving those bloated fat cells which could be used as fuel for the economic muscle growth to atrophy.
Our politicians need to think of creative ways to become like Jillian Michaels to inspire corporations to get off their butts and start burning that fat. Our politicians are going to have to appeal to the people running the corporations because companies don’t think for themselves. Their officers and boards of directors make the decisions so quit calling corporations people and get creative. Our government needs to find out what those boards of directors need to get them to use corporate capital for job creation and economic growth. If the find the right dietary carrot, you’ll see energy jump back into the economy as well as those companies. Maybe cut back on regulations which wouldn’t hurt the public health or environment? Maybe tax credits linked to job creation in our country versus overseas? If carrots don’t work then pull out the stick to prod them, but get them off their fat capital butts.   

However, the corporations aren’t the only muscles not working correctly in the current body economic. Our governments at all levels, federal, state and local, need to revise the way they burn fat, too. On the Biggest Loser they call it retraining the muscles to work properly. Right now, our governments’ budgets have turned into bloated fat cells. The answer is not eating more tax sweets paid for by the citizenry, or drinking their tax calories by cutting services to the people paying their salaries. I truly believe the tax and spend philosophy is going to make our schools, police departments, firehouses and every other government agency go blind or lose their feet and legs to overweight budget diabetes.

For example, almost all taxpayer funded entities spend every dime they get every year so they won’t have their budgets reduced the following year. Why? If muscles don’t burn the calories our bodies take in then it goes to fat or into the toilet as waste. We have to change this mentality. We shouldn’t punish agencies for reducing waste by cutting their budgets. We should let them have rainy day funds so we don’t need to increase taxes every year to increase budgets. Nothing irritates taxpayers more than seeing frivolous spending followed by a tax increase. I was privy to this at a local school. They found they had a $100,000.00 left in their budget, and they literally searched for ways to spend the money so their budget wouldn’t be reduced the next year. Now imagine my surprise when I received a notice that my property taxes were increasing automatically because the school, firehouse, police department, library and mental health departments were all increasing their budgets by the amount allowed by law without a public vote. (Thanks President Bush for tax increases without public discussion or vote.)

Admittedly, the volunteer firehouse is no better. They had a small budget before they convinced the local citizens to publicly fund them. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Before they got a taste of deep fried taxes, they would go door to door asking for donations, and their budgetary needs were one of their biggest talking points. If just 1 out of 10 households in their service area donated just $20.00 then they would have enough to cover their financial needs. Part of the reason people voted to put the volunteer firehouse on the public payroll with their tax dollars was the expectation the taxes wouldn’t be that high. Surely, if everyone is now contributing rather than 1 in 10, the costs should be minimal. My taxes increased $240.00 that year for the firehouse alone. All of a sudden $20.00 from 1 in 10 households wasn’t enough. My yearly contribution increased 1200% because it was no longer a gift. It was a requirement, and their budgetary needs immediately started to grow automatically year after year.

However, the muscle steroid abuse award goes to the police department. I love good cops and have many family members who serve or have served in blue. I’m not fond of police who abuse their positions in our society, and it applies to the top dogs. I understand the need for a new police cruiser or two over time. I don’t understand why they have to be sports cars, get detailed racing stripes or be equipped with spinning hubcaps. Now, I wasn’t privy to their budget needs or how much money they needed to spend to keep from having reductions, but the public can see those spinning hubcaps every time the cruiser goes down the road. I had a friend tell me he thought the officers might have paid for the hubcaps out-of-pocket. I’m glad my tax dollars didn’t pay for them if that is the case, but I still don’t know it as a fact. Regardless, I think it is inappropriate. If I don’t like the thought of my tax dollars paying for spinning hubcaps on police cruisers then I’m sure others are thinking the same thing.

Maybe a bonus system based on budgetary discipline would be in order? As long as services are reduced, we could allow government agencies to take 10% off any surplus and pay it to their workers as a bonus while sticking the rest in a savings account for future needs. Don’t reduce their budget, but don’t increase it either. It gives enough incentive to work out for a payoff. After some time passes, you can reduce the taxpayer burden by interest generated by the rainy day funds. If all levels of government functioned this way, we might see ridiculous savings in operating budgets and large savings accounts instead. My guess is you’d see some happy public servants with some nice bonus checks, also.

Finally, we have a mega-rich 1% in our country that holds most of the wealth. Over the last 10 years they’ve seen their wealth grow in ridiculous, some might say obscene, proportions compared to the struggles of the rest of the 99% of Americans. Congress needs to find incentives for them as well. True they pay large tax bills, but they are the main beneficiary of the tax breaks over the last 10 years to the point our national debt has increased unnecessarily to keep giving them a little extra income. Our excuse to pile on the debt to keep giving them the extended tax break was they create jobs. If it were working then we wouldn’t currently have this double chin and gut hanging over our knees in debt fat. I say it is easy to fix. If they can prove job creation in proportion to their tax breaks, let them keep their individual tax breaks, and if they can’t then take away their tax breaks on an individual basis. If what the Republicans say is true, we won’t penalize or hurt the job creators in this manner, and they no longer have an excuse to withhold votes needed for the other 99% of Americans to satisfy the needs of 1%. I have a sneaky suspicion the 1% will suddenly start creating jobs or at least start putting a little more of their skin back in the game. I’m not against cutting their taxes again. If we manage to get fit economically, out of debt and see a budget surplus again, we should operate on the notion we will decrease Americans' taxes in proportion to interest generated off government savings accounts. It might be sometime before we get there, but it will be worth it.

Currently, our economy is suffering from our various parts not working correctly. Our corporations and mega-rich 1% know you have to spend money to make money, but they sit on record capital and wealth. Our economy is suffocating from an over conservative attitude focused on slashing budgets, debt ceilings and tax rates. While it is true all levels of our government need to reform the way they operate, the aforementioned businesses and 1% need to loosen up, quit sitting on that fat capital and work out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Please Sign the Bread Not Bombs Petition!

We need to tell our senators to not take meals on wheels away from seniors, school lunches away from children and food stamps away from the hungry to keep the Pentagon's budget bloated. The Pentagon's budget was increased by over 400% in the last 10 years because of war. It only makes sense their budget should be reduced as we finished the Iraq War and are winding down the war in Afghanistan. Don't starve seniors to keep paying out bloated military contracts, many of which belong to foreign companies and don't help our economic recovery. Please follow the link below to sign the petition.

Click here to sign the Bread Not Bombs Petition

Friday, May 11, 2012

Who will The Political Poet Endorse for President?

People have been asking who The Political Poet will endorse  for President. I was a Democrat for 12 years, and I was a Republican for 12 years. I no longer belong to either party. I'm an independent voter. I look at both parties and see fault. The income gap has gotten too big. Regardless of party, most of the politicians in Washington, D.C. seem loyal to the lobbyists from the mega rich, special interests and big business first and not the American people. All that said, I'll give the reason for my choice then give my choice.

Our economy has been slowly improving despite investment groups like Mitt Romney's gutting companies and costing Americans jobs. My gut tells me that we should be less worried about budget cuts right now and reinvesting in our country instead. President Barack Obama slowed the bleeding by signing the TARP bill, but both parties fell short of making the necessary changes needed to promote more growth. Yes, I think the mega rich need to pay a higher tax rate, and their loopholes should be closed.

Later not now, our federal, state and local governments need to cut spending and decrease taxes at all levels. Programs should be revamped to cut waste but not hurt people. There are plenty of ways to fix the promise of social security and medicare without it going bankrupt. If politicians say slash and burn are the only ways or privatize them, they are liars.

Anyway, we must choose between our current President Obama's policies which created jobs, cut the legs out from under Al Qaeda, brought troops home from Iraq and will shortly be bringing them home from Afghanistan, or a man who personally cost thousands of Americans their jobs while paying very little tax on his income (I mean capital gain, nod, nod, wink, wink.). At this point in time I don't know how anyone could really be considering Mitt Romney for President unless they are one of the 1% mega rich.

In fact, I don't know how anyone could be voting for any Republican running for the House or Senate who wants to balance the budget on the elderlies' backs by gutting social security and medicare/medicaid at the same time they refuse to let the tax rate go back to where it was on the wealthy. They've had their tax break long enough. They added to their wealth while the middle class and lower class incomes shrank.

Until a truly progressive party enters the ring with viable numbers, I'm picking the lessor or two evils and voting straight-line Democrat. Re-elect President Barack Obama 2012!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We Should Constitutionally Ban Gay Marriage, Seriously?

We Should Constitutionally Ban Gay Marriage, Seriously?

I’ve heard enough hatred spewing out of peoples’ mouths the last few days to last me a lifetime. I find it repulsive that people claiming to be religious demand same sex marriage be banned by constitutional amendment and states pretending they should have the right to vote on the matter. Really? I don’t care if 60% of the people in a state support banning same sex marriage and only 40% are against it. I thought the idea of minority rights being nationally protected and superseding state’s rights to infringe on peoples’ individual rights was established during the civil rights movement. Even in a free democracy, the majority isn’t allowed to take away other citizens’ rights because of race, religion, gender, age, income or sexual preference. Frankly, I think it is long overdue for same sex marriages to be recognized by all states and the federal government. If you draw a line and say it is acceptable to infringe on this groups’ rights or that groups’ rights because the masses don’t like something about “those” people then you buy into the premise anyone could be stripped of their rights by the changing whim of the mob. What do we do next take away voting rights for women, African Americans or people who don’t own land?

Before I catch a landslide of hate mail asking why I’m defending homosexuality like I caught for standing up for women’s rights, I’ll admit I am not homosexual, but I don’t feel I have to be gay or a woman to stand up for their rights. I could just as easily turn the question on the people against same sex marriage. How do two men or two women who love each other enough to get married hurt your heterosexual marriage? It really has nothing to do with you; in as much as, your heterosexual marriage has nothing to do with them. As I defended myself before when berated for giving my opinion, I believe it is our duty as Americans to stand up against injustice. We should protect the rights of everyone, even the Neo Nazi’s right to free speech. In the very act of protecting those rights we truly show how great a society we are.

As for the religious zealots who will immediately question my relationship with God, you don’t get to judge me. Remember, you’re not supposed to be judging anybody. God made that clear. I’m guessing that includes homosexuals? Regardless of wrong or right, you should step out of the way and let God decide. As for atheists like Bill Maher, they have enough sense to support the rights of same sex couples because it is the right thing to do. They don’t need God as an excuse. I’m sure some religious conservatives believe Bill Maher and I will both burn in Hell. There they go judging again.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Therapeutic Benefits of Writing

Please visit the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America's online magazine, The Motivator. I'm one of three featured authors on the therapeutic benefits of writing in the Winter/Spring 2012 issue Health and Wellness section. You can click on the writers' names to view each of our stories. Please check out the entire magazine and consider making a donation to show your support for the MSAA. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Final Round of Applause for the Poets

The Political Poet would like to give a final thanks to everyone who submitted poems for the Poetry Month Competition in Honor of Robert Frost. Many established and amateur poets were attracted to the competition making it even better. Since judging is blind, it is no surprise veteran poets fair better. We would like your opinions. First, we would like suggestions for a woman poet to honor next year. Second, we are considering splitting the contest to add an amateur only category. You can leave comments below or send email to with "POETRY" in the subject line. As always, we would like to remind poets having the courage to submit poems makes you winners regardless of being an established or first time poet. Please remember to follow the blog for information on the contest next year.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Third Place Poem Julie Heckman


Espresso and billows of cigarette smoke
start your life each day, to underwrite and
elevate the squeaky neurosis you display.
Freud and Prozac and Xanax keep you level
but flat, add 60 milligrams of amphetamines
to get your motivation back.

Some say its “creative style” while others say
“you’re very ill” as civilized, certified doctors
proclaim: “swallow every pill!” No more
“Carpe Diem” nor “beckoning to swim out
further,” celebrate you right to cope,
with therapeutic fervor.

Your fading friends alas, contend: “your
brain is now asleep!” Just tweak your dose
and animated you will arise and leap! Skies
ginger with days ablaze cobalt space,
your ability to marvel struggles in
a foggy and muddled place.

Synapses firing, “Control!” my mind has ordered
Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors…dreams
Carl Jung has ordered. Dopamine, Zoloft or
Ambien, competition to attend, the
imagined dangers that never
really end.

© 2012 Julie Heckman

About the Author Julie Heckman

Born in Chicago I became a Californian at three years old. After the usual teenage drama I entered California State University Los Angeles. There I procured a MA in Art degree and spent the next fifteen years owning my own graphic design firm, Julian Berlin Productions, that produced greeting card among other things that were sold throughout the US Europe and Canada. I became interested in Teaching 7th grade and returned to University again for a Teaching Credential. I taught for four years. After this I went back to university to the School of Theology at Claremont and procured a Masters of divinity and a Doctor of Ministry. I worked as a minister for a few years then became disabled and retired. Now I spend most my days reading and writing poetry.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fifth Place Poem Taunja Thomson

(after E.D.)

One day a Reflection passed
my face; I thought it Mine
and upon its curves
I Dwelt.

Its intention was not Cruelty
and yet it solid stood
suggesting Years
of Pointlessness.

The air was a mirror,
a breath, a depth, a Something
I could not Grasp
and so I lay me down to sighs
and Restlessness. 

One year had passed;
I knew not whence
and fumbled with the Clock;
I found it steeped
in Senselessness

and cursed myself, a speck.

© 2012 Taunja Thomson

About the Author Taunja Thomson

This is the second year that Taunja's poetry has placed in The Political Poetry Competition. In the past, her work has appeared in The Cincinnati Poets’ Collective, The Cincinnati Poetry Review, and The Licking River Review. Her poem “Seahorse and Moon” was nominated for the Pushcart Award by the editors of The Licking River Review in 2005.

She currently lives in Cold Spring, Kentucky, with her husband and five cats, and does volunteer work for local animal shelters.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fourth Place Poem Alice Connally Fisk

OBAMA 2012!

Global justice billions crave
Revolution now the wave.
Fresh solutions far and wide
peace procurement now the tide.
On waves and tides of cosmic scale
audacity and hope now sail.
OBAMA 2012!

U. S. poverty must Go
a conscientious overthrow.
Resolution now the call
a living wage for one and all.
Our long-time shafted people roar
We Just Won’t Take It Anymore.
The working poor, the down and out
a risen people packing clout.
The fairness movement leads the way
People power here to stay.
The middle-class profoundly score
inequity shall rule no more.
Righting long wrongs one by one
disparity at last undone.
Our fed-up people fiercely vow
Economic Justice. Now!

Americans a lively blend
pilot the progressive trend.
Vote ones heart evolve transcend
the Wisdom Way to comprehend.
The Common Dream now full force
a visionary, gutsy course.
Peaceful revolution, Yes!
the human race to coalesce.
One Creator over ALL.
One last chance to heed the Call
Love’s the lesson. Life the school.
Peace On Earth. The Golden Rule.
Live the Lesson. Heal our Earth.
Transformation now. Rebirth!

Spur the people stir the fire
Mobilize and walk the wire.
Back on track and off the dime
Revolution. One last time.
So amplify the drums and riff.

© 2012 Alice Connally Fisk

About the Author Alice Connally Fisk
Alice Connally Fisk is a 73-year-old great-grandmother from Melrose, New York.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Second Place Poem Bob McNeil

Billfold Souls

Suppose those Billfold Souls,
Who tow their boats of green notes,
Had stocks that became sewage
Under Wall Street’s block,
Suppose those Billfold Souls
Scoped the Dow Jones
Go under gravestones,
Suppose those Billfold Souls
Scoped the NASDAQ
Become bird crap
On an investor’s jacket,
Suppose those Billfold Souls
Scoped a certain magazine’s five hundred
Hunger to wed a loaf of bread,
Suppose those Billfold Souls
Scoped their bank accounts’ mass
Become a fumbled pass,
Would those Billfold Souls
Find the emotion known as despair
For a human who stares
At a pocket
That has no money in the fabric’s lair,
Would those Billfold Souls
Find the emotion known as despair
For a human who stares
At a plate
That has no sustenance there,
Would those Billfold Souls despair,
Would those Billfold Souls despair
For anything besides
Their beaten schemes for moolah reams?

© 2011 Bob McNeil

About the Author Bob McNeil
Bob McNeil recalls, at the age of six, A Child’s Garden of Verses planted a seed in his mental soil.  Now, since the Autumn of Adulthood has descended upon him, Mr. McNeil feels his harvest came in the form of a position as Poetry Editor for BLACFAX and the publication of his two books.  Both of these poetic compositions, Secular Sacraments and The Nubian Gallery, A Poetry Anthology, can be found in various libraries, universities and bookstores.

Bob McNeil was influenced by the Imagists and the Negritude Movement.   Furthermore, even after all of these years of being a professional illustrator, spoken word artist and writer, he still hopes to express and address the needs of the human mosaic.   

Besides writing professionally, Bob McNeil is an orator of some renown.  For example, he was the Featured Poet at numerous libraries throughout the tri-state area.  He looks forward to performing again with his spoken word and music group in the future. 

Kindly refer to Facebook or for more information about songs, poems and videos.

“The message is clear, the music is solid and the presentation is strong.  The consciousness in Bob’s poetry is so very much needed today.” –Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets

“Bob McNeil is a genuine American poet with a feel and the heart to carry the word.” –Danny Simmons (artist/poet)  

All those who are interested in hearing some deep poetry and music, the CD, Rapping You with the Facts, can be purchased for the nominal amount of $3.00, plus $2.00 postage and handling.

For further enquires about this CD, write Bob at P.O. Box 144, Hollis, NY 11423 or  or visit him at

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Place Poem Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

You Made Me Feel Illegal

You made me feel illegal
the way you eyed my hair
too-long-too-dyed-for-work hair
too-third-world-take-care-of-kids hair
too-got-to-clean-the-house hair
too-too-much-chat-about-the-family hair.

You made me feel illegal
my Wal-mart pants and blouses
my too-this-isn’t-how-we-dress-here clothes
too-cheap-to-even-work-here clothes
too-girly-to-do-your-job-here clothes
too-back-to-the-slum-with-you-dear clothes.

You made me feel illegal
pointing out my jewelry
“too gold” you say, “too gaudy”
my too-don’t-show-your-face-in-the-lobby jewelry
too-you-know-nothing-about-our-country jewelry
too-go-home-to-anchor-babies jewelry.

You made me feel illegal
like I’m too-you-can’t-speak-like-we-know how
too-got-no-right-to-talk now
too-got-to-go-and-wash-sticky-floors now
too-better-go-cook-in-a-filthy-kitchen now
too-best-sweep-up-the-dirt-you-see now.

You made me feel illegal
too-nothing-more-than-low class
too-nothing-less-than loathed
You made me feel illegal.

You oughta be illegal.

©2012 Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

For my students and their loved ones--may you find peace and know you are not alone.

About the Author Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt
Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt is a poetry and prose writer residing in Western Prince William County, VA, where she enjoys exploring history, art, culture and nature. An advocate for preservation, conservation, education and civic engagement, Katherine volunteers for several non-profit organizations. She is a freelance, community writer for the regional News & Messenger newspaper, teaches college English composition online and teaches English as a Second Language (ESOL) students at an adult detention center.

Katherine’s poetry and prose have appeared in various online and text journals. Poems from the Battlefield, a collection of her Civil War themed poetry, original and archival photos and period quotes, was published in 2009. Katherine’s children’s book, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, was published in 2010. Approaching Felonias Park, a novel focusing on predatory lending, was released in November, 2011.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt
Community Writer for News and Messenger
Happy Easter!

Where do writers get inspiration?

I'm currently the guest author on ~Bookingly Yours~. To see my article on where writers find inspiration click on the link below.
Guest Author on ~Bookingly Yours~

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Star Child and 13 More Twisted Tales Now On Kindle

My new book is now available for Amazon Kindle $3.95 link follows. Star Child and 13 More Twisted Tales

Honorable Mention Renee V. McCormick

Principal Deficit

Copper cables carry 
bitter spleen from the
talking heads to the faceless crowd

Injected with the virus,
they take on visages of their own
tea partier, occupier, paulite or gnome

And I – adrift in a land I once
owned and loved -  try to
make sense of it all

Will Gilgamesh please step forward
take center sage and save our people from
fracking foes and lying lore

For if not, we will surely perish
and it will not matter if Tehran
presses the accelerator

Harpies hover above
colored red, blue and yellow
and rancor rules below

The neocortex has melted into
the amygdala and it’s chanting
down, wound, over

God must see this and wonder
why he sent his only son to
guide us

But if he does, he can send
a sign of hope, a ray of light,
he can blend wisdom with the gound

Bend us, lend us, bring
to the fore the divine glimmer
to ignite the force

Copyright 2012: Renee V. McCormick


Renee McCormick dedicates this poem to her children Kaitlyn and Conor McCormick-Cavanagh and their generation of peacemakers.

About the Author Renee V. McCormick

Renee has spent her professional life as a psychologist helping people find their voices and rewrite their personal narratives.  She lives by the motto that it is never too late to change the ending of a story. 

Renee has also put stories on film to help people make responsible decisions about parenthood, and especially to prevent unwanted teen pregnancies.

Renee believes that poetry has the power to change the world.  Serving on the executive board of a U.N. affiliated organization, she organized the First Annual Poetry Competition for the Olof Palme Peace Foundation in 2011.

Find Renee on the web at