Saturday, February 22, 2020

O Nation, My Nation!

N.C. Wyeth "O Captain, My Captain"

As some of you may have gathered, I like to tinker with classic poems, sometimes for fun, sometimes to crystalize my thoughts on a troubling or complex circumstance. This past week led me back to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and his “O Captain, My Captain!” 1865 mourning tribute to the loss of our Captain, President Abraham Lincoln. 

I like that template,
As we wait,
To meet with fate,

Walt Whitman

O Nation! my Nation! I fear we’ve come undone,
Our land’s confronted every threat, with pride, brave deeds and fun,
As men revered, for deeds so clear, led people all exulting,
But narrow eyes did bring to heel, our land of faith and caring;
                         Burdening its heart
                             With foreboding pain and dread,
                               While all the world endures the lies,
                                  Not yet cold and dead.

O Nation! my Nation! rise up and face the hells;
Rise up—for you the time has come—for you there’s no untils,
For you no more the ribald tweets—for you they must be ending,
For you they call, the huddled masses, their trusting faces turning;
                         Hear Nation! dear saviour!
                            We turn to you instead!
                               To save the dream about to wreck,
                                 Not yet cold and dead.

Our Nation needs an answer, to many lips so shrill,
As many souls who suffer harm, in battles all uphill,
Are turned against those safe and sound, with worries near to none,
By false fearful tales, that once brought dire victory not won;
                         Come together, confront the hells!
                            End the reign of dread,
                               Of our Nation steeped in lies,
                                  Not yet cold and dead.

Here’s the Original

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.


Jeff's 2020 Speaking Engagements and Signings (in formation):

Friday, March 13, 10:15AM
San Diego, CA
LEFT COAST CRIME—San Diego Marriott Mission Valley—(Sierra 5-6)
Moderating “Tipping the Scales: The criminal justice system,” with Teresa Burrell, Keenan Powell, L.F. Robertson, and Karen Stefano.

Saturday, March 14, 2:45PM
San Diego, CA
LEFT COAST CRIME—San Diego Marriott Mission Valley—(Rio Vista F-H)
Panelist, “Murder Goes Global: International Mysteries and Thrillers,” with Annamaria Alfieri, Ana Manwaring, and Greg Randall, moderated by Jane Stillwater.

Monday, March 16, 2020, 11AM-2PM
Saddlebrooke, Arizona 85739
30th Anniversary Authors Luncheon
SaddleBrooke Clubhouse
40010 S. Ridgeview Blvd.
Author Speaking and Signing

Thursday, June 4--Sunday, June 7, 2020
CRIMEFEST—Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel
Panels yet to be announced 

Thursday, October 15—Sunday, October 18
Panels yet to be announced


  1. Well parodied, Jeff. Interesting times, as the Chinese curse puts it...

    1. Interesting times for sure. Oh how I long to be bored...but there's sadly much more to come I fear.

  2. Nicely done, My Captain. It is all of our pain. Let's hope it is relieved expeditiously.

    1. May the grand electorate in the sky hear your prayers.

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    (And realistically, it is not about genetics or some secret exercise and really, EVERYTHING to do with "how" they are eating.)

    P.S, What I said is "HOW", not "WHAT"...

    TAP on this link to determine if this short quiz can help you decipher your real weight loss potential