The Good Ship Bureaucracy 

Editor’s Note: This was originally written in April, 2017. BJE loves his current job.

Once, there was a great sea Captain.
Fearless and brave.
His sailors followed his every command.

His ship crossed the oceans,
Delivering goods to every corner of the Earth.
They sailed all of the Seven Seas.

When he finally retired,
He was replaced by a lesser Captain.
The sailors were rearranged by name.
Then, by their heights.
Then, by birthplace.

The crew spent endless days,
Re-arranging the deck chairs.
Some were promoted.
They managed re-arranging deck chairs.

Soon, there were deck chair directors,
A Vice-President for each deck,
And less and less actual sailors.

Sailors cost money,
So many were left in port.
The Captain was apparently oblivious
To the fact that managers cost more.

The Captain announced,
“We are a freighter!”
So, the sailors tried to refit the ship.

Refitting a ship under sail
Can be challenging,
But they did the best they could.

The Captain announced,
“We are a cruise ship!”
So, the sailors started over.

Sailors who didn’t cheer the new mission
Were hoisted over the side.
It was a gruesome death,
But many preferred it to staying onboard.

Soon, the ship would sail in circles,
Since there was nobody hoisting the sails,
And other ships bombarded it,
With nobody able to return fire.

Every time the managers met,
The ship would list dangerously,
Because the managers out-numbered the sailors.

The sailors feared they would go down with the ship.
Some just wanted to finish their tour of duty.
Most just wanted the managers to shut the fuck up.

The ship was taking on water,
So the managers decided to drill holes in the hull,
To let all the excess water run out.

Some sailors protested that was a bad idea.
The protestors were all dumped in a lifeboat,
And dropped into the sea to die.

The Captain was going down with the ship,
Until a golden helicopter appeared,
And flew him to safety.

The managers ran to the lifeboats,
But they were all gone.
The remaining sailors had taken them.

From their doomed lifeboats,
The sailors watched all the managers
Sink and drown like rats.

It was a good day, after all.


I mentor evenings as a volunteer.
This must mean my time is not valuable.
I have a calendar so clients can schedule meetings.
I let them schedule, so it is convenient for them.
Many of them still do not show up.
How do you miss an appointment you scheduled?
This may be why you need mentoring.

Feed the Neighborhood

“Let’s feed the birds”, she said.
“They all look cold and hungry.”
This meant more than day-old bread.
This became an industry.

The poles went up across the lawn.
They held the many feeders.
Different birds were ever drawn.
Some of them were breeders.

Birds cannot a secret keep.
Someone told the squirrels.
We watched the varmints learn to leap,
To feed based on the bird’s referrals.

The squirrels told a rabbit.
Bunny Mom brought her babies.
Now, there were holes in the lawn.
I hope they don’t have rabies.

The bunny attracted a cat.
Cats don’t want to eat seeds.
The cat will kill little bunnies.
One of some very evil deeds.

The cat never came back,
After the bunnies fled the nest.
It really was a shame it left,
Since rats were our next guests.

Squirrels, bunnies, cats, rats.
All because we fed the birds.
I think we’ll put the food away.
You can mark my words.

Graham Gnome

My name is Graham.
I am a gnome.
I love to travel
Far from home.

I have been on a ship.
I’ve been in a car.
Sometimes on a plane.
Always near a bar.

I love the islands.
They’re where I’m from.
The warm tropical breeze.
The constant rum.

My next travels?
I don’t know.
I’m always packed.
I’m ready to go.