Frank Maguire
Add my name to the list
By Frank Maguire
May 17, 2010

A few years back while visiting England, I wrote "Where there is tea, there is hope." I had been talking with a fellow in Matfield on the Green, Kent, and commented that in my humble, colonialist opinion it was the custom of tea-time that by taking the citizens' focus off the NAZI blitzkrieg, thus allowing their worried minds a short, diversionary respite — an anticipated, customary r&r for the beleaguered British brain — it provided the fortitude for Brits to "never, never, never surrender."

As I watch America's political sturm und drang, and see millions of citizens resisting the Kremlin on the Potomac with its proliferating Czars and Czarinas, Tea once again is a symbol of strength. Of course, the irony is that the original American Tea Party was a symbolic protest against Britannia.

My poem, "Fencing" I wrote intending to indicate how the supercilious, high and mighty political/administrative nomenklatura behave condescendingly toward us poor simpletons who read Lincoln's words about "a nation of the people, for the people, and by the people" and, apparently mistaken, thought that that which he spoke is that by which we as a nation were formed, and is the Constitutional principle by which we are entitled to live.

But, alas, Americans, seduced by the ambivalent term "democratic," a term employed by numerous despotic regimes in the manner of "The Peoples Democratic Republic of (fill in the blank)," have forsaken the Constitutional Republic and been piped, pie-eyed, along the road toward democracy — toward the product of envy and resentment built upon the concept of factions, political power, that might makes right; and, that to bring about a most righteous future, any and all means are permissible: So evangelized Sol Alinsky in his "Rules for Radicals" and "Reveille for Radicals."

"Fencing" employs the meter and modus vivendi of Gilbert and Sullivan's great parody from "The Mikado."


by Frank Maguire © 2004

A wandering minstrel I, of the commentary kind,
And I'm there upon the list...there, upon the list.
I thrive on the ineffable; I seek the hard defined,
And I blithely tweak and twist. I blithely tweak and twist.

Zounds, I love to thrust and parry, with rhetorical touché,
A foilsman, aiming, point by point, to bring my mark aweigh,
To hoist peremptory prodigies upon their own pétard,
So full of overheated air, my task is less than hard,
And because I seek to puncture them, they want me feathered-tarred,
So they've put me on the list, high up upon the list,
Quite sure I'll not be missed; quite sure I'll not be missed.

Around Saint Mary Beth'lem is a wall that is immense,
Which makes a lot of sense, a very lot of sense.
Assuaging the anxieties and calming down the tense,
So serves the Bedlam fence, the breachless, Bedlam fence.

There are prophylactic fences built to keep offenders out,
That pox of vagrants, bums, and lesser types who hang about;
The drifting gallivants whose very breathing does offend
Every magisterial mincer at society's upper end,
And those morally superior to whom nether knees should bend,
They never, never list...they're not inclined to list,
And they're sure they would be missed, quite sure they would be missed.

With duel intent, I thus contend, and caution them "en garde!"
Which is why I'm on the list, in BOLD upon the list.
I mind not I'm excluded...included 'mongst the barred
And sniffingly dismissed; my very name is hissed.

Secure, they hide behind their high-and-mighty barricade:
Caged-in cataleptics, in parietal promenade.
Fencing out subordinates, and fencing 'mongst their own;
Fencing goods and fencing bads, collectively alone;
Nourishing ambition, biting on contention's bone,
Content there in the mist, they never shall be missed,
Fenced thus, they...shan'

© Frank Maguire


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Frank Maguire

(Frank Maguire passed away on May 19, 2021. His obituary can be read here.

Frank Maguire was born in Dorchester, MA, 1938, attended schools in Massachusetts, California, and Arizona, where he completed degrees in music and English writing/Journalism. Frank has been married to Helen Isabel Maguire Estevez of Culver City, California, since 1957. They have six children, 14 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.


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