New poem:

Fishing the red herring

We were at Shelby’s at the bar and Jeff,
Who was watching Fox News,
Slams down his empty bottle
And says,
I’m so sick of hearing about damn red herrings
I’m going to catch me one.
Is anyone with me?

A chorus of Ayes and Aye captain!
Jeff’s boat had just come out of dry dock.
We all knew it was just an excuse
To get out of painting his basement,
But we were all on our third or fourth brew
And it didn’t take much.
So we were going to catch some red herring!

We’re all Bernie-supporters and
Were buoyed by his recent wins in the primaries
And the appearance of the sparrow
At his Portland rally.
As I say, it doesn’t take much.
The seas were heavy and white-capped
As soon as we cleared the jetty.

If it was just the lifting and rolling
It wouldn’t have been a worry
But the wind was gusting from the southeast.
Never a good sign;
Even I know that.
Occasionally we would get nailed
And the boat would shudder.

But Jeff was really enjoying himself,
So we all just sat tight and took the occasional
Sting of the spray as a badge of honor.
We were on a mission
And Jeff had warned us
It might be a little choppy.
It was now or never.

Bernie needs us.
The press was equating him with Trump.
Hillary was painting herself
As the best bet against a Trump run.
There’s a red herring, because the Republican Party,
Will self-destruct if or before
Trump gets the nomination.

The talk on deck was all about
Doing our part to improve Bernie’s chances.
If we can just fish out a few of these red herrings!
It’s a miracle he’s gotten as far as he has
With all the lame press and non-coverage.
Then someone shouted.
We readied our lines.

Use the red hook!, Jeff yelled from the helm.
We got behind our poles
And dropped our lines.
Salted, smoked or pickled?
Chock full of omega-3!
Good source of vitamin D!

Clarence chortled, keeping his eye on the sea.

I tried to clear my thoughts.
I’m gunna catch me one of those red bastards!
I shouted, trying to sound competent.
Muddying the waters they are, continued Clarence.
Red herring originally referred
To a kipper used to lead the dogs off the scent.
That’s what’s happening to the voters

When they go for Trump or Hillary.
They’re being led off the scent of an honest man!

That’s vintage Clarence, always the teacher!
Jeff was in seventh heaven:
Feel the weight and pop it as quick as you can!
But try not to move the sinker!
Keep shaking the rod, make it shiver!

Then we started pulling them in.
It was a whole school of reds!
On the way back to port
We had plenty of time to brag and look them over.
One of these herrings is not like the others!
John said, lifting his hat to scratch his scalp.
This one’s a Baltic herring!

It’s red, my friend, someone said.
That’s all that matters.
Everyone agreed.
Jeff opened the cooler
And brews were passed around.
To Bernie! Jeff shouted.
To Bernie! To Bernie! ,we all joined in.

Gary Lindorff