is deputy editorial page editor
of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tis the day we call Christmas, yet gloom fills the land.
Things haven't been going exactly as planned.
The news pages are full of jobs disappearing,
CEO profiteering, Illinois racketeering.
Detroit is collapsing, the Earth overheating,
And our 401(k)s are taking a beating.
So I started to wonder what solace to offer
To those who are stuck with naught in the coffer,
To those who are threatened with pending foreclosure,
To those having trouble just keeping composure.
How might I cheer the sad and the cranky?
(I can't hand out billions; I'm no Ben Bernanke.)
At first, I decided that since I'm a writer,
Trying to make this holiday brighter,
I should write something grand, something stirring and gallant.
Well, I tried and I tried, but I haven't the talent
To summon the words that might sound inspired
To the worried, the poor, and the recently fired.
I'll defer to Obama or the Rev. Joe Lowery
To encourage with rhetoric lofty and flowery.
Instead, I decided, until the inaugural,
To try to raise cheer with very bad doggerel.
'Cause the grim have to grin, the glum have to smile,
If you rhyme about nonsense, but do it in style.
I mean, really, you'd have to be utterly sour,
Like someone just tortured at the hands of Jack Bauer,
Not to laugh at this clown who thinks
Rhymes - in a way - with the word
Me and my puns - you couldn't resist us.
If you cracked a smile, then ... Merry Christmas.