John C. Krieg

Coronavirus Has Nothing on Retirement
This Thing is Getting Serious
In all seriousness, I know this is a
legitimate National Emergency
And I must do what I can to protect
my family, and myself from it

But there are some things that smack of panic
Hoarding, runs on toilet paper, and sanitizer(s)
And some things that smack of despicable greed
Price gouging, and offering fake testing products

This is like The Book of Revelation
In real time, and in Technicolor
Great good, and great evil are on high display
I’m praying that good will triumph in the end

But Coronavirus has nothing on retirement
For nobody knows where I am
Or what I have been doing
Or if I’m dead or alive

A six-foot safety radius?
Try the circumference of the globe
Social distancing?
Try 5 acres removed from my closest neighbor

Containment zones
Mine starts at my property line
Chillout? I’m like a block of ice
Get a grip? I’ve never lost it

We’re always stocked up on food, anyway
Have e-mail, and satellite T.V.
Bank and pay bills over the internet
Have well water, and 500 gallons of propane

So as long as the electricity stays on
Our lives go on as usual
We are the lucky ones, I know, and I
Feel remorse for my less fortunate brethren

And my grandchildren living at home
With the school closed, they are
going to go bonkers with boredom, and
Demand attention keeping me from my writing

Circle the wagons
Us versus them
Pray that some Americans
don’t turn on other Americans

“We are all in this together,” is the
current rallying cry, but I wonder why
It took this pandemic for the nation
to actually believe it

CFS: Caronavirus Fatigue Syndrome
It’s coming, if it isn’t here already
People will let down their guard
Paying for that with their lives

I’m paying for my retirement with my life
My golden years are taking years off my life
I blame myself first, and the system second
The truth being that when you retire – you’re forgotten

In retirement, many are under
Self-inflicted house arrest
Spending as little as possible
And never going anywhere

So retirees are at least a leg up
On the rest of the country
In knowing how to deal with
Isolation and loneliness

Coronavirus has nothing on retirement
Except the speed at which suffers will die
A sad truth, for death is death, but now
We may not get to choose our time

A Few Days Later
It’s Saint Patrick’s Day!
And nobody’s throwing a party
It’s raining again in Southern Cali
So I watch the news that’s saying:

Coronavirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!
Coronavirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!
Coronavirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!
Coronavirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!

Say; have you heard about the Coronavirus?

This thing is like the grayscale
On Game of Thrones
Where’s John Brady when you need him?
To research our salvation in a dusty old tomb

And even the Mad King
Seems to finally get it
He can’t laugh and lie
His way out of this one

He’s no longer mocking all of us with:

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!

Hey Mr. President: The sky is falling!

Dr. Edward O. Wilson tried to warn us humans
That as the apex species, we weren’t so special, because
All those little creepy crawleys at the bottom of the pyramid
Were looking up at us, and plotting our demise

And Now a Constructive Suggestion
Build the necessary facilities to house
the poor, the sick, the huddled masses
Wasn’t that the point of the Statue of Liberty?
After the plague, use them to house the CCC

Bring back the CCC!
Hasn’t this thing taught us the need for preparation?
Let the youth have an alternative to national service
That doesn’t require toting a gun or killing someone

With a standing peaceful army on our own soil
We won’t get caught with our pants down again
Those creepy crawleys aren’t going to give up, and the
New normal is to assume that pandemics are normal

Examining the Arc of a Lifetime
This thing is like a giant meteor
Heading straight at geezers
With preexisting conditions that most
Gave to themselves
Those with Type II diabetes (me)
And COPD (she)
We have never seen anything like this in our lifetimes
Or we would have paid closer attention to our health

That’s the worst of retirement
You have the time to ponder
The things you should have done
Not that it makes a bit of difference now

Coronavirus has nothing on retirement
Except the speed at which suffers will die
A sad truth, for death is death, but now
We may not get to choose our time

My Self-fulfilling Prophesy (3/17/2020)
It’s Saint Patrick’s Day!
And nobody’s throwing a party
Coronvirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!
Yeah I get it, as a geezer, I could die
Die sooner rather than later
And the hell of it is that
I was cocky about death
For indisputable proof
Consider my go-to spiel
At the start of all my
recent cover letters:

Greetings from the poorer half of the two Americas. Admittedly, this is the last wheeze of an old white dinosaur who sometimes feels that his boomer generation will have to die off before the future of the country can be shaped in the image and likeness of those about to inherit the country, my grandchildren included.

Know that my quarter century quest to become an overnight literary sensation became derailed by my ongoing career as a landscape architect, swimming pool contractor, and outlaw pot farmer. At 68 I have decided to devote what time I have left exclusively to writing.

Well…grandpa, you better
get your ass in gear
You popped off all noble-like
Practically volunteering to croak
For the good of the youth of America
(your grandchildren included)
Go on with your smug self, you old fart
What are you going to do now?
To talk your way out of this one?
Remember what Honest Abe had to say
About dullards, and opening their mouths:
Better to remain silent and be
thought a fool than to speak out
and remove all doubt.
And then you cranked out:
Coronavirus Has Nothing on Retirement
And against all advice in every single book
on submissions; you submitted it – 10 times!
You could have/should have waited
but this is b-r-e-a-k-i-n-g n-e-w-s-!
And you went with the flow like
a man in barrel taking on Niagara Falls
Besides your usual go-to slabber
You’ve issued a self-inflicted fatwa
Your words could become
A self-fulfilling prophesy
And to make matters worse you
infused your death wish with an
explanation of enhanced implication:

This is not intended to be a, “Shit your pants if you are a geezer, because we are all going to die,”
Manifesto. There is some bright light and constructive suggestions contained herein. I get it, we all get it, this is the most extraordinary moment of our lives, and in surviving it I can only hope that America will experience profound change for the betterment of all her inhabitants.

Well…grandpa, you’ve gone ahead
and completely shat you pants with
all this “betterment” hyperbole
What are you going to do now?
G-e-t-u-p, c-o-w-b-o-y-up, m-a-n-u-p
It’s time to put your life
Where your words are
For the betterment of the species
Homo sapiens
(your grandchildren included)

Pandemic (3/19/2020)
This thing is either going save us or kill us
For it has exposed us for who we are
Great good and great evil battling it out
for supremacy right here in the U S of A
The war for the soul of America is now on high display
24/7 on every news channel: This is a Pandemic!

Where are the youth that didn’t vote for Bernie?
Show yourselves. I want to give you a lecture:
What is it with you kids?
What! with free health care, free college, and free pot
you couldn’t get off your asses to come to the polls?
Wait just a minute – I can see on the news –
they’ve been located partying down at South Beach
Turn up the Calypso music, and pass the booze
While their future goes down the tubes
But the folly of youth now has a potential do over
America might finally get her priorities straight
Because of the Coronavirus, that wants to kill
off all those annoying self-righteous boomers
Who closed down the beaches and ruined all their fun

Same shit different decade
Same shit different crisis
But the same solution!
The ghost of Ron Reagan is now a bag lady
throwing bread crumbs from a bench in the
Senate to us lower class pigeons
Don’t worry, there’s enough to go around
Meet the new boss – same as the old boss
T-r-i-c-k-l-e d-o-w-n e-co-n-o-m-i-c-s-!
But not for all, as Kevin McCarthy
has stepped up to the mike at Fox News
His scrunched forehead looking
like it’s about to pop a vein
This bailout is not for you takers – no way José

Even McConnell had a lapse of compassion
For about two minutes
And that cheesy grin on Rand Paul’s face
Let’s re-litigate the Afghan War
With the body count rising on the television crawl like
the old tickertapes tallying the burgers sold at MacDonald’s
As the childish milk white pukes mill about on the Senate floor
Like confused cattle in a pen looking for the door
“We don’t know what to do! We don’t know what to do!”
Wait just a minute – there’s a disturbance – some
young woman has crashed this den of sloth
She’s holding up a plan
“A plan? In this fucking place?
We don’t have plans! The audacity!
Run for cover fella’s, it’s AOC!”
With that Green New Deal of hers’
That’s worse than broccoli.
Wipe that red lipstick off your face young lady
This is a serious solemn place with a tradition
Of doing absolutely nothing

Over in the House they’re already sounding the battle cry
We’re going to look into this – just you wait and see
There is sure as shit going to be another:

Investigation! Investigation!! Investigation!!!
Investigation! Investigation!! Investigation!!!
Investigation! Investigation!! Investigation!!!
Investigation! Investigation!! Investigation!!!

Hey have you heard? The House is conducting
Another Investigation!!!!!!
Isn’t that just what we need?
While the homeless die in the streets
Poor kids can’t get their school lunches
And everyone’s running out of toilet paper, but
when in a pinch just use The Constitution (1787)
Shelter in place? My kids are hungry, but
I sure enough want me another investigation
That should solve everything

Wait just a minute – the disgruntled kids have
been located again – out in the rose garden
Clamoring to have their voices heard
So the Mad King lets them up into the oval office
And the nubile bikinied sun goddesses dance on his desk
As the margarita mixers whirr Trump dons a
festive sombrero while shaking colorful maracas
that he stole off a Mexican detained at the border
They’re doing the limbo, and sucking Jello-shots
off his fat fucking belly, while in the background
Secret Service Agents discretely gyrate to the Macarena
From his stiff historic hanging portrait Honest Abe
surveys the scene thinking:
This party’s sooo lame. Where’s a decent
Mariachi Band when you need them?
Oh, that’s right, ICE locked them all up.
And just when it looks likes this rager is starting to lose
its mojo, Wild Mike Pence suddenly shows, and digging the
vibe, he starts groping his crotch like Michael Jackson, and
flicking and twitching his tongue like Gene Simmons
Rudely awaked from her slumber in the next room, Malania
hastily gussies up and changes into a designer nightgown, and
then in matronly fashion, brings a party platter of Ectasy and
Gummy Bears infused with THC to the soiree, and with this heaven
sent shot of adrenaline, the pandemonium flames on into the night
For why shouldn’t they have to fight for their right to party?
And why should they have to worry about this trifling pandemic thing?

Nothing’s going to happen to any of them.

John C. Krieg is a retired landscape architect and land planner who formerly practiced in Arizona, California, and Nevada. He is also retired as an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist and currently holds seven active categories of California state contracting licenses, including the highest category of Class A General Engineering. He has written a college textbook entitled Desert Landscape Architecture (1999, CRC Press). John has had pieces published in A Gathering of the Tribes, Alternating Current, Blue Mountain Review, Clark Street Review, Conceit, Homestead Review, Indolent Books, Line Rider Press, LOL Comedy, Lucky Jefferson, Magazine of History and Fiction, Oddball Magazine, Palm Springs Life, Pandemonium, Pegasus, Pen and Pendulum, Saint Ann’s Review, Squawk Back, The Book Smuggler’s Den, The Courtship of Winds, The Mindful Word, The Scriblerus, The Writing Disorder, Twist & Twain, and Wilderness House Literary Review. In conjunction with filmmaker/photographer Charles Sappington, Mr. Krieg has completed a two-part documentary film entitled Landscape Architecture: The Next Generation (2010). In some underground circles John is considered a master grower of marijuana and holds as a lifelong goal the desire to see marijuana federally legalized. Nothing else will do. To that end he has two books coming out this year being published by Red Dashboard LLC Publications entitled: More Marijuana Tales and It’s Just Marijuana.