USA and Canada

Articles, poems and other items about Canada and the United States of America.

Off Your Knees

Keep politics out of sport
Black lives may matter
but all that matters here
is the score

Keep politics out of football
because standing up for the national anthem 
is not political
but kneeling for it is

Keep politics off the pitch
Offence and defence 
are matters for the field of play
not for the field of struggle

The Price of Progress: Capitalism and Cancer

After my breast cancer surgery, the factors which indicate whether I would benefit from chemotherapy were inconclusive. There was one further test available. The Oncotype DX test examines the activity of 21 genes in the tumour tissue of patients with early-stage oestrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) invasive breast cancer and calculates whether chemo will be effective or not.

My score was low (14/100), and so, like many others since this test was developed a few years ago, I do not have to go through the puking, hair-losing agonies of fighting cancer by throwing poisons at it. So far, so good.

So, what’s the catch? My tumour had to be sent to the USA to be tested. This took a few weeks, which delayed the start of my radiotherapy, reducing its effectiveness of in preventing the cancer returning. Radiotherapy is supposed to start within six weeks of surgery; mine started twelve weeks after. Only time will reveal the impact of this delay – but it could mean that my cancer comes back when it would not have done so otherwise.

How Leonard Learned

The true story of how Leonard Cohen learned his guitar style ...

Leonard walked in Murray Hill Park 
And heard a young man play
Circled by listeners and courting them
In some mysterious way

With black hair and acoustic guitar
By the tennis courts stood he
Picking out a lonely-sounding
Spanish melody

Hallelujah President Trump

Once more with apologies to Leonard Cohen ...

It never was a secret plan
The rise to power of Macho Man
He never used a subtle schmooze to woo you
Behold the hero of the hour
The billionaire who fought the power
The phoney rebel called out Hallelujah

Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah

Thick Racists

They’re backward, stupid, racist, sexist
They voted Trump, they voted Brexit
They must be mental, mad or sick
They’re racist and they’re thick

Good people didn’t vote this way
Bad people don’t do what we say
They don’t accept the politic
They’re racist and they’re thick

Rude Words

When Donald Trump said
"Grab them by the pussy"
The objectionable word
was not "pussy"
It was "grab"
His words were not "lewd"
They were violent

From Alex, 6 Years Old

On 21 September, the White House published a letter that President Obama had received from six-year-old New Yorker Alex, offering a home to Omran, the Syrian boy whose photo had circulated widely.

Please tell the boy in the ambulance
To come and live at ours
And we will greet him in the street
With flags, balloons and flowers

Beneath that dust I know he must
Be frightened as can be
But when he's washed the bloodstains off
I think he'll look like me

Autism Bewareness Month

Welcome to our month of Autism Bewareness
No demands for equal rights or fairness
Reshaping round holes into squareness
You'll miss the point if you are careless

For it's our charity's consensus
That those afflicted are defenceless
We want a cure not independence
Please help us meet our great expenses

Justified

This week, two reports found that the actions of Officer Timothy Loehmann in shooting dead black 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland Ohio on 22 November 2014 were "justified".

Tamir Rice
Shot down twice
First his life and now his name
Deadly cops and children's game
Loehmann wins
Mortal sins
Bloodlust and pride
"Justified"

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