Swamp Monsters Rising



Brors Anders Wikstrom (1854-1909), “Mangrove Swamp,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit!”

–Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, 1901-1909


All the world’s his stage,

the phone, his bully pulpit,

emitting fear and rage,

small thumbs all atwitter

producing chirps, smirks,

false promises that glitter.


Perhaps this is a test—

but monsters crawl from the undrained swamp

fetid creatures that once were buried,

ravenous beasts, they stomp and chomp,

intent on destruction,

wise on obstruction,

We the People,

that earnest phrase

will it expire in a Twittery blaze?

No bonfire of the vanities

the burning of humanity’s

souls aflame with freedom lost,

fascist salutes and justice tossed.


Life is short, we live and die

and perhaps sometimes we wonder why

the good die young

and the evil ones fly

high in this post-truth world

we must expose the lies,

smile with heart and eyes,

keep kindness and hope,

atop this slippery slope,

support freedom of the press

to get rid of this mess,

take back the stage,

bring back love and fight the rage.


This poem is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were: Stage/Short/Young/Test/Live











40 thoughts on “Swamp Monsters Rising

  1. I like the quotes and book titles you craftily embedded in this call to action. And I never read this quote from Teddy Roosevelt before – really!

    Wikimedia Commons is such a rich source for your creative urges. I must check into it. Thanks for all of this, especially the 4-letter words love and hope.

    And, happy weekend, Merril!

  2. Merril, your use of rhymes which come out naturally with such great phrases, “bonfire of the vanities” and keeping “kindness and hope”, “atop this slippery slope.”
    The pretty painting didn’t seem like it was hiding the slimy one. ( 🙂 ) I am always impressed with how you find such special ways to show your distaste for the swamp monsters in this world. Lately, it is who affiliates with each other, by the way, that bothers me most . . .

      • Ooh, I like how you added “they are all slithering out of the ooze.”
        I liked that James Taylor was honored for the President’s Medal of Honor. His presence brightened my Sunday evening.
        Merril, try to think “happy thoughts” at bedtime soon. . . pleasant dreams!

      • Thanks, Robin.
        I didn’t see James Taylor on Sunday. I always like watching those Kennedy Center Award show that are broadcast the end of December. I’ll be sure to catch it this year, because I probably won’t be watching it for the next four years. 😦

      • They showed the black country singer, Darius Tucker, Sheryl Crow and Garth Brooks salute James Taylor, the Eagles and Mavis Staples were also awarded with Al Pacino.
        Stephen Colbert said thanks for being a distinguished leader and something else, when the crowd all stood up, I cried! We are losing a very gentle and intelligent president, Merril. It breaks my heart.
        There was a joke, too,sincr Stephen Colbert said he meant the compliment to be for Michelle. 🙂

      • Oh, the taped recap was on the Entertainment shows but the actual awards will be aired in its entirety on December 27th. The best parts will be the James Taylor, Mavis Staples and Eagles. (I loved the red carpet shots, too.)

      • That’s what I was wondering. I just looked it up and saw it’s on December 27th. Last year, I think the highlight was Aretha Franklin’s tribute to Carole King.

      • The funny thing in Stephen Colbert addressing the crowd he uses a similar wording to this post! He includes politicians and esteemed guests and. . .
        “endangered swamp dwellers!”
        USA Today had some of this as well as those shows that come up around and interspersed into the News. I am finished, you may delete this chain of conversation if it doesn’t fit into the post, Merril. I did this once with permission on my blog comments section. Sorry, I went off topic! 😀 (Imagine that!)

  3. Wow! You captured the beast so exquisitely. I felt the slime and the mud left over from his wallowing in a swamp he had boasted about draining (another one of his many lies). Well versed, Merril!

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