Sportsmanship

At the crux of human behavior

We pride ourselves on sportsmanship

Is the hunter the exception

Is the sport of hunting the exception

I know of no other sport

Other than hunting

Where the outcome of the sport

Is predetermined

Where sportsmanship has been

Reduced to a slogan

 

I know of no sport

Other than hunting

Where the use of equipment

Is in the possession of only one player

 

I know of no other sport

Where the joy in participation

Is only granted to one player

 

If hunting is a sport

Why does the hunter

Win all the time

 

Ted Goodell

August 2018

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The Pot Holder

There is an anthropological story

Lost in the archives

Of mankind’s libraries and museums,

A little known fact,

That along with the invention

Of fire and the wheel

The great surge of human progress

Was the invention of the pot holder,

A powerful force

In the slow ascendance

Toward our towering heritage

Toward human modernity.

The pot holder stands

Alongside human inventiveness

For life dominance,

As much as fire and wheel

But barely mentioned,

Deliberately silenced,

Lest its singular force

Cast doubt on human ingenuity.

For after fire,

And long before the wheel,

The pot holder can no longer be concealed,

For the paleological evidence

Is now quite clear,

Without the pot holder

In whatever form it might appear,

The modern human

Would not be here.

 

Ted Goodell

August 2018

 

Chicken Wings

Tables festooned

With platters of chicken wings

Waiting to be dipped in hot sauce

But first there must be cauldrons of chickens

Squawking and flapping

Clucking and scratching

Fused into a living stew of suffocation

Awaiting the relief of extinction

Their white and brown feathers

Harvested for stuffing into sofa cushions

Their birth rates

Forced mechanically

Until the market for their meat

Explodes into tubs of hot sauce

 

Ted Goodell

July 2018

The Mirror

A mirror depends

On silver and glass

Handheld or fastened to a wall

Enduring relics of a golden age

Obedient reflection of a posing face

Emitting its likeness back

To look on head and hair

Positioned handsomely for the

Eloquence of a self-appraising stare

Behold the delight

Of a subtly satisfying smile

Abridged by looking past the doors and walls

An alphabet of memories

Remembering scattered moments

Of seeing other faces other walls

Protecting mirror images

Before they shatter in a senseless fall.

 

Ted Goodell

July 2018

A Cat Named Tucky

What ghosts

My Cat pursues

I can not know

He finds them

Lurking in a dream

That only he has seen

It gives him access

To a world

I hardly know

But draws him

To a world

As precious as a pearl

It guides him

With a power compassed

By the shadows and the stars

And in his purring dream

He challenges old phantoms

Only he has seen

 

Ted Goodell

June 2018

Fake News

Observe the custom tailored suit

Cut from the finest cloth

A surfeit of fabric

Richly adorned

And from the collar

Of a perfect shirt

Hangs a necktie

Lengthwise like a flag

And underneath

That stoutish frame

A resonance of power reigns

The bold bravado of a salesman

Stern and full of wrath

A governance deployed

To shock both foes and friends

The boundaries

Where two countries borders meet

Await a wailing wall

Where all can weep

 

Ted Goodell

June 2018

The Conversation

The reliability of “Hello”

Is always validated

It is programmed

And dependable and

Suggests that moving

Toward the substance

Of essential words

Will follow out of

Shared responsibility

And toward what end

Only each speaker

Can comprehend

 

Ted Goodell

May 2018