Time of Honks and Empty Cock-a-doodle-doo’s from Candidates X,Y, Z

trumpeter swans swaddling
wetlands this time of year
annual migration to Vancouver
ancient sky mariners
seeking old haunts
the runners and bicyclists
slow for egrets
necks hunched in
Canada geese moving slightly
beaver pair paddling under
cutbank

election pamphleteering
nailed to roadsides
dour faces one and all
white, plague of locusts
from evangelical eyes
hip replacements
exercise equipment
positioned toward
FOX, CNN, make-up
lights illuminating dreaded
ignorance, no concept
of migratory Canada geese
giant blue herons
why some stay

maybe there on Salmon
Creek, Vancouver, Washington
awaiting two dozen swans
maybe resident
aliens fooled
by warm winds
sun where fog shrouded
maybe the mergansers
are enough entertainment
for flickers, even rare Fall
hummers dance along shafts
of light cutting through
molting maples

just maybe trumpeters
lift off dredged
cultivated wetlands
as a reminder of what
more will be lost
as the hosts drive away
in SUVs and Subarus
still stinging from
their little world
of preening cock of the walk
candidates saying nothing
in their entire lives what
a swan can say with one honk

Paul Kirk Haeder has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond. He's been a part-time faculty since 1983, and as such has worked in prisons, gang-influenced programs, universities, colleges, alternative high schools, language schools, as a private contractor-writing instructor for US military in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Washington. He organized Part-time faulty in Washington State. His book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his autobiography, weekly or bi-weekly musings and hard hitting work in chapter installments, at LA Progressive. He blogs from Otis, Oregon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.