Monday, November 27, 2017

King Don's Christmas

My wife brought her old copy of A.A. Milne’s book Now We Are Six to our granddaughter just turned six. The title poem itself is quite short, so after reading it, began to look at some other selections. Turns out that the book is a treasure-trove of poetry that trips off the tongue and fills the ears of the young ones with musical language, vibrant images and short little stories worthy of their fertile imagination. I was particularly struck by a little masterpiece called King John’s Christmas and couldn’t resist my hand at making it more contemporary. Below is the first draft.

Note: In 2000, when the Internet was new and clunky, I wrote a parody on the Grinch regarding Bush’s election and it went viral. But my name became unattached to it and I had distant friends sending it to me telling me “You would like this.” And then I’d write back, “You’re right. I wrote it!” In case you’re inclined to share it, which you’re welcome to do, please keep my name attached to it. Unless you’re sending it to Homeland Security.

© 2017 Doug Goodkin (drawing from and with apologies to A.A. Milne)

King Don was not a good man—
He had his selfish ways.
He never said a kind word
For days and days and days.
And men who came across him
Or gathered at his feet
Had to praise and clap and cheer
Had to kiss his nasty rear
Live each day in mortal fear
Of his daily ghastly tweet.

King Don was not a good man,
And no good friends had he
Each week he fired one or two
And sometimes fired three.
And round about December
The cards upon his shelf
Which wished him lots of Christmas cheer
Proclaimed him Time’s Man of the Year
Were never from his near and dear
But only from himself.

King Don was not a good man,
He gave no hope, just fears
Demanded that he be adored
For years and years and years.
And so this year at Christmas
While his cronies stood about
To collect more taxes from the poor
To give the rich yet more and more
To bring us to the brink of war,
The people they did shout.

“King Don, you’re not a good man!
Your heart’s the Grinch’s size
All we hear from you each day
Is lies and lies and lies.
Your Christmas list to Santa
Is a sorry sight,
When you’re not busy tweeting,
This is what you write:

“I want to change each single thing
By next year’s Rosh Hashana
That the one before accomplished
I mean, Barack Obama.
Away with all the Dreamers!
Away with all the Healthy!
Let’s bring out the Streamers
And make tax cuts for the Wealthy!

Away with Education!
Bah Humbug climate change!
Why not drill for oil
On every mountain range!

Away with woman’s right to choose!
Away with immigration!
Away with the Bill of Rights!

The tenets of this nation.

No more freedom of the press,
Just cheers for me, no boos.
Everything that I don’t like
Is heretofore Fake News!

And oh, dear Santa,
If you love me at all
Bring to me that great big dream
Of my Mexican tall wall.”

King Don was not a good man—
Next morning when the sun
Rose up to tell a waiting world
That Christmas had begun.
And people seized their stockings
And opened them with glee.
And felt within their hopeful reach
A message Santa did beseech
All to shout with a joyful screech
The best gift of them all:


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