Polis writes original poetry to reflect on 2009

While his congressional colleagues were busy re-writing classic holiday jingles with new healthcare-centric lyrics, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) was engaged in authentic creative work: writing original poetry.

Polis is the son of the poet Susan Polis Schutz, and he recently dipped into the family business to reflect on 2009 in a poem by the same name, which he sent out via email. He mentions Afghanistan, Iraq, AIG, and the recession, but manages to do it without sounding stuffy or forced.

Here's an example:

The mountains of Afghanistan we occupy still
Our troop levels there continue to build
I listened to generals, to scholars to spooks,
Yet Al Queda isn’t there,
In Pakistan and Yemen we should look

Impressive work for an amateur: Polis's meter is unique and easy to follow, and his rhymes are consistent throughout. Here's the entire poem:

2009

2009 come and gone
May 2010 be more ripe for song.
A difficult year for our nation and world
Around us recession, war, strife, all swirled

People jobless
Their families without bread
Looked to our congress
To make them well fed

We passed several bills
"Drink from the public swill"
to AIG, autos, and clunker-owners we said,
And the result, of course: to a higher deficit it led

The mountains of Afghanistan we occupy still
Our troop levels there continue to build
I listened to generals, to scholars to spooks,
Yet Al Queda isn’t there,
In Pakistan and Yemen we should look

So too we occupy old Babylon
With a promise we must honor to soon be gone

While in Washington the Pachyderms and asses did battle
Fighting and bickering and sounding like rattlers
Hissing and striking, hemming and hawing,
Displaying plumage and pomp
Never listening always talking

But despite us the engine of America is strong
The free market’s cycles are not decades long
There is a natural rhythm to things
Of seasons Fall, Winter, Summer and Spring
Of what futures markets bring
Of Dows, Russells, Standards and Poors
Of bears and of bulls, of declines and of soars
Of jobs and good wages to support honest folk
Of people borrowing and then struggling to throw off debt’s yoke

Some cry "depression"!
Others "mild recession"!
Still the country presses on
awaiting the bright new dawn

As for my prescription,
Hardly worth an inscription
The doctors say it best
" Do no harm,"
And a night’s good rest.

By Jared Polis